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Subject: I don't get it rss

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Eric Etkin
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Ha. Trick title. Sort-of.

What I mean to say is this:

After recently receiving a beautiful first edition copy of the game, I started perusing the rules last night.

From what I've heard, the MR rules are... difficult. But after reading the first couple pages and skimming ahead to get a feel for the layout... what's the issue? So far, this seems intelligently laid out. I love the stepped learning, and I'm even doing something similar for my own game.

So... what's the deal? What gives MR's rules such a bad rep? Am I in for a world of hurt as I go forward, or is the rest of the rulebook presented in the same manner?
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Mark Bigney
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a) Which edition of the rules are you reading?
b) The reputation largely stems from the incomprehensibility of the 1st ed rules, the huge number of sub-systems, and the the trickiness of a small number of those systems (like deployment and managing hired natives, for example).
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George Ramos
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Wow, and you've got the first edition rules, too? There are lots of interactions and small details that are not listed in their logical place. But even with the excellent Magic Realm in Plain English (MRIPE), the Magic Realm Tutorial Project, and the 3rd edition rulebook (all available here on BGG!) you still have the challenge of learing a complex ruleset. There's a lot to pull together, even without the Magic or Hirelings rules.

I'm sure you're up to the challenge though! Venture forth, bold adventurer, and don't look back!
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Eric Etkin
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Pretty sure I have the 1E rules... 34 pages.

Does the stepped learning address all the sub-systems? I'm just wondering if the main issue comes from most gamers expecting a reference manual, while this rulebook is clearly designed as a layered tutorial.

OTOH, if the rules start referencing systems/mechanics I haven't gotten to yet... Then we gots troubles.

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Mark Bigney
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I would sincerely recommend you either cease reading the 1st ed. rules, or accept that the game you're learning is not the same game we're talking about. 1st ed. is literally a different game as compared to 2nd/3rd ed/MRIPE (which are all the same ruleset, essentially).
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Eric Etkin
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Gyges wrote:
1st ed. is literally a different game as compared to 2nd/3rd ed/MRIPE (which are all the same ruleset, essentially).


err... uh... what?

Ok - that's new info to me. I thought the 2E/3E were just the same rules, presented in a different way. No?

I can... still use all my components with the 2E/3E, right?

Is there any issue of learning 1E and going to 2E/3E? Hypothetically, if I DID 'get" 1E, is there any reason to be reading 2/3E?
 
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Mark Bigney
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The components are 100% compatible, no worries. It's just that the rules (especially combat) are slightly different in places. There'd be no issue with learning 1st first and 2nd second, to my knowledge.
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Eric Etkin
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Gyges wrote:
The components are 100% compatible, no worries. It's just that the rules (especially combat) are slightly different in places. There'd be no issue with learning 1st first and 2nd second, to my knowledge.


Ok - I'll try with 1E first. It may be awhile before I get to actually play it, anyway. At this point I'm reading the rules more as an exercise.
 
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Al Ross
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As a developer, I suspect you have a bit more understanding of the syntax being used. The most difficult challenge was to not have a mentor to present as a regular gamer back in the 70s. Also, Avalon Hill had mostly wargamers as their clientelle, so the RPG aspects of the game into a boardgame wasn't exactly in those gamer's wheelhouse - not as much as today where gaming crossovers are more prevalent. In fact, MR was pretty much a pioneer in this realm.

The other interesting point is how well the rules systems interlock to produce an interesting epic feel; but that interlocking often takes several plays - and several losses - to fully comprehend and take advantage of.
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Chakroun Karim
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You have a few threads about the 1st edition rules, with great answers from real players like here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/5676230#5676230

Regarding MR, the players who have really mastered it are few, only their advice is worth your time (richfam is one of them, I am not).
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The first edition is awkward since quite a few rules change significantly in future tutorial scenarios in the book, making it very hard to cross-reference [since some dependencies from prior scenarios apply and some do not]. The second and third editions are consistent throughout [though quite a bit more detailed than they probably need to be]. The basic flow of the game is easy. It's when you get to combat with hirelings and magic in general that things get funky.
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Eric Etkin
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Do the 2E/3E rules use the same layered tutorial approach, but with more cross-over consistency between sections, or do they deep-six the stepped-learning for a more standard reference layout?

(I feel like I'm asking way too many questions, considering I just started reading this thing...)
 
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MOTHDevil wrote:

Do the 2E/3E rules use the same layered tutorial approach, but with more cross-over consistency between sections, or do they deep-six the stepped-learning for a more standard reference layout?

