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Full Metal Fridays: Volume 1
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2018 18:25:33

This is a must-have if you plan on running Iron Kingdoms RPG (whether the "Full Metal Fantasy" variety, or "Unleashed"). You certainly can't beat the price.

In particular, the "Satyxis" seemed an odd introduction for conventional "Full Metal Fantasy," since Cryx still isn't playable (and you can't very well have Satyxis just casually blending into polite society in the Iron Kingdoms), but with the release of "Unleashed," they make far more sense now as a playable race among the "savage" races who quite likely simply wouldn't care that someone has horns and hooves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Full Metal Fridays: Volume 1
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2018 18:21:35

I've run two Iron Kingdoms RPG campaigns, and "guest-GMed" in a third, and I found this to be an invaluable resource either for more conventional adventures based in the "Iron Kingdoms," OR for those focused on the "wild folk" as seems to be intended by the rebranding of this as "Unleashed." It still leaves a few gaps, however, and I would strongly recommend that anyone getting this book also pick up the "Wild Adventure" supplement (which goes a long way toward filling those conspicuous gaps).

PRO:

  • This provides a greatly expanded bestiary, larger and more impressive than the "Monsternomicon." A great many archetypes are filled in here for Iron Kingdoms GMs who want to run wilderness encounters against various of the denizens made familiar in the miniatures wargame.

  • Related to the above, the new PC races, archetypes/professions, and branches of magic could be used to greatly expand what sorts of adversaries a more "traditional" Iron Kingdoms party might run up against.

  • "Unleashed" arguably has better support as an RPG setting than the more traditional Iron Kingdoms. (If you want to play any of the major Unleashed races -- or as a GM you want to have them as fleshed-out adversaries -- you either have what you need in this book, or else in the Skorne supplement, or about 5 issues of "No Quarter" to provide most of what you need for Everblight. If, however, you wanted to play (or play against) the Retribution of Scyrah, Rhulic Mercenaries, or Cryx, you're just going to have to make do with the 2nd edition "Forces" books from Warmachine, and hand-wave all the missing RPG elements.)

CON:

  • There are some issues with balance between the races. Gatormen can be pretty much placed side-by-side against the Ogrun from the core IKRPG, and in virtually all respects (except for POI, or the likelihood to be allowed to walk around freely in a city) are just plain BETTER than them. (The "hunger" disadvantage for gatormen isn't really as big a deal as the fluff makes it sound.) Over the course of our Unleashed campaign, more players ended up changing over to Gatorman if they wanted to be all-around awesome. Gatormen ARE fun to play, but when you're on the GM side of the screen, it's hard to balance encounters that will challenge the Gatormen without simply creaming all the non-Gatormen in the party.

  • Warlocks need a LOT of work, and are poorly adapted to RPG use, at least over the scope of a long-running campaign. (These problems are not so evident if just running a "one-shot" or short-run campaign with beginning characters.)

    Depending upon how the GM runs it (and there are so many grey areas in regards to just how the GM should walk the line on this), they could dominate the campaign, or be utterly unplayable. No guidelines are provided for the GM as to how difficult it should be for a warlock to acquire a new Warbeast (with the possible exception of a Swamp Warlock, who has his work cut out for him in that he has to find a monster and "subjugate" it). Unlike the rules for Warcasters and Warjacks, there's no provision for "buying" a Warbeast, whether with money or some other resource -- it seems to depend upon the GM to determine when some benefactor (the Circle Orboros, etc.) is going to simply provide your Warlock with a new beast, or whether you can happen upon it in the wild on your own.

    Once a warlock starts advancing to the point where he can devote additional "slots" to additional warbeasts, things can really spiral out of control. Whereas a Warcaster's ambitions to start his own "battlegroup" might be tempered by a lack of funds, or because spreading his Focus around means he isn't personally so much of a combat powerhouse anymore, each additional Warbeast in a Warlock's retinue can be a potent force all its own (many have three decent attacks without having to be "Forced" at all), AND provides additional insurance for the Warlock's steady supply of Fury even if another Warbeast is downed in combat. Unlike the care and maintenance required for damaged Warjacks, Warbeasts have a number of options for recovering health even in the middle of combat. And, even though there's the "threat" of a Warbeast getting out of control if a Warlock pushes it too much and fails to bleed off all its excess Fury, the consequences (the Warbeast makes a single enraged attack that MIGHT be against an ally if no enemies are in reach, then returns to normal the next round) aren't really all that scary in practice. (A GM could of course just wing it, and play it as something far more dramatic than the rules-as-written, but that's true of any system, so for reviewing purposes I'm focusing on "as-written.")

