Monsters! … and How to Kill Them

Monsters! …and How to Kill Them

by Jay Richardson

When one reads the game reports of people learning to play Magic Realm, a recurring theme is how much trouble they have in figuring out what monsters their character can kill. This is important, because the key to survival in Magic Realm is using your moves – and your ability to hide – to avoid the battles you can’t win. Experienced players understand how to survive, while beginners often end up dying repeatedly.

To assist new players in learning the necessary survival skills, I have compiled the following list showing exactly what it takes to kill each of the monsters in the game, using the standard combat rules. The combat notes assume that characters will always begin a battle hidden, giving them a “free” attack on their target in the first round. (Blundering into a battle unhidden is a very bad idea!)

This list also assumes that the monsters are being fought only with striking weapons. I’ll give a few notes on missile weapons at the end of this article.

In the listings that follow, the first line below the monster’s name shows its unalerted (light side) values, and the second line shows its alerted (dark side) values, in the following format:
[attack harm & speed]/[movement speed].

WOLF
L4/3
M4/4

WOLF
M5/3
L3/4

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

Wolves have good maneuver speeds and weak attacks. But you get six at once and, just to make things interesting, there are two different variations. They are quite capable of wounding to death any character who is unable to run away from them. A workhorse (Heavy vulnerability) or warhorse (Tremendous vulnerability) offers complete protection from them, making horseback wolf hunting an easy way to score lots of notoriety points.

OGRE
T5/5
H5/4

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

Ogres are slow, but they hit hard. A lone Ogre is an easy kill, but there are two of them, so a slow character will usually need some help from another character or hired natives. A character with an attack time of “3” or less can easily defeat them by undercutting and killing the first one while hidden.

Note that Ogres have a weapon length of “0” even though they are shown carrying a club.

GHOST
H4/4
L2/2

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

The Ghosts are unpredictable. They can be powerful with average speed, or weak and extremely fast. This unpredictability, combined with fighting two of them at once, makes it difficult for a single character to defeat them. (Remember that the monster you target always rolls for changing tactics, even if it cannot attack you because you were hidden.) Ghosts cannot hurt a warhorse.

VIPER
M4**/4
L2/2

Vulnerability: Medium + armored
To Kill: any weapon
(L weapon must be played with a M, H, or T Fight chit)

Vipers are nearly identical to Ghosts: they do an extra level of damage to unarmored targets (Tremendous harm), and are slightly harder to kill because of their armor (L weapons must be played with an overstrength Fight chit).

Some players wonder about the significance of the Viper’s two sharpness stars… but they have no special significance in the game. Their M4** attack is identical in every respect to a H4* attack.

GOBLIN – AXE
L4*/3
M4*/4

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

The Axe-wielding Goblins are weak, but, just like the Wolves, getting six at once means there’s a very real chance of being wounded to death if you cannot run away. They cannot hurt a warhorse… but a warhorse can’t be used in cave clearings, which is where Goblins are often found.

GOBLIN – GREAT SWORD
H6*/3
T5*/5

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

These six guys won’t wound you to death: those powerful attacks will make short work of any armor, and then the next hit kills you. Avoid! You will need an army of hired natives to defeat them.

GOBLIN – SPEAR
–/3
H5*/5

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

The Spear Goblins are unique among monsters in that they do not attack at all unless they change tactics to their dark sides. This might tempt you to try your luck, but I would recommend that you avoid the temptation: there are six of them, and they can do a lot of damage if they do attack. They cannot hurt a warhorse.

IMP
V2/2
M4/3

Vulnerability: Medium
To Kill: any weapon

The Imp is a weak monster, but most characters will avoid him if possible. Only the fastest characters can run away from him (only if he changes tactics), and some of those curses are really unpleasant. However, if you can safely reach the Chapel from the Imp’s location, you could fight him knowing that you can easily get any curses you suffer removed at the Chapel.

HEAVY SPIDER
L4/3
T6/4

Vulnerability: Heavy
To Kill: any M, H, or T weapon (except Mace),
Mace played with H or T Fight chit,
L weapon (except Staff) played with M, H, or T Fight chit

The Heavy Spider, in spite of its T attack, is one of the easiest monsters to defeat. They only come on one at a time, and the T6 attack cannot undercut a character’s maneuver… so you play your attack in the same direction as your maneuver: if the Heavy Spider lines up to hit you, you will kill it first thanks to having the longest weapon or the fastest attack. It is, however, very dangerous for a single character to fight more than one of them at a time.

