Magic Realm Rules Second Edition

The legendary, lost SECOND EDITION of the

Magic Realm Rules


Welcome to the MAGIC REALM.

MAGIC REALM is a game of fantasy adventuring, set in a land filled with monsters, fabulous treasures, great warriors and magicians. The scene is set in the ruins of a mighty kingdom, now inhabited by sparse groups of natives and swarms of monsters. Beneath it all are the rich remnants of a magical civilization , scattered and lost across the map.

To this scene come the adventurers, seekers of riches and fame, to make a name for themselves in this promising field. Swordsman and Dwarf, Magician and Sorceror, the humans and the half-humans come seeking to loot the legendary riches of a lost civilization. Now you can play the part of one of these adventurers, stepping into an unknown Realm of magic and monsters, battles and treasures.

As a player, you will take on the role of one of the sixteen major characters who are represented in detail in the game. You will control where he goes, what he tries to do, how he handles himself in combat and much more. In the course of the game you will run into deadly monsters, tribes of humans ranging from old friends to sworn enemies, and treasures that will enhance your abilities in many ways.

MAGIC REALM is a complex game designed to recapture the suspense and desperate struggles of fantasy literature. The game creates a small but complete fantasy world, where each game is a new adventure with a new map where everything lies hidden at new locations. The game includes many more playing pieces than are actually used in a single playing. The additional pieces are set up and can appear, depending on the directions in which the characters explore, but many of the treasure troves, treasures and spells will still be set up, unfound, when the game ends, and many of the monsters and natives might never be met. The result is an extremely unpredictable game full of surprises, a game that plays very differently each time it is played.

The complete game system includes hiking, hiding and searching, fatigue, wounds, rest, trade, hiring natives and combat between characters, monsters and natives using a variety of weapons on horseback and afoot, as well as many magical effects. This wealth of detail makes the complete game complex. but the rulebook has

been organized to allow the players to learn the game a little at a time and play as they learn. The rules are divided into sections, and the players can learn one section at a time and play a simplified game with the rules they have learned so far. The players should read the rules one section at a time, stopping at the end of each section and playing until they are comfortable with the rules introduced in that section. Once they have mastered that section, they can move on to the next.

A GUIDE TO THE PIAYING PIECES illustrates the playing pieces and explains them briefly; in addition, there are lists of treasures, weapons, armor, horses, natives, monsters and prices that explain individual pieces in more detail. The PREPARE FOR PIAY section explains how to set up the game.

The rules that explain how to play the game are divided into four sections called ENCOUNTERS. The FIRST ENCOUNTER is a peaceful treasure hunt that explains how the newly arrived characters move, search and trade; the monsters threaten, but are too wary to attack these unfamiliar newcomers. The SECOND ENCOUNTER explains combat between characters and monsters, when the monsters grow bold enough to attack. Combat expands to include warfare in the THIRD ENCOUNTER, which explains how characters can hire natives and fight each other. The FOURTH ENCOUNTER introduces magic and its many uses. The ADVANCED RULES add some finishing touches.

The OPTIONAL RULES allow the players to expand the rules that interest them the most: there are special rules that magnify commerce, combat, magic and more. Finally, the EXPANDING THE REALM section allows the players to restructure the way the game is played. It includes rules for SOLITAIRE PLAY, longer or shorter games, increasing the number of characters, and combining copies of the game to make a gigantic MAGIC REALM.

Between exploring a new land where the mountains, caves, valleys and woods change every game, and not knowing what you will find in each place, you will find each game a new and unpredictable adventure, filled with surprises. You will find this like no other board game you have ever played.

And now, into the MAGIC REALM.

Table of Contents

Hex Tile

Hex Tiles


This guide provides a quick reference to the information on the playing pieces. It is not necessary to memorize this information.


  1. The very large cardboard hexagons are referred to as “hex tiles” or “map tiles”. The smallest cardboard squares are referred to as “chits”. All other cardboard pieces are referred to as “counters”.
  2. The round counters represent the characters and the items they can own. The square counters represent dwellings, monsters and natives (and the personal mounts of the natives).


1.1 TILES: The hexagonal MAP TILES (or “hex tiles”) show the terrain of the MAGIC REALM. The green side of each tile is the front or “natural” side; the varicolored reverse side is the “enchanted” side. The “enchanted” side stays face down until magic is introduced in the FOURTH ENCOUNTER

1.1/1 The hex tiles are put side by side, green side up, to create the map of the MAGIC REALM. When assembled, the map shows a mountainous forest, dotted with clearings and caves that are interconnected by a network of roadways. Underground caves and tunnels are pictured in black, outlined with white dashes. The various types of terrain are illustrated on page 2.

1.1/2 Most of the game takes place in the circular clearings. Each clearing contains a yellow numeral, so it can be identified by its number and tile: “NUT WOODS 2” (or the abbreviation “NW 2”) identifies the clearing labeled “2” on the NUT WOODS tile, for example. There are three types of clearings: black underground clearings are cave clearings or “caves”; light brown clearings surrounded by grey mountain ridges are “mountain” clearings; and all other clearings are “woods” clearings.