    If the GM should try to temper this and allow other players to shine more by contriving to put the party in a smallish dungeon where large Warbeasts and Warjacks simply won't fit, the Warcaster can still be personally awesome through alternative use of Focus ... whereas the Warlock, sans Warbeast (and his supply of Fury) is suddenly hobbled. (Either that, or you had a "Light" Warbeast, which is technically no bigger than half the PCs in a typical Unleashed party. The medium-base "Brute Boar" is arguably a better deal for a Farrow Warlock than a large-base "War Hog" anyway.)

  • As with the 2nd edition Monsternomicon, this bestiary still lacks stats for a number of basic wilderness creatures. (This oversight is addressed in "Wild Adventure.")

  • A lot of your adversaries in Unleashed campaigns are likely to be others of the "Unleashed" races -- gatormen, bog trogs, farrow, tharn, trollkin, etc. -- but since those are all PLAYER races, it's mostly left to the GM to try to build them up as characters, rather than having quick encounter stats handy. The Iron Kingdoms RPG core book rather nicely included a section on "humans" that had ready-made profiles for a bandit, thief, alchemist, town guard, etc., in convenient blocks, ready to go. It would have been nice to have something similar for a "Gatorman Posse," "Bog Trog Ambushers," "Farrow Brigands," "Tharn Ravagers," etc., ready to go. The Unleashed Adventure Kit handily settles this for the Farrow; for the rest, you might see about getting a copy of "Forces of War: Minions" to get stat blocks for the last edition of the miniatures wargame, which ALMOST cover everything you'd need for the RPG.

...

(Disclaimer: Just because I spent more space explaining the "con" doesn't mean it outweighs the "pro" -- but I still think it's worth considering.)

Overall, if you are a GM running a conventional Iron Kingdoms (Full Metal Fantasy) campaign, this is a very useful resource to fill in a great number of gaps in the world. This will provide you with a great number of interesting new adversaries.

If, however, you actually want to run an "Unleashed" campaign, as is clearly intended here, the game design over the course of a longer campaign suffers from some pretty severe play-balance issues that I haven't managed to find any satisfactory solutions to via "house rules." You could do away with a large number of the headaches by not allowing PCs to be warlocks, but that would be like running Iron Kingdoms and prohibiting steamjacks.

IMHO, the best bet for a GM is restrict any Warlock to only having one Warbeast as a Hero, up to two at Veteran, and then not worry about the cap upon reaching Epic (at which point we'd hope everyone is kind of awesome already) -- and then, make it clear that a non-wold warbeast is a living creature, and the GM reserves the right to play fast and loose with what exactly happens when the warlock loses control of it. If the danger of getting munched by your own warbeast is a real threat, it makes things a lot more "interesting," in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
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Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game Core Rules
by Samuel T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2018 03:06:52

My friends and I have been playing this on and off since it released and love it. We're used to HERO and love tactical combat - IKRPG delivers quite nicely on that while providing us with an good set of rules that don't have a huge learning curve. Works well for our large group (8+ people). Like D&D it is good for players to write down notes of their Abilities (Feats) and spells, although the magic in the setting isn't nearly as complex as D&D. PCs start off dual-classed, allowing them versatility in character creation, plus can choose an Archtype which offers various perks in combat. The system favors horizontal/broad-based character development versus purely vertical development.

PDFs are searchable, linked, and have bookmarks. My only complaint is there is a background graphic which makes this eat up toner/ink if you want/need to print anything out. PDF is fine on my Surface Pro 4 tablet, my friends seem happy with it on their iPads.

Great writing and fluff in IKRPG and its supplement books, and its kept us happy. I've been able to recommend the game and its books to people who would rather use other systems just for the setting material alone, and they've thanked me for it.

I'm knocking off one point as there've been no new releases for a while as Privateer Press seems to have moved their support for the RPG to No Quarter magazine. I would prefer it if they sold No Quarter through DriveThruRPG or made collections of articles from NQ relevant to the RPG available (such as all the Unleashed: Blighted Nyss/Everblight content) similar to Monte Cook's "glimmers" for the various Cypher games. Likewise, there's no relation to the old d20 Full Metal Fantasy RPG - this is an revamping of everything to current standards, with the old material no longer being sold. As such, no digital versions of The Witchfire Trilogy, the old Monsternomicons, etc. So, while its quite sufficient as is for years of gaming, I would like to see stronger support.

