*This is a session report I wrote on boardgamegeeks.com and presumes extreme familiarity with the game in question; Magic Realms*
Starting the game, the Witch enchanted V6*, V5*, II3* and II3*. She chose Remedy, Absorb Essence and Stones Fly. Watchful Natives option was not on due to my leeriness at previous crashes in earlier versions of Realmspeak. However I play with ‘Natives are people too’ which means unless they are your enemy, they cannot be attacked until placed on another character’s sheet or they have blocked/battled you.
The Inn was located in the south-west corner of the map, with two other valley tiles next to it before a huge clump of eight mountain/cave tiles. The next clearing over was in the Evil Valley which already had two Ghosts haunting it. Not immediately accessible was Awful Valley, which contained a guardhouse.
With an evil cackle, the Witch stepped off of her broom stick and entered the Inn.
Day One orders: Witch: A, Tr, Hr, Hr
:Familiar: M-EV4, M-EV1, M-R2, P-R2
The Witch alerted her II3* chit in case of trouble at the inn. She decided to take a look at what the Rogues had to offer, which was a Draught of Speed, and the Scroll of Alchemy. That raised her interest until she realized it contained type IV spells, of which she had no immediate way of providing color for until she bothered to enchant the correct tile. Her entreties for assistance fell on deaf ears. Her familiar wandered off past the Ghosts and entered the Ruins tile, but was unable to discern anything tangible.
Day Two orders: Witch: R, H, Hr, Hr
: Familiar: P-R2 (x3). M-CL5
In no hurry until her scout reported back to, the Witch rested back her II3* chit, successfully hid in case there was some sort of trouble, and again tried to hire one of the seedy-looking drunks to no avail. The familiar, low to the ground as it was, had nothing to report, but moved into the Cliffs tile.
Day Three orders: Witch: H, Hr, Hr, Hr
: Familiar: P-CL5 (x4)
Unwilling just yet to take on the ghosts, and a little leery about hiding and running past them into undiscovered territory, the Witch again hangs out at the Inn. She again is able to hide, and manages to sweet-talk a Rogue into joining forces with her. Fed up with her presence, the other Rogues hurl insults at her, which she stoically accepts while losing 5 notoriety for being such an easy target for abuse. In the Cliffs, on the last peer, her familiar reports back finding a Pool, a Statue, a Shrine, and a Lost Castle, whilst hearing ominous slithers, and flutters, and spying a few heaps of bones.
As dusk settles, a cloud rises on the trail and the Patrol brings their weary horses and selves to the Inn. They take exception to the stink of the Witch, and bustle about angrily. Glad she is hidden, the Witch studies the ghosts a little more closely. They have a movement and an attack time of 4. As she possesses a L3* chit she is fairly confident she will be able to run away from them.
Day Four orders: Witch: M-EV4, M-EV1, M-R2, A
: Familiar: M-R2, P-R2 (x3)
The Witch figures she will be blocked by the patrol if she attempts to hide, and will be blocked by the ghosts if she doesn’t, but records her days actions as though she wasn’t about to enter battle. Her familiar reports back telepathically that the Ruins stink and there is howling in the air. Sounds like Goblins and Trolls lurking thereabouts. She assigns R7 to follow her munificent presence before leaving the supposed safety of the Inn.
Sure enough the ghosts take exception to the presence of mortals, and block her in their clearing.
Combat: Round One: The Witch and R7 each lure a ghost. The Witch lets some Stones Fly and manoevers with the L3* chit. She will only be hit then by being intercepted, she hopes. R7 has a M3* attack so lines up with his ghost.
The stones do absolutely nothing to the incorporeal bodies of the ghosts, but the rogue slays his ghost.
Round Two: The rogue lures the remaining ghost away from the Witch. In combat he again undercuts the ghost, and sends it back to the netherworld.
‘That was four gold well spent.’ thought the Witch as her notoriety almost climbs out of the negative numbers.
