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Talislanta - Bard Publications & Wizards of the Coast

1st Edition | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th

The Talislanta website.



The game by famed FRPG writer Stephan Michael Sechi and Bard Games. (See also their Atlantis RPG and 'Compleat' series of supplements.) I remember the ads for the early editions boasted "NO ELVES!!." The background is strange, unlike the typical FRPG setting. The works of Jack Vance (Dying Earth) figure prominently as inspiration. It would appeal to players who enjoy Tekumel, and the like.

The Minotaur’s Lair has a great reference section on Talislanta.

Talislanta, 1st edition

The Chronicles of Talislanta
It all started here (1987), in this sourcebook. It is not attached to a game system.

"Follow the accounts of Tamerlin -- traveler, self-styled wizard, and obscure author of ancient times -- as he explores the magical land of Talislanta. Discover the myriad wonders and oddities of a forgotten age, including:

The Dream Merchants of Phantas, who sail the skies in fabulous windships bearing the most costly and exotic wares...

The Aberrant Forest; accidentally created by the Mad Wizard, Rodinn, whose misguided experiments may have led to the destruction of half a continent...

The Maze-City of Altan, carved over centuries of time from a single mound of violet stone...

The Sindarans; a race of seven-foot tall humanoids notable for their dual brains, and their passion for collecting things...

The Crimson Citadel, where the Dracartan Thaumaturges use their wondrous powder known as Quintessence to transmute the very nature of substance...

The Xambrian Wizard Hunters, who bear an age-old vendetta against the descendants of an ancient race of Black Magicians...

1987 ... Stephan Michael Sechi & P.D. Breeding (art) ... 120 pages ... BARD 2000 ... ISBN 0961077042

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Talislantan Handbook
This is the main Talislanta rulebook. -W

"THE TALISLANTA HANDBOOK is a fantasy role playing game system and supplement designed for use with THE CHRONICLES OF TALISLANTA, atlas and lexicon of the magical realm of TALISLANTA. An indispensible guide for experienced players and Gamemasters, the HANDBOOK contains everything you need to know to create an exciting role playing campaign in the world of TALISLANTA. Featuring;
Over eighty different character types, including: Aamanian Archimages, Armite Knife-Fighters, Chana Witchmen, Danuvian Swords- women, Dracartan Desert Scouts, Farad Procurers, Gao Sea Rogues, Imrian Slavers, Jaka Manhunters, Mandalan Savants, Manra Shape- Ghangers, Muse Esthesians, Nefaratan Black Savants, Phantasian Dream Merchants, Rajan Necromancers, Sindaran Collectors, Thaecian Enchanters, Xambrian Wizard Hunters, Yitek Tomb-Robbers, Yrmanian Wildmen, Zandir Charlatans and many others...
A listing of over one hundred skills and special abilities in nine different Fields of expertise...
Listing of basic spells, minor enchantments, and magical/alchemical mixtures and substances...
Lists of equipment, weapons and trade goods, mary found only in Talislanta...
Stats for creatures and beings native to the world of Talislanta...
Information on determining character backgrounds, Talislantan languages, currencies, Talislantan chronology (with a calendar of notable dates), cults, secret societies and magical orders...
Ideas for campaign scenarios, plus a sample Talislantan adventure...
And much more...
A whole new dimension in fantasy role playing

1987 ... Stephen Michael Sechi & P.D. Breeding (art) ... 88 pages ... BARD 2100 ... ISBN 0961077093

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A Naturalist’s Guide to Talislanta
The "Monster Manual" for Talislanta. -W

"The TALISLANTA series continues with the NATURALIST'S GUIDE, a compendium of selected flora and fauna native to the magical realm of Talislanta.

Compiled from the notes of Tamerlin -- traveler, self-styled wizard and author of THE CHRONICLES OF TALISLANTA -- the NATURALIST'S GUIDE features illustrations and descriptions for over a hundred different creatures and beings, including:

Ahazu: fierce, four-armed warriors from thejungles of the Dark Goast...

Exomorphs: predatory beasts feared for their uncanny, chameleon-like powers...

