It’s June and Nomad Games has released another trio of new characters for the digital version of Talisman.
Recently they released the Satyr, the Vampire, and the Pilgrim as characters you can play, all coming with their own little unique aspects that are pretty cool overall.
That being said, I have to wonder about the AI implementation of at least one of them.
How do these match up with the others?
The first trio of characters were good, so what about these?
Let’s take a look.
The Pilgrim is the most basic but yet he may be the most fun of the three.
The best thing about the Pilgrim is that you can avoid all of the “Miss your next turn” notices.
And I can’t say how important that is! In digital Talisman, missing your next turn is the most annoying thing unless you do the “skip to next human turn” option. With the Pilgrim, you don’t have to worry about that!
Pilgrims also let you add one to your movement roll before moving, which is really helpful. Adding two to your roll when you’re praying, as well as replenishing fate when you pray, is also really awesome.
Essentially, I think the Pilgrim is my favourite of the three new characters.
He is pretty basic. He’s not flashy or anything, he can’t do a lot of cool stuff. But the ability to avoid missing turns as well as the bonuses for praying really helps with that. It makes it easier to use your fate because you know you can replenish it without even becoming evil (which you need to be to go to to the cemetery and replenish it).
An underrated aspect of the Pilgrim, though, is the ability to add one to your movement die. This makes it a lot easier to land where you want to be (as long as it’s not just one space adjacent). I really appreciated that and it made things a lot easier for me.
The Pilgrim gets a big thumbs up!
Then we come to the Vampire.
The Vampire has lots of cool abilities. You can make combat psychic against a character if you land on their space, you add their life to your own if you take their life. You can drain a follower’s life force and discard them in order to gain a life, which might come in handy.
He also has the ability to turn into a bat. This costs a life but gives you some benefits. When in combat, you can “exhaust” your opponent, reducing their attack score by two. It also helps you move a lot, or you can just roll two dice and choose one of them as your movement roll.
To be honest, I never saw the AI do this so I’m not sure how well it works.
There doesn’t appear to be any penalties to wandering around as a bat once you’ve paid the life, so I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be a bat all the time? Maybe I’m missing a nuance.
The Vampire starts out Evil and that helps with regaining fate as well as doing all this stuff with other players. The ability to use Psychic attacks when landing on characters is pretty cool.
Leaving the AI as the Vampire is questionable, though, as it doesn’t seem to follow through too much. In two games it never became a bat. It occasionally attacked people but didn’t take advantage of being able to use psychic combat (that could be because everybody else was keeping pace with him in Craft).
The AI also doesn’t really play the other Vampire abilities very well either.
It would often drain followers just as soon as it gained them, even when it wasn’t that useful. One time it recruited the Herbalist, which will allow you to heal a life whenever you enter the Forest or Woods.
However, the AI immediately drained her, even though it was at 3 Life Points.
That being said, given the Satyr ability to steal followers, maybe the Vampire just wanted to avoid that and get a life before the Herbalist was stolen from him.
Still, it didn’t quite sit right.
However, it is a very useful ability when you get one of those “cursed” followers (like the Poltergeist, which makes you move only one space until you cross the river). It’s nice that you can just drain it for a life and get rid of it.
The AI for the Vampire seems to be off in other ways as well.
Twice it attacked the Satyr even though, with the equipment that the Satyr had, there was no way he was going to win. It didn’t even use Psychic combat (which would at least have made it so the Satyr couldn’t use any equipment as part of the fight).
Overall, I’d say the Vampire seems pretty good but the jury is still out on it.
Then we come to the Satyr.
The Satyr is really annoying to play against because when it lands on you it can steal one of your followers without any problem.
It makes it so you don’t really want to get a useful follower because the Satyr will just land on you and steal it. I had a Mule and it was suddenly gone. I had a Horse & Cart and it was suddenly gone.
It’s really irritating!
Its other special abilities are pretty cool, though I never really saw the AI use it much. You can evade creatures in the Woods & Fields, you don’t have to roll when you enter the Crags and can add 2 to the roll if you do decide to roll (which means you’ll never be stuck and lose a turn). Animals won’t attack you though you can attack them. This can save your bacon if you draw a big-ass animal on your space.
You can also “startle” another player if you land on their space, making them drop a random object. The AI never used that ability, but it’s nice to consider if you’re doing it!
I’m not a big fan of the characters that let you automatically take things from other characters, so the Satyr isn’t my favourite (unless I’m playing it, of course). It looks like a fun character in general, and maybe it would interact differently (as well as the Vampire) if it was playing against other characters than the three new ones (which is how I playtested them).
Thus, the Satyr isn’t one of my favourites.
However, the Pilgrim is cool mainly because of the ability to ignore “miss your next turn” as well as the ability to add one to your movement dice.
The Vampire is nice but nothing extraordinary.
I think the AI for these characters (or at least the Vampire) leaves something to be desired though. The Satyr seems fine (if annoying due to its abilities) but the Vampire is really lacking.
As a character to play yourself? These are all good characters and fun in their own way.
I would really enjoy the Satyr myself, but playing against it is not that enjoyable.
If you’re playing solo then this set of characters may not be as much for you (unless you like playing the Satyr). Again, I don’t like the characters that automatically do something to other characters. It ends up making you try to either stay far away from them or make sure you land on their spot so they can’t land on you.
Overall, though, I do recommend these three characters if you like digital Talisman at all.
They will greatly enhance your play of the game.
(Thanks to Nomad Games for providing the codes to give these characters a test drive)