Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Blood Moon is the latest (as of this writing) small box expansion for Talisman. It adds a dark, Gothic flavor to Talisman with cards of spooky encounters, a wandering werewolf figure, a day/night cycle, and suitably thematic characters.

The Werewolf, and the curse of Lycanthropy
The werewolf is, like the Reaper, a figure that roams the board and can do stuff to you if he lands on you. Unlike the Reaper, the werewolf isn't scary. Instead of killing you outright, he can turn you into a werewolf, which has some benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits: +2 to your attack in all combats at night. The werewolf is more likely to grant you a magical wish.
Drawbacks: You HAVE to fight characters if you land on them, and you CANNOT steal something from them if you win; you instead make them roll as if the werewolf landed on them. Also, if you draw an unruly mob, they will lynch you outright if you are a werewolf. There are very few ways to get rid of lycanthropy.

The wimpy Werewolf


Lycanthropy isn't all that bad. +2 in combat is pretty nice. I hate that the werewolf isn't scary, lycanthropy isn't all that bad, and that the werewolf can give you gifts or teleport around the board, depending on what you roll. (I made some variant werewolf/lycanthropy cards to remedy this for myself).

Day and Night
The idea of day and night is cool, and the way that dawn/dusk is triggered by any event card is nice and easy. Certain cards and events have different effects based on whether it is day or night. The other main effect of day/night is that all enemies are weaker during the day and stronger at night. This makes the game feel like Castlevania II, which had a brutal day/night cycle where the enemies became scary-hard at night.

The Time card


The annoying thing about the day/night card is that it is one more thing you have to look at on a turn; I found it slightly annoying that you have to modify EVERY enemy's attack based on it. I can be easy to forget if you don't encounter an enemy for a while. One easy house rule I have used (and like) is to use the time card (for the cards that have different effects based on day/night), but don't use the enemy modifier.

Characters and cards
All three characters are thematic and have fun abilities. There's the Igor-esque gravedigger, who can dig good cards from the discard pile. The Van-Helsing wannabe Vampire Hunter, who has some small but thematic bonuses. And lastly, the 'Doomsayer', who appears to be a crazy hobo that has attached all his belongings to a flail, but he has a cool ability like that of the Dark Cultist, but based on card draws instead of defeating enemies. I like all three.

The adventure cards are suitably Gothic, with stuff related to ghosts, werewolves, witches, unruly mobs, Halloween, and other topics of Gothic horror. The Halloween-y cards include stuff like pumpkin monsters and a bag of "tricks and treats" that lets you take an object from another character (in exchange for the bag of tricks and treats).

The Horrible Black Void from 2nd edition returns as a hidden alternate ending (outright kills the first character to reach the crown of command! Hilarity ensues.) Another alternate ending makes Talisman a co-op game, you can work together and you have to reach the crown by the third day, by use of the time card. Interesting idea; I haven't tried it, though.

Overall feel
I really like it, but the Werewolf isn't scary, and the day/night modifiers are annoying to always track and apply. The dark theme is cool, with maybe a bit too much Halloween-ish stuff. The rest is fun and suitably Gothic-themed, which is cool. Overall, I think it's great!


It's kind of like this, actually
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Rauli Kettunen
Finland
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Pretty much (silver) nailed it. Themewise, maybe it's just me, but I definitely get more of a "connection" with the cards that key off Night/are Halloweenish Enemies than with the Day/"angelic" Enemies. Pumpkin dudes and Headless Horseman just are more familiar than the celestial stuff.
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