Gnomekin: diminutive, furry-maned humanoids who make their home in underground "nooks" and tunnels...

Monoliths: gigantic beings of earth and stone, believed to be the oldest living entities in the world...

Sardonicus: evil geniuses known as "bottle-imps," favored as familiars and sorcerous advisors...

Snipes: an intelligent (and insatiably curious) species of mud-dwelling molluskknown to inhabit the Sinking Land...

Vorls: insidious creatures whose bodily forms are comprised of animate mists and vapors...

plus Mandragores, Shadow Wizards, Nightstalkers, Werebeasts, and many, many more...

With a separate section for fantasy role players featuring game statistics and additional information."

1987 ... Stephen Michael Sechi & P.D. Breeding (art) ... 120 pages ... BARD 2200 ... ISBN 0961077034

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Talislanta Sorcerer’s Guide
In this book:

The Lyceum Arcanum: Cymril's fabled institute of magic, with detailed floor plans, course list, and information on the Lyceum Faculty...

A listing of rare spells and incantations penned by the ancient masters of Talislantan magic...

Over a hundred different types of enchanted items, including weapons, artifacts, charms and fetishes...

A listing of magical tomes and reference works...

Tamerlin's Guide to Extra-Dimensional Entities: A timely manual for magicians of all professions, featuring stats and illustrations for a number of creatures and beings never revealed before...

Lists of Magical Correspondences: Indicating the magical properties (reputed or otherwise) of plants, gemstones, and various animal ingredients...

A dozen new character types, including the Rogue Magician, Mystic Warrior, Phantasian Astromancer, Nagra Shaman and others...

The Ariane Maze-City of Altan...

Cabal Magicus: A fabulous floating settlement, home to the Phantasians

1988 ... 104 pages ... BARD 2300 ... ISBN 0961077085

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Talislanta, 2nd edition

The Talislanta Handbook and Campaign Guide
2nd edition main rulebook. -W

"THE TALISLANTA HANDBOOK is the players' and Gamemasters’ guide
to fantasy role playing in the magical realm of TALISLANTA. Within the pages of
this newly-revised Second Edition you will find everything you need to create an
exciting FRP campaign unlike any you've ever experienced before.

* Over a hundred different character types, including Aamanian Inquisitors, Batrean Concubines, Cymrilian Warrior-Mages, Drukh Shamans, Shadinn Executioners, Farad Procurers, Gnomekin Crystalomancers, Ispasian Mercantilists, Xambrian Wizard-Hunters, and many more...
* Revised rules for Combat, Magic, Skills, and Attributes...
* Expanded listings of skills, equipment, weapons, and conveyances...
* Revised list of statistics for Talislantan encounters...
* Annotated map of the City of Cymril...
* All-new introductory adventure....
* A complete index of Talislantan sourcebooks
* New Mass Combat system...
* Plus updated information on character backgrounds, optional rules for combat, languages, currencies, Talislantan chronology, and much more..."

1989 ... 152 pages ... BARD 2101 ... ISBN 0945849028

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Cyclopedia Talislanta
In this book:

Detailed color maps of the Talislantan continent and surrounding environs, including many previously uncharted entries...

A complete listing of all cities, settlements, and topographical features of note...

Expanded listings of Talislantan flora and fauna, including insects, animals, and some of the more unusual (and dangerous) creatues native to the world of Talislanta...

More new character types, including the barbaric Mondre Khan, Gnorl Rhabdomancers, Yassan Technomancers, Orgovian Traders, and more...

Detailed Diagrams of new Talislantan conveyances, including the Sunra dragon barque, Kharakhan war wagon, Arduan barge fort, Quan pleasure barge, and others...

