Iron Kingdoms Privateer Press to Launch Iron Kingdoms RPG





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    Privateer Press to Launch Iron Kingdoms RPG

    My last contact with Privateer Press and their Iron Kingdoms setting was The Witchfire Trilogy of adventures for D&D 3rd Edition about a decade ago. Since then I've been peripherally aware that they moved on to a miniatures game of some kind, but they've been largely off my radar as a - primarily - roleplaying gamer. It turns out they just released an RPG - the Iron Kingdoms RPG, to be precise. Steampunk fantasy RPG goodness - well, I hope so. It was released on 19th September as a $59.99 hardcover. Here's the blurb:
    Embark upon a journey of adventure and intrigue in a steam-powered world fueled by magic and contested with gunfire and steel. Armed with mechanika and accompanied by mighty steamjacks, explore the soot-covered cities of the Iron Kingdoms and the fell ruins of ancient powers.
    This essential full-color guide to the award-winning Iron Kingdoms setting equips you with:
    • A robust, elegant rules system crafted especially for the world of the Iron Kingdoms. This system builds upon the rules foundation of the critically acclaimed WARMACHINE and HORDES miniatures games to meet the complex needs of a roleplaying game.
    • Rules for character creation and advancement that let you take on the role of iconic Iron Kingdoms characters like fell callers, field mechaniks, gun mages, warcasters, and more.
    • Details on diverse playable races: humans, gobbers, Iosans, Nyss, ogrun, Rhulfolk, and trollkin.
    • Crafting systems that enable you to explore the mysteries of mechanika and alchemy.
    • A comprehensive overview of life in the Iron Kingdoms and the history of western Immoren.
    More info here!
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  • #2
    Witchfire trilogy (especially the first adventure) was really a pleasure to read and it was pity i never played it. Also, Monsteronomicon was an excellent monster book (an example to all monster books actually).
    They prodruced a player guide and a campaign setting which imho had superb quality.

    Having said that, it is very unlikely to invest in their new game since my gaming group does not want to play anything but d&d... However i wish em good luck.

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    I seem to recall owning a 3.x edition Iron Kingdoms hardcover. What's new with this one... they revamping for Pathfinder, or going 4e, or doing their own thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herobizkit View Post
    I seem to recall owning a 3.x edition Iron Kingdoms hardcover. What's new with this one... they revamping for Pathfinder, or going 4e, or doing their own thing?
    This is their own system. Its very similar to 3e/4e though in terms of combat rules and such. Any veteran of 3e or 4e would pick it up right away. The major difference is its a base 2d6 system instead of a base 1d20 system. The stats and skills work similarly to True20. Its a flat number that you add to your 2d6 roll.

    For those who play Warmachine or Hordes, their minis line, it uses essentially the same combat rules. Its just fleshed out a bit more for the RPG. The advantage being that the mini players can easily transfer their stats to the RPG and vice versa.

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    It's their own system, building on the mechanics from their miniatures game. I played a demo at GenCon. Spell casting, for example, use something akin to a round to round resource mechanic with a skill check (ish) roll thrown in. The more spells you cast at a time, the bigger the penalty on the check. Failure leaves you unable to cast for a round.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gweinel View Post
    Witchfire trilogy (especially the first adventure) was really a pleasure to read and it was pity i never played it. Also, Monsteronomicon was an excellent monster book (an example to all monster books actually).
    They prodruced a player guide and a campaign setting which imho had superb quality.

    Having said that, it is very unlikely to invest in their new game since my gaming group does not want to play anything but d&d... However i wish em good luck.
    With all due respect, I personally thought Witchfire Trilogy was horrible. Its one of the most railroaded adventures I have ever seen with entire scenes unfolding completely dependent on pre-made assumptions as to exactly how the PCs will act. The main villain was telegraphed so clumsily that nothing short of heavy handed DM fiat would stop the players from realizing and ending the threat before it got going. That's all I will say to avoid spoilers.

    I also thought the rules portion of their older d20 version of the IK setting was also poorly done. The designers demonstrated a real lack of understanding on how D&D 3e was designed and worked. It had a lot of kludged on house rules that didn't really work well in play. The only thing good about those books was the fantastic setting information and the artwork.

    That being said, this new IK RPG book is leaps and bounds superior to the old d20 stuff. Everything from the production values and art to the new rules are top notch, IMO. I'm loving the new book and can't wait to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonblade View Post
    This is their own system. Its very similar to 3e/4e though in terms of combat rules and such. Any veteran of 3e or 4e would pick it up right away. The major difference is its a base 2d6 system instead of a base 1d20 system. The stats and skills work similarly to True20. Its a flat number that you add to your 2d6 roll.

