The Highland Expansion
The Legend of the Eagle KingLegends say that magic pours into the world from high atop the tallest mountain in the land. The mystical energies emanating from this source are infused into the snow, and then carried to the lands below by way of an enchanted stream that flows down through the Highland. The Eagle King, a powerful spirit of nature and friend to birds and beasts, has guarded over the Highland to protect this source and keep it pure.
Despite the Highland’s many dangers, the lure of wealth, power, and lore are irresistible to many adventurers. Artificers and fortunehunters seek out the precious gems that abound along the banks of the enchanted stream. Alchemists and wizards desire the stream’s magical waters as a potent catalyst for potions and spell craft. Treasure hunters and lore masters follow rumours of the Lost City in hopes of unlocking the mystery of its long dead civilization or simply pillaging its forsaken treasures. Many times the Eagle King has had to cast out these intruders, and his wrath spares no mercy.
Millennia ago, a wizard sought to secure his reign over the land by creating a powerful artefact, the Crown of Command. The creation of such a treasure required gemstones that only exist in the Highland. With stealth and cunning, the wizard stole these precious stones from the Eagle King’s realm. When he saw what the wizard had done, the Eagle King was furious.
When the wizard knew his time was coming to an end, he hid the Crown of Command in the most perilous part of the most dangerous land in his realm. He set around it the most fearsome guardians that his most powerful spells were able to command, to wait for the day when a champion with sufficient strength, wisdom, and courage would take his crown and rule in his stead.
But should the Eagle King find the Crown of Command first, he will surely destroy it. He has not forgotten the invasion of his lands or the theft of his precious gems, and he will not rest until the natural order has been restored and that which belongs to him has been returned to the Highland!
Expansion OverviewSurrounding the land of Talisman are four great kingdoms known as Regions. Each Region offers great opportunities, as well as terrible dangers, for adventurers brave enough to enter them. This expansion allows players to enter one of these extraordinary areas – the Highland Region ruled by the fierce Eagle King.
Object of the GameThe object of the game remains the same as the Talisman: Digital Edition base game. Characters must reach the Crown of Command in the centre of the board and then, by casting Command Spells, force the other characters out of the game.
Highland BoardThe Highland board (referred to as a “Region”) depicts the domain and stronghold of the Eagle King. The Highland Region holds many dangers, but also offers great riches and powerful relics to those characters bold enough to enter.
Highland CardsThis deck of 142 Highland Cards, features new Events, Enemies, Strangers, Objects, Followers, and Places. Highland Cards are similar to the Adventure Cards, but are encountered by characters exploring the Highland Region.
Adventure CardsThe 12 new Adventure Cards feature new Events, Enemies, and Places. Most of the Adventure Cards work exactly like those in the base game. Adventure Cards with a Highland restriction icon next to their title are only used if the Highland board is being used (see “The Highland Icon”).
Spell CardsThere are 10 new Spell Cards, detailing Spells characters may cast during the game. These Spell Cards work exactly like those in the base game.
Relic CardsThe four Relic Cards are powerful artefacts characters may obtain by killing the Eagle King in the Highland’s Eyrie (see “Fighting the Eagle King”).
CharactersThe Six new Character Cards work exactly like those in the base game, and offer players an even larger selection of heroes to play.
Expansion RulesWhen playing Talisman with The Highland expansion, the basic rules of playing Talisman are unchanged, and the game is still won by reaching the Crown of Command and eliminating all other players. The only new rules needed are for entering and exploring the Highland Region. These rules are found below.
Entering the HighlandThe Highland is connected to the main Talisman board at the main board’s Crags space. A character may enter the Highland Region simply by moving directly from the Crags space on the main board to the Highland Entrance space, if his movement die roll provides him with sufficient movement.
Entering the Highland through the Crags space is optional. Characters may choose not to enter the Highland, and may travel around the Outer Region instead.
While characters travel around the main Talisman board, they may also discover Adventure Cards that allow them to enter the Highland Region. Rules for entering the Highland by means other than through the Crags space are detailed on the specific Adventure Cards providing these means.
Movement in the HighlandMovement in the Highland follows the normal movement rules: Characters roll one die and move the indicated number of spaces.
Each space on the Highland board is marked with an arrow. These arrows point in the direction characters need to move in order to reach the Eyrie. Characters may choose to move against the arrows if they wish. However, doing so takes them farther away from the ultimate prize of the Highland, and closer to the Highland Entrance.
Note that characters must move either directly with or directly against the arrows when in the Highland. The Highland map is a linear path, and characters may not move in other directions, such as across a Highland space’s text box. For example, a character could not move directly from the Mountain Pass space to The Ridgeway space.
The diagram belowillustrates the path characters follow through the Highland to reach the Eyrie. The red arrow highlights the path leading to the Eyrie.
