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Ironsworn $0.00
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Ironsworn
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Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Christian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2018 02:07:40

Incredible what the author has released for free here. While there are still some wonkyness (for example the progress track of enemies being directly tied to how much damage they deal) it's still far beyond any other free system and fully competes with a lot of the paid systems as well. A refreshing take on PbtA-inspired mechanics and suitable for small groups as well. Currently playing it with two players (and me as GM) and it works great. Havent tried it solo but I think it could be even better there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/12/2018 23:05:51

Ironsworn solves the two primary problems that I always had with solo RPG'ing: pacing and goal-setting. I always wrestled with what I was supposed to do next and really needed some guidance. I had tried to adapt modules to solo play by sort of self-hiding information. This ultimately proved unsatisfying, though. Ironsworn fixes that problem by instituting the vow as the primary driver of the story. There must always be at least one vow (i.e. quest), and more tend to crop up as you go along. As an example, my character might be trying to gather information in a village, and the move results in someone willing to help me, but only for a price. That 'price' will likely become its own vow, even if it's only a short-term one so that I can get the information to proceed with my main quest.

The second thing I wrestled with was knowing when I was ready to move on to the next stage of the story. I mean, when solo-ing, how do you decide when your quest is done? How do you know if that tough monster that you just defeated in the dungeon was really the boss? How do you know if that clue you just found is leading you to the killer, or if it is a red herring? The progress mechanic solved that for me. As my character performs actions, progress is marked on a track. I know when I'm nearing the end of the task/story/chapter/etc., because the progress track is getting full. Small tasks fill up faster than epic tasks. And, I don't have to wait for the progress bar to fill up. I can take my chances and roll to see if I can complete the task/journey/etc. Maybe I really have already figured out who the killer is. Or, if the roll goes horribly wrong, maybe the plot twists and I find out that I was on the wrong track. This is one of the things that I really appreciate about Ironsworn. It gives my story better pacing.

The third and final thing that I appreciate about Ironsworn is its flexibility. It is designed for a gritty sort of pseudo-Viking era setting. But, frankly, the system is so flexible that I've now played a game as a noble in the golden age of piracy, as an agent of the Imperial Inquisition in Warhammer 40k, and as a powerful wizard a la Ars Magica in Mythic Europe.

On a side note, the author is very generous to offer this product for free, when it does so well what others have tried for so long to do. He is very interactive on the Discord channel, happy to help new players and to talk with us grizzled veterans of the game. He has plans for supplements which will expand the system's customizability, as well.

I purchased this in print form without a second thought. It took me some effort to get to grips with the Powered by the Apocalypse-like design, since I was coming from D&D. Once I did, though, the game really blossomed for me, and I can heartily recommend it for solo and small groups.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Liam M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/12/2018 13:20:38

Amazing Game!

I've played in both solo and co-op modes and it's wokred great in both situation. I haven't played Ironsworn with a GM yet, but I imagine it would go just as smoothly.

The dice system and moves are tough but fair. Your chracter WILL suffer, and face harsh realities. The way that "Pay The Price" works (the most common result for failing roll) means that you get to adjust the difficulty of situations to your liking, and you will never end up in a situation you don't find intersting at the very least, even (or rather, especalliy) if the dice hate you.

The built in setting is evocative, and full enough to help spark idea, yet leaves enough blanks to finll in your own stories with ease.

It's also a great game if you don't have a scehdual that lets you sit down for hours at a time to game. All the moves are direclty player-facing, so fn you're running solo or play-by-post you don't need to wait around for GM replies every time you go to make a roll. You roll, the dice set their own difficutly, and if you can't think up a good result in-fiction then the game incudes many pages of fantasic Oracles to help with generating ideas.

Speaking of the Oracles, they're so useful that Ii wish more games used them they way Ironsworn does.

Lastly, the book itself is simple but but still visualloy appealing. The photography is all black and white, but it's evocative and fits the tone of the game perfeclty. I ordered the hard cover version and can atest that it's a quality product that I'm glad to have on my shelf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Joshua M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2018 19:12:35

Ironsworn is an amazing product.