But, in the end, its a great game, a good system that knows what it wants to be (IMO), and has provided me and my group with tons of gaming with more to come :)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game Core Rules
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Company of Iron
by Samuel T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2018 02:39:44

I ordered two packs. Quality seemed pretty good, looked and felt nice, sleeved well. No complaints! Will be ordering two more for friends soon!

I'm witholding one star just in case revisions have to be made in the future. If they handle that well and I'm happy with it? I'll add that 5th star.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Company of Iron
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Bad Moon Rising
by Jeremy W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2017 13:34:59

I love the Iron Kingdoms setting and I'm actually a fan of the Warmachine tabletop miniatures game. I'm also a fan of their newest RPG (the current Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game) to a lesser degree. Their fluff is, in my opinion, top-notch.

This book is not top-notch, and that's because of the intent - not the execution.

Let me explain. The core story is about a warpwolf. It has some fluff differences... but it's basically an extra-scary werewolf. The players fight it over the course of several days.

That's it. That's all the originality, right there. there are some reasonably interesting and detailed NPCs, and a cool setting, but that's not what players remember nor is it what they fall in love with. Players remember the fun they have with what their characters do. They don't really remember NPCs as well.

That's why Bad Moon Rising fails. The stuff that the players do is boring. They fight the werewolf. It escapes. It comes back. It transforms. Each night gets spookier. Each night something else goes wrong. Each night, it's painfully predictable and the entire adventure is fairly long. In short, it's utterly lacking in originality. None of the really cool stuff in the Iron Kingdoms gets used here. Instead, this is an adventure that's totally phoned in. To be honest, I think I've played something similar in Dread, the Jenga horror game. When your $10 adventure has the same plot as a one-shot party game, you're in trouble.

So, the main plot is totally lame. The upside is that there are a decent variety of encounters; thinky players can have their moments, and so can the shooty players. If you've got a badass 'jack marshal then she'll be able to use her Talon Light Warjack, and if you've got a cool investigator noble then he'll be able to do some cool roleplaying. That's good.

The redeeming features are the gorgeous pieces of artwork that fill the short adventure. Wow, it was really fun to look at and the art was all evocative as heck! Major props to PP for making such a visual treat. The graphic design is clean and neat and it's easy to read all the stat blocks.

There's one thing that I hate more than I thought I would... the maps! They've got insanely detailed maps, but you can't print them out! Instead you're forced to look at this pretty picture, then try to sketch it out by hand on your gaming paper. What the heck!? Is it so much to include a full-size at the end of the PDF? Maybe tile the map together? It was so seriously frustrating to run the adventure without being able to use their awesome-looking battlespaces.

Overall, I don't know if I can recommend this book. PP has a cool setting and a decent game, but this one is really phoned in. If you've got veteran roleplayers or gamers (or anyone who's played Werewolf) they'll probably find this trite and predictable. Heck, if they've seen any werewolf movies, they'll find it predictable!

This book was pretty and fun to read. I only wish I had as much fun when I ran it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Moon Rising
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Dark Convergence
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/12/2015 18:05:15

'Dark Convergence' deals with the incursion of the Convergence of Cyriss and the attempts of the Cygnaran forces (under Nemo) to not only repel them, but also find the purpose of their unexpected aggression. As a game novel, this does well to show the day-to-day workings of the Iron Kingdoms and those who play either of these forces in the miniatures game will probably enjoy the character exploration. Those unfamiliar with the game may struggle initially as the book introduces a great number of established NPCs in the first chapter with little explanation of who they are and how they operate. However, as the story unfolds, this is explored in more detail (and it does answer the question of how effective the Devil Dogs are against 'jacks and the usual casualty rates). Unlike many other game novels, I could not imagine the sounds of dice rolling in the background during the combat encounters which was highly gratifying. Whilst the author has clearly 'done their homework', it doesn't play out in any sort of mental book-keeping. Additionally, the personal touches and sub-plots to the main characters mean that this isn't simply a battle-report, but rather a story about individuals as their lives and possible catastrophe intersect. It's an easy read that will be enjoyed by fans of the miniatures and role-playing games alike.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Convergence
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WARMACHINE: Rules Digest
by Billiam B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2015 16:21:12

I have never played WarMachine (any edition) but have always drooled over the figures and player's painting, so it's really great that this is being made available for free. This manual looks great on the screen. The art is dramatic, atmospheric and of a high standard. The text is selectable which means that in most PDF browsers a word or phrase search can be used to find rules. Diagrams are clear. I can't comment on rules in play because I'm way too much of a novice with WM, but it all looks well written at first glance. Thank you for making this available whilst I'm on a tight budget. :) -Billiam B.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WARMACHINE: Rules Digest
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WARMACHINE: Rules Digest
by Austin F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2015 15:45:02

Lazily done.

