Talisman Sacred Pool – There can be only one!

We finally got a 5-man game with the new Fantasy Flight expansion to Talisman 4th edition: the Sacred Pool.  Starting characters were Rogue (Scott), Highlander (moi), Valkyrie (Cain), Vampiress (Jeff) and Gypsy (Chris).   None of the new characters were selected even though the Magus and Dark Knight were drawn.

I was the Highlander and pretty much everything went my way during the game, however, tactically (and I know some may roll their eyes at this because it’s all just random rolls right?), my goals were to get at least one strength increase from the main board before hitting the Highlands, then, if possible, clip a few magic items off the craft ladies (Rogue, Vampiress or Gypsy) on my way to the Dungeon, barring death, then head up to the Middle and Center region FTW.  I was able to slip through the Highlands and crush the Eagle King: getting the one-shot teleport item as a reward.  I then hit the Vampiress and grabbed a +2 craft Sword off of her, which really helped during my decent into the dungeon (highlander ain’t the smartest bloke to start).  The hapless Highlander wasn’t able to beat the Lord of Darkness on the first try– but that just gave him an excuse to rush right back into the dungeon for more beatings.

During this time, both the Gypsy and the Vampiress fell prey to the Highland ICE BRIDGE space in comical fashion and were replaced by the Prophetess and the Ghoul.  The stack of cards sitting on the ice bridge  space was a veritable mountain of goodness, but no one else attempted it during the game.   This brings up a  key point with Highlands and Dungeon–I very much prefer to play the game with the published variant stating that once you start to go into one of the side boards, you have to declare that you are leaving to go the other direction– and then you cannot switch to go back through the board until you have exited the board itself.  Without this rule, no one would ever land on the Ice Bridge space on purpose.  Since the Highlands are relatively easy for weak characters, there should be some danger in getting to the relatively weak Eagle King.

We didn’t get too into the newest mechanic from Sacred Pool, the quest reward deck. I think only myself and one other person were able to pull from the deck during this game.  That said, I love it.  It’s simple and builds on the importance of the Middle Region.  Next time we play, I want to combine the Quest Cards with the Warlock’s Quest ending card and see how it works with a deluge of quest reward cards hitting the table.

Anyway, the Highlander made it to the middle and a Battle Royale was drawn which pulls all characters to the middle for a throw down if they have a Talisman on them.  This eliminated all but the Valkyrie who was summoned to the Crown of Command space only to be struck down by the highlander (after some spell chicanery that might have let her win with a little luck).