Adding New Options to Spaces... and How?

By JCHendee, in Talisman Home Brews

Recently (and in the past) we've seen home brewers come up with new options to add to the spaces on the main board. What I'm most curious about are the methods for doing so and what people prefer if they use them. There seem to be only two main methods, with two sub-methods for each one.

  1. SPACE OVERLAY: The new option is edited into a copy of the space and then
    (1) sticker of the full graphic or just text is permanently adhered to the board, or
    (2) it is mounted on a separate piece of board to lay over the space.
  2. CARD PLAY: The new option is created as an Adventure or other type of card and then
    (1) put into the Adventure or other deck so that it appears and possibly disappears as part of normal draws , or
    (2) it is chosen before play begins and placed directly on the space without or without additional others as well.

I'm curious as to what others perfer, or how you might see the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. Board alteration in place of alternative main boards, has been seen before but not touch upon as often as making new cards.

Space Ovelay + Sticker is probably the most often used, though it has the disadvantage of being permanent. This might leave new or even standard players without the option of playing just the standard original board space if they wish as an option. On the other hand, its the cleanest method, with nothing obscuring the space.

Space Overly + Separate Piece fully mounted on backing has the disadvantage (perhaps) of keeping the overlay conveniently in place during play. But it does offer some notions for alternative spaces, even more than one for a particular space, without permanently altering the original board.

Card Play + Draw is one that I've used in my expansion, and usually the Adventure card in question is either a Place or Stranger. It has the disadvantage the any Purchase cards or Services linked to it may or may not appear in a particular game, and thereby are undependable. Some players actually think it isn't a disadvantage but adds variety, if there are more than one card for the same space that might or might not appear during any one game. Kind of like merchants on the move who may or may not come to do business. A counterpoint is that some players might find it distracting figuring out and remembering (without a close look) what a card on a non-draw space is about.

Card Play + Placed offers a the same advantages, and some of the disadvantages of Space Overlay + Separate Piece. It's other advantage is that with softwares like Strange Eons, one can easily make such cards.

Additional, the card based options can be used either as before play or random draw.

So, what have I missed? Are there preferences of method? How far should such notions be taken? Is there a limit to how many new options should be added by any method to any one space?

I would prefer Adventure cards that replace spaces I think. That way you are not guaranteed the same layout in each game.

Kind of like this card. I'm not struck with the wording yet, but you get the idea!


Since I have no PS skills, I cannot edit images or so on the board. I only can make just a cards.

Personally I rather don't like cards on the spaces since the beginning of the game. Every game should be unique. If we will put variety of cards on the board before the game will start, we will lose small element of unique game. Better, when spaces are changing while progressing of the game IMO. Also, even if now spaces are rather big, still it is not nice start the game with a mess on the board. And also that takes some time to put all the cards in right places. Definitely I'm not big fan of this idea, unless that could be related max to 3 cards.

I'm using Adventure cards only, I don't know why, but somehow I don't like making other expansion cards. These kind of cards in my expansions are always jewell-less, and are encountered right after they were drawn. Most of them has global effect, so even, if they are changing instruction of certain spaces, I'm putting them onto CoC space. Sometimes, when given card are changing certain spaces, instead of rather known (like whole Inner Region, or corner spaces), I'm using coiunters. I'm putting them onto spaces, and then I know, for example two spaces with Craft counter on them has exchanged instructions. Talisman has various of counters, it's easier to use them to remember changed board spaces.

talismanisland said:

Kind of like this card. I'm not struck with the wording yet, but you get the idea!


I could add to the card or to the Rules sheet, that Space personalities are not counted as a cards to encounter nor they may be destroyed by card effects (except global ones).

My vision of that:


Or maybe:


Oh my goodness, I've open a real can of worms! I went away for the afternoon and look at all of this. I'm not a fan of the treasure cards, but I know I'm in the severe minority there. Many, many others would love that card that N. started. But that horsetrader card is going straight into my deck!

