Talisman’s 5th edition will feature a cooperative expansion for the first time

A photo shows the Talisman 5th edition next to Talisman: Alliances - Fate Beckons, the first cooperative expansion in the game’s 40-year history.
Photo: Hasbro

Alliances will launch alongside the new 5th edition version of the game

Talisman: The Magical Quest Game, one of the OG dungeon crawlers, is back with a 5th edition release arriving on July 1. But Hasbro’s Avalon Hill imprint has more than just retro vibes on its mind. The company has also revealed Talisman: Alliances – Fate Beckons, an expansion arriving alongside the revamped board game. It will offer a cooperative mode of play for the first time in the franchise’s 41-year history.

“When we were thinking about 5th edition, we didn’t want to just reprint those old expansions and just recreate the existing content,” said strategic brand manager Patrick O’Rourke in a press briefing earlier this week. “We set out to explore ‘more.’ We wanted more game modes that could open the Talisman platform to more players and additional playstyles. And that’s why we created Talisman: Alliances.”

All of the components for Talisman: Alliances - Fate Beckons laid out on a table, including the mysterious figure packages.
Photo: Hasbro

In a traditional game of Talisman, players take on the roles of adventurers in the style of fantasy role-playing games — classes such as fighter, wizard, cleric, and thief. They utilize special powers and abilities in their quest for a mighty MacGuffin called the Crown of Command. It’s a somewhat linear journey, and it often includes players fighting against one another. Alliances will upend that tradition by presenting players with a series of Trials that must be dealt with cooperatively, each one sealed inside a small cardboard box.

“Instead of claiming the Crown or Command for yourself to win,” said associate brand manager Cait Drouin, “you’ll bury the Talismans in places of power, unseal the Portal of Power, and then defeat the adversary together. So players will need to share resources and fate to work together to complete five Trials with some very exciting surprises along the way.”

A game card says “Trial 1: Desperate Accord,” before laying out the rules of this miniature scenario for Talisman: Alliances - Fate Beckons.
Photo: Hasbro
This is the only element of the mysterious Trials that Avalon Hill is showing prior to launch.

While we don’t know for sure what’s inside the boxes, it does appear to be miniature of some kind. The back of the game box says you’ll “reveal unique mystery figures” as you go. So what are those figures? Our only clues are game materials that show a robed figure with a deer skull for a head; a conflagration with green-eyed monsters crawling out of it; a hero being pulled down by a mob; and a mysterious armored warrior holding a flag over a battlefield.

Avalon Hill stressed that Alliances is not a legacy-style game. Game designer Doug Hopkins stressed that there are no stickers, no writing on the game board, and no destroying of components.

“We’re […] rolling out the experience to you one trial at a time,” Hopkins said. “You’ll get that thrill of when you complete the trial to unlock the next box and see what’s inside and then, of course, unlock the next trial so that hopefully you can watch the story unfold through multiple game sessions.”

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