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Ironsworn $0.00
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Ironsworn
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Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Ronald L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/10/2018 10:06:25

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.



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!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Lars L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2018 14:22:22

Since I read Apocalypse World, I read a LOT of different systems and also played some of them. :-)

In this way I think Ironsworn is really a milestone in the development of the of the pbtA-system. Shawn Tomkin manages to put the moves together like gears in a clockwork, focusing on getting rid of all the parts that are not necessary to create an ongoing plotline in a cold fantasy-iron-age-world with a strong focus on social interaction. I this way it is closer to a fantasy-Apocalypse-World-setting than Dungeon World with more serious drama and less Quentin-Tarantino-style action.

From the start of Apocalypse World there was this idea to play to find out what happens. Normally there still is a lot stress on the GM (my feeling) driving the plotline of the group, as (my) players are used to waiting to get a hind on what the next step in the adventure should be.

The idea of the Iron Vow as a basis to go on a quest is great. It is followed up by specific moves, if the PC decides to abort or fulfills it tying it back to the social world. Here a GM can really concentrate on the role of a facilitator.

With the Progress-System there is a really interesting push-your-luck-mechanism that is used for example for journeys, combat and personal goals of the PCs.

I also like the incorporation of the Mythic-RPG-way of creating new plot developments through open and closed questions and rolling on the probability. In this why a real ongoing co-op game in pbtA seems possible, which is not to forced to be a one-shot like Fiasco and other systems that are structured in this way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Anna P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2018 15:00:51

Ironsworn has options for both solo and group play which I think is really cool. I've only tried playing solo one time, but it was both a fun time and helped teach me the rules in a way you don't always get from just reading through them. I think the quest mechanic is a great idea because it forces the players to consider why this task matters to their characters, and if it doesn't matter enough, to add more detail to the task so it truly turns into a quest, and it provides structure if you're playing solo or without a gm. The world of Ironsworn is also super interesting. It has a lot of details and a cool atmosphere, but there's also a lot of room for customization, and the book encourages the players to make stuff up and build the world together. Reading the book made me want to try playing it with other people.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by David A. G. A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/09/2018 23:49:21

Frankly, this is one of the best uses of the PbtA rules I've ever read. Evocative, simple, and the quality of the book is high for it being completely free. I've always loved PbtA games and mechanics, and I'm also a loner who also happens to be the GM of a small group; I'm usually skeptic when a game claims to be made for solo play or for small groups and fail to deliver in the end, but this one REALLY works well for solo and GM-Less play! And ALSO works well GMing it.

Please, do yourself a favor and play this! I hope this game keeps getting support, it would be great to see it expand to other genres.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2018 20:22:03

Ironsworn is truly a game that can be played solo, co-op, and GM driven. The art is splendid and drives home the feel of the gritty dark default setting, but it is flexible enough to play in just about any setting you can imagine. Chock full of story driving Moves and Oracles to inspire, one can not go wrong picking this up, especially at the current $0.00 price tag! I wouldn't have regretted paying $20-25 for this. The production quality for a solo designer is amazing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Catalina G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2018 12:05:29

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 Graham S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2018 14:21:16

Dark Age, low fantasy, vow driven quests with an elegant take on Powered by the Apocalypse mechanics. Hugely recommended, a fantastic game.

I've run Ironsworn a couple of times at conventions to a great reception. People like the game, the tightly woven and complimentary 'Moves' that help to drive forward action, the simple character generation that draw on Asset cards to provide unique edges, the elegant dice mechanics, and the beautiful photo realistic look and feel of the game.

The game is loosely derived from the PbtA stable of games, but feels very much its own thing. Your character has five core stats in a 3,2,2,1,1 range that provide the bonus to your Action Die roll. Mechanically, characters are differentiated further by the selection of three Asset cards. An Asset might be a 'Path' such as a Storyweaver, a combat stance - that provides a bonus in combat, a companion, a ritual etc. Bonds are a simple mechanic to tie the character to places, communities, gods and individuals (also providing a mechanical +1 at oportune Move moments.

The game is quest driven. You make sacred Vows and then go off and carry them out. These Vows, once completed, provide Experience for improvement, the amount dependant on the complexity of the task. They can be trivial through to Epic and you can carry many at the same time. Shared Vows tie PCs to their allies and provide impetus for shared action.

Every roll counts. Both Challenge dice under your Action Score is a 'Strong Hit', one die under is a 'Weak Hit' and none under is a 'Miss'. All have consequences.

A key concept that flows simply in play is 'Momentum'. As you succeed in your Moves and in play you graduually buuild up a ally of Momentum. This can be spent to influence the Challenge Dice turning one or both of them from Miss to Success. It's a great feeling to have a well of Momentum pulsing on your characater sheet, Nothing can stop you. Well, OK, maybe not, but you know the tide is currently with you. Once burnt, your Momentum resets and you start to build it again.

