Howdy! This is mostly just an introduction, since I think I'll be participating some in this group now that I've become an MR addict. It's also a thank you to everyone who has put so much effort into the on-line community, for demonstrating so well the full potential of this game.
I've owned MR since about 1980, and even picked up a second edition copy in 1990 for a pittance at a gaming con auction (and no, neither one's for sale!) I've always been intrigued by the game, but never really truly grasped the amazing depth and subtleties of it's design until discovering the on-line community. Since I had played it exclusively solitaire (and apparently without nearly enough creative imagination!), the various on-line games that were posted with turn-by-turn play-by-plays were real eye-openers - particularly for some of the common tactics that I'd never picked up on, how important native groups really are, and for the typically outrageous end-games. Really nice work, too, by Mr. McKnight and company on the Third Edition rules. They make a great reference.
And RealmSpeak is simply fabulous! For starters, it's just a nice piece of software, IMO. It plays quite nicely, which I think is pretty remarkable, considering all the complex and subtle rule interactions. It's great for seeing exactly how the rules work and the specific sequencing of turns and combat. Quite a few times I was a bit surprised by a particular sequence of events or not being allowed to do something I wanted to do, but upon reviewing the rule in question I would find RealmSpeak was exactly right! There were some exceptions where I don't think it was quite right, but those cases were much fewer, and usually minor - and easily forgiven, considering the complexity of the interactions.
(BTW, Robin, I'm the Mac-head who posted the comment to your blog with the correction for the command to launch RealmSpeak. No offense taken! )
RealmSpeak's particularly nice for solo games, since it plays much quicker than the physical game. It's particularly interesting how differently each Character plays. Once you've played a few games with one Character, you start to discover it's unique "personality". This aspect of the Characters strikes me as an amazing bit of game design. And the more I play, the more subtleties I discover in MR's design, which is truly a credit to the game's designer, Richard Hamblen.
And for solo games, quite a few of the Characters make for great "epic adventures." It's interesting trying some different strategies that you might not be able to pull off in a multi-player game. The Wizard and Magician are great for that. One of these days I want to see if I can get the Magician to hire a goblin army and terrorize the Realm! The amount amount of variety in MR easily puts it at the top of my list of favorite solitaire games.
OK, I seem to have raved-on a bit more that I intended! I have yet to play MR with other players, but want to try sometime, either via RealmSpeak or FTF if there are a few players in the Seattle area. A multi-player game sounds like it could be a lot of fun - I can imagine it would be quite a bit more chaotic than solo games, and perhaps fairly intense at times. Anyway, back at ya later!