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Subject: My Magic Realm story... rss

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Glenn D
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When I was a young teen (circa 1982 or so), I really got into board gaming. Maybe not the "uber-quality" games that are here on BGG, but several games that really kept me busy. I played a ton of role-playing games...and one day, came across an Avalon Hill booklet describing these AMAZING games that seemed right up my alley. I must have circled 15 games in the booklet that I wanted to buy. But I did not have a job, as I was only 13.

I centered in on one title in particular: Magic Realm. Man, did I want this game. It sounded like an RPG for the non-RPG'er. I highlighted this game, and charged out to do some odd jobs, mow some yards, anything I could do to get my hands on a copy. I made the cash (and then some), and took the flyer to my mother. And my mother did what all good parents do for their goal-oriented kids, right?

Wrong.

She looked at the book and said, "You are not getting this game."

I was devastated.

She said, "I read this, and this is just more of that fantasy game stuff...and the book says it is hard to play, which probably is more than you can handle". I just sat there, stunned. I took the flyer from her and sulked back to my room, not knowing what to do.

You see, I grew up in a Louisiana southern baptist household, where if a book, a game, anything with a dragon or fantasy setting on it was instantly deemed "dark and/or satanic". Seriously. My mother about had me committed when I would not give up my Dungeons and Dragons Basic/Expanded/Master set and hardback game manuals (that I bought from the FLGS with my OWN money). I was a goal-oriented 13-year old making straight A's. I had mastered several role-playing games by this point, and KNEW (or at least I had convinced myself that I knew) I could take on the mighty Magic Realm.

Later that night, my parents were discussing the issue at-hand. I point-blank heard my parents discussing in another room that I could "forget getting the game" and that to "make it up to me" they would "allow" me to buy a non-fantasy based game, and they would match it by buying me a 2nd one. But, I wanted Magic Realm...and I knew it was not going to happen.

I ended up ordering Avalon Hill's Title Bout (which I adored...was a big boxing fan) and the elementary-level Squad Leader I mastered them both, but never forgot what I really wanted.

Fast-Forward to 2012

It's 2012...my teen kids want to play some "real" board games...I find BGG. I spend LOTS of coin, buying 50 games in one calendar year. We're having a LOT of fun. But, the elusive Magic Realm was a bit "out of sight, out of mind".

Fast forward to March 2013

One afternoon recently, my wife and I are going through some old notes, booklets of mine, toys, etc....that my mom had kept of mine from my grade-school years(she gave me a box of childhood "odds and ends" to take home after my father passed away recently), and...that damn Avalon Hill catalog was in the bottom with some of my other childhood toys/games. I start flipping through it to find my highlighted and circled Magic Realm article/ad. I told my wife the story, and she was a bit "moved". She gave me a hug, and said, "You never know, maybe one day you'll find a copy."

Three weeks later, I was out-of-town in Puerto Rico on business. Unknown to me, my wife was on a mission. She even hijacked my BGG account (that's another story, LOL) to do some "digging". I spent two weeks away from home, and arrived back in Atlanta late one Friday evening.

When I walked through the door and into our formal dining room, on the table, propped up was the box lid for Magic Realm. I LITERALLY dropped my suitcase in shock. On the table was a complete 1st edition Magic Realm game. All chits separated into a Plano container. Two binders were on the table, which included the "Book of Learning", "3rd edition rules", "Least You Need To Know", "Book of Quests", and many other things...laminated charts, etc.

And a card.

The inside of the simple card merely said, "This is for that inner 13-year old that was denied a wish. I hope he enjoys this gift today as much as he should have in 1983."

I cannot deny that I did not shed a tear, just from being moved by her efforts to make me happy.

I mean, I was actually looking into procuring a copy for myself before leaving to go out of town. I had actually downloaded a couple of MR items, just to see what the fuss over the rules was all about.

This happened last weekend, and I ran my first solo game at the table (as a Swordsman) last night... and man, was it great. I probably did not get every single rule right, although I will try to convince myself that I did . I don't know how to use hired natives in combat yet, nor do I know how to use magic yet, and forget about weather and such. But it all will come eventually, as I dig deeper into this wonderful game.

By the way, that inner 13-year old did re-awaken, and he is very happy. So, if you see me posting redundant questions about unassigned denizens when using natives, or how to enchant a tile, or effects of weather...give a 13-year old a break, and help him out a little bit. thumbsup Now, time to look into getting a Magic Realm microbadge...



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Talk about shedding a tear. That was wonderful.

GG's for the microbadge. It is one of my favourite games as well.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Neat story! Now, don't be too hard on your parents. It's a hard balance to strike between mastering that "one shot" you have at raising your kids right, and fulfilling their wishes. It says a lot that they were willing to buy other games to make up for it.

I can't wait to hear what my kids will be telling their therapist 20 years from now.
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Brett Christensen
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Fantastic.
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Troy Nies
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Thanks for sharing - reminded me when my parents flipped out after a particular 700 Club Episode about how 'Satanic' dungeons and dragons games and heavy metal were brainwashing kids to kill themselves...

And man, what a nice gift from your wife. Fantastic story!
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Jay Richardson
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Here's a well-deserved thumbsup for your wonderful wife!
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
to "make it up to me" they would "allow" me to buy a non-fantasy based game

You should have told them you this is what you wanted in its place whistle
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John Middleton
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Awesome!!! Welcome to your new addiction.
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K.Y. Wong
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What a wife!!! wow
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John "Omega" Williams
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Thats great.

