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Subject: "Adventures of the Yellow Knight" Fortune smiles on a cautious player rss

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James Boardgame
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria
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This session report follows a game played using the lovingly-made Karim edition of the game built by
Jim Jim
United Kingdom
Kendal
Cumbria
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I have previously played four solo games of MR, and a number of plays on Realmspeak to help get my head around the rules. I managed to get the hang of playing the Berserker and some of the principals behind the Black Knight. The wealth of material on this site about strategies for MR is a testament to the game. For myself, I have only tried to read up as far as necessary as to make sense of how to play. There is so much detail and depth in the Magic Realm system – and as much as possible, I want to discover those things for myself.

For this game I decided to play the White Knight. Jim opted to play the Sorcerer.

I haven’t got around to properly learning how the magic system works, and was interested during the game to see how Jim used it. However, I really can’t do justice to his moves, as I was too focused on my own little corner of the Realm, and so the report that follows is pretty much only of the White Knight. This does highlight the fact that we were effectively playing our own separate games this time around. I kind of like that – that the realm is big enough that you don’t have to even come anywhere near the other players. I realise too that this could have been completely different – just depends on the approach the players take.

One of the interesting things about the various subsystems in Magic Realm arises from getting an understanding of the theory and then trying to make them work in practise. As you work through your first (or first dozen) combats, the end result is usually that your character is dead. It is so satisfying then when you finally kill a foe – and then double check with the rules and can tell yourself with pride: yes, I finally managed it. I suppose that for a lot of people, this is simply not worth the effort.

I started out at the Chapel – an obvious choice for the White Knight. This put me far away from Jim’s Sorcerer and indeed we never met during the course of the game, although I imagine that Jim could have tried hunting me down at the end. I didn’t really know what I should choose for my victory conditions, and assigned 2 points to Great Treasures, 2 to Fame and 1 to Gold. A better choice would have garnered me a better score, but I am happy to learn and understand that better the more I play the game.



Day 1, T/HR/HR/HR. Having no sentimental qualms I sold my armour at the Chapel, and (after two poor dice rolls) managed to hire a Knight at face value.

Day 2, T/HR/T/HR. I tried hiring and trading – all my rolls were poor. As the White Knight gets -1 on his rolls with natives, I really wanted to hold out for a good deal. Already at this stage though I am thinking to myself “Am I being too cautious?” The Knights of the Order have two magic items for sale: The Dragonfang Necklace at base 8gp and an Amulet (one use – cancels a curse or a spell) at 5gp. I note that the necklace would let me control one dragon per evening, which certainly sounds pretty good, but I am also interested simply because it is a Great Treasure and affordable. I’m keen to reach my target Victory conditions.

Day 3, T/T/T/HR Better rolls today, so I bought the Dragonfang necklace for 8 gold and the Amulet for 5gp. Rolled well on hiring and so decided to take the boon of free hire of a second Knight. Had I made good use of selling my armour? I wasn’t sure.

Day 4 M1/M3. The Chapel clearing was next to the Cavern tile. I hate underground tiles with their 2 action limit, and hoped to get through as quickly as possible. So I decided to dispense with Hiding – surely three Knights together should be able to survive? Stroke of luck – the Cavern contained the Lost City tile. I think we got a rule wrong here – I should have had to roll to locate the Lost City before placing its chits? Well, will revise that and get it right next time. A whole bunch of chits now decended on the board, including the fabled Hoard treasure site just two clearings away - nice! Two trolls were summoned to the Caverns if I recall correctly, but they weren’t in my way at least.

Day 5, M6/L Again disdaining to hide I moved straight to the Hoard and looted. Now I am pretty sure I should have first Searched for the Hoard, so again will have to make sure to get that right next time. Looting turned up the Treasure Chest. Jim and I had a discussion about what the likelihood was of finding the Lost Keys and whether it was possible to break open the chest without them – apparently not? Anyhow, my hirelings and their tremendous chargers would be able to carry this for me in case I should luck out and turn up the keys.

Day 6 L/L Today Giant Bats appeared in the entrance clearing (1), but luckily no prowlers again. And speaking of luck, in looting I found Dragon Essence and the Magic Wand. At this stage I did not realise the significance of the Dragon Essence in conjunction with the already-bought Dragonfang Necklace (talk about dumb luck), but I was pleased to now have three Great Treasures, one of which I could sell for needed gold.

