MYTHTALIA - Myth or Metagame?
In a probing Q&A session Bob Harris is forced to speculate about the relationship between the worlds of Mythgardia and Talisman.
Q. I suppose you’re aware that people have been asking about the connections between Talisman and Mythgardia
A. I’ve heard rumours.
Q. Would you care to enlighten us?
A. In what way exactly?
Q. Well, for one thing, does the Land of Talisman exist somewhere in Mythgardia?
A. It could.
Q. Okay, where?
A. Hmmm…….I’d place it on an unnamed island off the north-west coast of Albion.
Q. And what is this island called?
A. I just said it’s unnamed.
Q. That’s a bit of a cop out. Couldn’t we call it Mythtalia, like the title of this article?
A. Alright, if that makes you happy. But don’t expect anybody else to call it that.
Q. Then why isn’t this island marked on the Mythgardia game map?
A. Well, it’s a game map. It’s simplified in order to allow you to play a game on it. All sorts of places in Mythgardia aren’t marked on the game map.
Q. Like Berizond?
A. Yes, like Berizond. At some point I’m hoping to provide a proper geographical map of Mythgardia
Q. I’ll hold you to that.
A. Fine. Can I go now?
Q. Not so fast. It strikes me there’s one fairly obvious problem. Whereas the Realms of Mythgardia have very distinctive identities in terms of the people and creatures who inhabit them, Talisman has everything: hobgoblins, dragons, imps, giants –
A. Yes, I get the point. Look, you know that in the past history of Mythgardia there was a massive civil war among a race of sorcerers.
Q. Yes, I read that in the rule book. So?
A. Well, the sorcerous energies released around the island –
Q. MythtaliaA. Whatever. Well, those sorcerous energies sucked in all sorts of things that wouldn’t otherwise be found in the same place, and they remain there to this day.
Q. That sounds plausible. But what about all the ghosts, demons and other evil spirits in Talisman? The place is awash with them, but the rest of Mythgardia isn’t.
A. Sorcerous energies again, you see. They opened up a portal into the Netherworld through which all those nasties emerged.
Q. You mean like the Hellmouth in Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
A. Okay, it’s something like that.
Q. Since we’ve come this far, here’s the big question. Can Talisman and Mythgardia be combined into one spectacular metagame?
Q. Well, don’t just sit there. Tell me how!
A. Take it easy. There’s no need to get worked up. Now this is all very speculative, remember.
Q. Quit stalling!
A. You play a game of Mythgardia.
Now, just suppose that when you deliver your third crystal treasure to the Wizards of Light, they then use the power of the crystals to transport you to the island to accomplish an even more dangerous mission. You have to collect one of the legendary Talismans and bring it back to them.
Q. How do you bring it back?
A. There’s a portal at the centre of the board, where the Crown of Command usually is.
Q. So you make your way to the centre of the board as you normally do.
A. Yes, but instead of casting a Command Spell, you’re transported back to Mythgardia
You draw a location card to see where you appear, then make your way to the nearest Sanctuary. First player to do all that is the winner. Satisfied?
Q. Not entirely. You’re ignoring the fact that the characters in Mythgardia operate in a completely different way from the ones in Talisman.
A. No problem. You just translate them into Talisman characters.
Q. I don’t suppose you’d mind telling me how?
A. Basically you find an equivalent character in Talisman. For example, Valtax would have the same stats and Special Abilities as the Wizard in Talisman. Now for any characters for whom there isn’t a close equivalent, you assign Strength and Craft as seems appropriate and give them a couple of Special Abilities. You can choose from the many that are listed on the Talisman character cards, or even make up some of your own. In an ideal world each Mythgardia character would have his Talisman equivalent printed on the other side of the card. When you cross games, you just flip the card over.
Q. Pretty slick. But what about the Skill Bonuses some of the Mythgardia characters will have?
A. You have the equivalent number of points available to add to your Strength and Craft. You have 1 Life for every 5 points (and fraction of 5 points) of Stamina you have. Make a similar translation between Luck points and Fate tokens. For every 50 Crowns you receive 1 Bag of Gold.
Q. And Fate Cards?
A. For each Event Card in your hand, you receive 1 Spell, up to the normal limit allowed by your Craft. For each Item, you get to pick something at random from the purchase deck. Companions and Allies are just left behind. Am I on a roll now, or what?
Q. Don’t get too stuck on yourself. You haven’t sorted out Alignments yet.
A. Each character from Mythgardia is either Good or Neutral. Use your own common sense to decide which.
Q. A lot of people like the fact that they can be evil in Talisman.
A. At some stage I’ll maybe find time to add J’Cabe and his minions as player characters in Mythgardia.
That should keep everybody happy. Even you.
Q. I’m just doing my job.
A. Now can I go? I’ve got a couple of pies warming in the oven.
Q. One last thing. How long do you think it would take to play this metagame?
A. I’d bring a packed lunch