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Subject: 8 Player game from Orccon 2016 rss

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Chapter 1: A Rough Start

Played with Advanced Combat rules and commerce rules.

After taking an hour to explain the rules of the game, and keeping combat explanations basic as we would be there all day if I were to cover every aspect of combat which I don't have memorized, we went into it, starting with map setup.


Image courtesy of Chris Laudermilk, the Witch player.

Anyway, I started off as the Druid, others picked the White Knight, Witch, Captain, Elf, Berserker, Magician, and Amazon.

I recorded my VP as 2 treasures, 1 spell, 1 notoriety, and 1 gold. Unsure of the others.

Everybody but the Captain started out at the Inn. We learned the hard way that you should never have a valley tile set down with only one way out through a cave tile that demands having a secret passage discovered in order to progress.


Image courtesy of Chris Laudermilk, the Witch player.

So we compromised and decided to all search for the passage together, and in the spirit of cooperation, work together in the beginning. I ended up finding the secret passage first, and I must admit, I was tempted to be a dick about it and just move away without telling them anything. But on the other hand, it was the first time playing for a few players, we were all new acquaintances, and I wanted this to be more of a friendly game than anything else. Plus they probably would have found it later on anyway, and would remember my lack of teamwork, and would have made me pay for it one way or another, so I shouted out the information so that all characters in the clearing (everyone but the Captain) would know the passage so they could get a move on, before anything showed up in the caves.

Meanwhile, the Captain started at the guard house, made his way to the Cliffs, and found the hoard chit (didn't discover it, just revealed that the chit was on that tile). A heavy spider came to greet him, which he fended off after a couple rounds of combat. But come morning, he was still scared to death knowing that the spider was still crawling around somewhere. Rather than risk dealing with it again, he bid "Farewell cruel world!" and offed himself. In other words, the player playing the Captain didn't find the game to be fun 3 days in, and left. Bummed us out a bit, but he did leave some nice valuables behind.

Back to everyone else, we made our way outside of the caves, and went into the woods. Once there, I figured it would be a good idea to enchant the tile so I could cast the Talk to Wise Bird spell so I could hopefully determine which tile to head to for learning spells. I also figured this would be a good way to mess with players who thought they would have an easy time getting through the woods. Well, I ended up taking my turn early enough to cause the damage. Woods became enchanted. Didn't stop those who planned on taking the alternate route in the first place, all the way to the Deep Woods. There, the Altar was found. Well, I didn't want to miss a good opportunity to cast the spell while the tile was still enchanted, so at night, I did so. Discovered clues (chits) in the Ruins, none of which were of significance, just sound chits. So that settled my plan for the next day. Make my way to the altar, and discover the site, and learn a pagan spell.

The other characters who planned on moving through the woods (the Witch and the Elf, not sure if others were bothered by this turn of events) were flustered, but the Witch planned on fixing it on the next day, disenchanting the tile. The question is, who would go first, the Elf or the Witch? The Elf was relying on the Witch to act before he moved. Probably should've done the follow action, because the Elf went first. Cursed be the delays of reliance upon spell casters. But they did learn that the large campfire was in those woods.

Speaking of which, the Witch learned that searching with her familiar isn't as reliable as she thought. Searching on the Peer table only discovers 1 type of hidden route. That, and the familiar wasn't so lucky with discovering routes. That darn cat.

Back at the Deep Woods, the Magician discovered the Altar, and began looting it. Thankfully, me and the Amazon (and maybe the Berserker) were in the clearing at the time when the Magician found the second treasure in the pile, which ended up being the Enchanted Meadow. Once he looted and discovered it, we also discovered the Altar and the Meadow as well. So I didn't have to find the Altar before trying to read the runes. After getting cursed with Ashes, I learned a new Pagan spell, Prophecy.

After the Witch had disenchanted the tile, the White Knight took the opportunity to go to the Chapel and speak with the Order. He managed to purchase a Warhorse and make his way back into the woods, on clearing 5, when the Bashkars arrived. He wanted to challenge them, thinking himself invincible on his warhorse. Well, a very important lesson regarding the Advanced Combat Rules was about to be learned. Unlike the basic rules, some battles aren't guaranteed. The weaker folk are capable of landing critical blows, and the stronger folk are capable of fumbling their weapons. The White Knight took out the Bashkar leader, and one other, taking advantage of the advanced rule that the riders can be killed first before the horse. But the other Bashkars managed to get some good blows in and slaughter the Warhorse, before doing the same to the White Knight. But on the bright side, a bunch of ponies were available for looting, plus 2 treasures, and a Great Sword. So hooray for the rest of us.

