Iron Lore: Malhavoc's Surprise?

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
I recently made an order through the WW website (for Fiery Dragon's Creature Collection Digital-woo-hoo!) and got a copy of their "Insider" catalog

It contains an interview with Mike Mearls about an upcoming product called Iron Lore. At first I thought this was the Book of Iron Might, but it is not.

While they don't say "low magic"--Edit: and Mearls reaffirms below it is not, it seems to be a book for campaigns where magic is less important, and players can do more with skills, feats and stunts instead. Magic itself is unpredictable and "tremendously difficult to control".

This product will deput at GenCon, and in the recent EnWorld chat with Monte Cook, he mentions this big surprise for GenCon, is this it?. I also know that a while back he had a poll on his site about a "lower magic" product. But Iron Lore is not mentioned on the Malhavoc website.

Some quotes:

Imagine a world where a warrior's skill and training, rather then the potency of an enchanted blade, determines his fortune. A world where magic is a force too powerful for a mere mortal to control with any confidence. A world at the dawn of a new era, where human built cities are scarcely more then a century old. Welcome to Iron Lore

In Iron Lore, magic is still common in terms of weird monsters, enchanged locations...creatures other then humans can do magic...humans must create new talents to battle them

There are three key changes from the core rules. First, the book radically expands and alters feats...second your charecters traits (which replace race) have mechanic effects similar to a bonus for a race...Finally...the skill system is more flexible then ever, allowing you to try a whole range of new stunts

There are no spells such as fireball or cure light wounds. Instead a caster tries to create a general effect such as filling an area with searing flame...most of the time the Arcanist creates a surge of fire but it doesn't have exactly the effect she hope for.
 
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DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
I'm not a fan of low-magic fantasy settings, so this is not something I would enjoy, but I'd guess there are many who like this sort of thing.

I just don't get the appeal.

Edit - Although it looks like the "low magic" applies to humans only. Hmmm...
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
I should note, they don't say "low magic". The emphasis is very much on the other stuff humans (the only player race) do get. But spell casting and magic items clearly play a smaller role
 


francisca

I got dice older than you.
I came up with the term "scarce magic" the other day to describe settings like that, and my own homebrew. I think it's a more apt fit that then "low magic" catch-all.

Iron Lore sounds kinda like Hyboria or Nehwon.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
francisca said:
I came up with the term "scarce magic" the other day to describe settings like that, and my own homebrew. I think it's a more apt fit that then "low magic" catch-all.

Iron Lore sounds kinda like Hyboria or Nehwon.

Scarce magic is probably a better descriptor

And yes, when I read it I thought: this is Malhovoc's take on Conan
 

Krieg

First Post
As much as this product appeals to me philosophically, I am afraid that we are possibly close to the saturation point for this category.


DaveMage said:
I just don't get the appeal.

You don't get the appeal of Conan, Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser? Heck an argument can be made that LoTR would fall into this category.
 

thol

Explorer
Krieg said:
You don't get the appeal of Conan, Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser? Heck an argument can be made that LoTR would fall into this category.

I don't think you could argue that it doesn't. Throw George R.R. Martin in there (and Jordan too, even though I think that series is a waste of trees).

Scarce magic makes the best fantasy.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Krieg said:
As much as this product appeals to me philosophically, I am afraid that we are possibly close to the saturation point for this category.

Hmm, Grim Tales, Conan...what else?

Though again, in the Iron Lore interview, the emphasis is on what players get, not what they loose.

more quotes:

FEATS:
for instance, you want to focus on fighting with the warhammer, a variety of feats makes you different from a warrior who specializes in the great sword...plenty of feats are desinged for mighty charecters

TRAITS:
rather than play a dwarf, littorian...you can create a tall rangy wanderer from the frozen north. Your...traits--cultural background and great height--have mechanical effects similar to the bonuses for a race

SKILLS AND STUNTS:
Combat, built with an emphasis on action, draws on the skill rules to form the basis of a stunt system. Rather then maintain a static position and trade blows with an oponent, a charecter...might dive between an Ogre's feet then leap onto the brute's shoulders to drive his dagger into his neck
 

francisca

I got dice older than you.
Well, this is certainly shaping up to be something I would be more interested in than Malhvoc's other setting, though having already invested in Conan d20, it will be a while before I give it a look.
 

