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D&D 5E Gun Mages & Warjacks: Iron Kingdoms Coming to 5E

Privateer Press has announced that it's longstanding fantasy steampunk RPG and setting is coming to 5th Edition with Iron Kingdoms: Requiem.

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The Iron Kingdoms launched way back in 2001 with a trilogy of d20 System adventures for D&D 3E. Later came a campaign setting, monster book, miniatures game, and more. The RPG later evolved into a d6 system and the full Iron Kingdoms RPG.

This latest iteration, Iron Kingdoms: Requiem, is a new edition of the Iron Kingdoms RPG, powered by the 5E rules.

Delve into the award-winning world of the Iron Kingdoms with the latest edition of the Iron Kingdoms Role Playing Game from Privateer Press. Iron Kingdoms: Requiem combines this fantastic setting with the newest edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game.


Your character can be a human, gobber, trollkin, Rhulic dwarf, ogrun, Iosan, or Nyss elf; and there are new classes such as gun mages, arcane mechanics, combat alchemists, and warcasters. Plus, of course, gets, spells, setting information, and a section on 'arcane technologies'.

It'll be coming to Kickstarter later this year.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
I am sorry for any company that can't find a big enough audience to publish its own system, even if some of those problems are of their own making. But as a D&D DM, I'm always glad to see more material made available for the core game that I can crib from, adapt or otherwise incorporate. (I run games in Ptolus, so steampunk stuff, even if it's starting to break down or corrode, has its place.)
They did publish their own RPG system: Iron Kingdoms Core Rules | Privateer Press

This is just a 5E adaptation of it.
 
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Azuresun

Explorer
Then we have the tale of three new games, two in 2017 and one in 2018. The first new game was Warhammer 40k, 8th edition. It was a much faster playing game than its predecessor with much more flexibility in list building. Up went a lot of the reasons to switch to Warmahordes in a puff of smoke and indeed players went trickling back. They didn't come the other way, of course, because the hobby shops weren't recommending it and the groups playing there had been suffering natural attrition. The second was Warmachine/Hordes Mk3 and any edition change annoys people and loses players - who looked at what GW were doing.

Mk3 wasn't that different at heart--the changes were nowhere near as big as what happened between first and second edition. If it had just stuck to being a well-thought-out and timely cleanup of the rules, and a rebalancing of models, it would probably have been a success.

The problem was, it became very obvious that it had been rushed out too early, with a lack of playtesting and the uneven roll-out of theme forces. And also that some of the changes (hello, theme forces!) were just there to push players to buy more.
 

Mk3 wasn't that different at heart--the changes were nowhere near as big as what happened between first and second edition. If it had just stuck to being a well-thought-out and timely cleanup of the rules, and a rebalancing of models, it would probably have been a success.

The problem was, it became very obvious that it had been rushed out too early, with a lack of playtesting and the uneven roll-out of theme forces. And also that some of the changes (hello, theme forces!) were just there to push players to buy more.

I didn't mind the idea of theme forces (and definitely prefer them to Mk2 themes which were far fiddlier and where some of the most competitive lists only worked for a single caster) - but I thought they would be used to mix up playstyles a whole lot more than they were. What I was anticipating as a Skorne player before they came out was something like a beast theme that banned paingivers and had the buffs to make up for it, and a Circle list that borrowed a krielstone from the Trolls. I thought they'd take the Kingmaker's Army and go further, not just (for Skorne) have generic beast theme, generic venator theme, generic praetorian and cataphract theme, and generic Exalted theme. Oh, and Disciples of Agony.

Possibly I remember more of an immediate drop-off after the new rules came out because Skorne. Where they arbitrarily just dropped the Def of all the titans by 2, cut a point of fury off almost all of them, dropped the armour of the basilisks by 2, and took the ability to grant free charges away from paingiver beast handlers. For no reason and with only a slight points drop for the heavies of the sort seen by most factions.