Day 7 H/M3 In my few plays of Magic Realm so far, I have learnt caution. So having had some good luck, I didn’t want to press it, and decided to make my way back to the Chapel. I wasn’t sure I wanted this Dragon Essence on me summoning up big lizards. Hid and moved, but there were no prowlers anyway. I’d have to deal with the bats on my way out tomorrow. Experienced players may smile at the image of my White Knight with two Knights Companion and some pretty serious treasure already scared of a couple of Giant Bats – but they should also remember how the game can do this to a beginning player.



Day 8 H/M1 No prowlers yet again (though by this stage there were more creatures summoned to the tile I think), I ambushed the Giant bats. I’d never fought these nasty critturs with the help of the Order before. I boldly let each of my companions lure a leathery-winged foe. Here I made a nice (and hopefully correct?) discovery – although the speedy bats will always undercut the knights, they can’t do any harm to them, as unlike a player, the hireling will not take a wound if the harm isn’t sufficient to kill. The relief that my earlier fear was unfounded began the dawning of a new approach to playing the White Knight – maybe I don’t have to cower in fear of every shape and shadow in the dark. Eureka! Not sure who struck the killing blows, but the bats were soon slain.

Day 9 M5/C We returned to the Chapel where I cached the Dragon Essence (which at this stage I was just thinking of as a potential nuisance that I could at least use for my Victory Requirements) and the Treasure Chest. The friendly Lancers turned up.

Day 10 T/T/T/HR The Lancer treasure didn't wow me and the prices weren't great, but I sold the Magic Wand, having 2 Great Treasures on standby already. Finally, I was able to hire the Lancers for 24 gold – which was exactly what I had left in my purse after selling the Wand. I considered turning the price down, but having just seen what two knights could do, I judged (probably wisely) that it was better to pay up and get moving rather than hold out for a better deal.

Day 11 M1/S Accompanied by 2 batproof knights and the four (five?) lancers, I merrily returned to the Caverns for some serious looting and monster slaying. Located the secret passage to clearing 4 (don't think I ever used it) and rejoiced as the Huge Dragon and two Huge Flying Dragons swooped on me. Fight! Yes, I went from cowering at the thought of facing two bats to shouting “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!” at swarms of dragons. Success will do that to you. Now at this stage I made a pretty serious rules mistake, which is underlined by my failing to understand the value of the Dragon Essence. It is balanced out by the fact that if I had known how the Dragonfang Necklace and the essence work, I wouldn’t have cached the Essence in the first place. Basically, I didn’t realize that the Necklace needed to be powered by purple magic to work, and so for this fight I used it to control one Flying Dragon. Probably the outcome wouldn’t have been any different if I hadn’t controlled that Dragon – the Knights of the Order were easily able to ward of the blows of the Huge Dragons (right?) and I could surely have taken a few hits myself. Anyway, the Knights lured a dragon each, and once they were killed, we then turned on our new dragon ally, but the sly serpent managed to dodge all blows for two rounds and the combat ended. If anything, had we fought all three from the start we would most probably have killed all three, so not sure if the mistake really benefited me. After the fight, Jim realized that I had been using the Necklace wrongly, but that I would be able to power it if I got myself the Dragon Essence back as it creates purple magic.

Day 12 M5/S Having realised the mistake about the Necklace, I returned to the Chapel to pick up the Essence again. (Were we ok leaving the clearing with the dragon still in it? I have some recollection that it’s OK to leave a clearing that you’re in with a monster already in it, but is that only if you first manage a successful Hide action? Also, strategically, I really should have left the knights and the lancers behind to kick more butt, shouldn't I?)

Day 13 M1/A Returned to the Caverns with my merry band. With nothing better to do I alerted my Greatsword. (Throughout the game I neglected to alert my weapon after missing. This might have meant the White Knight landing a few more killing blows, but again, not a critical error). We easily whopped the Flying Dragon. Huzzah!

Day 14 M3/M6 Moved back to the Hoard. I think it was the Tremendous Flying Dragon who came to say hi at this point, it being his day to prowl. I ummed and ahed but in the end decided not to risk a fight, figuring that a Flying Tremendous dragon could yet come in handy with all the Goblins, Bats and Trolls still about. Controlled the dragon (legitimately this time I hope). First Knight's hire ended.

Day 15 L/L Hey don't mind us Mr Tremendous Flying Dragon, you just sit there nicely while we plunder this Hoard of yours dry! Gotta love that Dragonfang necklace! Found both the Lucky Charm and Deft Gloves – which meant that from hereon in I would only have to roll 1 dice when looting or whatever (correct?). I could even feasibly find myself a lighter, faster weapon to increase my range of options in combat. We attracted two prowling trolls, and thanked the Tremendous Flying Dragon for his help in slaughtering them.

