Hi MR fans...I need your help! This weekend, while at work, no less I am making one, last-ditch effort to learn this intriguing game. I have wanted to for a LONG time...have owned it for over 1 1/2 years...and it has collected too much dust
So, over the last bunch of months, I have worked my way through Yoder's excellent guide to the game...read the manual itself, and tried, so very hard to get some of the concepts through my thick skull. I can't do it
I have now revisited Realspeak, and understand the interface well enough (I think...)
I was, literally moments ago, playing through a few turns with The Amazon. I think my problem is more with the rules of Magic Realm than with Realspeak...and I have a few questions, please.
1) I ran through some turns and not a thing happened...I probably didn't take the right path, or something, but what occurs (or what is supposed to occur) on the tiles where there is a face down chit, not in a clearing...do I search? I was, and a couple of successful searches came up with Dank W....
2) What should my first couple of turns be doing? I couldn't find anything to fight (and I think I would have lost anyways...), couldn't hire anyone at the Inn...couldn't make any extra gold to bribe the Natives at the Inn...all I did was really just move around. And hide.
Perhaps some kind of general tutorial on what I should expect from turn to turn...is it common for not much to go on? Do I need my sword that I start with alerted? most of the clearing had nothing in them...is that correct? What goes on, then?
Thanks in advance to every MR fan that can help me in my quest to conquer this game. I consider myself reasonably intelligent...but I have been thwarted by this evil game. I won't give up, however, and give myself the next 2 days (both 12 hour shifts at work, but light loads for once!) to redeem myslef (with your help...)
I'm hardly an expert at the game by any means but...
You generally Search to 'Locate' a specific Treasure Site, to find Hidden Paths or Secret Passages, to Loot, or (later) to Read Runes. There are other things you can Search for, but generally those tend to be the biggies. If none of those things is present in your Clearing, there is no need to Search there.
The Dank chit is just a 'warning chit'. It (along with the red Sound Chits) simply serve to determine which monsters/natives might possible activate in that hex/clearing. If a tile only has a Sound Chit and a Warning Chit, move on to another tile (unless you are trying to find the monsters/natives that those chits might summon for some reason). The warning chits are never in a specific clearing. They can summon to any clearing in the tile.
As a further wrinkle on Searching, you can go to a Mountain clearing and use the Peer table to search clearings in adjacent tiles. That lets you 'go to high ground' and take a look around to see where Treasure Sites might be located. In general, its those gold Treasure chits that you are looking for. Once you find one, move to its clearing and Search (using Locate) until you 'Discover' the site. Then you are free to Loot it (also using the Search activity). Note that some sites might need a key or a strong character to open it and some might fatigue you for Searching etc.
You should also take note of what the potential guardians might be. If it something faster than you that you cannot kill, then understand that it is a risk to be sitting there looting and you should generally try and Hide each turn before Searching. Even this is no guarantee, but it will increase your odds of survival.
As far as what you should be doing? Well, that is the beauty of MR...there are a TON of things you can do. For the Amazon? IMO a goal might be to try and find some friendly natives and upgrade your weapon. With her starting Short Sword, she is helpless against Armored Heavies or Tremendous critters (Light with 1 star = Medium, which can 'overstrengthed' to do Heavy, but vs Armored it loses a star back down to Medium). If she can get a Spear or a Hand Axe or a Broadsword, she can theoretically kill anything except Armored Tremendous critters.
Unfortunately, her friends dont start on the map. So you want to look to see where they might appear. A quick check will show that the Patrol can actually show up at the Inn. So its possible that they might show up if you hang around the Inn for a while, but unfortunately, they dont possess any weapons that she might need (having only armor and their 2 treasures). If the Chapel is nearby, the Lancers can appear there, so it might be an OK idea to hang out at the Chapel for a few turns and see. Alternatively, the Lancers can appear at either Campfire, so those Woods tiles provide the chance for them to appear (excepting the Deep Woods, which cannot have the Campfires). Finally, the Guard at the Guard House have some of the weapons you might want, so if that is nearby, that might make a nice starting destination. Since they are only 'Neutral' to the Amazon, you can expect to pay a pretty high price for anything they might sell you, but if you bargain with sword and/or shield (not always a great plan...) you can often get your hands on a better weapon.
One thing to keep in mind is that it can be VERY hard to 'solo' in Magic Realm for inexperienced players (well, for anyone really). If you can control two characters, you can try playing two cooperatively as that will dramatically increase your odds of success. If you want to avoid the Magic rules at first, the Dwarf can make a good partner for the Amazon IMO. He can kill the biggest critters in the Realm and is still solid vs many of the smaller critters since his Duck is so fast. His biggest disadvantage is the Short Legs which prevents him from getting around, but if he is 'Following' the Amazon, he can take full advantage of her speed (including the bonus Move). The two together should be able to handle most encounters that occur, particularly if you are careful about Hiding and can pick and choose your battles.
