Exploring the Realm
The TaoLing and I set up Magic Realm again and took two characters each. Setup wasn’t as bad — I’d sorted the counters from last time, but getting the treasures set up was annoying (since one large treasure got shuffled into the small stack, I had to undo and redo it). The TaoLing took the Captain (who has lots of friends and gets an extra phase in dwellings) and the Amazon (who gets good equipment and a free movement). I took the White Knight, (who has armor, better meeting rolls and a free rest, and is generally the easiest character). I took the Knight because my other character is the Elf, who has six magic chits (and rolls on the hide and missile table with a single die).
And off we went. After a brief round of trades to investigate what was available (the White Knight bought a healing potion, just in case) the adventurers headed out. The Elf quickly went into the Ledges and the Nut Woods, then enchanted the tile (flipping it over) to provide gold magic (useful for either spell) and also to create a path to the mountain. The mountain contained the lost castle, with a vault and lair.
The Amazon and Captain teamed up (to use the Amazon’s move) and quickly went to the Boardlands, and just as quickly found the Lost City … and all the Dragons in the world. More annoyingly, the pool and hoard were in the same clearing, which means that you might get a dragon or the octopus, and basically nobody can deal with both of them. A few dragons showed up right away, so the Amazon and Captain hightailed it out of there.
The White Knight trailed the path the Elf blazed because of the prospect of slaughtering the Giant was too tempting. (The giant is slow enough to be an easy kill). In fact, the Giant should be practically an auto-kill for the White Knight. Unless you fail your hide (30%) roll. But even then you’ll do fine as long as you play carefully and use your Move T4** so you can’t be undercut. You may get some armor damaged, but you’ll kill the giant next phase and (since it was Day 4 or so) you’ll have White mana to repair the damage later. In fact, the only bad result would be if the club matched tactics with you (a 1/3rd chance) and flipped over (a 30% chance).
Needless to say, all three events happened and the White Knight won, at the cost of a wound, some fatigued, and the destruction of his armor. Here we see the position towards the end of the first week.
The Elf meanwhile rather liked the Lost Castle, and basically went to the lair (and vault) and started searching (and hiding). A troll showed up, but the hidden elf could take a pot-shot (1/6th chance of a kill) at the 2nd round of combat and have no risk of counter-attack. Basically my elf got all my good luck, as he quickly discovered the lair (and the vault, but not having the keys or being strong enough to force open the door, that didn’t matter) and discovered the Lucky Charms.
According to the Book of Learning, that is “the best treasure in the game.”
But, to balance out the good luck, the White Knight went into the woods and …. failed another hide roll (30%). But the odds of a monster showing up are only 1/6….
So, I started a second character. (We did decide to play with the optional rule that you need less VP if the game is ongoing, so my Berserker needed to allocate only 4VP. I took the Berserker because the Inn was a convenient starting place near the Borderlands, and he was a character who could handle the dragon(s) there, if he had some help.
Week two saw the berserker spend the first few days trying to recruit some help. Eventually he got three rogues and headed off to the borderlands — where Dragons and Octopi roam. Meanwhile, my Elf looted the ancient telescope (bonus peer roll) and a great treasure. He also found the Mouldy Skeleton, which cursed him but also gave more treasures … sadly treasures too heavy to be of value. The chest also showed up, so anyone who possessed the lost keys (or was tremendously strong) would have a field day there between that and the vault.
The Elf decided to leave since the site was mostly played out but he’d gotten the Dragon Essence great treasure. As he was leaving he stumbled onto the tremendous troll and three bats, so it was time for my first (non-Make Whole) spell — Control Bats.
(The magic chit on the bats indicates a spell).
This wasn’t a great success. I basically had to sacrifice a bat to keep the troll off me while I took a pot shot. I only lost a bat on a 1/3rd shot, but the bats couldn’t threaten the troll. In theory I should get around 9 shots at the troll (needing a one on a single die) but that troll was a bat-killing machine, taking out one each turn. So I had to slink away, my reputation suffering.
The Captain and Amazon found the statue and started looting it — finding the Clover Hoof (which gives +1 to all rolls in the clearing). So the Amazon had to move away to get rid of the Hoof (and it’s penalty) so they could continue. The didn’t get much, but the Amazon discovered the lost keys and started high-tailing it towards the vault/chest. The berserker made it to the borderlands and (at the cost of a few Rogues) killed the dragon. Right now he’s searching for the pool/hoarde. The Octopus could show up, but the Berserker can just run away and sacrifice his last hireling. The elf was going to control the last three bats to fight the troll, but on one turn failed a hide roll (which meant that if he took the time to summon the bats, the troll might kill him) so he ran away to hide and try again the next night, but then bats disappeared (day 14 monster roll reset the bats).
And at that, we called it a night, 2 weeks into our game (out of four).
Thoughts — Even with setup, this was only a touch over two hours …. I did have to look up a few rules on magic, particularly reading up on the spells just to verify that I became unhidden when casting the spell, some time to read the details of the treasures. Much better than the first game, and that’s with the additional setup for the spells (and visitors). In fact, we’re playing with the complete rules. Having two sets of player aids helps tremendously, as well.