Previewing Light and Dark Fate in Talisman: The Woodland
The sounds of pounding drums and raucous laughter fill your ears. Suddenly, the woods in front of you part to reveal a shadowy glade, crowded with mischievous Piskies, cackling Boggarts, darting Storm Sylphs and other faerie creatures. Seated above them all on a throne of black antlers is King Oberon, smiling at the chaotic revels. Upon seeing you, he speaks with a thundering but amused voice, “Mortals are not often welcome at my court, intruder, but perhaps you may be. It is a question of fate, and the wrong answer may cause you to lose your life.”
The Woodland expansion for Talisman 4th Edition opens up for you the realm of the Fae. In this uncouth forest you may discover splendid Objects, acquire helpful Followers, and develop your Strength and Craft. If you have bad luck, however, the mischievous faeries may steal your possessions and cause you to become lost in the woods. The Woodland is governed by its own particular laws: animals possess Craft, paths often shift, and Fate takes on greater significance than ever before.
Today’s preview reveals how this expansion transforms the rules for fate both inside and outside of the Woodland region. You will also learn more about the fearsome and spiteful King and Queen of the Fae, Oberon and Titania. All the Fae, but especially their King and Queen, judge you by your fate. Chances are that you will be welcomed by either the King and his court or the Queen and hers – but certainly not by both.
Light and Dark
Fate tokens in Talisman have always had a dark blue side and a gold side, but the color of your fate token made no difference: it permitted you to reroll one of your own die. The Woodland introduces a difference between light fate (the golden side faces up) and dark fate (the blue side faces up). Spending a token of light fate allows you to reroll a die that you rolled, but spending a token of dark fate allows you to force another player of your choice to reroll a die.
A character with more light fate than dark is lightbound, and one with more dark than light is darkbound. Equal amounts of dark and light fate make you unbound, and if you are entirely without fate, you are fateless. Many spaces and cards in The Woodland region affect you differently based on your fate, and being lightbound does not necessarily mean that good things will befall you. Unbound characters often go unaffected by cards in The Woodland, but fateless characters must typically resolve the negative effect of a card. Wandering through the Woodland without any fate could quickly sap away your character’s lives.
At the beginning of the game, and when gaining fate outside of the Woodland region, you may choose what color of fate to gain, taking a step towards ultimately becoming lightbound or darkbound. Your choice may not last long inside the Woodland, however, since Events and Strangers in the faerie realm can alter your fate as they please. Perhaps you have mostly light fate when you encounter the Wyrdling. Since you are lightbound, the Wyrdling causes you to lose all of your light fate and forces you to fight it in battle. Having lost all your light fate, you are now either darkbound or fateless. The Storm Sylph, a dark faerie, causes darkbound characters to gain more dark fate and lightbound characters to lose their fate.
The Mask of the Moon, if you are fortunate enough to come upon it, provides some defense against outside manipulation of your fate. This Magic Object enables you to change the color of a fate token once per turn, enabling you to become darkbound If you anticipate encountering Oberon in the future, or unbound if you simply want to pass through the Woodland unscathed.
Fell and Wrath
The dark Fae have eternally despised humans and tormented them for sport. As ruler of the dark Fae, Oberon shares their contempt, but will occasionally grant favors to a darkbound mortal who may further his own designs. Darkbound characters who encounter Oberon therefore profit from the meeting, gaining one Strength and stealing a Follower or Object from another character. Towards lightbound and fateless characters Oberon is ruthless and cruel, taking away their light fate, a possession, and half of their lives.
Similarly Oberon’s Gate and Oberon’s Bow only benefit darkbound characters: Oberon’s Gate allows you, if darkbound, to teleport to any space with a faceup Enemy on it, in any region except for the Inner Region. If you are lightbound or fateless, however, the character to your left chooses where you will move. Oberon’s Bow allows the darkbound to spend a dark fate to take a life from a nearby character. Casting your lot with Oberon and the dark Fae enables you to harm others, but be careful: Oberon won’t protect you against harm or against his own faeries’ mischief.
A Spirit of No Common Rate
Proud Titania, beautiful and deadly, leads the light Fae. Like all of her subjects, she is innately well-disposed to mortals, generous to her admirers but certain to punish any who offend her. If you encounter her when lightbound, she gives you Spells, Objects, additional Craft, and even Lives. From the darkbound, she takes Spells, Lives, and fate.
Titania also delights in doing the opposite of her husband, so whatever Oberon does for the darkbound, she seeks to invert or undo. Oberon’s Gate forces a darkbound character to encounter an Enemy; Titania’s Gate sends a lightbound character towards an Object of his choice. Oberon’s Bow allows you to take life from other characters; Titania’s Wand grants you the ability to cast whatever spell is placed upon that card by spending a light fate. The quarrel between the King and Queen is ancient and eternal, and you may get caught in the middle of it. If you can play them off against each other, encountering Titania and Oberon one after the other may make you extremely powerful. If they choose to take their anger out on you, it could entirely consume your fate and your lives.
Face Your Fate
The new rules for fate introduced in The Woodland can be played in any game of Talisman: use light fate to change the outcome of your own dice rolls, and dark fate to change the dice rolls of other players. Only within the Woodland region, however, can you experience the full effects of light and dark fate. Whether you seek to control your fate, or prefer to give yourself up to fate’s twists and turns, you will find your journey in every region of Talisman enriched by this innovation.
Keep checking the minisite for more information about this expansion and pre-order Talisman: The Woodland at your local retailer today!