As mentioned some time ago, the prototype for Talisman, or Necromancer as it was called back then, was the source of a few “lost” cards that never made it into the final game.

Originally, I had thought there was just the one in the shape of the Bull, but actually paying attention netted another couple to share with you and mock up for you to use in the game.

The Bull has since been added to the Revised 4th Edition of Talisman as the Raging Bull from The Reaper expansion as a fitting tribute to the prototype.

There are a couple of obvious changes from the prototype to the finished game as you can see above. It seems that Evil Darkness originally lasted for two turns, and the titular Talisman was merely a Charm, which doesn’t sound nearly as impressive.

Perhaps the most interesting card that has turned up is the playing piece for a character named Hero, who does not have a corresponding character card (at least, not on display!) I’ve made some enquiries to see if scans are available for the character card, and will report back if that turns anything up.

The Bull was likely left out of the game as there were thought to be enough mid-range Strength Enemy to face in the deck.

As mentioned above, the card finally saw print in the latest version of the game, but was originally to be included in the Death and Glory expansion for the 4th Edition of the game from Black Industries.

I suppose the Stag, being another mid-range Strength Enemy wasn’t really needed in the game, but we’ll never really know why it was left out.

It does make for an interesting little addition though!

Players will remember that in the main game of Talisman there are two Ghost Enemy cards, one being a generic Craft Enemy and the other that appears in a random space based on a die roll.

In the prototype, it turns out that there is a second Craft Enemy called the Haunter, that duplicates the Ghost’s die roll mechanic. It perhaps would have made more sense to have the Ghost as a generic Enemy and the Haunter as the second version, but perhaps they wanted to save some money on artwork?

Talisman Prototype at Harris Authors