No bookmarks, no appendices, no index. And yet, it keeps the opening story.

So it's neither as small as it could be, nor is it solely the rules, nor is it the best presentation of the rules.

I get that it's free, but still... I could literally splice together a slimmer and more useful document from the same source in about 10 minutes.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Unleashed Legends: Sacred Charge
by Devon B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2015 15:00:29

This short story is an intriguing way to show how in Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting a couple of the ways a Skorne can behave. A big part of the story is that the Skorne caste system doesn't always mean the heart of the person is in the right place. The three protagonists fit their roles well and while some parts of the ending are a bit obvious, it is well written.

I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of the Iron Kingdoms, as this is another good piece of work.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unleashed Legends: Sacred Charge
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
by Carlos F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2015 12:33:53

This is a great add on to the regular IK rpg or great as a stand alone. It provides great rules for playing the wilder side of civilization in the Iron Kingdoms.

For those who do not know the IKRPG system. It is a 2d6 model with a more abstract progression system that mimics but is unlike leveling. Unlike other systems players are larger than life and truly Heroic. If D20 is like lord of the Rings, this is a Marvel Movie. Both GREAT but for very different reasons.

The rules are much the same as IKRPG (as is expected) and they do a very good job of fleshing out the cults and tribes that you can play as.

Though just like its Predecessor, IKRPG, there will be quite a bit of house ruling needing to be done. Some entries are written with errors or vague enough that for the wargame are sufficient, but in an area that requires imagination this book gives very little to assist.

Also another area that needs house ruling is the classes. Why are some race restricted? Slaughter houser is really just a Halberdier, why is it farrow only? Fennblade is just Greatweapon Specialist, why Trollkin only. Long rider, raptor, and Wolf rider could respectively be Heavy Cavaltry, Mounted archer(ranged Cavalry) and Cavalry Scout. There is no need for them to be race specific.

Otherwise I think they have added Much more good than bad to this RPG world. Warlocks and beats are explained and implemented wonderfully.

So if you want a system that is simple, does not have everything explained to the smallest detail, and fights are quick and dynamic, this is for you.

WARNING for those coming from other more established systems. The lack of definition will be very off putting at first, things are not spelled out to the letter, and the spells are described visually. Also character creation can literally take minutes. So if you or your group are not very imaginative and cant come to decision on how a rule should work, stay clear of this system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
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Bad Moon Rising
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/26/2015 18:16:32

Bad Moon Rising is the latest pre-written adventure for Iron Kingdoms RPG from Privateer Press. The adventure, like many of those produced by Privateer Press, consist of a number of scenes, mixing social and combat encounters. And while many think IKRPG is a combat heavy game, Bad Moon Rising has a lot of roleplaying chances as the player characters get to interact with many NPCs. Bad Moon Rising takes the form of a horror murder mystery. So expect some spoilers coming up and if you are players in a campaign, perhaps totally stop reading this review now. The adventure centres around the attacks in a Khadoran outpost by the Circle of Orboros, and in particular the increasing number of vicious attacks by a monster - a Warpwolf. Over a number of nights, the convergence of the 3 moons of Caen progresses, and the ferocity of the Warpwolf attacks increase. The Circle mount more and more attacks from outside of the fort, and all the while a harsh snow storm blows. The characters are of course suspects, and are expected to take it upon themselves to investigate the attacks, to determine the nature of the creature and put a stop to them. As the story continues it will become apparent that there is a dark history to the fort that relates to the current events. Furthermore, a conspiracy will make itself known and lead to a final, bloody combat.

