I still have a copy of the original edition of Avalon Hill's "Magic Realm". I can still remember the anticipation waiting for its release, and the hammerblow of disappointment at what a mess the rules and errata actually were. I always felt that the game could have worked if given proper development, but it seemed a tragically rushed effort.
Any one have any stories of playing this one, or using it as a tool for D&D?
"Don't worry little brother, there's plenty more."
It's my favorite fantasy boardgame. I have two copies.
Check the entry for the game on Boardgamegeek. The AH 2nd edition rules were very complete; fans have made a 3rd edition rulebook blessed by Richard Hamblen (very underrated game designer, btw) that clears up ambiguities and has clearer presentation.
Hamblen had massive plans for the game, but it had to be cut down due to budget restraints and other considerations by AH.
One fine morning, Leia Organzon, a young amazon with the heart of a lion, entered the fabled magic realm in search of fame and notoriety. She only had a month's leave before she would be called back to take the amazon trial of adulthood, and wanted to make her mark on the outside world, to prove that women were just as capable as men in the arts of war.
(VICTORY CONDITIONS: 40 Notoriety, 30 Fame. Plan was to kill off soldiers, hire soldier HQ, kill some big monsters than slaughter the Goblins)
Day 1: Not liking the leering looks of the disreputable rogues hanging around the Inn, Leia left the Curst Valley and entered a cave in the Borderlands. The stench smelled like trolls to her, although there were none where she could see them. A flutter of mighty wings caused her to peek out of the cave just in time to see two Heavy Flying Dragons alight in a wooded clearing. Realizing her swift short sword would have no chance against their mighty scales, she resolved to avoid them.
Days 2 and 3: It took Leia two more days to navigate through the Borderlands. She ended up stumbling upon a large campsite in the Oak Woods. She gratefully took advantage of its warmth, wondering who its former occupants were. Maybe she would come back later and find out.
Day 4: Our amazon hero traversed another part of the Curst Valley before entering a vast network of Ruins. She camped in the old home of a pair of dragons, doubtless the same that she had seen 3 days ago. The dark cave in front of her was full of huge, shedded snake skins. She decided to search for a way through the thick woods to avoid entering the cave.
Day 5: Leia spent the entire day searching the surrounding area, and found a hidden path that would lead her safely out of the Ruins.
Day 6: Leia entered the Dark Valley, and hid in the woods so she could observe the House she found there. It was guarded by surly Soldiers, who challenged her to battle, hearing her skulking in the bushes. Determining the soldier with a crossbow was the greatest threat, she burst out of the bushes, hacked him down, then fled down the road before the rest of the group could react.
(FIGHT M3** while hidden to undercut, flee on round 2. N:4(4) G:2(12))
Day 7: Leia rested during the day, then hid again and skulked back to the House. The two Soldiers were patrolling the perimeter, while their leader sat on the front steps having a beer. Waiting until they were at opposite sides of the house, Leia ambushed one of the foot soldiers, then escaped back down the path again.
(Same tactics as before. N:3(7) G:2(14))
Day 8: After resting, Leia his and returned to the House. She back-stabbed the last Soldier while he was talking to his leader. The two stared at each other, quick amazon and well-armored soldier, before Leia fled back down the path.
(Same tactics as before. N:3(10) G:2(16))
Day 9: Leia boldly strode back to the House, and the Soldier HQ cautiously agreed to sit over drinks and listen to her proposal to hire him. Despite buying him two drinks, he would not settle for less than 16 gold pieces for the next two weeks. Leia decided to sleep on it.
(N:10 G:-2 (14))
Day 10: After another drink, Leia hired the soldier HQ for 12 gold pieces, leaving her with just a solitary gold piece. As she pondered what to do on the next day, three swaggering Wood elves showed up. They hid in the bushes and decided to ambush them and steal their gold. One bloody combat later, the soldier she had hired was dead, the three wood elves was dead, her helmet was damaged, her breast plate was destroyed, and she was suffering from two arrow wounds. She was also gaining a bloody reputation.