But FWIW, try and move to the tiles that have 2 chits in them. Those are the only ones that can have Treaure Sites. So the Valleys and the Woods (excepting Deep Woods) will never have a Treasure Site in them. Try and find a good Site to Loot. If you find the Lost City or the Lost Castle, you may be in over your head if it has a ton of Sound chits, but that is also your best odds of finding Treasure. I personally prefer to find an isolated Site rather than the huge pile together. If you can find the Lair or the Horde somewhere isolated you can often get in and purloin some goodies with little risk (the Amazon can run from either Tremendous Dragon should they appear).
But really the answer to 'what should I be doing?' lies in what you picked for Victory Points. If its Great Treasures and Gold, then you absolutely should be looking for Sites. If its Fame/Notoriety then killing critters is more of a goal (although many treasures can provide those points too).
Once you get over the initial learning curve, you'll find that there is PLENTY to do. I often struggle to fit everything I want to do into the 28 days of a standard month game. And that is really the beauty of the design. The whole game is pretty much about risk/reward of taking various actions. You can get a lot more done if you never spend Phases trying to Hide, but unless you are darned lucky, your odds of survival might be pretty low. Learning to manage your Activities efficiently is one of the biggest 'skills' to be learned for MR. It takes time and practice, but it is a lot of fun too. Just dont be too upset when you are killed incessantly while trying to learn. Fire up a new character or two and try again.
Over 50 Gamer
Oliver......one cool cat
Just a qick note. There is a brand new version of realmspeak up and Robin has added a 'suggest action' (or something like that) button for newbies. You should try it as it may help.
Don't panic! Help is on the way!
1) About those board chits: the chits in the hex that you finish your turn in actually turn up, but then they turn down again when the next day begins. To avoid having to write down what chits are in which hex, just do what the rest of us do - turn on the "Persistent Chit" option under the "Robin's House Rules" tab in the "Host New Game" opening window. This keeps the chits you have revealed face up and gives you a nice visual of the "explored" board vs. the "unexplored" board. You don't need to consider any of the other options until you have spent a lot more time with the game.
2) What should you be doing with your character? Well, first of all, with the chits face up you can go to the "Setup Card" button and see which denizens are likely to show up in any tile that you are considering spending the night in. Each box on the Setup Card is in a row corresponding to a particular Monster Roll. You can't count on the monsters showing up because you don't know what the Monster Roll will be, but you know what is likely to come.
So what should you do with this information? Well it all depends on your character. If you are playing the Amazon - a fine character choice for a beginner in my opinion - you don't have to worry overly much about most monsters because with your Move M3* chit you can run away from them. Not a very bracing thought, but at least this should keep you alive. If you are around any of the monsters that you can't run from and can't kill, hide a lot - two Hides a day is not excessive when your survival is at stake!
You can't run away from any monster that has a "Move Time" (the number without the letter in front of it on the face of the monster counter) of 3 or less. So that includes the Octopus, the Imp, the Spiders, the H Serpents, the Flying Demon, Bats, the Goblins, and the Wolves. Of these, you can take the H Spiders (but not the T Spider at the Cairns), the Imp, and maybe the Wolves and Ax Goblins (but maybe not - probably not a good idea to tangle with them just yet). Bats are a special case: you can kill them but they are most likely going to undercut you, damage your armor, and give you a wound each round. It's best to avoid them like the plague, particularly if there may be more than one of them. The H Serpents are very nasty as they come in a pair and are difficult to dodge and, since they are armored (no it doesn't say that anywhere except in the rules!), you can't kill them with your Light Sword.
Armor removes the sharpness star from your weapon, so with your Light Sword against an armored monster you can only inflict Light damage + one level for using a Medium Fight chit that exceeds your weapon weight = Medium harm. On the other hand, the Heavy Spiders are unarmored, so the sharpness star does count, adding one level of damage and kicking you up to Heavy harm, which equals the vulnerability of the Heavy Spiders. You can get a quick review of the monster characteristics by looking at the "Lists and Tables" of the Third Edition rules, or by referencing Jay Richardson's fine article on "Monsters and How to Kill Them" in the articles section here on BGG. Note that alerting your Short Sword doesn't make any sense: it is exactly the same on each side: L* with no Fight time.
While you can run away from most of the trouble (Dragons, Trolls, Giants, Demon, T Serpent, etc.) unfortunately the list of monsters you can kill with your original Light Sword is discouragingly small. While you can move around, hide a lot, and try to loot treasure sites before you fail a Hide roll, it would be much more satisfying (and make your treasure hunting easier) to be able to stand up to a few more monsters. The way to do this is to get a Medium weapon - preferably one with a sharpness star - so you can kill Heavy or (unarmored) Tremendous monsters. (Medium weapon + H4** Fight chit + one sharpness star vs. unarmored monsters = Tremendous harm!).
