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Subject: Request for Magician strategy rss

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Robt. Ferrett
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Despite having played Magic Realm on and off for years, I remain baffled as to how to play the Magician...and not for lack of trying. Does anyone want to take a stab at a "How to Play the Magician" summary?

Alternately, does such a thing exist already?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 
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Joel Yoder
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The Magician is fun to play if you like a challenge. You generally take spells of types VI, VII, and VII so you can use all your other chits for color. I like Melt into Mist to get you out of scrapes, Control Bats since it uses all colors, and Remedy since you're going to learn spells. Transform is also good. I would record 2 or 3 VPs in learned spells, and the rest in gold. Alternately, you could record some notoriety and use bats to kill natives (or else hire the company). I haven't tried that one yet.

Interestingly, the Magician is the only character who can cast Premonition, Sense Danger, and Whistle for Monsters with his starting chits. Too bad none of those spells are that great.

I'm sure there are more strategies out there, and I'm sure there are others who can make suggestions.

--Joel
 
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Ray
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Yoder wrote:
and Remedy since you're going to learn spells.

protection from Magic is good for avoiding Imps and Demons who guard the spell sites too.
 
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Matt Becker
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Joel is exactly right, playing the Magician can be a challenge. I've played him as a spell seeker and as a monster hunter. This is based on solo play using the Optional Combat rules.

Since the Magician's Friendly with the Rogues, I start with some hiring. With a little luck, I hire R7, R6, and R5 before the Patrol shows up. My starting spells are Transform, Control Bats, and Poison. I use Transform to change monsters that outclass my group into something that is hopefully less lethal, and I use Poison to boost the killing potential of one of my hirelings. I carry Control Bats because it's powered by any color and I hate battling the bats.

My objective is to find a treasure site, loot a few goods, and return to the Inn for more hiring. If I have the cash and the time, I try to hire R4, R3, and R2 so I get a Great Axeman. Alternatively, the Company is also a nice choice, if they've prowled to the board. Finally, I head out with my hired gang to do some killing in the time remaining. I put all my Victory Points in Fame and Notoriety.

This approach certainly has its risks. An unlucky roll on the Transform table can leave you fighting a lion or armored dragon. After spell casting, it takes time to rest back your magic chits and re-enchant them. It seems inevitable that the day you are your weakest is the day your hide roll is missed and a bunch of bad guys prowl to your clearing.

The Magician lacks the paired magic chits to enchant a tile. You need to watch the calendar and take advantage of the "7th Day" color source to flip a tile. Please note, in a 28 day game both Black and White color is supplied on Day 7. I try to get the Crag flipped since it provides Purple, Grey, and Gold color to all clearings.

I can't confirm that I've won using this strategy, but I know I've come close and my Magician died a glorious death.
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Steve McKnight
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I can't seem to make any headway with the Magician either. I've tried the Magician as an elusive spell hunter, casting "Transform" on himself to so he could fly or walk the woods to get to the spell-containing treasure sites quickly. The Magician can use "Transform" right out of the box since it's a Type VI spell using Purple (enchanted Type IV) magic. Flying as a Bird or Eagle is useful, but walking the woods is absolutely the best way to get around a difficult board. Turning yourself into a Squirrel who can scamper through tiles in two Move phases and run away from trouble with a Move speed 2 is actually a great tactic. Even a Frog with Move speed 3 isn't bad.

With "Transform" you'd want to take "Remedy" so that you can change your transformed beast or free up the Type VI magic chit for another spell. Of course, if you use this strategy, you can't begin by hiring any Rogues because they couldn't follow you if you fly or walk the woods. The other problem is that when you get to a treasure site, you start attracting monsters and it is very difficult to locate the site and then read runes if you get blocked every time you miss your first Hide roll.

The other Magician strategy I've tried is to take "Poison" and team up with the Swordsman. "Poison" must be cast on a native, Goblin, Orgre, club, or weapon counter (no poisoned daggers!), and with an extra sharpness star on his Thrusting Sword the Swordsman can take our all the monsters except the Tremendous armored sort. Even with his Thrusting Sword poisoned, though, the Swordsman needs to use his Medium Fight chits against anything Tremendous or Heavy and armored, and his fastest Medium Fight chit is Fight M3** which doesn't undercut the Heavy Serpents or Tremendous Spider, for example. This strategy worked well for the Swordsman who built up Fame and Notoriety like some sort of mini-Berserker, but the Magican didn't end up learning enough spells to break even.

