Talisman - Questions and Answers

Bob answers some of your questions about his classic game

Q. Would you say that Talisman is a game of skill or a game of luck?

A. It’s a combination of both. Like life really. The important thing in Talisman is that you are always making decisions which will affect your future. Like life really.

Q. So what would you say makes a good Talisman player?

A. There are a few things to bear in mind which will help your performance in a game:

  1. Be aware of your character’s abilities and make sure you are making full use of them.
  2. Keep an eye on the other players. There may be some way you can frustrate their progress and they may have useful things you could take off them.
  3. Be careful of your timing when moving into the more dangerous regions. If you make the move too soon, you could come a cropper.
  4. Never give up. You can always bounce back from any setback just by stumbling upon the right cards at the right time. Also remember that no matter how well they seem to be doing, your opponents could easily run into bad luck.
  5. Have fun. Enjoying the game is far more important than winning it.

Q. Do you have any favourite characters?

A. I think we all have a soft spot for the troll because in a complex world he remains so uncomplicated.Bob's original wizard card - click to see a larger version

Q. When you are playing Talisman which character do you like to play?

A. I just recently won a game playing the Wizard, so I may stick with him for a while.

Q. Which other games do you most enjoy?

A. The games I'm enjoying most at the moment are:

  • Fury Of Dracula, which Stephen Hand designed for Games Workshop many years ago, has always been a favourite of mine. Dracula moves secretly around Europe on a concealed board while Van Helsing and his pals try to hunt him down.
  • A haunted house game called Black Morn Manor.
  • Family Business, a 1920s gangster card game.
  • Gibsons' Sherlock Holmes card game we get out a lot.
  • TSR's Buck Rogers board game gives you the satisfation of invading planets with a fairly simple set of rules.

Bob's original poltergeist card - click to see a larger versionQ. Do you have any favourite cards?

A. I've always liked the Poltergeist because in contrast to all the big monsters and spirits, he's just petty and annoying. Also on the drawing I made of him in my prototype game he is very cute.


Q. If you were designing Talisman today, is there anything you would do differently?

A. Maybe make myself one of the characters. Though I kind of did that with the Highlander in one of the expansion sets.

Q. Do you think Talisman will go on forever?

A. I think like Monopoly Talisman has established itself as a classic game which will always have a market. It also has the advantage that it can be constantly reinvented, as it has been over its various editions.

Q. Do you enjoy surfing the Talisman websites?

A. Yes, I think I’ve visited pretty much all of them and I really like a lot of the ideas people have come up with for characters , cards and even additional boards. Its great to see how this game stimulates people’s own creativity as well as entertaining them.

Bob's original charm card - click to see a larger versionQ. Do you know how the triangular Talisman symbol came about?

A. That comes from the original drawing of the talisman on the cards I made for my protoype of the game. Better artists than I took it up an elaborated it.

Q. You spend a lot of time writing novels now. Do you still consider yourself a games designer?

A. Yes. I have been working on a new game which I think is even better than Talisman. I just need to find a publisher.