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it's two against one, mister plow

Over the weekend, Ryan and Nolan and I played several hours of Talisman. Friday night, we played for close to four hours. On Saturday, it was almost five before my Warrior of Chaos defeated Ryan's Thief on the Crown of Command. Last night, in an effort to play the game in a reasonable amount of time, we decided to play the game with just the original rules, and the first two expansions, but while setting up the game, I realized that my Talisman Adventure components seemed to be missing, so I set out on a quest to find it.

My quest took me into one of my closets, where I thought the box may be hiding behind some blankets. While I was deep in the closet (har. har. har.), I failed my search attempt, and a roll of eight forgotten Teen Idol™posters fell off a shelf and hit me on the head. I took 1d4 damage from this clever trap.

I never found the Talisman Adventure box, and we ended up playing "Classic Talisman," with just the original rules, characters, items, and stuff. As punishment for our insolent attempt to complete a game in less time than it takes to fly coast-to-coast, the gods prevented us from completing our game. It's still set up on our dining room table, to be completed later today, after homework and chores are finished.

This morning, while I quaffed coffee and waited for OpenOffice.org to load so I can work on Just A Geek rewrites, I thought to myself, "Maybe it's a sign, those posters falling on my head . . . maybe I should . . . auction one of those Teen Idol™ things, and purchase a replacement Talisman Adventure Set!"

I smacked my right fist into my open left hand, Burt Ward style.

"Oh, good idea," my Mr. T. Bobble-head said, "I pity the fool who doesn't auction off one of those posters!"

"Don't look at me," said Mr. Plow, "I only talk when I'm in the right World of Springfield Interactive Environment, which is sold separately."

"Well then, I guess it's two against one, Mr. Plow," I said, and hit submit.


Talisman is a really cool game! Unfortunately it's out of print, and when a friend of mine tried to buy some additional modules, she found out how expensive the used ones are. Hope you sell the poster for enough to get what you want!

All I can say is: Classic, Wil, very classic. I am sure it is something that made you chuckle to yourself on the side.


Gah... Warrior of Chaos was always banned in our Talisman games. Very much overpowered.

That reminds me. You've seen this, right?

Call Mr Plow...That's my name
That name again...Is Mr Plow!

One of my all time favs...

I just watched Toy Soldiers for the first time ever, thought it was worth mentioning that this movie is underated. Sure that earing may not have been the best idea ever, but I thought the movie was really good overall. Umm that is all.

Heh. I haven't played Talisman in a long, long time. Almost as long since I played Car Wars. Hmm.. Car Wars...

Oh! Seeing that adorable teen idol poster reminded me of my large, obscenely large, collection of pin-ups that I owned when I was 10 or 12 or some ungodly age like that. Although (hate to admit it) Corey Haim was my favorite teen idol, I'm sure I had several Wil Wheatons, too.

My question would be, what on earth goes thru your mind when you're taking pictures for posters like that?

Good luck finding the Talisman sets!

You know, it's probably a good thing you didn't buy into all that stuff. If you'd gotten stuck in the I'm Pretty!(tm) ego-set, you probably wouldn't be as cool as you are today, and we wouldn't love you as much.

Besides, everyone knows that geeks are the cutest.

My question would be, what on earth goes thru your mind when you're taking pictures for posters like that?

Usually something like, "For fuck's sake, aren't we done, yet? I'm not fooling anyone, and I have Metroid to play!"

Am I the only one who sees the irony in this:



Sorry Wil, couldn't resist pointing it out.

No wonder I like reading your blog so much, you're completely nuts.

I was going to comment that 4 hours for a full game of Talisman is pretty darn quick! My ex-girlfriend and I used to play that when we were both under the weather. It brought us really close together. Although...I guess it didn't bring us THAT close together, since she's an ex and all.. d'oh!

Holy Cow~! What size was your waist? ;)

Oh my! I forgot what a cutie you were, er, are, I mean... Uh, good luck with the auction?

Mr. Dark: Funny story about that clock. I had one of my own, that I auctioned off a month or so ago. In was cracked in transit, and I wanted to replace it for the buyer . . . so I looked on eBay and was lucky enough to find another one just like it.

That's awesome! But did you ever think that the posters were trying to hit you on the head to cause amnesia so you'd think you were that age again and start standing in front of your house, in just that pose, to greet Anne when she got home?

Wow. The shirt.. oh my god the shirt. It's like someone crossed a sports jersy with the "poofy shirt" and come up with an abomination to god and general aesthetics.. in that order.