The problem I've found is that learning spells is so hard to do, and the chances of getting cursed are too high. Perhaps it might help if you also take "World Fades" (Type VI with Black magic - enchanted Type V) so that you can Perceive Spells on a die roll of "4" without having to work your way through the pile of spells one at a time - and without the chance of getting cursed. In theory this sounds OK - the Magician can learn every type of spell except Type I and would increase his power as he learned more and more spells. But it's still a challenge since he only has one Magic chit of each type and, unless you're using the Enhanced Magic Optional Rule, the Magic chit is tied up until the spell expires. Artifacts and spell books are a big help here because they can be used as extra Magic chits to cast their own spells, but when I've played the Magician I haven't been able to find enough artifacts or spell books to earn more than a couple of Victory Points in spells.

The idea of casting "Poison" on your hired Rogues is a good one if you're playing with the Benevolent Spells Optional Rule (see below). It seems like the Magician might be able to remove monsters from the site clearings and collect the Fame and Notoriety for himself by hiring R6 and R7 and using them judiciously with the "Poison" spell.

R6 and R7 have the same M3* attack as the Swordsman, but on their M attack side they are too slow (move speed=5) to avoid being undercut. The real problem here would be keeping your poisoned native from flipping to his L3* side. Against one Heavy Troll, for example, a "poisoned" R7 could lure (so he wouldn't change tactics) and undercut with a faster/longer killing attack. Against two Heavy Trolls you could deploy from hiding against one of them and hope that your poisoned Rogue didn't change tactics. But if that didn't work, or if you're not hidden, you'd have to use the unpoisoned Rogue on his L3*/4 side as a decoy and hope that he avoids the second Troll while the poisoned Rogue deals with his. This would work against the Heavy Dragons and the Tremendous Spider or Demon as well, but against the Heavy Serpents or Flying Demon with their speed=3 maneuver (or the Octopus), the odds are against you. (Bats, of course, are always a problem.) If you manage to hire R5 (M3*/4) to cast "Poison" on, it would make a big difference here, and R1 or R2 are game-busters even without a Poison spell.

The real problem about these hireling strategies is that you can cast "Poison" on your hirelings only if you are using the "Benevolent Spells" Optional Rule (see 3rd Edition, 10.C.2). Otherwise selecting one of your hirelings as a target for a spell constitutes Treachery (3nd Edition: 8.4.2g), and all your hirelings from that native group rebel. I would suggest using the Benevolent Spells to give the Magician a leg up - Richard Hamblem intended Benevolent Spells to be part of the Second Edition rules - but I'd still like to see if there is a solution for the Magician under the Basic Rules.



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Joel Yoder
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I think the trick is not to take all your victory points in spells. I'm generally leery of taking more that two. That way I can learn all the spells I need from sites and don't have to worry about finding any artifacts or spell books.

If you do find spell books, great. Learn six or eight spells, and get points through your bonus. Because of the way victory points work, if you recorded 2 VP in spells and learned six, you will get 3 points, whereas if you recorded 3 VP, you will get 0 points. Of course, you have to find somewhere else to record those VP, but you can usually scrape up some gold and a great treasure or two from your looting.

One spell which I have taken in the past is Peace with Nature. This is a nice one because it is permanent, so you can activate it during your turn if you don't like the monster roll. Of course, this means you have to work alone and you can't take control bats. Still, if you are the sneaking spell learner and looter, it may work better in the long run.

--Joel
 
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Robt. Ferrett
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Thanks for the feedback. Interesting to see that even some heavy Magic Realm enthusiasts have trouble with this character.

In a test game I've been doing on and off for a couple days now, the Magician hired two rogues, went to the Altar in the Deep Woods, made a non-aggression pact with the Woods Girl...and on the first Reading Runes roll, was cursed and blinded, rendering further searching impossible.

Fortunately, the Chapel's not too far away.
 
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Matt Becker
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Now I can confirm a victory with the Magician.