1.1/3 The clearings are connected by four kinds of roadways: black underground “tunnels”, light brown “open roads”, dark brown “hidden paths” and grey-speckled black “secret passages”. There are no crossroads or forks between clearings—open roads run over tunnels without connecting to them, and bridges show where one road crosses over another road without connecting to it. Roadways connect from tile to tile. Roadways that run off the map edge are unplayable and are ignored. Note: “Mine openings” just show where open roads go underground to become tunnels. They do not affect play.

1.2 The map chits are put on the tiles face down to secretly define what is in each tile. The red Sound chits identify the sounds of the forest (sounds made by monsters), and the number on each chit identifies which clearing the sounds are coming from. The yellow Warning chits represent other clues that identify nearby monsters or dwellings. and the letter on each chit defines the tiles where it is put: “V” for VALLEY tiles, “W” for WOODS tiles, “C” for tiles with caves, and “M” for mountains (and the mysterious DEEP WOODS). The gold Site chits represent places where lost treasures are concealed. The number on the chit identifies the clearing where the treasures are hidden. The red LOST CITY and LOST CASTLE chits signify concentrations of Sound and Site chits. They identify regions thick with monsters and treasure.

Sound and Warning Chits

1.3 The Dwelling counters represent buildings and campsites inhabited by humans.


2.1 The monster, native and visitor pieces represent the “denizens” who live in the MAGIC REALM.

2.2 The monster and native counters represent the monsters and humans pictured on them. The numbers, letters and stars on these counters are combat values that are ignored until combat is explained in the SECOND ENCOUNTER.

2.2/1 The letter on each counter defines the strength of its attack, and any stars are “sharpness stars” that add to the damage it inflicts. The number with this letter defines his attack speed, and the other number on the counter defines his maneuver speed.

2.2/2 Each side of the counter shows different combat values (generally, the darker side is turned up when the monster or native is being more aggressive). Each monster and native always uses the values that are face up at the moment.

2.3 The LIST OF MONSTERS identifies each monster counter by its picture and size. The size of the counter implies the size of the monster – the largest counters are the largest, and toughest, monsters.

2.3/1 The red side of the twelve largest monster counters has a special meaning: it shows the monster’s combat values when it picks up an enemy to rip him apart!

2.3/2 Five of the largest monsters have extra counters that they use to attack: each Giant has a red “club” counter and each Dragon has a red “head” counter. These extra counters stay with their monsters throughout the game.

2.4 The picture on each native counter signifies how that native is armed and armored. The LIST OF NATIVES explains each native.

2.4/1 The natives are divided into nine groups. Each native counter has an identity code (or “ID code”) that identifies him and the group he belongs to. The Company (“C” ID code) are the blue counters, the Bashkars (“B”) and Rogues (“R”) are red, the Guard (“G”) and Order (“O”) are gold, the Lancers (“L”) and Woodfolk (“W”) are green, and the Patrol (“P”) and Soldiers (“S”) are brown.

2.4/2 The “HQ” code identifies the leader of each group.

2.4/3 The square horse counters represent horses being ridden by the natives. Each horse has the same ID code as its rider.

2.5 The visitor/mission chits have a variety of uses. When a name (CRONE, SCHOLAR, SHAMAN, WARLOCK) is face up, the chit represents a visitor – a sage or magician who is visiting the MAGIC REALM. When ESCORT PARTY or FOOD/ALE is face up, the chit represents a helpless group of people who are on a mission. When CONQUEST, PILLAGE, QUEST, RAID, REVOLT or WAR is face up, the chit represents a messenger or demagogue with the authority to start a campaign.

* In the FIRST ENCOUNTER and SECOND ENCOUNTER, only the CRONE, SCHOLAR, SHAMAN and WARLOCK are used. These four chits are turned so that these names are face up, and the other two visitor/mission chits are left out of play. Starting in the THIRD ENCOUNTER, all six chits can be used either side up.


3.1 The weapon counters, armor counters, Treasure cards and round horse counters are “belongings” that the characters can own; the weapons, armor and Treasure cards are “items” that must be carried. Spell cards represent information that can be learned.

3.2 Each horse counter represents the horse pictured on it. There are three types of horses: ponies, workhorses and warhorses.

3.2/1 The round horse counters are mounts that the characters can obtain and ride during the game. The square horse counters are the personal mounts of the natives and cannot be used by the characters.

3.2/2 The letter on each horse counter defines its strength, and the number defines the time it takes to move. Each side of the counter shows different values; the side showing an asterisk is turned up when the horse is “galloping”, and the side without an asterisk is turned up when the horse is “walking”. The horse always has the values that are face up at the moment.

3.3 Each weapon counter represents the weapon silhouetted on it. Weapons are classed as “missile weapons” or “striking weapons”, depending on how they attack. The WEAPONS list identifies each weapon and its type.