Leaving the HighlandSome Highland encounters grant characters the opportunity to exit the Highland and return to the main game board. Other than these encounters, the only ways to leave the Highland are to reach the Eyrie (see “Eyrie” on page 8) or to exit to the Crags via the Highland Entrance space. When exiting via the Highland Entrance, a character with sufficient movement to continue past the Crags must choose between continuing his movement clockwise or counterclockwise in the Outer Region.
Using Highland CardsHighland Cards are similar to the Adventure Cards, but are encountered by characters exploring the Highland Region.
Drawing Cards in the HighlandWhen characters in the Highland Region are instructed to draw cards, they always draw Highland Cards rather than Adventure Cards. This requirement is true even when, for example, cards and special abilities specifically instruct the player to draw one or more “Adventure Cards.” When a card is encountered in the Highland Region and has instructions or effects that refers to Adventure Cards, it affects Highland cards instead.
Example: The Astrologer instructs a character to draw 3 Adventure Cards. If the Astrologer is encountered in the Outer or Middle Region, the character must draw from the base game’s Adventure deck. However, if the Astrologer is encountered in the Highland Region, the character must draw from the Highland deck instead of the Adventure deck.
Special Abilities Involving Adventure Cards in the Highland RegionSpecial abilities and effects that apply to Adventure Cards behave differently when characters are in the Highland Region rather than the Outer, Middle, or Inner Regions. When used within the Highland Region, these special abilities and effects apply to cards from the Highland deck instead.
Example: The Prophetess’s special ability states that whenever she draws Adventure Cards, she may discard one card of her choice and draw one more card to replace it. While the Prophetess is in the Outer, Middle, or Inner Region, her ability applies to cards from the Adventure deck. However, while she is in the Highland Region, her ability applies to cards from the Highland deck instead.
EyrieThe Eyrie is the last space in the Highland and is the lair of the most powerful creature in the Highland – the Eagle King. When a character reaches the Eyrie, he must end his move there, even if he has more movement available.
When a character ends his move in the Eyrie, he must fight the Eagle King. If he kills the Eagle King, he may claim one of the Eagle King’s Relic Cards. Finally, whether the character kills the Eagle King or was defeated by him, the character emerges from the Highland. Each of these steps is described in detail on this page.
Fighting the Eagle KingA character fighting the Eagle King may choose to battle or wage psychic combat against him. The Eagle King has Strength 8 and Craft 8.
Fighting the Eagle King is conducted according to the normal rules governing attacks, save that the Eagle King cannot be evaded and only characters may attack the Eagle King; Followers, Spells, or Objects cannot fight in a character’s place.
If a character is defeated, he must lose one life as normal (use of an Object, Spell, or special ability that would prevent life loss may prevent this as normal).
Claiming RelicsCharacters who kill the Eagle King and gain a Relic Card must randomly draw one card from the Relic deck. If the Relic deck has been depleted, however, no reward is available and the character receives nothing.
If a character emerges from the Highland, and later returns and kills the Eagle King again, he gains another Relic Card as a reward, if one is available.
Only characters who kill the Eagle King may claim Relic Cards. Characters who attack the Eagle King and are defeated, or have a stand-off, instead emerge from the Highland without any reward for their efforts.
Emerge From the EyrieIf a character kills the Eagle King, he must choose any space in the Outer or Middle Region and immediately move there. The character then encounters the space or a character in the space as normal. If a character has a stand-off, or is defeated, he must immediately move to the Crags and end his turn.
Example of Resolving the EyrieThe Rogue begins her turn on the Ice Bridge and rolls a “6” for her move. She moves to the Eyrie and must end her move there, even though her movement roll was more than the two spaces between her and the Eyrie.
The Rogue chooses to fight the Eagle King in battle instead of psychic combat. She has a total of 7 Strength in battle and rolls a “5” for her attack roll. This roll brings her attack score to 12. The Eagle King rolls an attack roll of “2,” bringing his attack score to 10.
Since the Rogue’s attack score is higher, she kills the Eagle King and randomly draws one card from the Relic deck as a reward. If her attack score had been equal to or less than the Eagle King’s attack score, she would not have killed him or received a Relic Card.
Since the Rogue killed the Eagle King, she emerges from the Highland to any space in the Outer or Middle Region. The Rogue chooses the Oasis in the Middle Region. She immediately moves to the Oasis and encounters that space.
The Eternal GuardianThe source of all magic must always have a guardian. Even when the Eagle King’s physical manifestation is destroyed, his animating forces return to the source of all magic. Soon thereafter the Eagle King returns, stepping forth from the source as powerful as ever, fighting any character that encounters him in later turns with full Strength and Craft. Later encounters follow all the rules for encountering the Eagle King.
