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D&D Adventure Generator Using Talisman the Board Game

Talisman is a game of wandering adventurers who encounter goblins and dragons, drink from magic streams and in taverns, and quest while facing ever more difficult challenges. The cards from Talisman can generate idea outlines for D&D and other fantasy RPGs.

talisman.jpg

To create an adventure outline, DMs roll or pick from the numbered tables below. If you actually have Talisman 4.5 (originally from Fantasy Flight Games) you can simply draw the cards themselves and let the artwork provide further inspiration.

Each NPC has a problem they are experiencing. Each will offer a magic item or follower as a reward for helping, provide a place to go to find the item, and spirits or monsters that will have to be faced.

Steps
Subtable​
1.
Starting Location and NPC. Adventures kick off in one of these locations via an NPC. Roll 1d6.
  1. Castle and warrior: The warrior has been ambushed by a monster and his magic item stolen. The warrior requests the PCs bring back the monster’s head. They can keep the magic item.
  2. Chapel and priest: An evil spirit is haunting a nearby place. The priest cannot abandon the chapel, but knows the spirit guards a magic item.
  3. City and thief: A thief knows of a possible follower kidnapped. For some gold, he’ll share details on where and who the kidnappers are.
  4. Tavern and minstrel: If bought an ale, the minstrel sings of a monster, a place, and a possible follower it guards.
  5. Temple and monk: A monk beat a similar monster and is willing to let the PCs try their hand and gain a treasure or free a follower.
  6. Village and wizard: A wizard enjoys life as a so-called miracle worker and doesn’t want to deal with a local monster. If the PCs travel to the place it dwells, they can keep the magic item it guards.
2.
Place. Roll 1d6.
  1. Cave: Roll a d6. Odd, instead of rolling for a monster or spirit meet 3d6 goblins or a dragon on a 1. Even, add gold treasure as an additional reward.
  2. Magic Stream: The magic stream is difficult terrain. Those standing in it have advantage on melee attacks.
  3. Marsh: Make a Strength check (DC 10) or suffer disadvantage on your next initiative roll.
  4. Maze: Make an Intelligence check (DC 10) or suffer disadvantage on your next initiative roll. Dwarves are immune.
  5. Pool of Life: As a use an object action drink from the pool and heal as if taking a short rest.
  6. Shrine: As a bonus action, pray to gain inspiration. One time only.
3
Monster or Spirit. For a monster roll 1d12. For a spirit 1d6
1D12: Monster
1-3: 2d6 Bandits. Can be bribed rather than fought.
4-6: 2d6 Goblins.
7-8: 1d6 Hobgoblins.
9-10: 1d3 Ogres.
11: Giant.
12: Dragon.

1D6: Spirit
1-2: 1d6 Shadows.
3-4: 1d3 Wraiths.
5: Specter.
6: Ghost.
4.
Magic Item or Follower. Roll a d6 for a magic item or a d4 for a follower.
1D6: Magic Item
  1. Amulet: Spells directed at you are cast with disadvantage or if you save you have advantage. You attack with spells with disadvantage or saves caused by your spell have advantage.
  2. Holy grail: You have advantage on Wisdom skill checks. This cup also provides you a full day of water to drink each day.
  3. Holy lance: This weapon is +1 but +3 versus dragons.
  4. Runesword: When you hit and deal damage with this magic weapon you can heal as if taking a short rest.
  5. Solomon’s Crown: You have advantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill checks.
  6. Talisman: This relic allows you entrance anywhere one time. You could get an audience with a king, find a lost land, or unlock a hidden door to forgotten vaults.
1D4: Follower
  1. Alchemist: He will turn an item of yours into its full gold value before moving on.
  2. Gnome: He will provide advantage for you 1d4 times when you try to pick locks or disarm traps. He will also provide you 1d4 times with advantage rolling for initiative while in hills. After helping, he departs.
  3. Pixie: He will provide you 2d4 times with advantage for initiative while in forests. Then he flits away
  4. Unicorn: You gain advantage on Intelligence and Strength checks and saves 2d4 times before the unicorn gallops off.

Talisman has a plethora of supplements with new adventures to have and new lands to explore. Even with just the base set, however, a DM can find inspiration that she can use to her advantage in any fantasy RPG including Dungeons & Dragons.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody





TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I think adventures require a bit more nuance in the the year 2020. Better story and more options. Talisman is fun... up to a point. I’m just not sure players will put up with the BS
 

Badvoc

Explorer
Man, I love Talisman. Objectively it's not the greatest boardgame, but there's just something about the sheer randomness of it that makes for fun stories. It greatly benefits from some house rules to speed up play though.

Interesting idea to use the cards for inspiration for adventure and encounter outlines. I'd never thought of that.
 

I think adventures require a bit more nuance in the the year 2020. Better story and more options. Talisman is fun... up to a point. I’m just not sure players will put up with the BS

No king wears the Crown of Command. Anyone can claim the throne if they prove their worth by questing for an obtaining a Talisman and using it to find the Crown and claim it. Your characters hail from a wide variety of ancestries, backgrounds, and races from leprachauns to tavern maids to trolls and dwarves. You will encounter many strangers, fight monsters and spirits, and visit strange places like the shrine and the magic stream that lie hidden between the villages and cities of the civilized world. Will you claim the Crown or will your bones end up rotting in a monster's lair? It is up to you.

If a player can't put up with a setting like that I don't want to GM for them!
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
No king wears the Crown of Command. Anyone can claim the throne if they prove their worth by questing for an obtaining a Talisman and using it to find the Crown and claim it. Your characters hail from a wide variety of ancestries, backgrounds, and races from leprachauns to tavern maids to trolls and dwarves. You will encounter many strangers, fight monsters and spirits, and visit strange places like the shrine and the magic stream that lie hidden between the villages and cities of the civilized world. Will you claim the Crown or will your bones end up rotting in a monster's lair? It is up to you.

If a player can't put up with a setting like that I don't want to GM for them!

I think players now have a lower tolerance for things being taken from them to the extent an average game of Talisman does.

if only breadth equaled depth talisman would be the best game ever.
 



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