The details can be found in this session report.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/99520
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Vincent Lyon
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Someone said don't go for spells.
Aternately I have "won" with the magician by putting 4 in spells and 1 in notoriety.
("won" because while I met my VCs I was not the victor)

However, I didn't do this alone. I teamed up with the Wizard.
Wizard gave all his gold the Magician, who bought a horse from the Rogues and gave it to the Wizard. Wizard then used the extra move phase and kowledge of paths and passages - Magician following - to get quickly to a good treasure location, preferably in a mountain tile. Both Wizard and Magician took lightningbolt so anything too nasty could be blasted on the mountaintop (which Wizard kindly enchanted to provide purple magic). If you use the optional advantage for Magician, an always alerted lightningbolt is nasty, particularly with the optional missile tables.

One plus was any II, III or IV spell books and artifacts could be shared.
 
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Steve McKnight
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Oh! I like this! Play the Magician by teaming up with the Wizard - another character who definitely needs help to win. I've always thought about the Magician teaming up with a non-magic-using character, but if he teams up with a character who can flip tiles to their enchanted side it opens up a whole bunch of possibilities. "Lightning Bolt" is not my favorite - only works in the mountain clearings and only takes one target - but two "Fiery Blasts" would be really be quite a Goblin-sweeper!

Even without the Optional Advantage of alerted spells not fatiguing, the Magician can decide what he wants to do with his extra Alert Phase each day after he knows what the Monster Roll is and after he knows what monsters he will have in his clearing.

What other spells do you take with the Magician besides "Lightning Bolt," Vincent?
 
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Matt Becker
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An Alert phase can not be cancelled. If it's recorded, it must be used if possible. For the Magician, this generally means alerting a Magic chit, which will fatigue and need to be rested back. I find myself not recording the extra Alert phase unless I'm pretty sure I'm going to need it. I hate to spend a Rest phase to bring the chit back into play.

If the Magician's Optional Advantage is not in play, he can try to get hold of a Light weapon. Then he can always spend the extra Alert on the weapon and save himself from needing to rest back the Magic chit. Of course, the Light weapons are held by the Soldiers with whom he his Unfriendly. Funny how it works out that way.
 
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Steve McKnight
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Quote:
An Alert phase can not be cancelled. If it's recorded, it must be used if possible. For the Magician, this generally means alerting a Magic chit, which will fatigue and need to be rested back.


Matt--

I don't think this is correct. I remember that there was a clarification on this at some point; previously players used to talk about "alerting a dagger" to avoid having to alert and fatigue a Magic chit. I think we dispensed with this in the Third Edition and simply made it a choice to alert your Magic chit if you had an Alert phase.

I'll check and edit this with the full story when I can reconstruct what we decided and what source we were using to justify our decision.

--Steve McKnight
 
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Matt Becker
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I got this from the latest release of the Third Edition.

Page 121, Daylight Activities, Note 3:
"The Trade and Hire phases can be cancelled. All other phases must be performed if it is possible to do so."

7.9 THE ALERT ACTIVITY
"7.9.1 A character can use the Alert activity to alert (or unalert) his weapon during his turn, or to prepare magic spells for use during combat"

"7.9.2 When a character uses the Alert activity with a weapon, he can turn his active weapon either side up, as he wishes.

"7.9.3 When a character does the Alert activity, he has the option to alert one of his Magic chits instead of turning over a weapon counter."

It doesn't say he has the option to do nothing.
 
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Vincent Lyon
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I guess I should have given you guys more details. You are missing another subtlety of the Wizard teaming with the Magician.
If the magician doesn't want to alert a magic chit, he can, at the beginning of his Alert phase, trade with the wizard to get a staff and alert that. Or you could just permanently give him the staff. I've done that when the Wizard has acquired a medium weapon.

Magicians other spells vary depending on a lot of things, but Remedy and Absorb essence are frequent. Remedy is especially good while the Wizard is reading runes and getting cursed.

Some of the most fun I've had lately is taking Wizard, Magician and Sorceror through RealmSpeak. 3 Fiery blasts are fantastic. If everyone gets an alert phase (following?) then round 1, 1 alerted fiery blast, round 2 a second and round 3 yet another alerted fiery blast.
I space it because I don't usually want simultaneous kills to divide the points (and if I'm facing mounted natives).

Anyway, people often say Magician's greatest weakness is his inability to enchant tiles - so the obvious solution is to team him with someone who can. If you still want him to hang out with a fighter, team him with the White Knight, but I like that the right spell book can be used to boost everyone's scores. White Knight and Magician can't share.
 
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Steve McKnight
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Vincent--

How does "Absorb Essence" work with the Magician? It's a Type V spell that requires Black magic. The Magician can only get Black magic by enchanting his one Type V Magic chit. Other sources of Black magic are the 7th day of the month (if you're not using the Season's Optional Rule), the Toadstool Circle (which doesn't move), or the Cloven Hoof (which has that +1 to all tables problem).