GIANT BAT
M2/3
M3/2

Vulnerability: Heavy
To Kill: any M, H, or T weapon (except Mace),
Mace played with H or T Fight chit,
L weapon (except Staff) played with M, H, or T Fight chit

The Giant Bat is a very fast monster that few characters can run away from. Its weak attack is deceiving… the fast attack speed means that the Bat will probably hit every round, and the M attack harm ensures that each hit does some damage. Almost every experienced player can tell a story of how a powerful character – like the White Knight – was wounded to death while fighting a single Bat.

A single Bat can be defeated by a single character, but there is almost always some risk involved. They cannot hurt a workhorse or a warhorse.

HEAVY SERPENT
M4/3
H5/4

Vulnerability: Heavy + armored,
To Kill: any H or T weapon,
M weapon played with H or T Fight chit

Heavy Serpents have good maneuver speed and average attacks. A single Heavy Serpent would not be a problem for the Heavy characters; but they are dangerous because you get two at once. A single character might be able to defeat both serpents… if he was lucky… or if he was riding a warhorse, which they cannot hurt.

HEAVY TROLL
M4/4
H5/4

Vulnerability: Heavy + armored,
To Kill: any H or T weapon,
M weapon played with H or T Fight chit

Heavy Trolls have both average speed and average attacks. They are dangerous to a single character because you get two at once. They cannot hurt a warhorse.

HEAVY DRAGON
H4/4
M4/3

Vulnerability: Heavy + armored,
To Kill: any H or T weapon,
M weapon played with H or T Fight chit

The Heavy Dragon has good maneuver speed and an average attack. Its attack will undercut Heavy characters if they are unable to kill it before they fatigue their last “Move 4” chit. It cannot hurt a warhorse.

HEAVY FLYING DRAGON
H4/4
L4/3

Vulnerability: Heavy + armored,
To Kill: any H or T weapon,
M weapon played with H or T Fight chit

Heavy Flying Dragons are slightly weaker than the Heavy Dragon: their dark side attack is L4 instead of M4. The L4 attack will not cause a wound if it hits armor, but it is still risky for a single character to take on the two Heavy Flying Dragons… they start the battle with their H4 attacks, and there is no guarantee that they will ever change tactics to the L4 attack. They cannot hurt a warhorse.

TREMENDOUS SPIDER
M4/3
(5)/4

Vulnerability: Tremendous
To Kill: any H or T weapon (except Morning Star),
Morning Star played with T Fight chit,
M weapon (except Mace) played with H or T Fight chit

The Tremendous Spider has good maneuver speed, so only the fastest characters can run away from it, but its slow red-side-up attack speed of “5” makes it easy for the Heavy characters to kill it: they use their attack to protect their maneuver, killing the Spider if it lines up before it can kill them. The Tremendous Spider is primarily a threat to those characters who are too slow to run away and too weak to kill it.

TREMENDOUS SERPENT
L4/4
(4)/5

Vulnerability: Tremendous + armored
To Kill: any T weapon,
H weapon played with T Fight chit

The Tremendous Serpent has average speed and a weak basic attack. Its red-side-up attack speed of “4” would seem to make it a danger to Heavy characters who can only move at speed “4” for a few rounds: once fatigue slows them down to speed “5” they can be undercut and killed.

But the Tremendous Serpent is actually easy for a heavy character to kill: once the Serpent hits the character and picks him up, flipping over to its red side, it slows down to a speed of “5”. An attack at speed “4” will then undercut the Serpent, and resolve first due to being the longest weapon (when attack times are equal): a guaranteed kill for the character.

OCTOPUS
L4/2
(4)/3

Vulnerability: Tremendous
To Kill: any H or T weapon (except Morning Star),
Morning Star played with T Fight chit,
M weapon (except Mace) played with H or T Fight chit

The Octopus is a dangerous monster: no character can run away from it. The red-side-up attack speed of “4” makes it a threat to the Heavy characters.

Here’s an example of how experienced players increase their chances of surviving: When preparing to enter an unexplored tile where the Pool might possibly appear, a good player will avoid ending his turn in clearing 6 if it is at all possible. That way, IF the player fails his hides, and IF the Pool appears in clearing 6, and IF the Octopus is prowling, the player’s character will not be caught and killed by a monster that he cannot run away from. That is a lot of “ifs” – which makes it an unlikely occurrence – but good players never take any unnecessary risks.

