Urban adventures are always fun, never more so than in a steampunk campaign. This product contains a wealth of material for taking your Iron Kingdoms game onto the city streets, from new skills and classes for your characters to detailed background information on cities and an urban-based adventure for the GM. As such, the GM is going to have to look over the book and decide which bits the players will be allowed to access.
First up, Urban Adaptation looks at new careers for non-human races living in urban areas. Ogrun, for example, can put their strength to use as labourers as well as on the battlefield, while gobbers seem tailor-made for a role as Guttersnipes, surviving on petty theft and information brokering. Both ogrun and trollkin make formidable Pugilists, fighting to entertain their betters or working as doormen to some of the dodgier nightspots and gambling dens. Those interested in more legitimate careers might, if dwarves, become Searforge Traders with unmatched negotiation skills whilst an iosan might become a Seeker, a religious sect whose quest for knowledge can lead them down strange paths with even stranger company. Some nyss find that their natural hunting skills translate well to life on the streets as Urban Nomads. Each career comes with all the details needed to create and play a character - skills, assets, abilities and background notes on what it's like to be one. This chapter also has a selection of new abilities, mostly open to characters of any profession or race.
Next comes Urban Gear, being a collection of useful items that any urban adventurer may find of use. Weapons, equipment, alchemical substances... you name it, it might be found here. Characters who enjoy shopping will revel in these delights.
This is followed by a chapter on Urban Combat. This has lots of ideas about brawling effectively in an urban area, as well as the necessary game mechanics to make it happen. Things like using a large sword in tight quarters as well as an extensive section on unarmed combat - carrying an arsenal around with you is not always practical, socially acceptable or even legal in a city environment after all! Such skills can also be used in the arena by those who fight for pay. Also covered are improvised weapons - you may need to defend yourself with whatever comes to hand in an emergency.
Next up, Urban Labourjacks - with an array of new uses and modifications suitable for urban workplaces such as foundaries and manufactories.
We then move on to Five Fingers: A Concise Guide to the Port of Deceit. History, a beautiful map and copious notes on what it is like to live and work in the city, or just visit it for a few days. Crime, law, the Watch, and the costs of doing business are covered. There's also the chance to meet some leading citizens and notable organisations, before a detailed breakdown of the city island by island. The wealth of information here sparks plenty of ideas for adventures embedded in the life of the city... indeed this section is best kept for the GM (and possibly players of characters who are natives born and bred of Five Fingers).
Now we are into GM territory proper, with a collection of Urban Encounters which can be used as passing events, side-adventures or even full-blown plot-driving elements of your campaign as appropriate to your needs. In-character hooks are provided in the shape of news snippets, then there are notes about what is really going on and suggestions for what adventures or activities this situation might engender. Even outline stats for people involved are included.
Next, The Servants of Thamar introduces the cult of a dark goddess popular in the underbelly of crowded cities. As well as a description of the cult and its beliefs and practices, there are the necessary details for creating and running a cult member, spells and new abilities... and more. Not all of it nice - they practise necromancy amongst other unsavoury habits.
A chapter on Risk and Reward follows, a study of criminal activity and criminal enterprises, spreading well beyond the city limits and across all of the Iron Kingdoms. There's a comparative table of punishments in different cities and kingdoms - for all, it's best just not to get caught!
Finally, a full-blown adventure called Friends In High Places. It's designed for characters newly-arrived in Five Fingers - always a neat move, as characters and their players can learn about their new surroundings together, rather than players trying to cope with an unfamiliar setting that their characters have lived in for years. It's an exciting ride of gang warfare and intrigue, with plenty of action and opportunities to establish the party as a new force in town.
Overall, recommended for anyone running the Iron Kingdoms RPG especially if cities and the associated opportunities for intrigue and high-octane action appeal.