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Wiki quote:


Talislanta is a fantasy role-playing game written by Stephen Michael Sechi, with significant stylistic input by artist P.D. Breeding-Black. Initially released in 1987 by Bard Games, the game quickly gained a reputation as an alternative to Dungeons & Dragons that was both much simpler mechanically and far more colorful in tone. The game has maintained a strong cult following among table-top gamers Talislanta has endured a bumpy publication history, such that there have been five different editions published over the years (eight, if one counts ashcans, alternate rules and foreign editions), nearly all by different companies.


The Talislanta universe differs strongly from other role-playing games of similar genre. There are very few references to Norse/Celtic mythology or the imagery of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel. Instead the flamboyantly diverse setting is more akin to the Dying Earth novel series by Jack Vance. Indeed, Vance is listed by Sechi as a primary influence on the setting, and each edition has been dedicated to that author, Other stated influences include The Travels of Marco Polo, the journeys of Sir Richard Francis Burton, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and a host of other pulp-era fantasy fiction and works by other eclectic authors. As the game reviewer Rick Swan stated, "It's as if H. P. Lovecraft had written Alice in Wonderland, with Hans Christian Andersen and William S. Burroughs as technical advisors."


Existing game literature mostly deals with the continent of Talislanta on the world of Archaeus, home to several dozen very distinct peoples and races, including the Cymrilians, the Gnorl, and the Xambrians. These cultures and races are wholly alien, or akin to Earth cultures not of the stock commonly seen in other RPGs. Thus the slogan, "No Elves!", which appeared in ads for the games upon its initial release, establishing that very little of the common Tolkienic influence was present in the setting.




The best part: its been released for free in PDF form by its creator:




Download and play. I recommend the fourth edition, that being the book with the dark blue cover under the title "Talislanta Fantasy Roleplaying". Add the "Menagerie" and you're set to go.


Imperium Thought for the Day: Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life

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