TREMENDOUS TROLL
H4/4
(2)/6

Vulnerability: Tremendous + armored
To Kill: any T weapon,
H weapon played with T Fight chit

The Tremendous Troll is widely considered the deadliest monster in the game. If he hits you and picks you up, the red-side-up attack speed of “2” is guaranteed death to most characters. Avoid him, unless you know you can kill him (attack speed of “3” or less) or you can run away from him (move speed of “3” or less).

DEMON
V2/4
(4)/4

Vulnerability: Tremendous
To Kill: any H or T weapon (except Morning Star),
Morning Star played with T Fight chit,
M weapon (except Mace) played with H or T Fight chit

The Demons are usually avoided by most players. Their “Power of the Pit” attack always has the possibility of killing a character. The Pilgrim is the exception, because the Demons are not allowed to attack him.

WINGED DEMON
V3/3
(5)/2

Vulnerability: Tremendous
To Kill: any H or T weapon (except Morning Star),
Morning Star played with T Fight chit,
M weapon (except Mace) played with H or T Fight chit

The Winged Demon, with a red-side-up attack speed of “5”, is a little easier for Heavy characters to fight than the regular Demon (red-side-up attack speed of “4”). But few players will be brave enough to risk the “Power of the Pit” to take him on.

GIANT
H5/5
(4)/6
Club: H6-T4

Vulnerability: Tremendous
To Kill: any H or T weapon (except Morning Star),
Morning Star played with T Fight chit,
M weapon (except Mace) played with H or T Fight chit

The Giant is the easiest Tremendous monster to defeat. He is slow enough to be undercut for a sure kill, and his club cannot hurt you if you attack while hidden. Characters that are too weak to kill him can easily run away from him.

TREMENDOUS DRAGON
H5/6
(3)/6
Head: H4-T4

Vulnerability: Tremendous + armored
To Kill: any T weapon,
H weapon played with T Fight chit

The Tremendous Dragons are a tremendous disappointment… how awful it is that the deadliest monster in the game is a mere Troll, rather than the legendary Dragons! The Tremendous Dragon is even slower than the Giant, and thus even easier to run away from or undercut. His armor ensures that only characters with T Fight chits can kill him, but as long as they are hidden they can take him down with no risk whatsoever.

His red-side-up attack speed of “3” would seem to make him a real threat… but the chances are you will never see him get an opportunity to use it.

TREMENDOUS FLYING DRAGON
M3/4
(6)/4
Head: M3-T3

Vulnerability: Tremendous + armored
To Kill: any T weapon,
H weapon played with T Fight chit

The maneuver speed of “4” makes the Tremendous Flying Dragon difficult to kill, and the chance that his head might change tactics to a T3 attack is also a concern. But with his normal attacks only doing Medium harm, and a red-side-up attack speed of “6”, the Tremendous Flying Dragon is not as dangerous as the Tremendous Troll… which is all the more unfortunate considering that he guards the richest treasure location in the game.

Observations

There are a couple of conclusions can be drawn from this review of the monsters of Magic Realm.

First, always try to fight only one monster at a time. Multiple monsters greatly increase the danger to a character, and should only be tackled if you have assistance from other characters or natives. Beginners, in particular, would be well-advised to play the game cooperatively, as a team. Two or three characters working together can be far more effective than any single character.

Also, the importance of the Heavy characters preserving their Move chits cannot be over-emphasized. When they battle the large monsters, often the only thing that keeps them alive is their “Move 4” chit… to slow down to “Move 5” is to invite a quick death. Heavy characters must make resting their Move chits a top priority.

A Note on Missile Weapons and Attack Spells

Missile weapons and attack spells differ from the striking weapons in that you must roll on the Missile Table to determine the harm inflicted. This means that a missile attack can potentially kill any monster (exception: the Stones Fly spell cannot kill a Tremendous armored monster). But it also means that there is no guarantee that a missile attack will kill its target.

The two characters that start with bows, the Elf and the Woods Girl, are well-suited to using them: they can take a free shot at a target while hidden, and then use their speed to run away in the next round if they miss, or if other monsters are present. Other, slower, characters should be wary of using bows, because of this uncertainty of killing the target.

The Fiery Blast spell can attack any number of targets. It is wickedly effective against Goblins and Wolves, having a 70% chance of killing each one it targets. But the spellcaster will still need some protection from the targets that survive the Fiery Blast, which means cooperating with other characters, or hiring natives.