So where are you going to find a Medium weapon? All the Medium weapons are with the Guard at the Guardhouse (you know where that is from the beginning of the game), or the four Spears with the Lancers who are wandering natives who don't start out on the board. Unfortunately, you are only "Neutral" with the Guard, so it's going to be very hard to get them to sell you an M* Ax or M Mace for less than Price X4 or Price X3, which is prohibitively expensive unless you've come into some valuable treasure. So that leaves the Lancers. They are your Friends, so you have a good chance of managing to buy one of their Spears at Price X2 = 12 Gold.
Now there are two problems here. First, how do you find the Lancers? Well, looking at the Setup Card, you find the Lancers will show up when the Monster Roll is 4 is a character ends his turn at the Chapel, Large Campfire, or Small Campfire. You don't know which woods tile the Large or Small Campfires are in, so the first thing to do is find out where the Chapel is and head on over there. You should make it pretty quickly with your extra move, and, although the Order are not well-disposed to you, they're very slow so, if they battle you, you can run away and return the next day hoping for a Monster Roll=4. This requires waiting for the right Monster Roll, which can be very frustrating, but your chances are pretty good that the Lancers will appear within four or five days.
It's nice if there is something useful you can do while waiting, while still ending up at the Chapel to draw the Lancers at the end of the turn. You may be able to go into nearby hexes and do a Peer to try to see what the chits are, while still getting back by evening. If you have any fatigued or injured chits this is a good time to rest them back. You can try to trade with the Order, hoping for a miracle roll, but don't buy them drinks, even to prevent them from battling you - you want to save your gold for the Lancers when they arrive.
The second problem is that you only start the game with 10 Gold. If you've managed to loot any item from a treasure site, you can sell it or trade it in for the face value - this would give you enough to buy a Lance. If not, you can sell or trade in your Light Sword for 4 Gold or your helmet for 5 Gold which will get you into the door. It's nice to have your full set of armor and the Light Sword, so do try to see if you can discover a treasure site and loot something - anything - on your way to the Chapel.
Assuming this works out and you buy an M* Spear, you're ready to rumble. Activate the Spear (and deactive the Light Sword if you've still got it), and let's go looking for monsters and treasure sites. Giants are a particularly easy prey. Try to enter the clearing with your Spear alerted, hidden if you like but it's not necessary. Then in Round 1, play your Spear with your Fight H4** chit. You undercut the Giant's move time of 5 and autohit, and your Spear is longer than the Giant's club. Medium Spear + sharpness star + one level for the Heavy Fight chit = Tremendous harm! One Giant removed.
If there are other monsters in the clearing as well, you can select the Giant as a target while you are hidden and kill it off without even being attacked on Round 1. Then you can decide what to do about the other monsters in Round 2 and following. You can run away in most cases, but you can also hang in there and probably vanquish up to a couple of more monsters. You can't kill the armored Tremendous monsters (the Tremendous Dragon, the Tremendous Flying Dragon, the Tremedous Troll, and the Tremendous Serpent), but you can run away from all of them with your Move M3* chit. Everything else you have a good chance of killing, assuming you're not too heavily outnumbered. Your armor will allow you to absorb a few hits.
If you're dealing with something unarmored and smaller (Wolves, Goblins, Ogres, etc.), you should inactiate your Spear and activate your Short Sword again. The advantage is that your Short Sword doesn't have to be alerted to do damage, but once you've hit something with the Spear it becomes unalerted and only does "Negligible" harm. You may be able to alert the Spear with one of your Fight M4 chits in the Actions phase (if all the denizens on your sheet have move times greater than 4), but most likely you're going to have to play a Fight chit without selecting a target for a round of combat to get the Spear re-alerted. Hopefully you'll avoid a blow or get saved by your armor while this happens - running away is always a good choice if you have any doubts!
You can find some more discussion of character strategies in the article "Character Strategies for Beginners" in the download section of the Magic Realm page in BGG. You might want to try the Dwarf and go on a monster-killing rampage from Day 1, or the Woods Girl and be a fleet-footed treasure hunter. With the Woods Girl you might want to turn on the "Ambush" Optional rule to make things easier - you can fire your Light Bow while hidden and maybe remain hidden to shoot again and again.
It is going to take you several plays to learn to survive and prosper with any one character, so don't be discouraged. Consider it a moral victories when you bring down a Giant or loot a Great Treasure. You have embarked on a life-long path of learning and entertainment. No two games will be the same, and along the way you will regularly be amazed and delighted by some game events. Good luck and happy Realming!
- Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:06 pm (Total Number of Edits: 7)
- Posted Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:26 pm
Wow! This is exactly the type of stuff I needed to clue me into what to do!
Thanks so much...I am going to digest this stuff...and put some of into Realspeak practice in a few minutes.
I wish there were some sort of "example turn order" article or something, but this is awesome to get me in the right direction. There sure is alot to this game!
Thanks again so much!