1988 ... 88 pages ... BARD 2400 ... ISBN 0945849001

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Cyclopedia Talislanta Volume II - The Seven Kingdoms
"Nestled in east-central Talislanta, the Seven Kingdoms is the spiritual heart, if not the geographical center, of civilized Talislanta. A loose union of semi-autonomous states, this nation is a prosperous, enlightened society where knowledge and advanced crafts flourish.
The Seven Kingdoms is a crossroads for travel from eastern and western Talislanta, since roads are surer and safer than the sea. Merchants wishing to cross the continent by land must either use the Seven Roads (and pay the tolls and tariffs), or risk a dangerous journey across Drag or the cold northlands.
The land ranges from the rocky, desert wastes of Sindar and Kasmir to the dense forests of Astar and Vardune; from the tropical jungles and swamps of Taz to the lightly wooded open country of Cymril and Durne. The Axis River forms the western border, keeping Aaman at bay. The waterless Dead River canyon performs the same function in the east, keeping the bandits and raiders of the Wilderlands of Zaran at bay. The mountains of southern Urag, and the dense swamps and mountains along the borders with Mog and Jhangara, likewise provide protection on the northern and southern frontiers."

1989 ... 72 pages ... BARD 2402 ... ISBN 0945849036

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Cyclopedia Talislanta Volume III - The Wilderlands of Zaran
"Sprawling across the center of the continent, the Wilderlands of Zaran is the devastated wasteland that separates the civilizations of eastern and western Talislanta. It is dominated by sterile wastes where only the most stubborn types of vegetation can survive.

The Wilderlands Road — one of the last remnants of the ancient Kingdom of Zaran — connects the prosperous and modern Seven Kingdoms with the old Empire of the Quan in the east. Merchants and Aamanian pilgrims regularly traverse the highway, which is haunted by bandits and thieves. While the merchant who gets his caravan through can expect a rich reward, those who fail often leave their bones bleaching in the desert suns.

The Volcanic Hills and Rajanistan's desert form the western border, keeping the eastern imperials at bay. The waterless Dead River canyon performs the same function in the west and south, retarding the expansion of the Seven Kingdoms. To the north, only the limitless wastes provide a defense...but then, few seem intent on conquering this profitless region."

1989 ... 72 pages ... BARD 2403 ... ISBN 0945849044

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Cyclopedia Talislanta Volume IV - The Western Lands
"Cyclopedia Talislanta Vol IV, The: The Western Lands presents an in-depth look at the lands to the west of the Seven Kingdoms. Cultural and political information about the Aaman, Zandu, and the other western countries. Contains two adventures."

1989 ... 72 pages ... BARD 2404 ... ISBN 0945849052

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Cyclopedia Talislanta Volume V - The Eastern Lands
"Eastern Talislanta is a place of danger and barbaric splendor, its fabled riches and mysteries drawing adventurers from across the continent A few find their fortune. Others find terror and horrifying death.
The East includes the barren steppes of the Greylands, the chill mountains of Xanadas, the lush jungles of Ghana, and other extremes of terrain. Much of it is unexplored, and home to dangerous predators and hostile sentients."

1989 ... 72 pages ... BARD 2405 ... ISBN 0945849060

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Cyclopedia Talislanta Volume VI - The Desert Kingdoms
An in-depth look at Dracarta, Rajanistan, and their outlying lands. Contains three adventures.

1989 ... 72 pages ... BARD 2406 ... ISBN 0945849079

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Talislanta, 3rd edition

The Talislanta Guidebook

3rd edition, published by Wizards of the Coast in their pre-D&D days.

1992 ... WOC 2002 ... ISBN 1880992019

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Talislanta Worldbook
"The Talislanta Worldbook is the atlas and gazeteer of Archaeus -- the strange and exotic world which serves as the setting for the Talislanta game. The Worldbook features a comprehensive overview of the Talislantan continent, incorporating revised information from the Chronicles of Talislanta and the first Cyclopedia Talislanta, plus new continental, regional, and city maps. The Worldbook also contains all-new material on the Unknown Lands, including:

* The Midnight Realm, a land of perpetual darkness inhabited by the race of Night Demons and their enemies, the Demon Hunters of Thanatus...
* The Flying Island of Alcedon, which floats high above the clouds...
* The sweltering junglelands of Draknar -- home of the Drakken, a race of intelligent reptilian giants which once ruled the continent of Talislanta...
* The Lost Continent of Simbar, which sank beneath the waves following The Great Disaster...
The plant kingdom of Celadon, an enchanted realm ruled by the mysterious magician known as the Green Mandarin...
* The battle-ravaged continent of Altarus, home of the Vandar warclans...
* A revised overview of History, covering the rise and fall of the Archaen Empire -- the legendary kingdoms of Talislanta's Forgotten Age...

