“You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe.”—Robert McCammon, Boy’s Life
Well, finally decided to sit down and rebox my copy of the 1979 Avalon Hill classic Magic Realm. I’ve been damn careful to keep it safe all the years I’ve had it (heh, over half of my life at this point!) but, well, over time flimsy game boxes just kind of fall apart.
So I’m sitting with the parts list going through the pieces, making sure everything’s there. Monsters, check, got them all. Hex tiles, check. Weapons and armor, ouch, this one token was marked badly when the rubber band around the spell cards decayed. Oh well.
Okay, so there’s one Bashkar missing. Not a big deal, it’s not like that piece ever gets shuffled; I can just print up a label from the scan and stick it on an appropriately-sized token. Oh, the #4 red numeral token’s gone … good thing I never knew what those were for anyway. A couple of spells went astray, but if I intend to play this thing I’m going to make a new set of spell cards at mini-poker size because 1”x0.75” is a stupid size for anything that has to be shuffled.
Now to count the … wait a minute.
One little box of loose tokens, one counter tray … one counter tray.
One counter tray.
There is an entire tray of 250 or so little chits missing.
I’m going to have to print up and label 250 chits. 250 goddamn little pieces of chit.
In reality, I’m sitting here venting on Tumblr to release some rage before I storm back to the closet and tear it apart searching for the second counter tray and praying I don’t have to spend the next few days printing, cutting and pasting.
In my imagination … honk.
Magic Realm: Opposites Attract
We had been planning to play the Dwarf and the Berserker.
Our previous attempt with the Elf and the Woods Girl had ended in a crushing defeat by the Demon at the Altar.
But when we sat down, my friend, now on his second game, wanted to play the White Knight. I’m more comfortable with the Black Knight, so he’s the one I chose.