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Sacking Dwellings

Sacking Dwellings

Characters that attack unhired natives may immediately lose some Fame points and, at the conclusion of the battle, they must roll on the Native Reaction Table. Any result obtained from this table remains in effect for that character for the remainder of the game.

Note: This rule is titled "Sacking Dwellings" because the great majority of these attacks take place when a character attacks unhired natives at a Dwelling. However, this rule also applies to attacks on unhired natives out in the wilderness.


The Fame Loss Chart shows the Fame penalty that is imposed when a character attacks certain unhired native groups. If a character attacks more than one unhired native group simultaneously, he must suffer a Fame penalty for each attacked group. A character's Fame total may become a negative number as a result of this penalty.


Each character that participates in an attack on an unhired native group must make his own roll on the Native Reaction Table, using his own die roll modifiers. If two or more native groups are attacked simultaneously, only the group that is most friendly to a character is counted when figuring his die roll modifiers.

A record must be kept of how many times each character attacks unhired natives. When a character rolls on the Native Reaction Table, "+1" is added to the die roll for each previous attack made by that character.


The Fame penalty and the roll on the Native Reaction Table do not occur if an unhired native group attacks a character. Characters are always allowed to defend themselves without penalty, and such a defensive battle does not cause a die roll modifier for any future rolls on the Native Reaction Table.

Unhired natives attack characters only when an original result of "Battle" is rolled on the Meeting Table or the Commerce Table. A battle that results from a character's refusal to pay the cost of a Challenge, an Insult, or a Demand Gold result is the fault of the character (who could have avoided the battle) and is subject to the Fame penalty and a roll on the Native Reaction Table.


Attack ENEMY0 Fame
Attack NEUTRAL5 Fame
Attack FRIENDLY15 Fame
Attack ALLY25 Fame


When a character attacks unhired natives, he must roll two dice on this table at Midnight and immediately apply the indicated result. Use the higher of the two rolls, adding in the applicable die roll modifiers. Treasure cards and Special Advantages never affect this die roll.

Die RollResult
1no effect
2no effect
3no effect
4no effect
5no effect
6Natives Alarmed
7Natives Alarmed
8Declared "Outcast"
9Declared "Insane"
10Declared "Condemned"

Die roll modifiers:

1 attacking ENEMY
0 attacking UNFRIENDLY
+1 attacking NEUTRAL
+3 attacking FRIENDLY
+6 attacking ALLY
+1 for each previous attack on unhired natives made by this character


Natives Alarmed: All native groups and visitors are one level less friendly for the remainder of the game. This result is cumulative. Example: If a character attacks natives three times and get "Natives Alarmed" each time, then all natives are three levels less friendly to him.

Declared "Outcast": You may no longer execute Trade or Hire phases with any native group or visitor for the remainder of the game. All of your hired natives instantly become unhired.

Declared "Insane": All of your rolls on the Meeting and Commerce Tables are automatically "Block/Battle" for the remainder of the game. In other words, all natives will now attack you on sight. All of your hired natives instantly become unhired.

Declared "Condemned": All of your rolls on the Meeting and Commerce Tables are automatically "Block/Battle" for the remainder of the game. In addition, unhired natives will also block you during your movement, just as if they were monsters. This means that you can no longer even move through a Dwelling without hiding, or you will be blocked and attacked by every native group present. All of your hired natives instantly become unhired.

Note: One of the acknowledged flaws of Magic Realm is the ease with which natives can be killed off, allowing the characters to plunder their treasures. Why buy a workhorse when you can just kill off the Rogues and get one (or more) for free?
The constant killing of natives to steal their treasures is not consistent with the "heroic high fantasy" milieu of the game.
There have been many rules proposed to either reduce the benefits of this tactic or to make the natives more difficult to defeat. But, when you propose major changes to the core rules of the game, it is hard to achieve a consensus among the players.
This rule takes a different approach. Rather than modify the core rules of the game, it simply provides logical and realistic consequences to the characters' actions. A native band can still be killed off and their treasures taken, but characters that do this run the risk of alienating all of the other natives... the adverse reputation they gain will precede them in their future travels. Players who constantly attack natives will be forced to deal with this reputation.


This is an experimental rule, developed as part of a project to rewrite the "Book of Quests" variant to make it more suitable for PBEM play. This rule has not yet been playtested.

The rule is designed so that a character can attack his enemies - once - without fear of any repercussions.

The intent of the rule is to prevent characters from attacking natives repeatedly by imposing realistic consequences to their actions. If successful, this will eliminate the sell-kill-loot tactic and solve many game play problems with Absorb Essence and Fiery Blast... without changing the basic rules of the game. An added benefit is that it makes campaigns somewhat more useful, with their ability to turn almost any native group into a character's enemy.



Dishonorable Attacks

I hadn't noticed this entry before. I like the idea, but it seems like there's just a little too much stuff here. I'm not as much of an opponent of native-bashing as you are: I think it should be dangerous - as it is with "Watchful Natives" and "Extended Treachery" - but I think it should be an alternative for a character who wants to commit himself to a campaign of terror.

I would propose something simplier and not quite as drastic. Define a "Dishonorable Attack" as any attack on an unhired native member of a group that was not battling you at the beginning of combat in that clearing. If you, or your hired natives, kill a native during the course of a Dishonorable Attack, you get Notoriety for the kill as normal, but you have to subtract the Notoriety bounty, unmultiplied, from your recorded Fame. The Fame penalty is not multiplied by the victim number because serial murder no less reprehensible than mass murder, and because Fame is twice as valuable in Victory Points, both positive and negative, as Notoriety. (Unlike the "Sacking Dwellings" rules, I think that attacking after you have been Challenged or Insulted and have chosen not pay the penalty is not dishonorable.)

The Fame hit is a significant penalty: for example, sending your hired thugs out to kill friendly native groups just trades Notoriety for Fame, one for one. There is no point to adding penalties that make more native groups unfriendly because that just increases the number of potential victims for non-dishonorable attacks.

       --Steve Mc Knight?

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Page last modified on April 17, 2006, at 01:55 PM