Magic Realm is a fantasy role-playing board-game, in which the Players compete (or cooperate) to fulfill their chosen victory conditions, by collecting gold and treasures, discovering new spells, defeating monsters and Realm inhabitants, and becoming famous or notorious.
Each Magic Realm game consists of 28 turns, which corresponds to an adventuring month. Each turn (day) a Character can do a certain number of activities.
Typically, each Character can do four activities per day. You may be capable of doing more activites each day, if you obtain certain treasures. You may also have fewer activities (for example, while cave and dungeon-delving, you only get two basic activities instead of four).
There are several types of activities you can perform each day.
Move: you can move from one board clearing to another. Each move, from one clearing to another, counts as one activity. So, you could normally only move a maximum of four times in a day.
Hide: you can attempt to hide. Hiding is important, as you need to be hidden in order to move through a clearing that is occupied by a monster, without having that monster "block" you.
Alert: You can ready your weapon or spell, in anticipation of a battle. Alerting your weapon or spell is important, as it makes it more likely you will strike with your weapon or cast your spell before your opponent.
Rest: Magic Realm Characters get fatigued and wounded. Each turn of rest allows you to recover a certain amount of your strength and wounds.
Search: Searching allows for the possibility that you will find such things as treasure hoards, secret paths, and hidden Characters.
Trade: this allows you to attempt to buy from and sell items to the Magic Realm natives. You can buy and sell or trade with other Characters without having to use a Trade activity, as long as they are in the same clearing as you.
Hire: the hire activity allows you to attempt to hire natives, to give you a better chance of fighting the monsters or other denizens, or to give you some additional treasure-seekers.
A Magic Realm game actually moves fairly quickly. This is because all Players simultaneously write down what activities they intend to participate in, prior to the beginning of that turn (day). When your turn comes up, you simply do the activities you recorded. This makes the game move along, as you do not need to consider each possible activity during the four activity phases of your turn.