1991 ... WOC 2001 ... ISBN 0945849214

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Thystram's Collectanea
"With its abundance of strange and often dangerous flora and fauna, Talislanta provides ample material for a naturalist's life work. Thystram's Collectanea, the life work of Talislanta's greatest naturalist, finally collects detailed descriptions of most life forms native to the continent of Talislanta and surrounding planes into one organized book. Supplemented by the research of various historical figures and modern scholars, all entries have been revised and updated to reflect recent discoveries. With its accurate illustrations and helpful encounter lists, Thystram's Collectanea will prove a valuable resource to any who would travel the lands of Talislanta."

1993 ... WOC 2003 ... ISBN 1880992078

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Talislanta Geographica

Ocean and Wind Currents; Languages; Talislantan Socio-Political Conflicts; A Matter of Lineage (adventure); Against Chalgus of Ur (adventure); Abrim's Dilemma (adventure); Nightmare's Gate (adventure).

1992 ... Peter Adkinson & George Lowe & Jeff Goldman & Eric Hotz (map) ... 16 page booklet + poster map + 3-panel screen ... WOC 2201 ... ISBN 1880992051

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Archaen Codex
"Lost spells and skills, artifacts and magical treatises, tidbits of history forgotten since the days of the Archaens—these ancient secrets have now been brought to light for the first time in The Archaen Codex. In this book, you will learn the origin of the Black Savants, the technomantic techniques of the Neurians, the summoning spells devised by the magician Mordante, and the nature of the ruins in which these and other wonders of Talislanta's greatest magical era may be uncovered. So pack your research notes; the treasure hunt has begun!"

1992 ... WOC 2202 ... ISBN 188099206X

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Scent of the Beast
"Get involved in the rise of the Sub-Men with the first full-length adventure ever published for the Talislanta system! Designed as a starter kit, The Scent of the Beast introduces both players and GMs to the rules and setting of Talislanta in a mystery adventure that samples from several different styles of play. Let your players journey to Sindar in search of a traitorous arms merchant and experience the first of a series of adventures that will take them straight to the heart of the Sub-Men uprising."

1992 ... Jonathan Tweet ... 72 pages ... WOC 2301 ... ISBN 1880992043

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"Immerse your PCs in one of Talislanta's lushest cultures with Sarista, the first sourcemodule for Talislanta! As a sourcemodule, Sarista provides both detailed background information on the Sarista and a short adventure that lets you use some of that material right away. Details on Sarista customs, skills, equipment, and magic add flavor to this colorful race, while information on the landscape and creatures of Silvanus fleshes out the Sarista homeland. A few special NPCs and a sample Sarista clan provide inspiration for your own adventures, while the short adventure included sends your PCs to investigate possible Tanasian activity in Silvanus. Whether your party is visiting the Western Lands or being visited by a Sarista caravan, you'll find plenty of good ideas in Sarista."

1994 ... 72 pages ... WOC 2302 ... ISBN 1880992159

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Sub-Men Rising
"The coming of the Tirshata heralds the end of oppression for the savage Sub-Men — and could mean the end of civilization for Talislanta, as well. This campaign covers four years of intrigue, adventure, and all-out war, as the legendary Sub-Men hero known as the Tirshata returns and unites the scattered Sub-Men tribes. This book features extensive and creative cultural notes on each Sub-Men tribe, plus a detailed timeline of the war, numerous scenario hooks, and a final climactic adventure: 'The Heart of the Beast.' Sub-Men Rising is for the Talislanta gamemaster looking for a long-term campaign of passion and fury."

1994 ... Robin D. Laws ... 120 pages ... WOC 2303 ... ISBN 1880992515

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The Crimson Horde is now recruiting mercenary cavaliers to supplement Kang road patrols in certain isolated corners of the Quan Empire. Recruits will be paid 100 gold lumens per day, plus equipment valued at over 700 gold lumens. See an Ispasian representative for more information.