Day Five orders: Witch: R, R, H, M-EV1
: Familiar: M-R1, M-R4, P-R4(x2)
The Witch rested up her two fatigued chits (the color chit and the spell chit), successfully hides and enters the other clearing in evil valley. Her familiar, unable to enter the caves with two moves left, putters around a bit peering.
Day Six orders: Witch: A, H, M-R2, M-CL5
: Familiar: M-R6, M-R3
Decision time for the Witch. Should she dare the Cliffs with its three treasure locations and numerous guardians inevitably waiting, or spend three to four days travelling to the Ledges, where she still is unsure what awaits. She decides to put on a brave face, alerts her V4* and strides into the Cliffs.
Immediately upon entering the clearing there, a Tremendous Giant stood barring the way. The brave, or foolhardy Rogue again drew the attention of the monster, and the Witch wasted no time in Absorbing its Essence, thus ending the combat.
Day Seven orders: Witch: R, A, M-CL3, M-CL2
: Familiar: M-L4, P-L4 (x3)
The Witch rested up her V5* chit which had supplied the black color necessary for the Absorb Essence spell and then alerted a II3* chit in case of lesser creatures. She strode over to the statue to check it out. The pool and the shrine needed a bit of searching to find the way to them, but with so many warning chits about she was a little leery to waste time looking. In the Ledges tile, her familiar reported back a huge cairn of stones, as well as numerous ruins. This could only mean Bats she figured.
In the evening, protecting the location of the statue, a disfigured Imp emerged from the ether and challenged the Witch and her compatriot. As the Rogue waved his arms and attracted the imps attention, the Witch underwent a disgusting transformation as she used her V6* chit that had been enchanted to black at the start of the game to turn into a Giant. With the Rogue covering Box 2, the giant Box 3, and the Tremendous club Box 1, the imp looked doomed. It managed to inflict a disgust spell on the Rogue before the club smashed in its skull. The Witch shyly commented on how the warts on her hireling’s face really drew attention to his eyes.
Day Eight orders: Witch: R, R, SPX, SP
: Familiar: M-L1, M-L6, M-L3, M-M4
With both her V chits fatigued, and on tied up on Absorb Essence, the Witch though it prudent to have a source of black magic to power up her Giant form. As she rested her chits, and then enchanted the V6* to black, there came a great fluttering racket, and a couple of Heavy Flying Dragons, and a landbound Heavy Dragon were to be spotted off in the distance. Meanwhile her familiar entered the Mountain tile.
Day Nine orders: Witch: H, S, S, S
: Familiar: M-M2, P-M2(x3)
A little unnerved by the proximty of the Dragons, the Witch failed to hide, and her searching for the statue availed her not one whit. Her familiar let her know that the Mountain tile was dank and that an arcane altar was to be found there. Hmm, Spiders at the least, she thought to herself.
Day Ten orders: Witch: H, S, S, S
: Familiar: M-OW5, M-CN5
The Witch got a little excited as she remembered that the Cliffs, once enchanted, became a source of purple magic. If she could get her hands on the Scroll of Alchemy held by the Rogues, it would provide her with a chit that would let her cast the spells it contained in this tile. She managed to hide, but again her searches were fruitless.
A little peeved at the whereabouts of the statue, she poo-pooed the strange scuttling noises they heard off in the distance. It was quite a surprise when a tentacled monstrosity showed up in their cosy clearing! Instructing the Rogue to ‘deal with that thing’ the Witch transformed into a Giant before engagin the Octopus from behind. The first round was uneventful, discounting the fact that the Rogue was snatched up by the tentacles of the Octopus and was threatened to be either eaten or torn apart.
Once again, the club of the Giant proved deadly, matching directions with the Rogues attack against the Octopus, and spraying the clearing with raw pieces of fresh-water monster.
Day Eleven orders: Witch: R, SPX, SP, H
: Familiar: P-CN5 (x2)
The Witch rested her V6* chit she used to transform into the Giant, and again enchanted it to provide black magic. Still uneasy with so many Dragons luring about, she again hid herself by pretending to be pieces of dead Octopus. Her familiar reported back that in the Caverns were scattered about ruins, and it distinctly heard howls. This could only mean Goblins, and more Goblins.
