25 July 2014 | Talisman

No Ordinary Walk in the Woods

Preview the Creatures and Landscape of Talisman: The Woodland


Ahead lies a sunlit meadow of tall grasses and wildflowers, where glowing, winged creatures are flitting about in the air. The path seems to be taking you there, but soon the meadow disappears from view, and the altered path now leads towards a dense, sunless thicket. You feel a chill as you pass through a gate of black branches entwined and twisted like tortured limbs – then suddenly you’re back in the swamplands where you met Puck not long ago. He’s still there, and unfortunately he starts laughing when he sees you…

Discover the perils and enchantments of the deep woods in The Woodland, a new expansion for Talisman Revised 4th Edition. Long closed to mortals, the forested realm of the Fae has reopened. If you dare approach them, the faeries may favor you with extraordinary gifts – or they may put you through unspeakable torments.

In today’s preview, we’ll venture into the Woodland and take a look at some of the spaces on the new corner board, and meet some of the Strangers, Objects, Places, and Enemies that you may encounter on Woodland Cards.

The Forbidding Forest

Once you’ve entered the Woodland, you must either persistently move forward towards the Meeting with Destiny space at the woods’ edge, or else turn around and flee– although it is doubtful that the shifting trees will permit you to exactly retrace your steps. Arrows on the board serve as trail markers, and you must move directly with or directly against them. It is forbidden to leap in other directions, from the Swampland to the Faerie Ring, for example.

The Woodland is fond of disorienting mortals who wander within it. It may prevent you from moving forward to the place you intended, or make it impossible for you to return to a place you’ve been. Bogs slow you down, Swamplands detain you against your will, and many spaces affect movement in unpredictable ways: the Witch Tree will propel you forwards or backwards depending on whether you roll an even or odd number. The Mystic Glen may teleport you into either the Swampland or the Faerie Ring. The Crossroads may even teleport you to a Woods space outside of the Woodland itself.

Near the edge of the woods lies Mab’s Lair. Skulls of her animal, faerie, and human victims litter the ground – it is clearly the most dangerous space of all. There, you must confront the terrifying Queen Mab herself, creator of all dreams, who has a Strength of ten and a Craft of ten. If you defeat her, she will give you a vision of your true purpose. If you cannot, she will haunt you with the darkest nightmares she can create.

Shrewd and Knavish Sprites

In the realm of the Fae you draw Woodland Cards instead of Adventure Cards, since the rules governing that land are unlike those of the mortal world. Like its paths, the Woodland’s Strangers and Events are naturally changeable and capricious. Outside of the Woodland, a Market card permanently establishes a Market where you can buy useful Objects. Inside the Woodland, a Faerie Market may occur. You cannot buy things in a Faerie Market. Instead, every player must give a possession and a piece of gold, a fate token, or a life to the player on the right.

The Mysterious Mist may teleport you to a new location or grant you a Spell, depending on what you roll. The Greenman could give you a life or take one away. If you can defeat the Thieving Piskies, you can send them to steal from another character. The wicked and deformed Baba Yaga may kill one of your Followers, or even your character, or demand one of your objects as a payoff. Her chicken-legged hut is likewise troublesome. Upon encountering it, the hut captures you inside and speeds off, so that as long as you have it as a Follower, you always move exactly five spaces.

The trickster Puck, known for laughing at others’ harm, can transform a character of your choice into a Toad – or he may decide to turn you into one instead. In fact, Baba Yaga could turn you into a Toad as well, as could numerous others. So many of the Woodland’s inhabitants and events can turn characters into Toads that you may become accustomed to amphibian life.

Luck of the Faeries

With fortune’s favor, you will find some protection in the Woodland against its many perils, perhaps a Magic Object once belonging to a long-forgotten king. If you have enough Strength to wear it, Nuadu’s Torc will add to that Strength and keep you from losing it or becoming a Toad. Lugh’s Cloak, an incredibly powerful Magic Object, allows you, if you have a craft of at least five, to avoid being affected by the Strangers and Events that you encounter.

Since how you fare in the Woodland depends heavily on your luck with the dice, the most desirable object in the realm may be the Lucky Charm, which lets you choose your result instead of rolling a die. Mab’s Charm also invites you to change your luck, by allowing you to reroll an Enemy’s attack, making the original result into nothing but a dream.

Into the Woods

The woods may be fearful, deep, and dark, but they also reward those who wander through them in unforeseeable ways. If you can survive the faeries’ dangerous whims and the trials of the enchanted trees, you will emerge from The Woodland a character of proven fortitude, ready to pursue the Crown of Command.

Prepare for your journey through these wild woods, and pre-order Talisman: The Woodland from your local retailer today.


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