I want one so bad.. I'd wear it all the time, just to watch people get angry.

d'oh! now everyone knows about them.... :S

:) only kidding... am just not very rich at the moment....

See my "Steve Irwin bobble head" is usually the one to convince me to do something. I find my "Mr. T in my pocket" to stop me from doing anything I want to do!

Great game, Talisman. Got to play it over New Year's Eve and see what the fuss was about.

I tried looking for ways to get it, and these seem your best bets:

That's some cool necklace, Wil. I dig it.

I was looking at the photo on e-bay linked above, and my 5-year-old son came up behind me. "Hey, I know that guy!" he said. "I saw him on Stair Trek." I told him you were the actor who played Wesley - we're still not altogether clear on the concept of acting, but we're working on it. Then he said "I saw that guy last night in our basement." I asked him what "that guy" was doing in our basement and he said "taking our stuff." I asked why Wesley would do something like that, and he said "He was going to throw it on the floor, but I stopped him."

So you get to be one of my son's pretend friends, which is so cool. Some of my best pretend friends were from Trek the first...along with the Catwoman and the Monkees. :)

Classic Talisman is the only way to play. We ditched the Dragon and City expansions first, then whatever it was that gave the alternate endings, but we were hanging on to the Dungeon expansion for awhile. We all breathed a little sigh of relief when we finally got back to the basics - three hours instead of six of seven!

Is that the smell of teen spirit in the air?(The poster)
Nah, perhaps it's just a whiff of a very brutal upcoming Pshop.

I have that poster.
It's in a box in my parent's garage (because I won't let them throw away any thing from my youth).

Now Wil, how silly to think that you could actually complete a game of Talisman in under 4 hours at the very least! I remember long marathon sessions of playing that and if you add all the expansions, you might as well forget it! Have a blast with the continuation tonight!

I just had a major flashback to 1989, when I had a poster very similar to this one of you in my locker. You, River Phoenix, and Johnny Depp kept me company between classes. Thanks for the angsty trip down memory lane of my 16 year old, geeky self. By the way, love the hair dude.

"while visions of photoshops danced in their heads"....

*evil grin*

I mean.. ah.. good luck with the expansion and all. ;)

Wil, man I knew I liked ya but damn your a Talisman player too! That's my all time favorite childhood game that I still revisit every now and again with my brother and friends of like mind.

Your giving those kids some awesome memories to look back on, trust me.

My father past some years ago and a good round of Talisman brings him closer to me than anything is this world.

Game-on Wil.

Your hands are WAY too deep into your pockets for my liking. Perhaps as a result of this. On the other hand, there are ZERO photos of you with a Fram Air Filter on your face.

My thoughts went something like this:

1. Get a haircut, young man, then that floppy hair won't keep going in your eyes.
2. Maybe then you won't look like you're about to burst into tears.
3. Does the photographer think 12-year-old girls will find it sexy if you look as though you're adjusting your privy parts?
4. Please tell me, Wil. Did you actually own that shirt or was it specially provided for the occasion?

[Since you ask: yes I do often talk to photos. They're the only friends I have. But that's not important right now.]

I always look forward to your stuff appearing on eBay because the descriptions crack me up every time. :)

cute photo in the poster - still have my idol boy posters. Come to think of it, I should toss 'em, or sell 'em, or something.

BTW, have you ever come across "Pirates' Gold" in your travels? Looking for that game everywhere.

Best, stacy

I don't think I have ever played a game of Talisman that lasted less than three hours. They had a rule for a shorter game called the Chaos Bloodbath where you only put one talisman card in the deck. These always ended up as our longest games...

I have Talisman and all the 2nd edition expansions. It is one of two games I don't think I will ever sell, the other being RoboRally.

...just make sure the posters are signed with something cryptic, laughable, and possibly incriminating. I'm sure you'll get a lot more for them that way.

hey wil!

that teen idol? poster is sooo cute! if i had enough money i would so bid on it! sorry dude, but i'm a student, and i need all the money i can get at the min! but wow, you're cute!

anyway...talisman ROCKS! played it forever!

take care


I can just imagine the captions on this poster-
I'll let someone else have the
fun guessing what I would have put!

Cept'-Dang you were cute!

"I'll personally autograph this poster for the winning bider"?

What's a bider?


Well, "bider" is, of course, total-fscking-moron for "bidder."

I speak total-fscking-moron really well before my second quart of coffee kicks in every morning.

jeebus. If only there was some built-in way to, oh . . SPELL CHECK things.


It wouldn't be a wil wheaton auction without some terrible mangling of the English language or her spelling.