The White Knight player decided to respawn as the Black Knight, back at the Inn, where he had to go through the caves again, which involved learning the secret passage again.


Chapter 2: Here there be Dragons
The Berserker decided to hell with the magical forest BS, he was taking the long way around, through the High Pass. Upon entering the High Pass, the Lost Castle was revealed, and several chits spawned, including the Lair. On that day, all but the T Flying Dragon had been spawned. The next day, after turning back and failing to hide, they all came upon the Berserker.

And here is where I learned to appreciate another element on the advanced combat rules, the serious wounds. Good Lord do they represent some grisly imagery. The Berserker tried to kill off the Flying Dragons, hoping to be able to run away after finishing them off, but couldn't hit them. But they sure hit him. First the T dragon destroyed his helmet with a good Tremendous hit to the head (the head chit flipped over to the T4 side). Next, the other dragons began picking him apart, causing several chits to be lost with each blow, but not enough. The next round, he was finally put out of his misery with a killing blow. He got ripped apart in a very painful way. Yeesh.

So the player decided to try his luck with the Dwarf instead, as the Dwarf has good luck in caves, which is good considering the starting position at the Inn.

Meanwhile, the Witch and the Elf had a ball ransacking the Berserker's ponies. Or at least the Witch did. She took most of the loot, the Elf didn't get a pony. He wanted one, so the Witch agreed to trade him one for some gold. Afterwards they parted ways, with the Druid making the journey towards the Cliffs, where the Hoard lie. The Witch made her way towards the caves after a monster roll on the weekend took the dragons back. She had a demonic plan.

The Magician made its way to another woods tile, where the small campfire was lit. There, the Lancers arrived. He managed to sell them a treasure.

The Black Knight had journeyed into the Deep Woods, and had come across a Giant. The Giant picked the Knight up and nearly devoured him, but the Knight swung the mace at the Giant at point black range, making the Giant pay for giving the mace a large vulnerable target (another pro of advanced combat).

At around this time, the Amazon must have stumbled into a ditch and broke her neck or something. In other words, the Amazon player decided to call it quits and leave at this time. Later on, we discovered that the player had left water marks on several of the pieces of the game. angry

Later on, the Black Knight and Druid made their way to the large campfire. This was done after the Druid had done some enchanting/disenchanting of the woods to get to the camp. The Druid managed to ransack a pony, and prepared for a desperate journey to the hoard, where the Elf had managed to get to. The Elf had made its way past the T Flying Dragon which appeared, and discovered the Hoard, and began looting it. I (the Druid) didn't want the Elf to get all that treasure to himself, so I was desperate to get there before he took too much treasure.

Previously, the Black Knight crossed paths with the Witch. My memory is fuzzy on the details, but I believe there was a transaction between them, in that the Black Knight received some of the gold. In any case, the Company arrived at the Large Campfire, and the Black Knight managed to hire them. And then the Lancers showed up, along with a treasure that was revealed earlier by the Magician. The Flowers of Rest. Well, this put the Druid to sleep before he could get going towards the location of the Hoard.

[Note: now that I think about it, I'm not so sure this would happen unless the Druid actually picked up the treasure.]

The Black Knight used his newly hired Company to rage war against the Lancers. They foolishly attacked them on the first round of combat, allowing the Lancers to use their superior range, and decimate several of the Company. It was a bloody battle, but in the end the Black Knight and the Company emerged victorious, at the loss of 4 company troops, including the leader. Even more loot now appeared in the large campfire clearing.

The Witch, meanwhile, had found a heavy dragon in the caves, and cast absorb essence on it. She had hoped for a large dragon, but she would make do with it for now.

The Druid finally made its way onto the Cliff, where the Elf was still at large after taking much from the hoard, and after making failed attempts at killing the T Flying Dragon and the Spider while using hidden missile attacks. Anyhow, the Druid planned on finding and looting what was left of the hoard, hoping to find anything to help achieve his victory.


Chapter 3: Lessons Learned
The game had to end. We ran out of time. I underestimated how long the session would take, mainly because I wasn't expecting more than 3 players to show up for the event. 5 hours came and went (plus an additional hour for the 101 session to teach the game). Well, it was fun while it lasted. Next time, I'll try an 8 hour event. The first couple hours were slow to get going, as players had to adjust to the game and its pace. But after those first 2 hours, turns went by faster. We ended up making it 17 days in.