Day 16, L/L First roll I found nothing. Second roll was a little better - the Timeless Jewel. Yeah, think we'll be keeping hold of this, TFD ol' pal! From now, no more need to prerecord moves, and the Jewel itself will be worth a tidy piece of gold when cashed in at the end of my adventures.

Day 17 M3/M1 With Knight II's hire ending tonight, I got a little bit nervy about whether I'd be able to beat all those goblins (my streak of yellow running deep), so started to move out. Three Giant Bats were summoned at the entrance, but I figured that with TFD and the Knight I could take them out. All about the risks and the big battles me. Yeah, we managed to scrape through. I think I actually fatigued a chit for the first time in the game in this fight. Was thinking of retiring safely (cowardly eh?) but calculated (having forgotten about starting 37gp) that I was still under on Gold by 5 gp. In fact I think I was wrong here, because, if including a 37gp penalty for starting equipment and gold, I think I could have sold my starting Greatsword for 10gp. Why the hesitation to go back for more? Again – experience – although I had managed to have a character survive in the Realm once or maybe twice before, I’d never yet met my Victory Requirements, so I really didn’t want some unforeseen circumstance to deny me this. Also, it was now getting late in the day (real world) – Jim had to leave at this point (his Sorcerer/Squirrel never quite managing to have my luck), and I could do with finishing up and getting to bed. Anyhow, I decided that I must go back into the Lost City once more.

Day 18 M3/M6 Returned to the Hoard, where the other Tremendous Dragon appeared. No problem, TFD helped us take him out, and my bold White Knight got to land the killing blow. Thanks TFD! Did consider whether this would be the time to turn on our ally for those lovely bonus Fame and Notoriety points, but this did not match with my deep sense of honour.

Day 19 L/L Nothing! Pfft! Bats roam, but the bats were all still in their graves.

Day 20 L/L. Hm maybe I've been running out of luck with my searching. Oh, what's this? (rolls a 1 and a 2). Remains of Thief! Yielding: 20gp, Living Sword, Blasted Jewel, and Oil of Poison. I rolled Disgust as my curse, which I did not even need to discard my Amulet for, as I would of course be heading for the Chapel in short order.



Day 21 M3/M1 Dragons roaming. Should I try and take out TFD? Probably, but I have a soft spot for the tremendous sucker, and a deep, deep vein of cowardice. I mind-control him one last time, and say good-bye.

Day 22 M5/T I led the lancers back to the Chapel, and sold off my no-longer needed treasures. At midnight, my curse was lifted.
And that was it. I opted for an early retirement. There was only one treasure left in the Hoard, and it would take too long to now start exploring further afield. I could have gone and tried killing me some goblins (or dear old TFD) but I envisaged everything falling apart from some unforeseen kink in the combat system. Retirement would do very nicely. Perhaps the White Knight would join the Order, and spend his remaining days in pious hymns of praise and joy, regaling visitors with tales of his legendary heroics, and giving his gold to the poor. It’s possible.

At the final tally I had 52 Fame, 82 Notoriety, 2 Great Treasures and 142 gold, which scored me 15 points. Looking back I realise that with the luck I had I could have scored much, much higher, but the thrill and pride of not merely surviving but actually prospering sustained me through the good hour or so it took to pack the game away. For me the whole game was played on just two tiles – indeed, on just four clearings of those two tiles. I never took a wound and, as previously remarked, only fatigued a chit the once. None of my hirelings was slain. It would be fair to say that I played with a great deal of caution, and was rewarded with immoderate luck. The game took about four hours to play, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

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Mark Ashton
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Elmhurst
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Great report! You do have to roll to locate the Hoard, as it's a treasure site. The Lost City is not a treasure site, so it doesn't have to be located.

You indeed cannot open the chest without the lost keys.
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Appleton
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schkff wrote:
It would be fair to say that I played with a great deal of caution, and was rewarded with immoderate luck. The game took about four hours to play, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.


I would venture to say that there are only two types of MR characters: cautious characters and dead characters.
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Jason Sherlock
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philreh wrote:
schkff wrote:
It would be fair to say that I played with a great deal of caution, and was rewarded with immoderate luck. The game took about four hours to play, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.


I would venture to say that there are only two types of MR characters: cautious characters and dead characters.


I remember one time thinking, I am a White Knight in full armor, what kind of danger can a pack of wolves really present to me.

I found out the answer to that question while laying in a pile of my own blood with all of my counters being fatigued and wounded.
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June Hwang Wah
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You have natives to take the hits for you, no?
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