That's a rawkin shirt you're wearing, Wil.:) Yay 80s! (Or possibly early 90s?)

Hey...any of the true Talisman-loving geeks out here ever thought about creating an online version of Talisman? Multiplayer? Just like the rulles...maybe the person who starts the game can choose which expansion sets? Games could be saved and played later?

Anyone? Anyone?

I'll help on the graphics and UI part of it! :)

$53.00 and rising.

I like how your necklace picks up the colors in the crown on your shirt. I do have to agree with a previous poster that while you look good in the jacket, it makes your torso look oddly out of proportion with your legs. The close up you have on the bottom, with the picture cut off at the waist, is much more appealing. You actually look older in the cropped version.

How big is this poster? You forgot to mention the dimensions.

With proper planning, starting OpenOffice isn't that hard. For example, if you're leaving on vacation, or an extended hospital stay, start the program before going! By the time you return, it might be loaded and ready to go. Another method, I know I have a paper due at the end of tenth week. I make a note that somewhere along about the middle of seventh week I should start Writer, thus leaving plenty of time for the process to complete and for me to type the paper up the weekend before it's due.


Typoes, the great leveller. Ever think of proofing the thing before sending it on? Or have Ryan do it. Kids are great at spotting things we miss.

On Talisman: God, it's been so long. I haven't the foggiest idea of what it's about. I think both times I played my necromancer got turned into a biomancer. "Your alignment's been changed" or something like that.

I doubt the boys ever notice how long a game takes. They're involved in the moment, and when engrossed in an activity they really don't realize that time is passing. Plus, they're with Dad and as long as he's having fun, then things are good.

I do have a question BTW. How would posters made from the 'outtakes' sell?

"Stand by me" Poster.
will ship USA only.........

Poster? Pish posh! Where can I get that freakin' cool shirt?!

And the backdrop, what is that, a Hefty bag?

Ah, Wil...what a doll you were! I think I had a very similar pic of you on my wall at age 13 - ripped out of "Tiger Beat" no doubt...and likely hanging up next to pics of River Phoenix and Simon LeBon.

Is there a reason the "TM"s on the eBay page turn into question marks? Is it just my browser? (Fun description, by the way.)

But what does the Penguin that lives in your Linux Box say?

Ahhh, Talisman - I'm extremely fond of that game. I find some balance to Timescape with the City expansion, but that's just me.

And, I will take the Prophetess (I hope I am remembering characters correctly) as first choice anytime, though the Warrior of Chaos is seriously strong. (Some year I should look into saving up some money to purchase a set)

I hope your nearby cleric cast a Cure Light Wounds on you and dealt with the 1d4 of damage.

Wow, I just checked the prices over on Ebay and Talisman IS expensive now. Since I'm in a two geek household I know that we have at least two copies of the basic game and probably two of each expansion. (Yes, we are damaged people.) I guess I should consider parting with one of the sets. (Now the fight will begin on whose copy gets sold, just in case we ever get divorced...)

Oh, and does anyone else have the pewter miniatures that came out? I know I have the Prophetess (me!!) and the dwarf. I must be getting old because when we haul out the expansions I feel like we're playing the "new" stuff. :)

Online Talisman is an awesome idea, btw.

You look so pissed off in that poster. I think I'd buy it if I was a child molester. Anyway screw the poster, I'm more interested in the Simpsons Stephen Hawking action figure someone mentioned earlier. Btw, excellent post, but it's important that you entertain me EVERY day. Not just when it suits you...jerk!

I couldn't help but notice the very green grass that you didn't crop from the original photo. Very nice job on the lawn for January. Two green thumbs up!

I remember going to my very first GenCon and having the guys in the Talisman booth GIVE me and my (guy) friend a copy of the game if we would just promise to go to the free gaming area to play it. Now, WAY back then (1985 or so), I was a cute college student so that probably helped get attention for the game there (cute females being a rarity at those conventions). But we did go play it in the free game area and I still have that game somewhere.

Maybe one of my regular saturday night DnD sessions with my now-equally-old-but-still-geeky husband and friends could play it. It'll be several years before the kids are ready to play.

BTW, I'm very happy that at least one former child actor managed to survive with a sense of humor. You're doing good and I enjoy the blog.

4 hours for Talisman? The shortest we ever managed was 7 with adn the longest we stopped after 13 because it was getting ridiculous.

Just waiting for the kids to get old enough to play too.