The only thing I might do differently is make it a Stranger or a Place card, so it interacts with Events and it might or might not stick around... IF it is intended to be drawn from the deck. On the other hand, once it comes up, I can see other players not wanting it messed with.

On the third hand... Jon, did you intend that card to be Card Play + Placed to be placed before the game begins? It seems like it, from the Type in the midbar, right?

I'm kind of with N. on the card sitch. There is something nice about some different personas that might pop up during different games at different times... although there has been a lot of talk about a stable (pun intended) place to buy equines.

Although I'm not sure I follow what your doing N. with the counters.

Hope everyone is having a decent Halloween. I have a houseful of people and am sneaking to the office in the back of house from time to time for a break from the buzz of chit-chat.

I would think the cards could be used two ways -

Removed from the deck and placed on the relevent space at the start of the game (optional).


Placed in the Adventure (or whatever) deck and placed when discovered.

As to numbering etc, I am torn between them being permanent once drawn, and merely Strangers/Places that can be removed. Unless a ruling is clarified before use, the fact that they do not currently have numbers can be confusing as a card without a number is encountered before anything else, including the space (Hex).

Perhaps both types could be made (hardly a problem) and a player can choose his flavour.


...and seeing how the Alchemist is no longer setting off in his caravan, I thought I would use the image of his brother (who took up a different branch of the profession) for something else, which has had a bit of air time in another thread!


I like Space overlays. Then i can finally upgrade 4thR edition middle region to 3th E gran_risa.gif

Off course, i am talking about the official things from FFG gui%C3%B1o.gif Let's dump some worthless runes spaces..

About the counters, they might be used as a relation to connected spaces.

Example of my original card and its direct translation:

chaos7150dpi.png chaosangorg.png

and the other version of the card (comparision with original card):

chaosangfix.png chaosangorg.png

Ah, frickin' forum ate another multi-quote post to various people here! Why don't they fix this once and for all?!?!

Don't have time a the moment to redo it.

V.... no no, we need the Runes so things stay nasty... 'cause as we've talked in another topic, that nasty is being lost through some cards.

N... could you explain "Chaos" a bit to me. I didn't understand it by looking at the card, and the mechanics might interest me for other ideas.

Jon... I'll be back later, since there multiple details I'd like to explore in how you are working the new cards related to card Type, Subtype, and even the Order Number issue. The metalurgist is a good shift, though I do wonder about why you chose the Village for him.

More later. Time for breakfast, and house cleaning after mass guests last night.

I'm actually translating Chaos Expansion Set into English, so soon I'll send them to Jon for his TI.

JC - I put the Metallurgist in the Village because he is the Alchemist's brother who wanted to get as far away from him as he could!

Also, it is a reasonable spot for a fourth option, plus you would be unable to buy a sword AND upgrade it in the same turn anyway.

As for types etc, I am still edging to not using numbering and just having the cards in whichever deck until they are drawn. I think placing them at the start of the game might unbalance the game early on.

Actually, I am thinking now that a Space Personality is probably fine to have no number and be persistant, but perhaps an alteration to a Space like the Vault might be numbered as a Place... I don't know, perhaps it is just up to personal taste.


You covered most of my questions and concerns. However, even for cards drawn instead of pre-placed before the game, I think the lack of Order Number would leave some players confused and wondering what to do.

Giving it a high number (say a 7) to be done last might make some think it is not encountered (and not placed), if they do not get through other cards successfully on a multiple draw. So if a number is used, a low number is best. That would either be the same as an Event at a 1 (no matter that its Type is not an Event), or at the risk of lesser confussion, a 0 (a number not seen before). An adventure card that deviates from the standard format in not having an Order Number is going to be a problem for someone sooner or later. And since the Adventure card template has a space for a number...

As to placement before a game, that option can be outlined in any instructions distributed with the expansion. The same card can be pulled out of the deck and pre-placed at the discretion of the players. They like options in more than just rules.