Read the rest of the review at http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/review-bad-moon-rising-iron-kingdoms.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Moon Rising
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Skorne Empire
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/26/2015 18:15:14

This strange race of humanoids comes from the far east of Immorean, past the Storm Lands and deserts, and past the Abyss. They are an ancient race, with an equally age old enmity with the Elves. They are a warrior race, with a society that focuses on slavery, torment, pain and torture. Their design and look is clearly inspired by aspects of Japanese Samurai culture, and ancient Persia. And as for their physical form, they are pale, with bony rigged foreheads, and pointed ears.

On face value alone they could be considered the equivalent of Dark Elves from that other war gaming company, but then you would be wrong.

The Skorne Empire book really lifts the lid off this ancient empire. We learn of their rise from a nomadic culture around the time the ancient Elven empire was destroyed, and their warring between city states, and the eventual formation of a unified empire, first under the exiled king, Vinter Raelthorne of Cygnar, and then under the Supreme Archdomina Makeda.

Read the rest of the review http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/review-skorne-empire.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Skorne Empire
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Into the Storm
by Devon B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2015 16:45:52

Into the Storm is an invigorating read about some of the dirtier corners of Cygnar within Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting. It invites several laughs, and makes you want to root for the main characters. Madigan is written very well, showing how a stubborn man would do what it takes to get things done.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Storm
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2015 12:36:46

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Review

A little background for you, I play Warmachine and Hordes, which are the table top miniature games that this RPG is based on. In particular my main faction is the Trollbloods so it was almost written in the stars that I would like this book. I’ll try to give you an objective review, but if my love of the setting gets away with me you will know why.



Iron Kingdoms Unleashed is the RPG of the Hordes table top game. Which is about the monster races of the Iron Kingdoms. The original book in the line Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy covers the Humans, Elves, and Dwarven kingdoms of the setting.



Fluff



This game is interesting, I’ve been playing a lot of D&D 5th edition since it’s release. So seeing a game that lets you play a monster was refreshing. Especially because the setting gives you the sense that these monsters are on some what equal footing with the civilized Dwarves, Elves, and Humans. Your not a cowering tribe of Goblins fearing the day when a high level Adventurer will sweep through your tribe. The major monster races are scary, and should be respected.

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed takes place in the “Wilds” of Immoren. While I really enjoyed the chapter setting up the history of all the factions. Knowing the other side of the coin, specifically what is going on in the human kingdoms from the Full Metal Fantasy book, really helped flesh out the setting. I’m not sure if they give you enough of a picture of what the countries on the map actually mean by themselves. Given you are playing monsters, so whatever those soft squishy humans print on maps doesn’t mean much, as they are weak and cower behind the walls.

There are a lot of monster races to pick from in the book, they are basically split into four “factions” of critters. The Bog Trogs (fishmen) and Gatormen make up the swamp races. The Trollkin and Pygmy Trolls make up the Troll Kriels. Tharn and Human druids make up the Circle of Oroboros. The Farrow are well… the Farrow. Lastly you have the Nyss who are a species of Elf that have lost there lands to mutant dragons (it’s a long story). Of course there are Humans who live in the wilds as well. The races seem fairly well balanced, and mixing races from Full Metal Fantasy should not be a problem.



The Trolls have 4 species that live in the wilds. There are the Pygmy Trolls, who are small (by troll standards) clever people who are not quite as smart or civilized as the Trollkin. I like to think of them like Jawa’s personally. Where Trollkin are large and strong, Pygmy Trolls are more agile and cunning. Trollkin are the next size up, they are of human intelligence, and the race appears in Full Metal Fantasy as there are Trolls that live and work in Human settings. Trollkin have a scottish flair, liking big weapons and wearing kilts, but have an odd tendency to have vaguely Nordic names, and they drink heavily. Trollkins are 7 to 8 feet tall, and in the setting probably fill the same niche as World of Warcraft Orcs. There are also Full Blooded Trolls, which are monsters, but can be reasoned with. Sometimes Full Blooded Trolls live with there smaller kin, trading labor and strength for easy food. Lastly there are the Dire Trolls, Mountains of muscle and basically the fury of nature given form, they are hard to reason with.



Farrow are my other favorite race from the book, they don’t get a lot of pages but what they get is just packed with flavor. They are probably the D&D Orc race in the setting, Tribes of pig headed savages. In this book I found out that they are cannibals, which makes sense several Farrow units in the table top game have the “Bacon” rule. Basically in the setting Farrow are often prayed upon by other races because they are tasty to eat. The Farrow themselves acknowledge this which is why they eat their own as well, and consider it an insult if you don’t join them.