(I feel like I'm asking way too many questions, considering I just started reading this thing...)


The 2e/3e rules are just one giant document, but the rules pertaining to modules that the 1e rules introduce in steps [magic, hiring, combat, etc] are separate bullet points that can be ignored if you're not using that part of the rules yet.

But no, there's no tutorial. Just a smorgasbord of 4.1.35.3ezb233-2 style rule headers.
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Eric Etkin
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NateStraight wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:

Do the 2E/3E rules use the same layered tutorial approach, but with more cross-over consistency between sections, or do they deep-six the stepped-learning for a more standard reference layout?

(I feel like I'm asking way too many questions, considering I just started reading this thing...)


The 2e/3e rules are just one giant document, but the rules pertaining to modules that the 1e rules introduce in steps [magic, hiring, combat, etc] are separate bullet points that can be ignored if you're not using that part of the rules yet.

But no, there's no tutorial. Just a smorgasbord of 4.1.35.3ezb233-2 style rule headers.


Yikes... hmm... I'll stick with my original plan, then. And bitch here when I need help.
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Ken H.
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I'm pretty sure 2nd Edition still used the tiered tutorial approach. It just had significantly fewer tiers than 1E (four total, I think). And, it avoided the 1E problem of changing the rules from tier to tier.
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Jay Richardson
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The first edition rules are playable (although some people would argue otherwise!), but they are notably different in many ways from the later 2nd/3rd edition rules. Searching, and the use of horses, for example, are very different in the 1st edition. Many of the optional rules in the 1st edition are standard rules in the later editions, while other 1st edition optional rules were dropped completely... and the later editions have a ton of new optional rules.

I honestly cannot recommend the 1st edition game to anyone other than as an exercise in nostalgia; the 1st edition rules are *not* a good introduction to Magic Realm. The 3.1 edition of the rules, which can be downloaded here, is the only version that I recommend.

Eric Etkin wrote:
Do the 2E/3E rules use the same layered tutorial approach, but with more cross-over consistency between sections, or do they deep-six the stepped-learning for a more standard reference layout?

The seven encounters that were in the original 1st edition rules are:

1. Exploring the Magic Realm
2. Battle
3. The Monsters Rise
4. Treasures Revealed
5. Natives Appear
6. Magic
7. Campaigns

The 2nd edition rules cleaned up this list by combining the 1st edition encounters as follows:

1. Treasure Hunt (1st ed #1 and #4)
2. The Monsters Attack! (1st ed #3)
3. War! (1st ed #2, #5, and #7)
4. Magic (1st ed #6)

Nobody played "1. Exploring the Magic Realm" because it was too boring and simplistic (no looting/treasures, no combat, first player to visit all six Dwellings wins), so the 2nd edition adds looting & treasures.

Introducing character vs character combat as the 2nd step ("2. Battle") was rather questionable, so the 2nd edition combines it with native combat and introduces monster combat first.

The campaign rules don't work all that well, and are not a big part of the game, so they didn't warrant having an encounter of their own.

The 3.1 edition of the rules dropped the encounter system altogether, to avoid having multiple conflicting versions of some rules (a real problem with both the 1st and 2nd editions due to their use of the encounter system). But the encounters from the 2nd edition rules (which can also be downloaded from BGG) could be used with the 3.1 rules without too much trouble... but I no longer recommend wasting time with either of these "encounter" systems.

If you want to painlessly learn how to play Magic Realm, I suggest that you download the 3.1 rulebook and then start reading this:

The Magic Realm Tutorial Project
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/79698/the-magic-realm-...

It may be exactly the tutorial approach that you are looking for.
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matthew clark
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An interesting first 'feel' for the rules and one that I wonder if you will still feel the same way once you've read all of them and put them into play.

I've been playing for the first time (and solo) with the third edition set and using Kharim's redesign. Those rules seemed straight forward too. However I feel I'm beginning to grind to a halt with the game because of constantly having to go back over the rules Mainly around combat and the ordering of it. I'm yet to try combat with a hireling but feel demotivated. The idea of trying to find rules and skip between pages would sound very frustratiing with the first edition.

It was back in the 80's when I first got in roleplaying via I.C.E's Middle Earth. Those rules looked daunting and were incomprehensible but only because it was like no other game I was familiar with at the time. I needed someone to show me how to play and a joint effort in carrying all the rules together.

I think if I were to use the first edition rules it may well tip me over the edge from what I've seen others say about them but good for you for trying.
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