I learned a few important things. First, always keep more than one option open for Valley tiles.

Second, more playtime is necessary.

Third, it's a good idea to not use the Realmspeak rule of not being able to go negative in fame and notoriety points when it comes to challenges and insults. You may go negative in points, but at least you'll still be in the game. Plus it's thematic.

Fourth, be wary of the significance of player order. It can screw up your plans, especially with magic players in the game.

Fifth, once the Hoard is revealed, and if it isn't in the Lost Castle/City, get there ASAP. Forget about the spells at the Altar, that can wait. Lootable treasures can't wait.

Sixth, even if the game isn't finished, it's still a hell of a fun immersive time. Until the next time.
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Chris Laudermilk
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That's pretty much how it went down. Stupid cat kept getting distracted by mice or something; I know I'm not yet getting how to make best use of it. I think I did the Absorb Essence earlier, but it really didn't make a difference--the only monsters I had an opportunity at was that gang of dragons. No way was I going for that--as the Berserker's painful end proved.

FYI, the Flowers of Rest entry in the 3.2 rulebook (IV.3, pg 234):
Quote:
During Daylight, this card instantly activates all fatigued chits in its clearing,
but when it activates a chit it causes the chit’s owner to fall asleep until Sunset. He skips his turn (if
he has not already taken it) and he cannot block or be blocked or summon monsters. At Sunset he
returns to normal, and all of his fatigued action chits are rested at no cost (wounded chits are not
affected). This effect occurs only during Daylight and only if he has one or more fatigued action chits
– the flowers have no effect after Sunset, and they have no effect on a character if all of his action chits
are active or wounded. This card also supplies Gold magic color to everyone in its clearing.

So I think we played it right.

The woods tile flip-o-rama was kind of hilarious. I kind of felt bad for the Elf having such a hard time getting to that clearing. Especially after I looted basically all the ponies. devil

I definitely learned some lessons in this session. Map setup will be much more strategic in the future. I also will have to fight to move to optional combat rules now--my son was less than pleased with his luck on the fumble table.
 
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claudermilk wrote:
I also will have to fight to move to optional combat rules now--my son was less than pleased with his luck on the fumble table.


Mention that it would've been impossible for him to have killed that Giant as the Black Knight with the Mace using the basic rules. That might help.
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Steve Schacher

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Quote:
I ended up finding the secret passage first, and I must admit, I was tempted to... just move away without telling them anything.


If you do that, be sure to hide first or the others in the clearing will discover it anyway when you use it.

Steve
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srschacher wrote:
Quote:
I ended up finding the secret passage first, and I must admit, I was tempted to... just move away without telling them anything.


If you do that, be sure to hide first or the others in the clearing will discover it anyway when you use it.

Steve


Man, there's always some rule I forget when I play this game. Maybe a hundred sessions down the line...
 
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Steve Schacher

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But wait... there's more!

If you hide and use it, anyone in the cleaning who found hidden enemies will see you use it and still learn it, too.

Steve
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Chris Laudermilk
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gexthegecko wrote:
srschacher wrote:
Quote:
I ended up finding the secret passage first, and I must admit, I was tempted to... just move away without telling them anything.


If you do that, be sure to hide first or the others in the clearing will discover it anyway when you use it.

Steve


Man, there's always some rule I forget when I play this game. Maybe a hundred sessions down the line...


There's so many little details like that in this game. Most of the time missing little things like that won't break the game--it's as much an experience game as anything. So, note the mistake, adjust if possible and move on. It's not worth getting too upset over little stuff like that.
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GodRob
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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
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Once the "Flowers of Rest" are revealed, anyone and everyone in the clearing with fatigued chits falls asleep and loses the rest of their turn. Looks like you played that right.

When the Company leader was killed, he would not have dropped the group belongings into the clearing since he was hired at the time.

But none of that matters as long as everyone had fun. (Well, mostly everyone.)

Great session report!
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robertg611 wrote:

When the Company leader was killed, he would not have dropped the group belongings into the clearing since he was hired at the time.


More loot dropped because the Lancer HQ got killed.
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GodRob
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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
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gexthegecko wrote:
robertg611 wrote:

When the Company leader was killed, he would not have dropped the group belongings into the clearing since he was hired at the time.


More loot dropped because the Lancer HQ got killed.


Got it! I misunderstood.
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