Let your players explore the mysterious Quan Empire, choose between duty and conscience, and affect the course of Talislantan history in this epic adventure of cultural clashes and military intrigue. Designed for 3-6 characters of 4th-7th level, Quantrigue uncovers for the first time what's really going on beneath the surface of the Quan Empire since the Kang took control in 611 N.A. So expose your players to a little Kang culture; neither they nor the empire will ever be the same!"

1993 ... 64 pages ... WOC 2310 ... ISBN 1880992116

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Tales of Talislanta
"I have to admit, I would have bought this book no matter what, since I am such a huge fan of the Talislanta role-playing game. Fortunate for me that the stories in here are of very high calibre, and make entertaining reading.

"The first story, 'Tamerlin's Oddesy,' details the origins of the famous explorer, taking the reader up to the very moment where 'Chronicles of Talislanta' starts.

"'Tulki's Revenge' deals with an young man's assault on his home, the ocean-going city of Oceanus.

"'Survival' is a short and brutal tale that depicts live among the tribes living in the desolate land of Harak, with a twisted ending.

"'To Rest in the Sea' is a story about one slave in the Quan Empire and his yearning to be free, and the length he will go to achieve that.

"'Rogues' is a humorous tale of three thieves, each with very different styles, competing to see who is the best in all of Zandu.

"'Of Women and Honor' tells of a Farad merchant and his first major slave-trading mission, and what happens when affairs of the heart clash with money-matters.

"'The Ring' is a funny tale of Pix, the ferran (a rat-like humanoid), and his extraordinary adventure in retrieving a lost ring.

"'Finding the Way' is a touching story of a "green man" (a race of diminutive humanoids who communicate with plants) and his devotion to life and love of his friend, a mandalan mystic warrior.

Finally, 'Shadowmoon' tells us of an ariane who hears the lonely cry of a lost soul, and sets out on a quest to save it. The ending is quite a shock, and brought a tear of happiness to my eye." ...from an anonymous Amazon reviewer

1992 ... WOC 3001 ... ISBN 1880992027

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Talislanta, 4th edition

Talislanta (4th edition)
"Extensive World Setting
Updated Rules System
Still No Elves

Imagine a world beyond the realm of traditional fantasy roleplaying — a world of strange and exotic cultures, fantastic flora & fauna, ancient magics, and lost civilizations.

Talislanta is a world unlike any other.

The Traveler's Guide:
over 300 pages of detailed information covering the history, cultures, creatures, and geography of Talislanta.
Easy-to-use Action Table system: a single adaptable mechanic for combat, spellcasting and skill use, so there's no need to constantly refer back to the rules during play.
Over 120 character archetypes — with everything a player needs to know to start adventuring in the world of Talislanta right away.
A comprehensive Game Master's guide helps you plan your adventures and introduce your players to the rich and diverse world of Talislanta."

2001 ... 502 pages (hardcover) ... IRN 1001 ... ISBN 0967209706

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Midnight Realm
"'At a crossroads of the lower planes, past the ancient portal called the Threshold and its twin stone guardians, lies the Midnight Realm. It is a grim and foreboding place of otherworldly aspect, where rivers of molten iron flow across a desolate landscape of smoldering plains, virulent swamps, and forests of pale deadwood trees. By day, a black sun casts dark shadows over the Realm. By night, the sun sets, and the land is lit by the wan light of distant stars, moons, and suns.'

Welcome to the dark side of the Talislanta milieu:
An eerie twilight world inhabited byTarteran demon hunters, Ebonite soul traders, merciless Brood reapers, and many other terrifying and mysterious denizens of the lower planes.
Midnight Realm is a dark fantasy setting that provides players and Came Masters with an exciting new world to explore. Designed for use with the Talislanta Role Playing Came, Midnight Realm can also be adapted for use with other RPCs, or simply used as a source of new ideas to add to your own world."

2003 ... 152 pages (hardcover) ... IRN 1002 ... ISBN 0967209714

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Talislanta, 5th edition

Talislanta: Fantasy Roleplaying Game, D20 Edition

2006 ... 288 pages ... ISBN 0973692804

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