    For those who play Warmachine or Hordes, their minis line, it uses essentially the same combat rules. Its just fleshed out a bit more for the RPG. The advantage being that the mini players can easily transfer their stats to the RPG and vice versa.
    Really, you can port characters from the miniatures wargame to the RPG? So I could make a Butcher playable character, based off of his stats in Warmachine, for example?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProtoClone View Post
    Really, you can port characters from the miniatures wargame to the RPG? So I could make a Butcher playable character, based off of his stats in Warmachine, for example?
    I'm not personally familiar with Warmachine or Hordes, but a friend of mine who is, assures me that it should be easy to convert over. However, the Warmachine stats don't include all the RPG stats since they are geared solely around combat. Plus the stats of solo characters in Warmachine tend to map to epic tier PCs in the RPG. So that may not work for you, if your GM doesn't want to jump directly to epic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonblade View Post
    I'm not personally familiar with Warmachine or Hordes, but a friend of mine who is, assures me that it should be easy to convert over. However, the Warmachine stats don't include all the RPG stats since they are geared solely around combat. Plus the stats of solo characters in Warmachine tend to map to epic tier PCs in the RPG. So that may not work for you, if your GM doesn't want to jump directly to epic.
    The transition is not as easy as it would seem. I don't have the RPG, but the developers have said:

    PPS_Simon - "It was not our intention to make WARMACHINE: the RPG. If it had been, we would definitely have created rules modelling the puissant warcasters and warlocks familiar to players of our miniatures games. However, these characters are individuals of supreme power, far beyond the scope of the kinds of stories we wanted to tell with the new IKRPG. If we'd balanced the game around including those characters, we'd be releasing something radically different, with less of a focus on the nitty gritty details of life in the nations of western Immoren and more on the battlefields. We definitely think the warcasters and warlocks of the miniatures games are great characters but they are just powerful beyond the purview of our RPG's fundamental assumptions. That said, I think it would be cool to detail how to build characters like the Butcher, Irusk, and others. I could see a big meaty No Quarter article laying out how to make PCs and NPCs of that magnitude, but for now it's just not part of our core vision of the RPG. "

    PPS_Dougseacat - "It isn't really the goal of the RPG to send PC groups against our major WARMACHINE characters. I seriously doubt we will be providing any of those characters in the books, as this would probably not be the best use of our limited space. That said, since the RPG uses very similar base rules and many of the same mechanics as WARMACHINE, converting them would be relatively simple and easy. You don't need to recreate a major named NPC by the same mechanisms as you would a PC who is advancing through experience. You can estimate careers if need be and if that information is pertinent to something, but many of what would be derived attribute scores and abilities are already present and do not need to be determined this way. The Butcher has weapon master. Does this make him a Mighty archetype? Not necessarily. Where does the weapon master ability come from? From being the Butcher. He's not a PC and did not come by his set of abilities the same way a PC might. Similarly, he did not come about through a combination of careers, archetype, and experience through play sessions. He is instead a character in the setting emulated for the miniature game by certain rules on a card. (or in the case of epics, or multiple epics, by several different iterations of rules.)

    Personally I think it's better to leave WM/HORDES characters out of most RPG adventures, by and large, other than perhaps as occasional guest cameos. Your campaigns should feature the PCs as the main stars of the show. Your stories should be about them, whatever their conflicts and drama happens to involve. The moment special guest stars begin to play too prominent of a role and to steal screen time and cool dramatic scenes from the PCs, the less engaging the story becomes for your players.

    Again, different goals and different aims for different games. Both enable players to enjoy a game within the Iron Kingdoms setting. But both are abstractions and rules systems giving you the tools to play enjoyable games with a certain duration, flavor, etc. The RPG enables players to create a wide variety of fun and engaging characters within our setting, with the abilities and capabilities appropriate to heroes of the Iron Kingdoms. But it is a finite set of options overall, being a game. There are considerations of balance and advancement, just as there are certain play balance considerations between warcasters in WARMACHINE so they can be pitted against one another without one side automatically winning.

    RPG character building options will expand over time, particularly as we release the next few books. Other options could potentially appear in No Quarter Magazine. These will all add different wrinkles and possibilities for creating engaging new characters within the setting. Some of these might approximate characters from the miniatures game. At a particular experience level and with the right careers, one could make a warcaster character extremely similar to Captain Phinneus Shae, for example. But chances are he will still be different in many respects, having taken a different course to get there and having been created in the RPG which has slightly different rules and attributes than WARMACHINE. Some characters in WARMACHINE would be more difficult for a PC to emulate or approximate via RPG advancement than others. I think you'll enjoy making new characters more than duplicating existing ones, however.

    Also, I wouldn't say that an extremely experienced RPG character will always be fundamentally less powerful than the characters in WARMACHINE and HORDES. They will simply be different, and there might be some powers or capabilities in our unique miniature game characters (such as feats in particular) which are not emulated in the RPG. Abilities or powers that are absolutely and fundamentally unique to a given character will not be provided as options for RPG advancement since they aren't part of a career. A GM running his own campaign might come up with rationale within his game for his PCs to have similarly unique abilities, but that is outside the scope of the advancement rules. "

    Takes this how you will, but to me this says the two are similar but different enough that they are not quite interchangeable.

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    All I got to say is that I must get this game! IK is my favorite setting.

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