Other elements that draw on the PbtA heritage include:

  • The GM doesn't roll dice but guides the use of Moves.
  • Foes are simply rated with a difficulty level. Everything else is fictional dressing. Scaled as per Vows and Journeys, they have Progress tracks that you fill in as you wound them.
  • Core outcomes have elegant Moves that draw the shared fiction in interesting directions
  • Play to find out what happens - the Moves and 'The Oracle' and 'Pay The Price' random dice rolls can do some of the imaginative heavy lifting

It is worth noting that Ironsworn supports a number of play styles: GM'd, co-operative and solo. Random tables provide a rich set of ideas to propel you forward without any fuss.

Reflections after Play

  • It's a breeze to run and prepare for. NPCs and Foes are a single difficulty level. This defines the speed that their 'damage' Progress Track is filled in and the amount of Harm that they dish out if the Move dictates.
  • Players have enjoyed the rules. Even those who are a bit adverse to PbtA Move based mechanics.
  • Although ideal for 3-4 players, I had a table of 6 last time and we managed fine. The deal there is to provide a bit of old school structure on the top to give everyone some spotlight time and split Foe Progress tracks up to refelct the larger number of PC weapons flailing about.
  • Everybody loves the Asset cards. As they are all unique, if you print one set, then the pool ensures that everyone has their own special thing to bring to the table.
  • I can get a bit 'Move happy' as they drive play - which is OK for combat because it provides the essential structure of the game, but it is important to drive events with good narration, the Moves are there to give you options and outcomes.
  • I like the setting. Dark Ages, clannish, interlopers in a wild peninsular with creatures and gods and forces that do not welcome the refugee Ironlanders.
  • Accepting the essential Vow based core, Ironsworn is ready for your own fantastical world with some tweaked Assets and narrative embellishments. People are using it for other genres, by re-phrasing the Assets.
  • The game is heroic - Ironsworn are hard to kill (though I have managed it), but also has a gritty edge to it. Ritual magic is evocative and dangerous.

The game has a strong and beautiful graphical style. The PDFs are free. I print mine out in 'ringbinder editions'. My latest is an A5 book, ready for the quests ahead.

Donwload and play. Let us know how you get on at the G+ community.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Bruce C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2018 10:03:18

Ironsworn combines a rugged and haunting Viking/Saxon-like fantasy setting, random prompt tables (oracles), and an innovative re-working of PbtA-like mechanics to deliver a cleverly designed game that supports Solo, GM-less, or group (2-3 players plus GM) play. Impressively well-written, of high production quality, and with evocative and inspiring setting material and random tables built-in; I could go on at length about the many reasons why you should give Ironsworn a try but honestly, since Shawn Tomkin is generously offering this fantastic product for free, it’s a no brainer. Don't miss out. Download it and take a look for yourself. You’ll be delighted you did.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Evandro N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2018 05:58:15

This is a well designed, clearly presented and extensively playtested product. It includes everything you need to play great Solo or Multi-Player GM-less adventures. The game comes with its own open and customizable setting: the Ironlands, a viking-like Northern peninsula. The rules are designed for flexibility and the author provides detailed advice to adapt the game to different settings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Justin G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2018 15:30:29

Ironsworn is an awesome game! It is semi PbtA, but introduces many new mechanics that help the game to flow smoother. It's designed to be run both with or without a GM, and either solo (one player/no GM) or with a group (GM or No GM). It uses the familiar PbtA "Moves" structure to drive the fiction, but doesn't include Playbooks. Instead, you build your character by assigning bonuses to a number of stats and then choosing three unique Asset cards. Each Asset card modifies some of the core moves or provides you with new options during play.

Another unique element of this game is the Vow. A Vow is essentially a quest that you choose and assign a difficulty rank to, and the game automatically measures your progress against the quest using an innovative progress system (a spin on clocks from Apocalypse World or Blades in the Dark). By using Moves and Vows, the game engine largely drives itself and produces new and exciting stories every time you sit down to play.

The book is beautiful with a realistic and gritty art-style throughout, which matches the game's default low-magic setting perfectly. It clocks in at roughly 270 pages spread across 7 chapters that teach you the mechanics of the game and then provides a bestiary of unique foes you might face in the Ironlands. There's a chapter dedicated to random generators to help make your version of the Ironlands unique, a gazeteer chapter that introduces the settting, and a chapter dedicated to teaching new (or veteran) players how to best make use of Ironsworn's unique mechanics to tell great stories.

The developer is incredibly responsive and communicates with the community frequently through the game's Google Plus community (https://plus.google.com/communities/104501626579912652597)

And if all that didn't sway you, it's free!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Andrea P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2018 14:28:44

This is a very inspired work. It's of course derived by "Powered by the Apocalypse" system, but it has a new core mechanic, and a powerful game flow. I wrote a lot in the dedicated Google+ community, here I simply say:"You need to try this one, even in his uncommon modes, like Solo Play, or with your group but with no Master!". The layout is clean, the images are real photos, the text is well edited, and it's frequently updated. Finally, a bit "Thank You" to Shawn Tomkin. He gave us this cool book for free. Respect for his passion. As he requested, please, do some charity in exchange, make the world a better place.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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