As to card type, whatever we each chose to label them works no matter what. I'm currently working with someone in Germany doing a translation of ITB while I improve and modify it as well. I will be going in and redoing the 4 space modifier cards in there according the stuff we've discussed here. Definitely need to update those four... likely with an order number of 1 or 0... and MAYBE a change of Type and Subtype as well.

I do agree with your notion to make the Vault a Place. It just makes sense since no "persona" is there. Oh, and you should probably put a Dungeon expansion mark on that one, since it won't be usable without Treasure cards... or did I miss something? I think I remember reading about some new feature in your SE module for marking cards as only usable with specific expansions?

Any further thoughts are more than welcome... or other options for how to modifer and change the board and its spaces?


I took another look at Chaos, and now I think I understand it. But I do not care for it myself - too much, too far. I might see switching spaces between the Middle and Outer regions, but not switching with the Inner Region. And I would not put the choice into the hands of a player drawing that card. For me, some other placement mechanic needs to be used, no matter which region's spaces are being swapped. Even then, 6 spaces seems too much for 1 card.

I'm still thinking that the best option could be with no encounter number. 70% cards I ever made have no encounter number, and while some of them has different rullings, depends of the card type, all of them are encountered at the very beginning of the cards encountering order. If we would put that note into Rules, I think no one could misunderstand it. Also, as a part of Rules, it could have something similar to MtG's ante:

Owner of the game may encounter this card at the very beginning of the game's first round, before the movement. Reveal the top card of the Adventure cards deck until you will reveal a Space Personality or Space Extension and encounter it. Put the rest cards into discard pile. You may encounter only 1 card in this manner.

Owner, because due to Rules it is the player who begin the game. It always might be used as A player, who start the game. Rest cards might be reshuffled or going to the discard pile, whichever is easier for a players. Only one problem with this is, that this rule doesn't affect other "no-jewel" cards in a future, just Space Personality or Space Extension. For me that isin't a big problem, because I have a chance to make other cards without the encountering number, and it (this rule) won't affect them. As a pros of this rule I can say, that a player may choose to start the game with a random one card (usually, if other players want) or without it, so both of players, who want have them at the beginning of the game or who want draw them later in the game should be pleased.

As for a Chaos card, purpose of my Chaos Expansion Set was making the game more unbalanced than it is right now. After all, that's a Chaos Exp. Set, not Order Exp. Set. Previously it has just a 13 cards, but while making a Clock Expansion Set, I made additional 5, as for now the total number of them is 18. And yesterday I finished translating them, so I think (or I wish), today they will be available.

Problem with that card I post previously (Chaos 7) is that a player may think even ages, before he will choose all of the spaces. But that gives a lot of strategy to the game - if a player think about going into the Inner Region soon, he (she) may choose easy spaces instead of Inner Region hard ones. If not, he may gather some other spaces from Outer/Middle Region, like Chasm, Desert &c. Eventually, if an opponent has a Poltergeist or is moving just a 1 space per turn, player may "build him(her" around using Inner Region's spaces. Generally that card gives many possibilities. Of course, only space instructions are changed, not cards that are at them. If players want, they may always add a rule, that if next Chaos card is drawn, previous one (if possible) has no effect.

Hmm.. I would still prefer to go with having no number on a space enhancement as they may be introduced into Draw Card spaces and would confuse matters. I think adding something to the Rules Card about it would clarify the position. Either way, it wouldn't be any effort to produce two versions of the card dependent on player preference.

..and you are right about the Vault card. I considered adding the icon to the card, but didn't for some reason! I will fix it and change the image already uploaded.

Still looking for a good name for the Card Type though for non-personalities...?

talismanisland said:

I would still prefer to go with having no number on a space enhancement as they may be introduced into Draw Card spaces and would confuse matters.

How to you mean? Am i missing something?

talismanisland said:

Still looking for a good name for the Card Type though for non-personalities...?