3.3/1 The letter on each weapon defines its weight and the damage it inflicts in battle, and the stars are “sharpness stars” that define extra damage it can inflict. Some counters also have a number; this number defines the weapon’s attack time.

3.3/2 The side of the counter that shows an asterisk is turned up when the weapon is “alerted”, ready to make its best attack. The side without an asterisk is turned up when the weapon is “unalerted”. Weapons can still attack when unalerted, but their attack is weaker. Exception: Spears cannot attack when unalerted.

TREASURE COUNTERS: The four gold weapon counters (1abelled BANE, TRUESTEEL, LIVING and DEVIL) and the four gold armor counters labeled GOLD, SILVER, JADE and “T”) are valuable “treasure counters”; the other weapons and armor counters are ordinary items. The pony labeled “L2” on one side and “L4” on the other, and the war horse labeled “T3” on one side and “T5” on the other are also treated as treasure counters; the other horses are ordinary.

3.4 Each armor counter represents the armor pictured on it. There are four kinds of armor: helmets, breastplates, shields and suits of armor. The letter on each armor counter defines its weight and the damage it can absorb in combat. Each armor counter is turned “DAMAGED” side up only when the armor is damaged. The other side of the counter is its “intact” side.

3.5 Each Treasure card represents the item named on the card. Cards with a gold dot are “large Treasures” with obvious value; cards with no gold dot are “small Treasures” that are less valuable (or less obvious about their value).

3.5/1 Each Treasure card has a letter that defines its weight and a number that defines its GOLD price. The phrase in the center of the card indicates what it can be used for in the game. The LIST OF TREASURES explains how each Treasure card is used.

a. Some Treasure cards also have a NOTORIETY value and a FAME value or FAME price. Cards with a red dot are “Great treasures”. A FAME value is identified by the word “FAME:” followed by a number. A FAME price is identified by the name of a native group, a number and “F”, all within parentheses.

b. Colors and Roman numerals printed in red signify color magic and Rituals with magical uses explained in the FOURTH ENCOUNTER.

3.5/2 Exception: The six cards labeled “P1” to “P6” in red are TREASURES WITHIN TREASURES cards (or “T-W-T” cards) that contain other treasures. The CHEST (P1) is an item, but the REMAINS OF THIEF and MOULDY SKELETON are exchanged for items, while TOADSTOOL CIRCLE, CRYPT OF THE KNIGHT and ENCHANTED MEADOW are “Site cards” – places where treasures are located.

3.6 The Spell cards signify magic spells. Spells and Spell cards can be ignored until magic is explained in the FOURTH ENCOUNTER.

3.6/1 Each Spell card displays the name of the spell and summarizes its qualities (see illustration). It identifies the Ritual and color magic needed to cast the spell and specifies the target(s) it can be cast on, and it summarizes the spell’s effect and its duration (how long it remains in effect).

3.6/2 Each spell is explained in more detail in the LIST OF SPELLS.


4.1 The SET UP CARD is used to hold pieces that are hidden somewhere on the map or that are just too bulky to keep on the map. Most of the denizens and items start the game on the SET UP CARD and move to the map during play.

4.2 The LOST CASTLE, LOST CITY, TREASURE LOCATIONS and DWELLINGS sections make up the APPEARANCE CHART. This chart is divided into the six rows indicated by the arrows in the small boxes along the left edge of the CHART. During play the MONSTER ROLL chit moves from box to box to show which row of denizens is currently prowling.

4.2/1 Each box in the LOST CASTLE and LOST CITY sections holds the type of monster pictured in the box. The large number in the box indicates the number of monsters in the box; boxes that contain no number contain only one monster.

4.2/2 Each box in the TREASURE LOCATIONS section holds the treasure cards and Spell cards listed in the box, plus the monster pictured in the box. The treasures, spells and monster are all hidden in some clearing on the map.

4.2/3 Each pair of boxes in the DWELLINGS section holds the native group named in the rectangle, plus all of the items owned by that group. The natives (and any horses they are riding) are put in the square box; the large number in the box shows how many natives there are in the group. Any items owned by the group (including round horse counters) are put in the rectangular box.

4.2/4 The seven small boxes in the bottom row of the DWELLINGS section are used to hold the visitor/mission chits.

4.3 Each box in the GARRISONS section holds the items owned by the native group named on the box. The native group itself is on the map, at the Dwelling pictured in the box. Note: The native group can be left in the box to avoid cluttering the map.

4.4 Each box in the VISITORS section holds the items (and spells) owned by the visitor named on the box.

4.5 The boxes in the ARTIFACTS and SPELL BOOKS section hold Spell cards that have been inscribed on items and books. These boxes are not used until magic is introduced in the FOURTH ENCOUNTER.

4.6 Each box in the TREASURES WITHIN TREASURES section holds extra treasures that are hidden within one of the TREASURE LOCATIONS boxes.

4.7 The DAY (TURN) chit is put on the DAILY RECORD track to identify the turn that is in progress. The four Weather chits and the six red number chits are also put on this track to keep track of the weather, if the optional weather rules are being used.