The Circle of Orboros has humans in there number and Tharn. Tharn are kind of like shifters from Eberron. They are a race that are touched by the Devouring Wyrm and have a human like form, and can shift into a more bestial form. Tharn Men become larger and vaguely wolfish, where the tharn women become agile and hard to spot. The Druids of the Circle are old school D&D Druids, wanting to return to nature at any cost, which means they want to destroy civilization. The problem is civilization is not destroyed, the Full Metal Fantasy kingdoms are at late 19th century technology, which means you get to read about the Circle having all these cool plans to destroy the world, and then ultimately fail.



Bog Trogs are walking humanoid fish that are easy to track because they smell. They are cowardly and are often beaten into submission by the other race they share the swamps with, the Gatormen. Gators in the Iron Kingdoms setting all appear to have the ability to walk on two legs. The Gatormen are 7 foot tall, walking gators, that normally practice in magic that involves the stealing souls and then using them as a resource. They can also command the larger gators of the swamp, along with giant snapping turtle, swamp squids, and other nasty beasts.



In short you are playing monsters, which has it’s own problems. Being neck deep in the lore of the game it’s hard for me to imagine a reason why some of these races would work together. But then again I’m a lore snob and probably should relax and enjoy things more.



The Rules



Making a character is pretty easy in the game because you don’t roll for stats, and honestly during creation you don’t make a lot of choices. Which is good and bad, but the ease of which you gain your first few “levels” means the early part of the game is an extended tutorial. Once you get about 12 XP (which you can get in 4 to 6 play sessions) your character has taken on a lot of new abilities and choices, and really fleshed out.



Step 1 is you pick your race, which determines your basic stats.
 Step 2 is you pick your Archetype which is basically a mini class. You have four choices, Mighty (which raises your damage and makes you harder to kill), Skilled (which raises the number of attacks you get, and can make you more skilled), Cunning (party buffs essentially, gives you the ability to assist the other characters), and Gifted (aka your any form of Magic User).
 Step 3 you pick two Careers. Careers come pre built with what Abilities, Skills, and even gear they start with. You pick two, mash them together, and you have your character.
 Step 4 Customize. You can add 3 points into any of your stats, also you can trade out any spell or ability you get with another one available on your list. Which is good if you have something you really don’t need because of your class selection, you can pick up something more immediately useful. 
Step 5 Play.




The System



Iron Kingdoms uses d6’s, typically you roll 2d6 add your modifier and try to beat a difficulty number. So it’s kinda like d20 in that regard, it also means the average roll is 6 or 7. There are several ways of adding dice to the roll that exist in the game. For example, picking the Mighty Archetype gives you an extra dice of damage on melee attacks. Or charging into combat also gives you an extra dice. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need a high number that is hard to roll there are typically ways to change the math, the trick is finding them.



All characters also get 3 feat points which can do a number of awesome things, which is good because there is little to no magical healing in the game. So if you didn’t have the ability to heal with feat points, or halve the damage you take from an attack with them, the game would be extremely deadly.



The game itself is primarily a combat system as it’s built on a wargame. Which means the combat is also extremely fiddly. While I can in theory imagine not playing with miniatures, I wouldn’t recommend it. This is probably the biggest downfall of the game honestly, the combat system is deep and complex. The problem is it has a fairly steep learning curve. Now if you are used to the tabletop game picking it up is easy, it’s the same system with a few wrinkles.



Overall

As I said I play the table top game, I’m already invested in the system. So I like it a lot. The World is interesting, there is a lot of good stories you can read. I play Trolls, they are in this book a lot, it's awesome. It’s not a game for everybody, again the rules are very fiddly, and while the combat is engaging and very dynamic the game does shine with it’s combat system. If your not a deep combat nut it’s probably not a great game for you. The system reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics, where you take jobs, and get stuff, to really make the character you want. If any of this sounds interesting to you, take a gander, it’s a lot of fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
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Bad Moon Rising
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2015 06:43:55

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/07/06/tabletop-review-bad-moon-rising-iron-kingdoms/

