Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fatigue In The Magic Realm

August 23, 2009 is a date significant to me only because it was the day this blog was established. 

At that time, the stated purpose of this blog was to discuss several game systems:  Thomas Denmark's Dungeoneer; Metagaming's The Fantasy Trip; Dragon Warriors RPG; Dungeons and Dragons; and Avalon Hill's Magic Realm.

While I have ranged somewhat further afield, I don't think I have wholly neglected Magic Realm, particularly over the last several months.

Magic Realm has an innovative combat system that includes a system of recording combat fatigue. 

In Magic Realm, each character has 12 cardboard counters (called chits) that operate in many ways like DnD`s hit points.  For example, the above 12 chits are for the Black Knight (one of 16 available Magic Realm characters). 

Imagine that each of those carboard chits represent 1 hit point (more properly, a wound point, since each successful attack inflicted on a character results in a single wound).  So each character has 12 hit points. In addition to representing a hit point, each chit also has an ability attached to it, either a move, fight, spell or special ability.

The top row of Black Knight chits represent various moves that the Black Knight can make.  I have republished that first row of chits, below.

In the first row of Black Knight chits there is a medium move, with a speed of 4, which is somewhat fatiguing (a single effort-star).  The next chit is a medium move, with a speed of 5, which is easy, as it includes no effort-stars.  The third chit is a heavy move, with a speed of 4, which is very fatiguing (two effort-stars).

To use a DnD 4E analogy, think of those character chits as follows:  two effort-star chits represent daily powers; one effort-star chits represent encounter powers; and no effort-star chits represent at-will or utility powers.

Further consider that each round of Magic Realm combat is equivalent to a DnD 4E encounter. That means you can play a maximum of one effort-star per combat round (one encounter power) without penalty. 

However, if you want to play two effort-stars (a daily power, to continue the 4E analogy) you must set aside one of your single effort-star chits in payment for the fatigue you suffer in performing that fatiguing maneuver.

For example, the Black Knight may play the following combination of chits during the first Magic Realm combat round:

In this instance, the Black Knight has played a move chit with two effort-stars, thus suffering some fatigue.  However, the Black Knight still wants his Move H4** chit to be available for future combat rounds, so he sets aside another one of his single effort-star chits, in this case the one below:

As a result of the sacrifice of the Move M4* chit, the Black Knight now has 11, rather than 12 hit points remaining.  However, he still has access to the Move H4** chit (the Magic Realm equivalent of a DnD 4E daily power) for later re-use, as the Black Knight sacrificed an analogous encounter power chit to play the daily power chit.

During the second combat round, the Black Knight again decides to play two effort stars, this time in the form of two, single effort-star chits (the equivalent of two DnD 4E encounter powers):

Again, because the Black Knight plays two effort-stars, he must set aside another single effort-star chit to pay for the fatigue he has suffered.  Since he has two Fight M4* chits, he chooses to set one of those two aside to pay for the fatigue.  He does not need to use that particular chit, any chit with a single effort-star will do, to pay for the fatigue:

The Black Knight is now reduced to 10 hit points.  During the third combat round, the Black Knight decides to play only a single effort-star, as follows:

Since the Black Knight is allowed to play a single effort-star (single encounter power) each combat round without penalty, he suffers no fatigue this round.  Thus, the remaining 10 hit points continue to be available in the fourth combat round, during which he can again choose whether to suffer fatigue in exchange for playing a powerful Fight or Move chit.


Eric Wilde said...

Since getting hooked on RealmSpeak, I've been pondering how to translate this to a tabletop FRPG. I particularly dig the magic system and could easily see developing a high fantasy ruleset out of these basic ideas.

Mark. K. aka - EvilDM said...

Having run primarily Dragon Warriors RPG system I can recommend it highly - though I speak of the original and not the rehashed version out now. The original came out in paperback book format, it was compact, unfussy and atmospheric - mainly due to the wonderful black & white illustrations throughout.

I have posted on my blog regarding the DW system should you care to read, though my piece is also basic in content, but it might help.

Kind regards,


Eric Wilde said...

So I've written up a somewhat simplified version of MR combat to use at the table with a more traditional RPG group (we normally play stuff similar to BRP, like Pendragon and Stormbringer, or AD&D.) Its just the combat rules and they need to be play tested.

It differs from MR in that there is only one "chit" (or "card" as I call them there) to play per round. Otherwise things are pretty similar. I simplified the rules for tabletop RPG to help speed combat along to the pace of something like AD&D. Such simplification will likely require an adjustment in the weapon times as well. We'll see how the play testing goes.

If you want to see them, drop me an email at ewilde1968 at the gmail dot commie thing.