Wil: Wow, okay, I was just being a smartass but now I just feel like an ass, minus the 'smart' part. :) If they gave out megacool EBayer merit badges, you'd be an eagle scout.

You know something Wil? You are an awesome Dad!

What a coincidence. A buddy of mine from the old days just moved into the same high-rise as I live in, and we've started each weekend (Geek-end?) with a Friday night Talisman game... hadn't played in a decade.

I didn't even know anyone else knew of that game.

1. Shameless plugging of Ebay is commenable behavior.

2. Warrior Of Chaos is very overated as a player.

3. Were you really a teen idol, or just a teen idolater? Probably the latter.

4. There is so much cool online stuff - expansion wise - for Talisman, that the game clearly benefits from using everything you can get your hands on. It's like playing GTA 3: Vice City without picking up the hidden packages as soon as possible. Boring.

5. Worf: The boy has stolen a shuttle
Picard: Lock Phasers.
Troi: Captain, he'll be killed, you can't!
Picard: Fire!
Worf: The boy has been destroyed.

I got the exact same bobble-head. He's standing next to Colonel Saunders (KFC guy).

Good luck on tracking down the Talisman expansions on eBay - they tend to get a bit pricey (especially the Dragons expansion and the 3rd edition stuff).

For those folks interested in an online version of Talisman, there are some folks working on it - http://www.otalisman.com/

There are also a number of homebrew expansions available, you just need to download and print them out. Here are a number of the sites that house some of the expansions:
http://www.geocities.com/[email protected]/index.htm

And there is also a relatively active community over at Yahoo - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/talisman_2nd_ed/

Be warned though, you'll need a ridiculously large table (or floor) to play with all of the expansions out there

Hey, Wil,

It has already been said, but your ebay descriptions are so freaking FUNNY! I was just thinking that if you have time between quaffing, gaming, and doing rewrites for JAG (which we haven't heard too much about lately, mister!), you could hire yourself out as a description writer for other ebayers. You'd make a fortune (or at least get free stuff that you could keep in your closet AFTER you've cleaned it out)! That Teen Idol poster is mine, Mine, MINE!


I'm sure that jacket is out in a landfill somewhere, slowly becoming a biohazard and/or self aware. :)

Up to $81 for the teen idol poster...not bad. ;)

Luckily a friend of mine has the entire set of all the Talisman boards, so I don't have to succumb to eBay.

The Chaos warrior is limited when you read the limits on it and make sure it's played properly - people have a tendancy to let it use the abilities ALL THE TIME and not just when it is meant to (there is errata out there on the net that explains it in detail).

I rather like the characters with anti daemon/anti undead abilities. Useful if you get the Daemon King.


Ok Wil, my name is Mat from Glastonbury, England. I am the world's foremost authority on Talisman. I proofed the game for Games Workshop. I have all new enhanced rules for the game. I will send them to you by email if you would do me the honour of proofing them for me before I post them to the world. Your WOC would be no match for me even if I was the Halfling, or Rogue! My skill is legendary, as I was the 1st english champion in the game. The Finger of Death is my middle name! Seriously though, trek is fantastic. However, what's your opinion of Enterprise (great for me). Look forward to hearing from you. Ps. Heres is a snippet:


3 strength, 3 craft, start in a Woods space, evil alignment.
Ability 1: You may never have followers. Even creatures such as the Hag, Jester, and Poltergeist will not become your followers (discard them).

Ability 2: You cannot use the Crown of Domination, Horse and Cart, Magic Banner, Magic Harness, Mule, Ring of Command, Staff of Mastery, or Wyvern Staff.

Ability 3: You may choose not to encounter any space that you land on in the outer and middle regions of the board, but you must always draw adventure cards where instructed. Adventure cards take affect as normal, except that you are unaffected by them.

Ability 4: You may evade all enemies in the outer and middle regions of the board (not the Sentinel, or other creatures).

Ability 5: You have the power to make a secret strike when you attack another character, or face up enemy that you land on. Combat takes place as normal except that you must subtract your starting craft from your opponent’s total. If you win, you may take your normal reward. Regards, Mat Thyer.

Eh, I know Mat, he's trying to suck you into our little group. We're not too scary, really!

Reading your stuff is always a great pick-me-up. Smiles galore. Keep on bloggin'.

Wil, I keep hearing so many incredible things about you, and now find out you play Talisman, too! Do you know about Talisman Island (http://www.talismanisland.com/)? We hold an annual Talisman Advanced tourney every year now, working on various expansions. I created Talisman Rome for the tourney last year. It would be fun to have you at one of our tourneys if you are interested!

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