--Steve
 
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Tom Volpe
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Great thread guys! I'm still learning the game but would love to find a strategy that works with the Magician. I've been trying several combinations using RealmSpeak. For several games now I have paired the Magician with the Pilgrim. Starting spells are Small Blessing for the Pilgrim and Transform, Poison (got that idea from this thread) and Remedy for the Magician (for curses). Pooling 20 gold for the Magician to hire as many Rogues as possible while the Pilgrim hides so there is no trouble (several turns spent at the Inn if necessary for hires and a wish for strength). With RealmSpeak your Rogues can attack the unhired guys without treachery. This way most of the action happens at the Inn. The Pilgrim with a wish for strength and the Magician with a high roll on transform can handle the toughest opponents while the Pilgrim can be devestating with a poisoned M2 staff attack allowing him to kill heavy unarmored natives and monsters. After the Rogues are polished off the Patrol is next. After looting there will be enough gold to hire the Company (or head to the Chapel so the Pilgrim can hire some knights of the Order). After all the early excitement I head out to find the Shrine and Statue so the Pilgrim can meet his 2 spell requirement (1 VP) and the Magician is happy to learn spells at both sites to meet his 4 spell requirement (2 VP). Any spell books or artifacts found along the way help too. I have had good luck with the strategy so far but bad luck with RealmSpeak (crashes) so I haven't played a full game. I find the more hired natives I have the more likely it crashes.

Anyway, just a crazy idea (and fun to play). If I win with it I'll write up a session report.

Tom Volpe

 
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Lawrence Spode
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Cosmid wrote:
I have had good luck with the strategy so far but bad luck with RealmSpeak (crashes) so I haven't played a full game.



Try updating your java
 
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Vincent Lyon
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Just tried a new strategy with the Magician.
Take Transform and a couple other spells (I like guide spider and control bats).
Hire 3 of the Rogues - easy enough in 1 or 2 days.
Go find the Soldiers and hide.
Round 2, have your rogues lure all but HQ.
Have whoever is fighting the crossbowman be randomly assigned to SHQ (or do it randomly).
Cast Transform on SHQ.
Sure, there's a chance he will become something big and nasty but you can still run.
Odds are he'll become something harmless and your hired assasins can wipe out the Soldiers and reap the spoils (which include a weapon you can use).

Go for notoriety.
You should be able after that to find some treasure and maybe even take on other monsters.
I did it and transformed a Tdragon into a squirrel which my hirelings chopped to bits.

Note if you are using Transform in order to kill, you probably won't need to waste a spot on remedy.

I've tried this a couple of times now, and each time I have ended with a positive score. Clearly I ought to be able to figure out the optimum point goals for this arrangement, but it's a survivable solo strategy for the Magician.
Also, each time, after killing the soldiers and looting their stuff, the woodfolk have shown up and I have hired them and used them to kill either monsters or the Patrol or both, again transforming the nastiest enemy into a frog or bird or lion (still no match for WHQ) before the kill.
 
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Cliff
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Ahhhh... esoteric posts I can study in learning magic in Magic Realm. And it's my birthday weekend. It's okay for me to disappear and play with my tiles and chits. I'm hurtin' for more spell casting discussions.
 
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Check out this video demonstration for a winnable strategy using the Magician:
http://www.bookshelfgames.com/mr/magician.html
 
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Winston Smith
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I'm glad to see this old thread turning up again! since I have been playing a lot of Realmspeak games as the Magician (solo) and would be glad to share the experience. Here's a basic, conservative strategy with which I've met the VC more than half the time:

Starting spells: Transform, Remedy, Peace with Nature

Goals: Spell-hunting and treasure-hunting, while knocking off a few Tremendous treasure guardians; avoid wandering monsters, at least at first. The Magician has the greatest number of usable spells of all the characters, plus an advantage in Reading Runes, and so if anyone can win as a spell-hunter then he should be able to.

Victory point: Put 2 into Usable Spells, and spread the other 3 around; it's reasonable to take 1 each Great Treasure, Fame and Notoriety. Gold is also a possibility, since you're expecting some treasure-hunting, but (i) I usually prefer to use gold for more native hiring, and (ii) running back to a dwelling to sell things off for gold takes up valuable time at the end of the game.