Berandor

lunatic
There are no spells such as fireball or cure light wounds. Instead a caster tries to create a general effect such as filling an area with searing flame...most of the time the Arcanist creates a surge of fire but it doesn't have exactly the effect she hope for.
This is *exactly* what I would do as a magic system. I am already intrigued, and will buy this book 99% certain.

Wow.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Krieg said:
As much as this product appeals to me philosophically, I am afraid that we are possibly close to the saturation point for this category.

I can't give any details, but we've been playtesting this - and it's a blast. Despite being a "low magic" kind of guy, I'm full of good things to say about the game. It's not low magic like Grim Tales is (grim and gritty), it's low magic like the Conan books are (heroic asskicking where the person is far more important than the gear.)
 


Krieg

First Post
TerraDave said:
Hmm, Grim Tales, Conan...what else?:

Midnight, DarkLore, Black Company (in some respects), Dark Legacies the upcoming Games of Thrones.

Piratecat said:
I can't give any details, but we've been playtesting this - and it's a blast. Despite being a "low magic" kind of guy, I'm full of good things to say about the game. It's not low magic like Grim Tales is (grim and gritty), it's low magic like the Conan books are (heroic asskicking where the person is far more important than the gear.)

Oh no worries, this is one I will pick up sight unseen. :)
 
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francisca

I got dice older than you.
Berandor said:
This is *exactly* what I would do as a magic system. I am already intrigued, and will buy this book 99% certain.

Wow.
I have a mostly completed magic system I came up with in 2001 which is based around disciplines: energy, healing, telekinisis, etc.. You learn a basic discipline like fire, which allows you to produce a flame in your hand, or set a sheet of paper on fire. Then you augment it with something: ki, or channel power from an outer plane, or drain life energy from you or some poor sap standing next to you, whatever, it's wide open. Anyway, with these augmentations, you can project the flame, make it hotter, etc... The concept of a spell just ins't there, you just do magic. One neat aspect is that it drains your ability scores. COn becomes very important to Mages at that point. It's a kinda neat little system, though not very original. I wish I would have stuck with it.
 

francisca

I got dice older than you.
Piratecat said:
I can't give any details, but we've been playtesting this - and it's a blast. Despite being a "low magic" kind of guy, I'm full of good things to say about the game. It's not low magic like Grim Tales is (grim and gritty), it's low magic like the Conan books are (heroic asskicking where the person is far more important than the gear.)
You wouldn't be running any events at GenCon, would you?
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Off Topic

Fiery James said:
WHOO-HOO! :)

I just got the Battle Box, and made heavy use of the Burning Hands template for the last big battle in NeMoren's vault (you know what I am talking about)

Yes, I am a big fan of Fiery Dragon

Thank You
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
Krieg said:
You don't get the appeal of Conan, Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser? Heck an argument can be made that LoTR would fall into this category.

Nope. I enjoyed reading some of the Leiber stories, but playing an RPG in those universes does not appeal to me. (Although I did buy all of the 2nd Edition D&D Lankhmar books to mine for maps and ideas.)

And, were I to play Midnight, I would house-rule to increase the magic in the setting. :)
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Piratecat said:
I can't give any details, but we've been playtesting this - and it's a blast. Despite being a "low magic" kind of guy, I'm full of good things to say about the game. It's not low magic like Grim Tales is (grim and gritty), it's low magic like the Conan books are (heroic asskicking where the person is far more important than the gear.)


I thought this looked cool, but now I know:

Heroic Asskicking certified by Piratecat.

Quite an endorsement. They should put it on the cover.
 

Fiery James

First Post
TerraDave said:
I just got the Battle Box, and made heavy use of the Burning Hands template for the last big battle in NeMoren's vault (you know what I am talking about)

Yes, I am a big fan of Fiery Dragon

Thank You


Hey, thank you!

(Side note: If you like the idea of Iron Lore... and you like the BattleBox... I think you'll be happy with a product coming out later this year....) :)

- James
 

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