Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Free Talislanta!

As many of you perhaps already know--and the rest should--Stephan Michael Sechi has liberated his creation Talislanta--at least from the black iron prison of out-of-print obscurity. Many of the old books (and perhaps, eventually, all) are offered as free pdfs under the Creative Commons License on

For the uninitiated, Talislanta is an rpg created by the aforementioned Stephan Michael Sechi, and wonderfully realized by the art of P.D. Breeding-Black, first published by Bard Games in 1987. Most of us first heard of Talislanta through the ads in Dragon proclaiming "No Elves!"

And there were no elves--at least not by name. Indeed there weren't any of the usual Tolkienian or Nordic/Celtic influences common to fantasy gaming. Instead, the eclectic and (dare I say) slightly campy setting, is very Vancian (and is, in fact, dedicated to Jack Vance). Sechi outlined the rest of his Talislantan "Appendix N" in an online interview:

"Besides Vance, there was also Marco Polo's The Travels, Lovecraft's The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath, certain of the works of William S. Burroughs (from which many ideas of Talislanta's illicit substances were derived), and many others. Visually, I was very much influenced by Salome, a three-part story published in Heavy Metal magazine, and written and drawn by Phillipe Druillet - I've looked for it ever since, but with no success. Richard Corben was also an influence, especially his vivid use of colors; also Steve Ditko's Dr Strange, and his depiction of spells and other dimensions. Those are just a few."
Talislanta has always been a setting I've had a a great deal of affection for, even though I haven't actually played in it that often. It's just fun to read, particularly the Chronicles.

Check it out, if you haven't already.


G said...

Nice! Thanks for the reminder. Last time I checked there was nothing downloadable yet, but now I see there's been a lot of progress.

Trey said...

You're welcome. :)

Brutorz Bill said...


Trey said...

Indeed :). Tal's good stuff.

Chris said...

Can't talk now. Filling my boots.