Wednesday 21 August 2013

Let's Play Iron Kingdoms

Laugh at my chimney and I'll tear you a new one!
A. was kind enough to run a game of Iron Kingdoms for our group.  With a name like that I assumed it would be an RPG with wargaming aspects.  But actually it's just a Steampunk Role Playing Game with a design philosophy similar to D&D 4e.

The first thing that struck me about the rules for Iron Kingdoms, while looking for the character creation section, was the size: a solid 350 pages, with 100 pages of setting info at the beginning.  Why I need 100 pages of setting  info was a bit beyond me, but there you go.

Similiarites to 4e

Anyway, as I said the similarities to D&D 4e are significant:
  • Heirarchical and Derived stats
  • Multi-layered character generation(race, archetype, 2 careers)
  • Many Feats/Abilities
  • Abilities that require combat to take place with minis(i.e. focus on positioning)
  • Combat focus- most of the abilities are combat related
At the same time, I found Iron Kingdoms to be more playable than 4e and I think they improved on a number of problem-areas:
  • Fewer dissociative mechanics--if I want to shoot someone I can just shoot them, I don't have to use a Feat
  • Simpler character gen--didn't require a computer program to execute, though it was still pretty complex


So there are a lot of guns in the game, and they do a lot of damage.  Good for you Iron Kingdoms.  BUT there's all sorts of armour to protect you from firearms, because that's why they invented plate mail, to defeat firearms...

First Adventure

Interestingly enough, the introductory adventure seems to have been inspired from WFRP 1e's introductory adventure, "The Oldenhaller Contract".  The party is tasked with retrieving a dangerous artifact, but once they arrive they see someone has stolen it ahead of them.

My character, Groghammer, was a Skilled Goblin Cutthroat/Field Mechanik, who didn't speak a common language with any other party members.  But they keep him around because he's good at fixing things.  And killing things...

Anyway, we completed the adventure.  Tracked down the Warpstone, or whatever, killed the thieves, got betrayed by the watchmen.  All in a day's work.  It was less engaging than "Oldenhaller", with few actual decisions to be made, besides how to attack.  Plus no Nurgle trying to eat us.

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