Day Twelve orders: Witch: H, S, S, S
: Familiar: M-Ow5, M-M2
Having snacked on Octopus for a couple of days, the bloated Witch just didn’t feel like hiding, and her searches for the confounded statue turned up nothing again.
Day Thirteen orders: Witch: S, S, S, S
: Familiar: M-M5, P-M5(x2)
Rolling up her sleeves and getting some sunlight on her pale, scrawny and hairy arms the Witch was determined to find the statue. And she did! At this point she reached into her backpack and consulted a couple of the manuals she had within. The first was written by a certain Daniel W. Farrow IV, and contained various charts on different aspects of the realm. There she found that she had roughly a 38% to learn a given spell. Looking through another tome, entitled ‘Arthwollipot’s Survival Guide’ she learned that the statue was rumored to hold 2 type VII spells, 1 Type VIII spell, a couple of small treasures, and one large treasure. The book recommended to basically walk away from it. Her familiar reported back nothing she did not already know.
Day Fourteen orders: Witch: S, S, S, S
: Familiar: M-B4, P-B4
Upon studying the runes inscribed on the statue, the Witch awoke the ‘Sense Danger’ spell, but her quill broke while transcribing it, and she did not learn it. She then was cursed with Disgust for her troubles, before she found a Poultice of Health amidst the bones strewen about the statues feet. A last attempt to learn a spell cursed her with Ashes, making her gold absolutely worthless. In the Borderlands tile, her familiar saw lots of smoke, and heard plenty of roaring. Probably the stomping grounds of Dragons and Trolls.
Whilst pondering her options, a Giant Bat, aka ‘Shark with wings’ flew over the clearing and launched an attack. Now getting into the habit of working together the Witch didnt even need to instruct the Rogue draw off the Bat as she suddenly and shudderingly shifted shape.
The club that came with the transformation again proved quite effective, knocking the dodgy Bat a few thousand feet away.
Day Fifteen orders: Witch: M-CL3, M-CL5, M-R2, M-EV1
: Familiar: M-B6, M-B3
Aware that her contract was running out with her trusty R7 the Witch decided to hitch up her skirts and hike back to the Inn. They came into the Evil Valley just at sundown, and were beset upon by another pair of Ghosts. The witch looked about her with shrewd eyes, wondering where the accursed cemetary was that all these spirits were emerging from.
The Witch and the Rogue each lured a Ghost. A little worn out from transforming into a Giant what seemed like every day, the Witch let her grey magic loose, and let some Stones Fly. Once again they passed harmlessly through the spirits, or were simply avoided. All business, the Rogue dispatched his Ghost with calm efficiency. He then obligingly lured the remaining Ghost from the proximity of the Witch, and dispatched his fourth spirit with a slick undercut.
Day Sixteen orders: Witch: R, R, SPX, SP
: Familiar: M-B2, M-DW5, P-DW5(x2)
Cursed with Disgust and Ashes, the Witch called a halt to the duo’s wandering. Which was fine with the Rogue as his term of contract was nearly at an end. The Witch enchanted her V6* back to black magic, just in case, though the only danger in the Evil Valley would be the harrassment of lonely ghosts. In the Deep Woods, far away from its master, her familiar reported a terrible stink, and an immense locked and boarded-up Vault.
Day Seventeen orders: Witch: R, SPX, SP, M-EV4
: Familiar: M-DW4, M-DW6, M-DW1, M-PW4
The Witch returned her remaining fatigued chit back to play, and prepared a II3* chit to hold grey magic. She said good-bye to her trusty Rogue and left him to move closer to the Inn. That evening she cast Remedy on herself and removed the curse of Ashes.
Day Eighteen orders: Witch: R, R, SPX, SP
: Familiar: M-PW2, M-HP2, P-HP2
Pretty sure she wasn’t going to get an exactly rosy reception in the Inn, the Witch rested her VII4* and II3* chits, and then enchanted the II3* to provide grey magic.