The fantastic setting evokes a wide variety of comparisons, but is explicitly designed to allow a player/group to make it their own as part of beginning play. The dice/move mechanics are loads of fun: completely intuitive for anyone who has ever heard of Powered By The Apocalypse, but structured around a unique mechanism called "Momentum," which ebbs and flows based on your character's success. In play with multiple players, Momentum serves to naturally provide the opportunity for spotlight shifting. Character creation is streamlined and easy, with fairly few decisions up front yet an incredible diversity of unique Assets to choose from to customize your character; no "pick a class/playbook" here.

For a GM, not only is the system extremely intuitive, it also (gently) loads a lot of decision and narrative overhead onto the players' moves and the dice themselves, freeing you to make the big-picture decisions and think creatively about challenging your players. Meanwhile, for those without a group to play with for whatever reason, the game works equally well as a GMless co-op or even as a solo game, powered by the best "Oracle" tables I have ever seen. The Oracles also make a great resource for the GM in a guided game.

The actual book itself is beautifully done: logically structured with razor-sharp layout and highly evocative artwork.

Also of note: the creator is highly involved with the community, responsive to feedback, and clearly loves this game as much as any of his customers do. "Labor of love," if anything, seems to undersell it. What's even more impressive is that he has made the PDF donationware; I have been satisfied paying perfectly good money for games that are not this good, and he's giving it away.

No two ways about it: in a short few months, Ironsworn has grown to be among my favorite games in decades of roleplaying. Give it a try, and you will feel the same!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Ronald L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2018 23:53:11

If you're looking for a storytelling game with Apocalypse World-like rules that can be played without a singular GM, Ironsworn is the game for you.

In Ironsworn, not only do you get to create a highly customizable character (via Assets rather than a character class), the group gets to create their own version of the Ironlands by selecting choices amongst ten categories.

An Ironsworn's goals are what push the campaign forward and the results of the dice rolls (full success, partial success, or paying the price) and the interpretive power of the Oracle rules are what push the game forward. I've literally gotten multiple groups together, created the world and characters from scratch, and have ran multiple games with zero prep with great results. Even the session that ended in total disaster and gained no XP whatsoever was extremely fun.

I personally would love to buy a hardcover of this book. I've actually shelled out over $45 to print Preview 7 at Fed Ex just so that I can have a physical copy of the .pdf, and I would much rather that money go to Shawn Tomkin.

If there's any gripe that I have about the game, it's how Assets are meant to be distributed amongst the players. IIRC, each Asset can be taken by only one player in the group, and the Assets are most likely meant to be cut out and given to the individual player, since they pack in a lot of information (each Asset has three benefits, one that a character automatically gets upon acquisition and two more that must be purchased with XP). There are optional rules that replace Assets with either flat out buying stat increases or by implementing professions, but I prefer Assets as they provide the real mechanical individuality per character.

To conclude, this game takes the Apocalypse World rules mindset and propels it even further by a solid system for generating content on-the-fly, especially as more players in the group get involved in the process. Also, it's free, which is freaking awesome, but is a game I will gladly pay a print edition for.

edit from 8/12/18

It seems that my wish to have a hardcover of this book has been answered! About a week and a half ago, I discovered that this game was being released as both a softcover and a hardcover. I received a hardcover copy as of the date of this edit and I am very satisfied with it. It's a 6x9" book with a hardcover feel similar to the GURPS 4th Edition hardcovers. At about $28, this is a great deal. Finally, a great game to add to my collection that will last a long time and not be accidentally bent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by allan p. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/10/2018 06:03:09

Circumstances have forced me into the solo market and this is my initiation system Great improvisation system



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Catalina G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2018 18:46:57

I've been following the project for some months already, and I must say it was love at first sight. Not only does the design look gorgeous, but it's also a solid system. I think that the fact that it includes oracles, and that it provides options for multiplayer, gmless play, and solo play is a big BIG plus! Give it a try! I promise you won't be disappointed!

