|Choose Your Path, Face Your Judgement
A look at alignments in The Sacred Pool, an upcoming Talisman expansion
|Talisman | Published 07 October 2010|
The endless struggle between the spirits of light and the forces of darkness is escalating. Mighty heroes are called to choose their alignment and fight to prove themselves worthy, for Judgement Day approaches... and war between the heavens and the abyss is about to begin.
The Sacred Pool, the latest expansion for Talisman, will be on store shelves soon! So far, we’ve looked at the sinister Magus and the glorious Chivalric Knight. Today, let’s look deeper into the motivations of these (and indeed all) Talisman heroes, as we peer into their very souls for a discussion of character alignment.
For players, alignment is Talisman is a concept that while deep in its thematic implications, can be easily overlooked mechanically. Many players seldom even think about their character’s alignment until they land on the Chapel, draw Mephistopheles, or encounter some similar obstacle. With The Sacred Pool, alignment comes to the forefront of your quest for the Crown of Command. Players can switch alignments, influence opponents’ motivations, and even affect the outcome of the entire game, all with the abundance of new alignment-centered choices coming in this exciting expansion!
In addition to offering new Neutral Alignment cards for neutral characters, The Sacred Pool presents plenty of reasons to consider your alignment carefully, and possibly even to readjust your moral compass when the opportunity arises. The Ivory Sentinel, along with his evil counterpart the Ebony Sentinel (both below), effectively creates a roadblock for any character not matching its preferred alignment.
Similarly, the Vindicator is friend to no one, but those with Evil in their hearts should take special care, since his strength adjusts based on your alignment! But these obstacles, formidable though they may be, are hardly the only reason to carefully consider your character’s alignment in your quest for the Crown of Command. Powerful artifacts like the Baleful Eye, Staff of Balance, and Holy Relic are featured in The Sacred Pool, and only the worthy may wield them.
Several new Strangers also make their debut in The Sacred Pool, and three in particular brilliantly demonstrate the focus on interplay between alignments. The Ritual Master, Renegade, and Redeemer (below) each provide a potential benefit to characters of their alignment... at the cost of those of the other alignments!
But what if you are lured toward a different moral path? The Sacred Pool presents several ways to change the alignment of heroes... sometimes against their will. The Madcap, an unpredictable stranger, delights in bringing chaos into the world. Meanwhile, the Pantheon allows visiting heroes to choose a new alignment, while Temporary Change and The Whispers (a Quest Reward Card) both let you inflict a change of alignment upon yourself or an opponent! This can be a clever way to force another player to drop a helpful alignment-dependent artifact, or to play a nasty trick when he lands on a space such as the Chapel.
Finally, let’s take a look at an Alternate Ending card that brings the significance of character alignment to new heights... it can directly affect whether you claim the ultimate prize!
Judgement Day requires that all players “vote” on how to modify a very important die roll. Will you deduct from the roller’s score? This may kill him, or you may merely incur his wrath when he then controls the Crown of Command. Will you add to his roll? You may inadvertently make him the lone winner, or you might share the win with him. Whatever happens, the negotiation is sure to be heated as players struggle to manipulate this all-important roll, or even their own alignments, in the tense final moments of the game!
Keep checking back for more on The Sacred Pool. In the meantime, follow your own sense of morality... at least until a better offer comes along.
Talisman is a classic board game of adventuring through the lands in search of the powerful Crown of Command. Take control of one of 14 different characters from a powerful Troll to a magical Druid, and enter a beloved world of fantasy adventure!
Wow, the art of Judgement is day is stunning! Who is the artist? He/she deserves the public acknowledgment!