Day Nineteen orders: Witch: H, A, H, M-CV5
: Familiar: P-HP2 (x4)
Gathering her courage, hiding in the shadows, and alerting her other II3* chit, the Witch walked into the Curst Valley, and opened the doors to the Inn. Sure enough, being jerks, the three members of the Patrol commented loudly about her appearance, and how there was enough alcohol to make her attractive. Things got out of hand and they turned hostile after only a few words were exchanged.
Being hidden, the Witch had the option to run out of the Inn, but what good would that do? Taking a deep breath she let some more Stones Fly from her hiding spot. ‘The mosquito’s sure are annoying’ was the only response she got from her spell. Sighing, the Witch again assumed the bulk of the Giant. The second round she pounded a horse but good, but it merely shrugged off her blow. The Patrol in retalitation was unable to make a dent in the thick skin of the Giant.
In the third round, she pounded one of the Patrol into oblivion while blows against her again failed to do any harm. The fourth round she actually undercut one of the Patrol, and laughed menacingly as the HQ of the patrol poked his weapon about ineffectively. In round five she let the HQ really have it, as he had been the main instigator of the insults directed her way. He was but a smear on the polished wood floor of the Inn.
At this point the Witch had 12 gold, 13 fame and 33 notoriety.
Day Twenty orders: Witch: R, R, SPX, SP
: Familiar: M-PW2, M-PW4, M-DW1, M-DW6
The Witch chose to rest her fatigued spell chits and enchant V6* back to black as her familiar back-tracked to the Crags and the Caverns, the only other logical places for treasure sites remaining.
Day Twenty-One orders: Witch: R, S, S ,S
: Familiar: M-DW4, M-DW5, M-B2, P-B2
The Witch rested her final fatigued magic chit, and looking about the inn, discovered a couple more potions, the Oil of Poison, and the Ointment of Bite, neither of which particularly interested her.
Day Twenty-Two orders: Witch: SPX, SP, S, S
: Familiar: M-CL1, M-CL6
Despite the seeming uselessness of Stones Fly, the Witch grimly enchanted II3*to provide grey magic. Her searching for the day turned up a battered helmet, which still weighed more than she cared for.
Day Twenty-Three orders: Witch: T, Hr, Hr, Hr
: Familiar: M-CL4, M-L2
There arose such a clatter that the Witch threw open the shutters to see the forms of the Company come into the clearing. Her allies! She quickly sold them her three potions and the battered helmet of the Patrol, giving her 27 gold. She attempted to hire the Company, but was 5 gold short of the asking price. Again whipping out a manual from her backpack she saw to get the Company at their asking price of 16 gold would only happen 11% of the time. Not wanting to waste a week pursuading them she tried to hire another Rogue, as the first one had proved so useful. However they had heard some troubling rumors about ghosts coming back to haunt those that vanquished them, and refused to even listen to her.
Her ugly features made even worse by the curse of Disgust, she wasn’t even able to let the insults and catcalls of the Rogues cost her fame by ignoring them. All of the Rogues jumped her en masse. As they surrounded her the Witch was left with a difficult choice. Should she cast her useless Stones Fly in the first round, hope she wasn’t killed and then turn Giant on them? With that particular spell being so useless, she was fairly certain she would be cut down by the survivors. So, she opted to transform into the Giant and try and take out the Archer, who had a sly grin on his stubbled face.
Sure enough the archer rolled a ‘1’ on the missile table. The rogues scattered as the body of the Giant crashed into the tables and then slowly shrunk into the form of the Witch. Far off in the wilderness an animal gave a mixed scream of joy and sorrow as the grip of its master left it.
In conclusion: Had I spent another day removing ‘Disgust’ I could have avoided the fight with the Rogues by sucking up the insult. With 27 gold I could probably have hired another couple of Rogue escorts, gone back to loot the Shrine and the Pool, come back and have hired the Company, at which point the Witch would have been one tough mother. Another lesson learned in the vast experiences awaiting in the Magic Realm.