UPDATE: I have just received my printed hardcover copy, and I'm incredibly satisfied. The quality is superb, and everything looks amazing. I'm really happy of finally being able to have a tangible version of Ironsworn. I've said it before, and I say it now: Ironsworn is fantastic! There's no excuse for not having it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Catalina G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2018 18:46:57

I've been following the project for some months already, and I must say it was love at first sight. Not only does the design look gorgeous, but also it's a solid system. I think that the fact that it includes oracles, and that it provides options for multiplayer, gmless play, and solo play is a big BIG plus! Give it a try! I promise you won't be disappointed!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by S J S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2018 06:15:49

Extremely slick product which is available for FREE! This game is beautifully laid out in very impressive format, with beautiful evocative images, clear rules, and no typos to see. And it's FREE! Every page of this book, every reference sheet is well-laid out. The images are all professionally shot and thematically appropriate. The rules are crisp and leave no room for vagueness. And no typos!

And the system itself? Wonderful! It has been designed from the ground to be solo-facing, but can also easily work for co-op and GM mode. Plentiful examples and solid mechanics to entertain you in your lonely hours. What's more, the system setting is easy to hack, with many already playing the game in different settings without much effort.

This product is one of the top-quality RPGs around. Grab it now, and if you want, chuck the author some cash for their hard work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Fernando D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2018 13:17:27

This game is nothing short of brilliant. I am a big fan of another game which uses a similar move system, Dungeon World. The author has taken that idea and made it into artful game. The use of world building, character generation, and character driven story all weave together to form a tapestry unlike anything I have seen before in RPGs. I would gladly pay for a printer version of this game and I sincerely hope the author does put one out so that he can be rewarded for his superlative work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by STEFANOS P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2018 13:02:57

This is one of those 6star+ products for sure!

Professionally done and free! I have paid for much less quantity and quality.... Additional assets/downloads to help with the game setup/running and log-keeping! And excellent balance between mechanics and fiction (fluff/crunch) Quite easy to get into despite the almost 300 pages and yet deeply designed to account for more than your average narrative game Gm-less mode which means that you can also Solo the game And help with hacking/expanding chaging the game to your preferences!

This is on the path to becoming one of my (if not THE) go to choices for Gritty Narrative Fantasy games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Ethan U. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2018 20:48:23

This is the game for solo play right now. I certainly haven't encountered anything better on the market. Ironsworn is a game about a setting where dread, despair, and hopelessness are every day facts of life as humans try to rebuild their society in a harsh new land. The mechanics drive this home, where journeys are perilous and even small tasks can become disastrous with a poor roll. The thorough use of oracles and a set of rules that isn't afraid to spice things up make for a real drama - Ironsworn isn't a game about continual, effortless ascension. It's a game about the people who manage to survive (or not) despite trial and tribulation.

During no other roleplaying game, and certainly not during a solo game, have I ever felt myself so on edge to find out what happens next. It's not just a casual excitement like, "wow, this story is really good," but rather it's a strong emotional reaction that results from every dice roll feeling impactful.

Beyond that, I love Ironsworn for a couple of other reasons. Mechanically, it's really smart. The new (for PbtA) dice mechanic statistically reweights results toward a middle ground where drawbacks and complications are expected, which ensures the story doesn't stagnate on success. The momentum mechanic rewards you for preparation and careful, strategic play. And, maybe most importantly for solo gamers, the use of a new initiative system and player-facing moves means "GM work" is more storytelling than it is mechanical.

All in all, probably the best new rpg I've played all year.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Ovy O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2018 14:40:34

Some games comfort you in wonderful fancies of nostalgia, others stick with you after you have played, a rare few dare to keep you up at night whispering to you when will you play again.

I can say with complete certainty, that for me, Ironsworn covers all three of these categories.

It is a hauntful company of game-moves similar to PbtA or Dungeon World, but Ironsworn moves are much more personal, its resolution much more temperamental.

After all, you are the Ironsworn, a solemn hero pledging your sword and life for one purpose, in a inhospitable world after a massive medieval apocalypse. No surprise that the elements, the horrors, the dice test your mettle and your iron vow.

Shawn Tomkin has created an alternate reality and a game-system that completely beckons and transports you. With its solo, coop and group play options, short and extended play, Ironsworn can grab you out of your life from just about anywhere.

Don't be late for work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Krzysztof C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2018 07:09:17

Easily 12/10, great take at the PbtA, with very tight gameplay and evocative setting (that you can fiddle with) to go with. Plays well both with and without GM!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Stacey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/30/2018 08:28:22

This is a well designed system and a great game. While I haven't time to really get into all the features and options, the level of dedication and imagination really shows. Great job!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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