Now and again you come across a truly amazing story on a website forum or newsgroup and the post by George Fagin (Sphere) over at BoardGameGeek from way back when is certainly one of those.
Many moons ago I asked George if it would be okay to repeat the story on Talisman Island for visitors who may not be familiar with BGG and he kindly agreed. So here is the story behind a very special expansion set for Talisman –
Stranger New Worlds is the title of the world’s rarest Talisman expansion. The one and only copy in existence was hand made and presented to me in 1988 by my three children, with a great deal of help from their Mom (my wife). The story of how it came to be may not be interesting to anyone outside the family, but I’m going to tell it anyway just in case.
1988 started out as a great year with the birth of my youngest son in February, but took a turn for the worse six weeks later when I injured my knee while playing basketball. This led to surgery and six months of therapy before I could walk again without crutches. I didn’t have a sit-down job then, and between lack of work and big medical bills the budget was very tight. As Father’s Day approached, I gave strict instructions that no money was to be spent on presents for me – homemade cards would suffice. Little did I realize that the cards my family set out to make would turn out to be beyond price.
I played lots of games with my kids, and Talisman was a huge favorite with them. There were several expansions out at that point, and the kids had wanted to get me a new one, but I had ruled that out. So they determined to make an expansion themselves. Each of the three older kids came up with ideas for four new characters, two new adventure cards and two new spells.
My 15 year old daughter needed no help, but my 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter had Mom print the required text on the cards. She also made the box cover and drew all the card backs in the appropriate colors for the adventures and spells. The names, artwork, and the ideas behind the cards they did by themselves.
All this was done secretly, and I was totally surprised to get my custom made Talisman Expansion on Father’s Day. I’ve gotten hundreds of games as gifts over the years, but never one as special as Stranger New Worlds.
George uploaded the images to the thread and rather than just lift them and stick them here to download, I thought it would be better if people got them from the BGG post, so they can give George some thumbs!!