Welcome to the peculiarly exclusive club of kids who survived the absolutely dark ages of the "D&D witch hunts" of days of yore.

Great to see you got the game after all this time. Moreso that your wife sprung it on you so marvelously. Kodak moment... cool
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Andrew Brannan
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I think she's a keeper.
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Scott
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What a great story!
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Berserker in peace
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A good wife understanding her man's gaming needs is just as important as finding a perfect opponent on the tourney table.

Some time ago I made a new melee section with the whole combat rules (including using hired natives) in it, together with a chart tracking the progress during a game turn. See if they are of some use to you:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/9wlm1zacbb/Redesi...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/8m7gwbqv46/MR_Day...

Plus a redesigned personal history pad which also functions as a compact play mat:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/8m7blnzfdr/phshee...
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BrentS
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Thanks for this.

Awesome story.

Awesome wife.

Brent.
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Mark Ashton
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Wow! You are lucky to have such a great wife. Terrific story.
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Glenn D
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Petdoc wrote:
Talk about shedding a tear. That was wonderful.

GG's for the microbadge. It is one of my favourite games as well.


Thanks for the GG!! (and to everyone else!! WOW!) As you see, I picked the "Swordsman" badge, as this is the character I am currently utilizing to learn the game. Not very powerful, but can get out of a jam more times than not if the hide roll does not go my way Thinking of changing it up a bit though...might "live on the edge" and thrown in the Woods Girl or White Knight soon....

Thanks for the comment on the story. Greatly appreciate it.
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Glenn D
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lgoldberg wrote:
Neat story! Now, don't be too hard on your parents. It's a hard balance to strike between mastering that "one shot" you have at raising your kids right, and fulfilling their wishes. It says a lot that they were willing to buy other games to make up for it.

I can't wait to hear what my kids will be telling their therapist 20 years from now.


As a parent of teens now, I try to understand their viewpoint at the time, and it was pretty much the "sheep" mentality. I think a portion of it was that we were REALLY involved in the church as a family, and some of it was "appearance-related"...

I mean, what's the pastor going to think about the family, knowing I'm a D&D devotee....LOL.

But I do not necessarily hold that against them. And, they did buy me Squad Leader, which wasn't a bad choice.

Thanks for your comment!
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Glenn D
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InnsmouthMedic wrote:
Thanks for sharing - reminded me when my parents flipped out after a particular 700 Club Episode about how 'Satanic' dungeons and dragons games and heavy metal were brainwashing kids to kill themselves...



I know, right? Between the "satanic" angle that was taken by several people who approached me from our old church, and the "backwards lyrics" of heavy metal, I am surprised I was not relegated to Chutes and Ladders and Barry Manilow.
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Lewis Goldberg
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BirdfluNuggetz wrote:
lgoldberg wrote:
Neat story! Now, don't be too hard on your parents. It's a hard balance to strike between mastering that "one shot" you have at raising your kids right, and fulfilling their wishes. It says a lot that they were willing to buy other games to make up for it.

I can't wait to hear what my kids will be telling their therapist 20 years from now.


As a parent of teens now, I try to understand their viewpoint at the time, and it was pretty much the "sheep" mentality. I think a portion of it was that we were REALLY involved in the church as a family, and some of it was "appearance-related"...

I mean, what's the pastor going to think about the family, knowing I'm a D&D devotee....LOL.

But I do not necessarily hold that against them. And, they did buy me Squad Leader, which wasn't a bad choice.

Thanks for your comment!


We go to a Baptist church too. It's the most eclectic SBC church I ever heard of. We have smokers, chewers, drinkers, ... probably even dancers! There's even one family that has Settlers as their favorite family game when everyone gets together, but they are totally not in the hobby gaming scene at all.
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Glenn D
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Omega2064 wrote:
Thats great.

Welcome to the peculiarly exclusive club of kids who survived the absolutely dark ages of the "D&D witch hunts" of days of yore.

Great to see you got the game after all this time. Moreso that your wife sprung it on you so marvelously. Kodak moment... cool


Absolutely (see comment above)...I am a member, and did survive the "dark ages".

By the way, +1 props for the Gamma World and Star Frontiers microbadges. I think I played more Gamma World than any other RPG for about 6 years of my youth...And Star Frontiers was in my "Top 3".

I still remember the "Famine in Far-go" module from GW like it was yesterday....

I was pondering lately searching out a copy of it on Ebay...is it hard to find?

Thanks for your comments!
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Mark W
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cry +
(there's no tears of joy emoticon)
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Glenn D
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ulfhethnar wrote:
A good wife understanding her man's gaming needs is just as important as finding a perfect opponent on the tourney table.

Some time ago I made a new melee section with the whole combat rules (including using hired natives) in it, together with a chart tracking the progress during a game turn. See if they are of some use to you:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/9wlm1zacbb/Redesi...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/8m7gwbqv46/MR_Day...

Plus a redesigned personal history pad which also functions as a compact play mat:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/8m7blnzfdr/phshee...


Downloading as we speak!! Thanks for contributing! I will let you know how these work out. thumbsup
 
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Steve Wardell
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NeonPeon wrote:
cry +
(there's no tears of joy emoticon)


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Glenn D
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Thanks to everyone for the kind comments!

I will take some pics soon of my setup, binders, etc...it's really cool, and I cannot wait to go on a few more adventures this weekend!

And yes, my wife is a keeper...she was before this...

She does this from time-to-time...little things that are full of thought. That's why next month we'll celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! thumbsup
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George Ramos
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Such a great post. Thanks for sharing the story! I admit it made my feel all weepy for a split second.
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