Ya know, I've been thinking about both types ever since we started this discussion... and I haven't found an answer that was fully statisfying. In addition, you know I like to use subtypes as well, like with Enemies, but that's just a complication on these cards... and only for me. I'll probably still call the them Places and Strangers, since i like the idea of them interacting with other cards drawn, like Events. But that's not the standard we're talking about here.

So, essentially we have two types of "space expanders" or "space option adders"; one is a persona, the other is a "place" added into the space. But at least the latter term for general use would confuse the cards with standard Place cards.

Spaces without a persona are rare on the board... and so they don't really have a sense of Places within that space. And addon card could (1) add a new persona, (2) add a new service / activity in general, like at the Chapel or Graveyard, (3) add a new option to a persona there, or (4) add a sense of a new "place" within the space. (I have some notions about certain personas already on the board that might offer additional options unto themselves when certain cards come up.). The tavern roll, and the options for the Chapel and Graveyard are more activities or services offered and actually neither persona or place.

Still, I don't see any of this overthinking actually offering up classification options for either of these new space option / addition cards. Anything more spark for you?

Hmmm... well, one very simplistic notion is make them type "Space" and then subtypes of "Place" and "Persona". Or in place of "Space" use the actual name of the Space and in place of "Place" use "Location" or something else. So the metallurgist would be "Space - Persona" or "Village - Persona" ... or something like that. The Vault would then be "Castle - Place" or maybe "Castle - Location"... etc.

Actually, using the space's title as the first part is starting to appeal to me. Along with the card's description, it might reinforce the perception that these cards are not encountered when drawn right from the first casual glance. That would also be another tiny implication as why they did not have an Order Number.

Hmm.. I am liking the use of the Space name along with Persona (or Personality) or Location. I think perhaps "Location - Space " and "Persona(lity) - Space " would be the best usage.

What I meant about numbering was, that I might make a couple of Personalities for Draw Card spaces, and if these are numbered it might interfere with the cards that are to be drawn on those spaces.

For example, if I was to remake my old Woodsman (who sold wooden weapons) and, instead of being a Stranger, he could be a permanent addition to a Woods space.

Nemomon.... here is an example of what I might do as something similar to your idea. It is something I just slapped together, so it still needs more work. Just an idea for you guys to comment on.


Jon, I follow you a little better now on the number issue. And the changes we're now taking about for card type would definitely address some concerns for player confusion either way. Typing the card differently would immediately cause the player to stop and consider the card as something new and unique. And with the lack of order number I now see that there wouldn't be an attempt to interpret it as encountered or not vs success or failure on ordered cards.

My choice of "Persona" vs "Personality" was mostly because its easier to get into that midbar and save extra space vs listing it in the description area, as is done with Weapon cards. It also implies more than the term "personality" in some ways. And it was the only thing I could come up with besides "Stranger" or NPC.

And I like that Woodsman notion. Do it! Have the description include "Place him on the nearest Woods space in your region."

The card idea is okay and similar to Nemo's Chaos idea. I am not sure it would be my type of thing though as I would probably prefer specific spaces on the cards or ones that trigger a card being placed on a specific space. Worth persuing though I should think!

Yes, I feel ambivalent towards the idea of space swapping, though as a rare occurrence it could appeal some players groups. And limited in duration is better to me. But it is unlikely I would actually use that card in a game. The space expanders are of more interest to me, personally.

Here's how I might redo four space expanders that are in In the Balance, Part 1 ... sans any chance of them disappearing once they are drawn.

Space_Expander_Gambler.jpg Space_Expander_Ossuary.jpg Space_Expander_Sewers.jpg Space_Expander_Storehouse.jpg

I am not certain that my Woodsman has a place in the game currently, seeing as he was a way of allowing the poor old Monk to have a weapon of some sort. I did like some of the items I had made though, so he might turn up later somewhere!