Iron Kingdoms RPG: Unleashed

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5 out of 5 rating for Iron Kingdoms RPG: Unleashed

The Core book for Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed represents the most informative and unique Rule-Book I've seen in ages. Certainly not concise, as it comes to us in a bundle of nearly 500 pages, but I’ve yet to see a wasted page. In this book you have the Lore of the campaign world, the rules of the game, character creation, Game Mastering tips, a bestiary, and much more. It is a complete manual for playing Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed packed into one book where many other companies might hit you with multiple, and this one comes to you at the same market price a single one of the latter company’s does.

The environment is rich and primal, with a good mixture of steampunk and magic to complement its savagery. I cannot heap enough compliments on this excellent product. If you have any interest at all buy it, you’ll not regret the decision.

Read my full review here:

5 out of 5 rating for Iron Kingdoms RPG: Unleashed

I am slightly biased in this review, I play a lot of Warmachine and Hordes so I am already a bit of a fan boy of the world and the system. Plus I play Trollkin so I have been waiting for this game for a very long time, playing a Troll Warlock has been something I have wanted to do forever. I will try to keep my fan boy in check for this, but you are warned.This book is huge, for $59.99 you get 480 pages of game. I hurt my shoulder right before this game came out, and just holding it to read it was a problem, it hurt! For $10 more than the D&D Players Handbook you get a much more hefty tome. Which is neat, makes it feel like a good value.The first 100 pages or so are fluff about the Wilds of the Iron Kingdoms. While this chapter is good, it doesn't do anything to tell you about the human lands to any real degree. Without having the original Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy a large part of the picture is simply missing. Not a problem with me as I said I'm a fan boy, but for a new player it could be a problem. A lot of the fluff is interesting, and really sets the stage that you are not going to be role playing traditional heroes, but monsters. Of particular note was the Farrow (humanoid pigs) while the fluff of the Farrow was pretty sort, it stole the show. Apparently the Farrow are delicious (several other races hunt them for food, everybody loves bacon), so much so that they are also cannibals. Also monstrous large Farrow aren't another race, every so often a Farrow gives birth to a giant mutant. The Druids of the setting are jerks, the problem is they scheme a lot but ultimately fail. They are trying to stop the spread of the industrialized cities, and considering the human lands are at roughly late 18th century technology they have failed a ton. Other races include Trollkin (relatives of monstrous dire trolls), Pygmy Trolls (as Halflings are to humans, Pygmy Trolls are to Trollkin), Nyss (snow elves), Farrow, Humans, Bog Trogs (fishermen), and Gatormen. It's got a good spin on a more standard fantasy world, and several of these races truly are monsters, which makes it interesting for role play.To create a character you pick a race, which gives you all your stats. You pick an "archetype" which focuses your character a bit. There is Mighty (Strength based, doing and taking damage), Skilled (also doing damage, but also acting in a nimble fashion), Cunning (buffing allies with battle plans), and gifted (casting magic). Every archetype has abilities you can pick up. You then pick two classes, which also have zero choice they just grant you starting skills and abilities. You round out it by raising your stats by 3 points and your done. I have heard that the lack of diversity because you don't make a ton of choices at character creation is bad. But I like it, you can throw a character together quickly. Much like 5th edition you "level up" fairly fast at first which throws you more choices as you play, and every class gives you a good amount of flavor to start with. Plus two characters who have the exact same class choice but different archetype's will play differently, which is fun. It gives you some variety to characters.The rules themselves are complicated as it is based on a Tabletop RPG, and honestly this is the harsh part about this game. It almost requires models, and combat is very much on the table. As I said I play he tabletop so I rather enjoy the combat, it combines the best of the table top game with what makes RPGs good. But the rules are very complicated, and they have a lot of weird nuances that you just got to remember. If you have ever wanted a RPG that has extremely tactical combat, this is a very good game for you. I played the original RPG along side a 4th edition game, and I liked this better. Mainly because combat flowed much more quickly, and the board state did change when other players acted, it wasn't nearly as bad as 4th could get. Honestly I would almost suggest you check out a game of Warmachine to see if the combat does anything for you. If you like the ideas of it, then you will dig the RPG.Another complaint is the Magic chapter, the spells are word for word almost exactly copied from the table top. The only difference is targeting has been limited to "target character" or "target enemy character." Because of this the spells are very fluff light. They have names, range, damage, and effects. But there is no indication on what a Arcane Bolt looks like. In all the art this can vary from caster to caster and how they draw arcane power, but still for a new player it will be kinda weird.The base mechanic is rolling 2d6, adding a skill to the roll and trying to beat a difficulty number, it's kinda like the d20 system but with less dice. For RPG's I find I like systems like this a little more than the old rolling a d20. By having multiple dice, the outcomes you get are on a curve rather than a line. So it is easier to figure out what you can, or cannot hit, and to give you an idea of if you need to do something extra to push your numbers up higher, which the game provides. Basically on 2d6 you will roll a 6 or 7 about 50% of the time. So if you need to roll higher than this, you should probably try an engineer a way to raise your roll. There are several ways of getting these situational modifiers, from knocking your opponent down (which makes them auto hit in melee), to giving yourself a bonus to your roll, to adding an extra dice to your roll. Average dice on 3d6 is 10, which raises your odds considerably. Damage also uses this system. So you take your Melee or Ranged Attack skill, roll 2d6 and add them together. If you beat defense you hit, if you don't you miss. If you hit you then take the power of your weapon, which is static for ranged weapons, or the weapon + your strength for melee. Your roll the power + 2d6 and any amount you get over the targets armor equals damage. For example if you have a pow 12 attack, and you roll a 7. 7 +12 = 19. If your targets armor is 15. 19-15= 4 points of damage. However if your dice hate you and you roll less than 15 you do no damage.I like this game a lot, you are playing monsters in this game which is a very nice change. There are several classes which have abilities that are very gross or monstrous. The prime example is the Bone Grinder which under it's fluff blurb says "if you have ever wanted to play a filth-encrusted meat wizard" this is the class for you. In the game you can brew potions from the guts of things you kill. You can make totems from the bones and mojo of monsters you kill. Heck you can take a tongue of somebody you kill, do some magic on it, and then if you consume it later you get to speak the languages the owner of that tongue knew in life.If anything in this review sounded interesting, check the game out. There is a intro box which you can get the guts of for free on Drive Through RPG. If you pay for the physical box you get a lot of nice models and cards to build a table with. Or just drop the $59.99 and pick up this game, it's a huge book for the price, and has a lot of great ideas for a game where the players are monsters.

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