(N:+24-6(28) G:6 (7) )
Days 11 - 13: Leia spent the next three days recovering from her wounds, and recovering any loot she could find in the area. The beautiful Dragonfang Necklace was a great treasure indeed, and she pondered whether she needed the light bow she found. The Patrol showed up to check out the disturbances they had heard reports of, and she sold them her damaged helmet and the light bow.
Days 14-18: Five more days were spent looking for stuff, but the wood elf HQ's medium bow just could not be located. Sighing, she finally sold the other light bow and assorted potions to the Patrol. After a round of drinks, they joined her company for free. Now it was off to find some goblins. The Patrol gave her the happy news that the roving Lancers were desperate to find that lost treasure. Returning it to them would bring her great fame. The only problem was finding them. Realizing that a roving company would be likely to set up at a large campfire, she decided to see if she could kill all the axe goblins in the cave, she would head back to the campfire and wait for them. If only she had enough time ...
Days 19-20: The motley group headed for the caves under the High Pass, and were rewarded with goblin howls and goblin ruins. This was more goblins than she was hoping for, but they decided to hide and wait.
Days 21-24: And wait and wait and wait ....
Day 25: 6 Ax Goblins and 6 Spear Goblins enter the cave, and are ambushed by the Patrol and our feisty Amazon. After a fierce 6 round combat, the amazon emerged wounded, fatigued, and with all armor destroyed. The Patrol had nary a scratch. There was no time to waste - she only had three days left to find the lancers and return their treasure to them. I scored 18 fame and 18 notoriety. I was now sitting at 58 Notoriety due to the Necklace and 18 Fame.
Day 26-27: The group raced through the ruins and into the Oak Woods, relieved to see the Large Campfire still there. And who should appear before their weary eyes but the Lancers! They were overjoyed with the return of their necklace, and proceeded to write a song about her exploits.
(Fame 30, Notoriety 46 - enough to win!)
Day 28: On the last day, a dangerous looking crew showed up at nightfall - the Company! Feint heart never won reward; Leia strode across the clearing, and flush with newfound gold, bought everybody a round of drinks. "Now listen up boys", she said, "and let me tell you about a desperate struggle of 4 on 12..."
The system is actually easy, just counter-intuitive. When a friend teaches you, you can grasp it pretty easily. It's all based on a size scale: Negligible, Light, Medium, Heavy, Tremendous, and a combat speed/move speed mechanism. The rest is just details
Cpt John "Jack" Hammer 6A84A6 Age 22 male Rifle SMG Grav Vehicle Trc Vehicle Gambling Leader
A friend of mine had a copy of this and he really didn't like the way the rules were put together so we never actually played it. My memory on this is around 30 years old, but I seem to remember that the components were nice.
I, too, would be interested in knowing if there were any really innovative parts to the game rules. Otherwise, I have so many game systems already...
On the other hand, now that I know there were later editions of the rules, I may have to hunt around just to give it a peek.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Post by apeloverage on Dec 3, 2008 23:49:27 GMT -6
I have the fan-made edition of the rules (apparently the easiest to understand), and some things about it seem interesting (having relations with different factions for example)..but yeah, it really does seem like you could do that with an easier system.
I often play the (free) computer version of Sorcerer's Cave, which is a similar theme but at the opposite end of complexity, and I'd be much more interested in adding extra rules to that.
Teleleli; the people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
My copy of this has sat on the shelf for years now. Someday when I have both a regular D&D group and a regular boardgame group it will get played. For now I only get one game a month, so D&D wins, and the boardgames sit and wait.
ken-do-nim on DF
Mayhem's spells: scroll with [bless, cure light wounds, cure light wounds, and detect magic], protection from evil
Magic Realm is very abstract - like Chess or Go, there is very little luck. In fact, in many ways it is a rock-papers-scissors game. The strengths are the structured randomness for replayability, the very different characters, and the incredible range of options available. You can adventure co-operatively, independently, or in conflict with each other. You can hire natives, ignore natives, or try to wipe them out. You set your own victory conditions. Magic is strange and subtle. There are optional rules galore. The items are wide ranging and unique. And teh rules have a strange elegance to them, that once you understand them, leave you breathless
Cpt John "Jack" Hammer 6A84A6 Age 22 male Rifle SMG Grav Vehicle Trc Vehicle Gambling Leader