I picked up Talisman awhile ago and am enjoying it as are my friends. However we aren't much of ones for the "PvP" (player versus player) encounters which works fine until the end game and reaching the Crown of Command. We of course finish the game but it's just not as enjoyable for us. I tried looking up information on the expansions and possibilities of alternate non-PvP endings, where we do not have to kill each other in order to win, but descriptions on the expansions don't give many specifics on alternate endings. The only one that really seemed like it had a PvE (player versus environment) ending was the Dragon expansion. My question basically is, what Talisman expansions offer a PvE end goal and what are they?
I am going to assume that you only are considering the Fourth Edition Expansions by Fantasy Flight Games, since I assume that the Games Workshop editions are incompatible. The Dragon and Sacred Pool Expansion should fit your needs with all 3 alternate endings being PvE.
- Talisman: The Reaper Expansion (2008): No alternate endings.
- Talisman: The Dungeon Expansion (2009): No alternate endings.
- Talisman: The Frostmarch Expansion (2009): Crown and Sceptre, Ice Queen and Warlock Quests
- Talisman: The Highland Expansion (2010): Battle Royale, The Eagle King, and Hand of Doom.
- Talisman: The Sacred Pool Expansion (2010): Demon Lord, Judgement Day, and Sacred Pool
- Talisman: The Dragon Expansion (2011): Dragon Slayers, Dragon King, and Domain of Dragons
- Talisman: The Blood Moon Expansion (2012): Horrible Black Hole, Lightbearers, and Blood Moon Werewolf.
- Talisman: The City Expansion (2013): Merchant's Guild, ??? (not released)
I'm excluding endings that are based around characters being killed by some means or another, whether directly (e.g. Crown of Flame, Theives' Guild) or indirectly (e.g. Judgement Day, Pandora's Box). Also, all of these are vastly oversimplified, and omit a number of rules.
"Boss Monster" endings
These endings all involve defeating a powerful non-player enemy, usually at the Crown of Command. They are usually in the format of:
A character on the Crown of Command must choose whether to attack the [Boss Monster] using Strength or Craft. Each time he defeats the [Boss Monster], he must remove one of the [Boss Monster]’s lives and immediately attack him again.
If a character removes the [Boss Monster]’s last life, he wins the game!
If there are no characters on the Crown of Command, the [Boss Monster] heals all his lives.
There are variations on what happens if you fail to defeat the Boss Monster, ranging from teleporting to a location on the board to rolling on a table of nastiness. Many of them also have additional rules (e.g. End of Days has you place certain cards on locations during game setup).
Below are endings that follow the above format, with exceptions to the above noted:
The Blood Moon
- Blood Moon Werewolf (Hidden): On their turn, every non-Lycanthrope character (including those not at the Crown of Command) attacks the Blood Moon Werewolf. (Note that Lycanthrope characters have to kill other characters, so this is not fully a PvE ending),
- Domain of Dragons (Revealed): Defeat the Dragon King, which is represented by one of the cards from the Draconic Lord Deck
- Dragon King (Standard): Defeat the Dragon King
- Dragon Slayers (Revealed): Defeat each card from the Draconic Lord Deck, but they have Dragon Scales instead of lives and don't heal. The player with the most Dragon Scales when all have been taken wins the game.
- The Ice Queen (Standard): Defeat the Ice Queen
- End of Days (Revealed): Defeat The Beast
- Eagle King (Standard): Defeat the Eagle King
The Sacred Pool
- Demon Lord (Standard): Defeat the Demon Lord
- War of Seasons (Standard): Defeat Oberon or Titania
These endings are all Revealed endings, and all include a win condition in the format of
The first player to reach the Crown of Command with X wins the game!
Many of them also have additional rules, such as alternative ways to gain whatever you are trying to achieve.
Below are the endings that have this condition, and what the "X" condition is.
- A Hero Rises: 13+ Fate
- Warlock Quests: 4+ completed Warlock Quests
The Nether Realm
- The Hunt: 4+ defeated enemies from the Nether Deck
The Sacred Pool
- Sacred Pool: 4+ Quest Rewards
- Wanderlust: 3+ facedown Paths
Miscellaneous PvE endings
Here are additional PvE endings that don't fit in any of the groups above:
The Blood Moon
- Lightbearers (Revealed): All players are allied. If a player reaches the Crown of Command before Night falls a number of times equal to 2 * [number of players], all players win. If not, all players lose.
- Cult of the Damned (Hidden): Place Denizen cards on certain locations. Each player's turn, a number of them move one space closer to the Plain of Peril. If any reach the Plain of Peril, everybody loses. If they all are defeated, everybody wins.
The Nether Realm
- The Gauntlet (Revealed): Characters on the inner spaces encounter cards from the Nether Deck and must defeat them before advancing. First player to reach the Crown of Command wins.
Here's an additional Expansion that didn't make the earlier list:
Talisman: Cataclysm Expansion - Cult of the Damned, Lands of Wonder, The Eternal Crown, The One Talisman