Startup: Have your Type II, III and IV chits enchanted to provide ready Grey, Gold and Purple magic. Record three Hires and a Trade; get some Rogues working for you, and then check to see if the Rogues are holding a Spellbook or Artifact that you might want to buy from them later. If not molested by the Patrol, cast Peace with Nature on yourself.

General approach: Keep some Gold magic handy, and use it to power up the Peace with Nature whenever the monster roll would predict the appearance of wandering monsters, especially in groups. Then you only have to deal with the treasure guardians, who appear singly; use the Transform on these and then have your hired lads deal with the result. Concentrate on finding and looting treasure sites, particularly for Spellbooks and Artifacts; the sites with spells (eg the Shrine and the Altar) can be doubly profitable.

Advanced tactics:

Take advantage of days on which color magic is omnipresent to enchant tiles. If there are treasure sites in the Deep Woods or the Crag, then enchanting those will provide constant Gold magic to keep your Peace with Nature powered up for pest control. Treasure sites are often found in tiles with mountain clearings, which when enchanted can provide free Purple magic if you need to cast Transform several times. Also, if you end your day on a Purple enchanted clearing then you can Transform yourself! and the take advantage of being able to Fly or Walk the Woods the next day; this can really cut down on travel time. Even an enchanted Valley can be useful, if you have to cast repeated Remedies to cleanse yourself of curses. Also, note that your Peach with Nature will be activated for the rest of the day if you just walk through a clearing with Gold magic, even if you finish the day somewhere else on a different tile; so it can even pay off to have an enchanted Woods tile next to your working treasure mine: just duck into the golden woods and back and you're pest-free for another day. Lastly, try to Trade at least once with any Native group you pass by, just to see if they have a Spellbook that you might want to buy.


Cautions:

1. Enchanting tiles on omnipresent magic days can require careful advanced planning; where are you going to be on Day 7 or 14? can you get to the tile you want and still have Spell phases left? will the necessary magic chit be available and not fatigued? You may have to start counting it out several days in advance. Generally, I've found that playing the Magician requires a lot more awareness and thinking ahead than most of the other characters; you may find this a turnoff! but I think it provides a richer game if you have the time.

2. Have a plan to deal with backfires. The Transform spell will be the backbone of your offense, and with it you can pick up considerable Fame and Notoriety from killing off the big treasure guardians. But be prepared: assuming you don't get the Dragon, the Eagle is the next most dangerous since it can undercut your Rogues and scythe them down like wheat; arrange the boys so they have the best chance to out-reach it on the first round of combat. You can flee if absolutely necessary to save yourself, but remember that if the Transformed monster is not killed then it will keep your Type VI magic chit tied up until you can return to the clearing and either kill it or remove the spell with your Remedy.

3. A lot of Reading Runes necessarily means a high chance of Curses. Basically you can almost always ride these out, just making sure that you reserve enough time to wash with Remedy before shopping or at the final scoring. But the big risk is getting the Wither curse, which keeps all your asterisked chits out of play and so prevents the spellcasting which might cure it! So, always keep on eye on how to get back to the Chapel. Or, if you can arrange it, take all your spellbooks and artifacts and sit in the clearing down the road from the Chapel while Reading Runes for several days straight, then get cleansed all at once when you've met your requirement. (Don't try this at the Chapel itself, as the Order might take offense or the Patrol stop by.)


Conclusions:

Playing the Magician successfully definitely takes the more work and attention than the other characters, but can also deliver a much richer and more varied experience. Your strategy evolves differently with each game depending on what spells and items you acquire, rather than following a plan fixed in advance. Learning a spell like Absorb Essence or Firey Blast or Deal with Goblins can open up whole new possibilities right in the middle of the game. Also, pursing both spell-hunting and treasure-hunting together can show you more of the game's content than a monster-hunting character (ie a Knight or the Sorcerer) would ever be likely to see. There's nothing to compare with seeing eight different options in your Castable Spells area in Realmspeak!

Starting from this same basic strategy, I've done things as the Magician that I'd never dreamed of with any other single character: really getting around on the Flying Carpet, using Bats to fight Ghosts, even Transforming myself into a Dragon! (by design, not accident; you figure out how it's done). So if you're willing to concentrate and think ahead, and you want to see more sides of the Realm, then give the Magician a try, and see if the approach described here works for you. Have fun!
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