There are a few things about the Avalon Hill board game, Magic Realm, that have always been inspirational to me. I’ve made a number of stabs at adapting these to an RPG over the years.
Its size/strength/vulnerability/weight scale: Magic Realm measures these qualities on the following scale.
- (N/—) Negligible
- (L) Light
- (M) Medium
- (H) Heavy
- (T) Tremendous
I assume Magic Realm wasn’t the first game to use such an adjective scale, but I’m pretty sure it was the first time I saw such a thing. Similar scales have since been used to good effect in a number of RPGs including Melanda, Marvel Super Heroes, Fudge, and The Ladder, to name a few.
Its combat attacks and maneuvers: Combat in Magic Realm revolves around three attacks and maneuvers.
- Thrust hits charge
- Swing hits dodge
- Smash hits duck
There are a number of complications that make it more than just “rock, paper, scissors”. There’s something very appealing and evocative to me about the attacks and maneuvers.
Magic colors and rituals:
There are five colors of magic, each representing a different sort of spirit that causes a different sort of magic: White magic represents Power from on High, working beneficial magic; Grey magic represents Natural Laws, controlling nature; Gold magic represents Woods Sprites, working elvish magic; Purple magic represents Elemental Energies, twisting and reshaping reality; and Black magic represents Demonic power, working infernal magic.
Then there are eight rituals (represented by chits)...
Type I chits are Righteous invocations, Type II chits are Pagan rites, Type III chits are Elvish lore, Type IV chits are Energy-binding alchemy, Type V chits are Diabolic ceremonies, Type VI chits are Conjuring techniques, Type VII chits are Good Luck knacks and Type VIII chits are Malicious tricks.