Other RulesThis section clarifies rules regarding new cards, special abilities, and space instructions for the Highland Region.
Relic Cardslike Adventure Cards once they are in a character’s possession, except that if they must be discarded, they are removed from the game instead of being placed in the discard pile. Such cards do not return to the Relic deck and they are not available to characters who later kill the Eagle King.
Moving Clockwise or CounterclockwiseIf a character or card is instructed to move clockwise, it must move following the direction indicated by the arrows on each Highland space.
If a character or card is instructed to move counterclockwise, it must move against the direction indicated by the arrows on each Highland space.
Moving After DefeatIf a character is defeated and is instructed to land on a space, the character must move to that space and immediately end his turn. A defeated character may not encounter the space he lands on, nor may he encounter a character on that space.
Eyrie VanguardThe Eyrie Vanguard is an Event that instructs a character to take the top 3 cards from the Highland deck and place them on top of the Adventure deck. The Eyrie Vanguard may appear in both the Highland deck as well as the Adventure deck. Regardless of which Region the Eyrie Vanguard is drawn in, players must always draw the top 3 cards from the Highland deck and place them on top of the Adventure deck from the base game. This Event causes characters in the Outer and Middle Regions to confront challenges from the Highland even if they do not explore the Highland board!
Lost City RewardsWhen characters encounter the Lost City space, they may be fortunate enough to gain cards from the Purchase or Relic deck. When characters gain a Weapon or Armour, they may look through the Purchase deck and choose which card they receive, as long as the Object has the proper Weapon or Armour keyword. When characters gain a Relic, they must draw one card from the Relic deck randomly.
TrinketsTrinkets are special Objects that appear in the Highland deck and are distinguished with a Trinket keyword printed above the card’s special ability.
Trinkets are treated in all respects like normal Objects, except that they do not count towards a character’s carrying capacity. A character may have four normal Objects in addition to any number of Trinkets.
Trinkets may be ditched, discarded, stolen, or sold like normal Objects.
Region LoreMystery has always enshrouded the Highland. The treacherous terrain and grim silence of the few native inhabitants make it difficult to know what is the truth and what is merely myth regarding those towering precipices. But one of the most persistent and fantastical rumours about these mountains surrounds a Lost City hidden within the crags.
Once a magnificent stone fortress housing a forgotten race, it now stands empty except for the cursed shadows and fiends that are said to dart in and out of its darkest corners. No sign remains of what became of the city’s founders. The walls stand as strong as ever, undiminished by the eons of time. But legends say some malevolent force lurks at the core of this forsaken city, perhaps even bearing responsibility for the sudden and unexplained exodus of the original citizens. Whatever the cause of the city’s abandonment, it is rumoured that a fantastic wealth of gold and enchanted objects was left behind within these walls.
Fortune hunters and glory seekers have sought the Lost City for centuries. Most disappear never to be heard from again. Some return after months of fruitlessly searching the mountains. But a very few return with souvenirs, bags of gold, or enchanted relics of incalculable value. They tell stories of a crushing darkness, filling them with dread, and a dire warning to all who would seek the Lost City: enter at your peril.
HighlanderA native of the mountains who uses his great strength to keep out trespassers and to ensure the freedom of his people from would-be conquerors.
SpriteA benevolent but mischievous creature who, although small in stature, possesses amazing magical abilities to aid those who have lost their way.
ValkyrieA noble spirit sent by the heavens to protect and reward those who attain glory through valorous deeds.
RogueA cunning and disreputable rascal who is more than willing to break a few rules if doing so will put some gold in her pockets.
VampiressA powerful and seductive undead entity cursed with the need to prowl the night and, with the aid of her dark abilities, to drink the blood of the living.
AlchemistAn inventive, dedicated master of the arcane sciences who relentlessly pursues esoteric knowledge.
Relic LoreAlthough the Eagle King is a formidable opponent, he is not invincible. If he is conquered, it is possible to claim one of his mighty relics as a prize, each a unique item that will grant tremendous benefit to its master.
DreadwingThis enormous raptor serves its master with unparalleled speed and strength. Anyone with the power to claim this noble creature as a steed will find that there is no wind that races faster than Dreadwing.
Rage TalonThe devastating weapon of the Eagle King is adorned with the razor-sharp claws of giant hunting birds. For those brave enough to acquire the Rage Talon, they will find that no defense can stand for long against it.
Windlord AmuletThis enchanted jewellery allows the wearer to manipulate magic in its purest form. Should anyone possess the cunning and skill to claim this charm for himself, it will prove to be an invaluable boon in the practice of spell craft.
ArnkellThis totemistic headpiece allows its master to summon powerful winds to carry him wheresoever he desires. A being with the ironclad will to claim this item will find once inaccessible locations suddenly easy to reach.