And when you talk about the entire Skorne faction getting an entirely new set of rules, it wasn't so much new rules as significant buffs to almost every model. The base idea was the same but after the rewrite they just all got to do what they did better. Looking back at the errata document they decided not to make significant changes to the battlebox (despite the battlebox warlock (the general) being utterly useless because they forgot the Skorne design guidelines to the point they had to add a model that would be completely broken in any other faction to fix him)

For how wide ranging the Skorne errata was, of the Skorne models that existed before Mark 3 and were not in the battlebox:
  • Of the fourteen warlocks (generals) they buffed ten. They have since completely re-written from the ground up one of the ones they didn't buff.
  • They buffed the pack and one of the lessers while making the other easier to take (not that anyone ever does)
  • Of the five light warbeasts they buffed three. They have since buffed the other two.
  • Of the seven non-character heavy warbeasts they buffed six.
  • Of the three character heavy warbeasts they buffed one and gave one a side-grade. They have since buffed the two character heavies that didn't get buffs.
  • Of the two gargantuans they buffed one - and have since buffed the other.
  • They buffed the only battle engine and less than six months later buffed it again. Admittedly it became OP after the second buff.
  • Of the fifteen available units that weren't light artillery they buffed thirteen either directly or through their attachments.
  • Of the eleven available solos they buffed five.
Even this errata didn't put Skorne into the top half of the pack - it just meant they were no longer very comfortably last. The Exalted CID made Skorne top tier but that's a whole different story. There's a good reason Skorne players picked up a reputation for being salty and I have the impression the new edition was very badly received. For a year we were playing with the pre-errata Skorne. And any belief that PP designed balanced rules with a competitive game melted.
 


rebbeman

Villager
I remember the original Iron Kingdoms setting from the early days of 3e. It was actually one of the things that brought me into 3e as it really showed that you could do a grittier darker fantasy setting with those rules that was really different from the shinier high fantasy of most DnD. Particularly as a long time WFRP fan this seemed like a great way of having more of a Warhammer Fantasy RP feel to 3e. Happy to see it coming back in the 5e era and hope it adds to the 5e creativity.
 



Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Dude. I am pretty excited. I have been thinking of trying to get another IK campaign going, but most of my friends who were fans have moved. Hard to get people who never touched the stuff before excited. Maybe this will help.

At the very least I can maybe get some warjacks in some D&D worlds!
 

Big Bucky

Explorer
I’ll be interested to see how they handle Warcasters and Warjacks. I tried porting it over to a couple different systems over the years and it’s always a problem. Either they are way overpowered or they’re nerfed down to normal levels and it doesn’t feel like you’re controlling huge war machines. .
 

A lot of the reason for blowing up the Iron Kingdoms dates back to some poor decisions made over the past decade by Privateer Press - and to Games Workshop getting rid of their liability of a CEO and sorting themselves out about five years ago - I could go into details if anyone is interested.
Please do. Either here or via my pm. Thanks
 

Azuresun

Explorer
You know, I remembered a game I always wanted to run set in Cryx, where the PC's were agents of an iron lich who....got his skull cracked a bit badly, and was a bit eccentric as a result. Very much a Blackadder-esque dark comedy where the PC's were trying not to attract the wrath of their capricious boss and line their own pockets while making a token effort to conquer the world.
 

I’ll be interested to see how they handle Warcasters and Warjacks. I tried porting it over to a couple different systems over the years and it’s always a problem. Either they are way overpowered or they’re nerfed down to normal levels and it doesn’t feel like you’re controlling huge war machines. .

Yeah, that's going to be tough. In the Warmachine lore warcasters simply are head and shoulders more powerful than anyone else. It's a bit like the WH40K problem when you're trying to run a game where someone's playing a space marine and someone's playing a guardsman or ganger. You either accept the power imbalance, or limit character choices. There's a few concepts that can potentially keep up - gun mages, spellcasters, etc, but an ordinary infantryman with a gun or a spear? Or a regular thief?

I do like the Iron Kingdoms setting (I tuned out over the last couple of years as they've wilfully trashed it though) but design-wise and in all its world-building choices it's very oriented towards tabletop gaming rather than RPGing, I'm interested in seeing how they square that circle.
 

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