Saturday, February 8, 2014

Magic Realm Example Of Play: The Witch

I posted a 28-day Magic Realm game "example of play" several months ago, using my favorite Magic Realm character, the Black Knight.

The Black Knight is an excellent choice when first learning Magic Realm, because he is an incredibly versatile martial character. 

You can dispense with his heavy armor and use his agility to amass a fortune in treasure and gold. 

Or, you can take advantage of his armor and mow through native groups and heavy monsters, in the process racking up significant fame and notoriety.

The Black Knight has no magic abilities whatsoever.  Therefore, spellbooks, scrolls and enchanted items are of little value to him, other than their gold price. 

Those items are quite valuable to Magic Realm's magic-using characters, of whom the Sorceror and Witch are my favorites.

I am going to post another Magic Realm "example of play" here, this time using the Witch character.

The Witch is very different from the Black Knight.  While the Black Knight starts the game with significant armor and arms and has a range of move and fight options, the Witch starts with no equipment and few move and fight options. 

However, the Witch does start with her black cat familiar, who acts a second set of eyes and can independently wander, search and instantly report back on the state of the Magic Realm to her mistress. 

The Witch also starts with three spells, from the black, grey, and malicious spell categories. 

For her starting spells, the Witch can choose any three of the 18 spells, below.
Of the first set of six Type II, Grey spells, none are overwhelmingly useful to the Witch.  Blend Into Background gives the Witch an extra Hide Phase, for a single day, but it costs at least three phases to cast (an Enchant Phase plus two Rest Phases) so it is only of limited value in narrow circumstances.  Fog is a nuisance spell, cast to interfere with other players' searches for a single day, but provides little direct benefit to the Witch.  Prophecy is a valuable spell, since it allows the Witch to choose what actions to take during the following day ONCE she knows what monsters are prowling, but the Witch does not have immediate access to Purple (Elemental) magic to power this spell.  Stones Fly is a VERY weak attack spell and not recommended.  Talk to Wise Bird is attractive, but again, the Witch does not have access to Gold (Fairie) magic to power it.  Finally, there is Witch's Brew, a spell that gives the Witch access to Gold and Purple magic, a handy spell but one that I don't recommend as a starting spell.
Of the second set of six Type V, Black Spells, there are several standouts: Absorb Essence and BroomstickAbsorb Essence allows the Witch to absorb a monster she encounters, later transforming into that monster when she meets other monsters, natives and characters.  Think of Madam Mim and Merlin from The Sword In The Stone.  If the Witch absorbs a very powerful monster, like the Tremendous Flying Dragon, she becomes a formidable opponent.  Broomstick allows the Witch to quickly fly to far-flung corners of the Magic Realm,  beating the other characters to the choicest treasure sites.  Ask Demon is of questionable value; the Witch player asks another player a question about their in-game plans, which they must answer honestly with a yes or no.  Curse and Power of the Pit are nasty player versus player attack spells, but are not recommended, as they generate little reward and attract the enmity of the other characters and players.  Pentacle is a useful spell but only applies to three of eight treasure sites, none of which are particularly treasure-rich.  So, of this group of spells, Absorb Essence and Broomstick are highest on our list of suitable spells.
There are several handy spells in the third set of Type VIII, Malicious Spells.  Bad Luck can be cast on another character, making it more difficult for them to hide and search when in enchanted areas of the Magic Realm.  Not the best way to make friends at the table.  Deal with Goblins could be useful, since the Witch could hire the Goblins and use them to butcher the Magic Realm natives.  Guide Spider or Octopus is handy if the Witch stumbles on the related treasure sites, but those sites are not the richest ones, nor are those monsters the strongest ones for absorbing.  Poison is a good spell in a multi-player game, as the Witch can cast poison on her partners' weapons, making it easier for her partners to kill monsters.  For a solo Witch game, Remedy is the better choice, as it allows the Witch to rid herself of curses inflicted on her from acquiring spells.  Finally, there is Whistle for Monsters, used to attract or send monsters away.  It only works for sound chits, which represent half of the game's monster-generation, so it is not a fool-proof way of avoiding monsters.
For her starting spells, the Witch chooses Absorb Essence, Broomstick and Remedy.  This is a good choice of starting spells.  As you play the Witch, you can try other combinations, but this set of spells gives the Witch the ability to Absorb a monster for combat purposes, use her Broomstick to fly away from monsters or travel quickly across the Magic Realm, and a way to remove curses as she searches for new spells.

The Witch also chooses to start the game with two bits of grey magic (to power her Remedy spell twice) and two bits of black magic (to power her Absorb Essence and Broomstick spells).  Only chits I, II, III, IV and V can be changed into sources of color magic to power spells, so her type VIII remain as rituals, instead of color magic.

Tomorrow, we will have a look at the map of the Magic Realm, and see what the Witch has planned for her adventures.

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