Privateer Press’ products are extremely hit or miss for me. I can’t stand Warmachines or Hordes, but that’s mainly due to the mechanics, the fact I find the models unaesthetically pleasing. Which is okay - every game is someone's favorite; it's just PP's skirmish game is not for me. That said, I love the fluff behind the game and I really enjoy the fiction, with pieces like Murder in Corvis (soon to be a boardgame!) and Blood in the Water. I don’t enjoy the core Iron Kingdoms RPG, but I really like the Unleashed version, especially the introductory kit, as it’s a fun little self-contained piece. So for me, it seems like every time I agree to review something from Privateer Press, I have a 50-50 chance or enjoying it or really disliking it. Unfortunately, Bad Moon Rising is in the latter camp. It’s a highly overpriced, derivative adventure that lacks any semblance of originality. I’ve played the exact same story in adventures for Chill, Ravenloft, Call of Cthulhu and probably even Accursed. It is the most generic and overdone horror adventure plot ever, just with Iron Kingdoms jargon and mechanics thrown in. It’s really disappointing to see the lack of effort put into this, and if I had actually paid ten dollars for this instead of getting it as a review copy, I’d be ANGRY rather than just disappointed that this piece was approved for purchase by the general public.

Basically, Bad Moon Rising is your typical “trapped with a werewolf” adventure. Of course, since this is Iron Kingdoms, it is a Warpwolf, which for most of you, the only difference is going to be in the naming convention. The PC will have to spend several days (in-game) trying to figure out who the Warpwolf is and stop them before they kill again. After a certain amount of days, the Warpwold succeeds, and the fort the characters are trapped in will fall. The adventure really is that cut and dry. Yes, if you’ve played a horror RPG, you’ve almost certainly played this adventure before. Hell, you can go to Kickstarter and find numerous versions of this story in the Werewolf-clone card/beer and pretzel game variants that pop up constantly over there. After only a few minutes with Bad Moon Rising, you can tell just how phoned in this adventure is. Hell, even the name of this piece has been used by everyone from CCR to adventures for Judge Dredd and Shadowrun. You would think Privateer Press would have at least changed the name to something more original. Instead, this merely serves to show how little thought and effort was actually put into this adventure. It’s shameful really. It’s the third Ginger Snaps movie almost cut and paste into the Iron Kingdoms mechanics.

No adventure is all bad and, truth be told, the worst part of this adventure is the lack of originality, creativity and effort put into the piece. Taken on its own, Bad Moon Rising is a fairly serviceable piece that you can make work if your players have little to no experience with horror RPGs and/or werewolf movie tropes. The adventure is long (quantity over quality) and there is a lot of depth given to the NPCs and locations. The adventure is also equal parts roll-playing and role-playing, which is nice. Hack and Slash fans get their fifteen minutes, but so do the people who want a more investigative/talking heads adventure. A good GM can try and make the piece come to life, but I’d advise some heavy rewriting, as it’s very dry and dull the way it is written. Insert a Ben Stein joke here. A little more time in production or with rewrites and Bad Moon Rising could have been a decent homage to garou clichés. I also really like the art in this piece. It’s the best part of the adventure. It’s too bad the maps shown throughout the piece aren’t full size so you could print them off and use with your Privateer Press miniatures. They’re very nicely detailed and would make the adventure far more fun than it is. Of course, the adventure is already crazy overpriced ($10 for a PDF adventure?) so Cthulhu knows how much more PP would have tried jacking up the MSRP of this if they had done that. There are lots of ways Bad Moon Rising could have been improved had there been a modicum of effort put into it. You can tell that by the little things that actually do “pop” in this piece, like the art.

So yes, Bad Moon Rising is not all that bad. I can’t recommend it to anyone due to the paint by numbers level of this piece, coupled with the cost Privateer Press is actually charging for it. It’s as if they wanted to make people angry with how little thought went into this adventure (or respect for the Iron Kingdoms audience). It’s a very long, dull drawn out adventure that you’ve seen, read, played or watched a half dozen times before – each of which was more than likely better than Bad Moon Rising. Pieces like this are what keep me from regularly investing in Privateer Press’ products, because they are either really good or really bad. I will say that Bad Moon Rising is not typical of Iron Kingdoms. It’s not as good as Unleashed, which came out this year, but the regular Iron Kingdoms tabletop RPG is not usually “rehash someone else’s story and hope no one notices.” In fact, this is the first time I can remember it being so. Still, the lack of quality, from writing to QA on down to editorial with Bad Moon Rising was so deplorable, it’s enough to make me very afraid of how bad The Undercity is going to turn out. Of course, I was considering pre-ordering that game, only because I loved the story by Richard Lee Byers it is based on, but that’s really not enough to sink money into something that may be as disappointing as Bad Moon Rising.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Moon Rising
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