View Full Version : Iron Kingdoms

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-20, 04:02 PM
Hello, playground.
I was wondering this: Has anyone heard of this D&D (I belive) 3.5 setting or add on? All I know is that it's a world that's d20 and future-ish.
I would do a google search, but mu computer seems to be running google veeeerrrryyy slowly now.
So I was wondering this: Does anybody know of this setting? and if so, what's it like?

2008-08-20, 04:03 PM
Some people love it and some people hate it.

A little information:

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-20, 04:05 PM
I should have thought of wikipedia >.>
Well, thanks for the information/quick response! :smallsmile:

2008-08-20, 04:08 PM
Anytime glad it was useful.

2008-08-20, 04:19 PM
While I've never played it, it looks very nifty. I've always liked steampunk mixed with fantasy.

2008-08-20, 04:23 PM
I went with Steam Punk Lite ECS :smallsmile:

2008-08-20, 04:47 PM
I have the original trilogy of adventures which started it off (the Witchfire trilogy), and they're an interesting read. The setting material included in there feels like just the right mix of gunpowder, golems, and D&D without being over the top. Its quite dark too, if I remember right.

If we're also discussing alternatives however, I'd recommend the Tales of Zobeck (http://wolfgangbaur.com/opendesign/zobeck_tales.aspx), the home-brew world of Wolfgang Baur and "house setting" of his magaizne Kobold Quarterly (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/) and his Open Design company - that has a nice mix of 'clockpunk', urban kobolds, eastern europe, and automatons.

Admittedly I'm slightly biased (I'm writing one of the scenarios for Tales) but the setting is what attracted me to the project in the first place.

2008-08-20, 05:04 PM
Iron Kingdoms is freaking *awesome*

I can't stress enough just how much style this setting has. Greatcoat clad gunmages fighting against steam-powered magic-tech armored "jacks", an intricate political system... its all awesome and crazy!

My only problem is what they did with magic items and item creation. It's... overly complicated and underexplained. I generally toss this section of the game, but YMMV.

2008-08-20, 07:17 PM
My personal take on Iron Kingdoms is that the flavour text is made of Awesome and Win, but the crunch is seriously lacking. Most of the new content that I've looked at has profound balance issues (with the caveat that I really haven't looked very far). My advice would be to replace the crunch entirely with flavourings of Artificers and similar official content, and then revel in the glory of the setting.

Mushroom Ninja
2008-08-20, 07:20 PM
Isn't Iron Kingdoms the system with that ridiculously broken "tough" template?

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-20, 07:23 PM
Well it's good to know that it's a good system, because apperently we're playing it in 3 days time!

2008-08-20, 09:29 PM
I played in Iron Kingdoms' Witchfire Trilogy of adventures (with the Heart of Nightfang Spire in between parts 2 and 3 for some reason) and it was my favorite campaign that I've ever played. Although maybe it was more because I had an awesome DM than anything from the actual setting.

2008-08-21, 04:01 AM
Iron Kingdoms is, as ZekeArgo above so eloquently put it, freaking awesome. TV Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IronKingdoms) has a nice page on the setting. However, some of the crunch is rather questionable.

For example, most guns take multiple standard actions to reload. That means that even though their damage is considerable, a gunman will either carry numerous really expensive pieces with him, or do nothing two thirds of a battle. Speaking of expensive, the bullets are worth approximately their weight in gold. Oh, and there's a skill check to reload a gun, which means every time you reload you risk ruining the pricy ammunition and having to start over. If you think the existing Wizard narcolepsy is a bad thing or are just broke, you might want to steer clear of the gunplay. The guns are also rather powerful, which means low-level characters are in mortal danger every time they face a gunman.

Also, some of the crunch is just unnecessarily fiddly. Gunmages are a good example. In short, Gunmages are spontaneous casters who channel spells through their guns. This practise wears a gun out, eating away at its Hardness and hit points. Reinforcing your piece requires, you guessed it, rather large amounts of gold. They can also inscribe mystical runes on their bullets for bonus damage later, but the precision needed strains the Gunmage's eyes and temporarily gives a -2 on all attack rolls after a few hours of working at it.

But it's still a great setting.

2008-08-21, 06:19 AM
Iron Kingdoms is freaking *awesome*


Isn't Iron Kingdoms the system with that ridiculously broken "tough" template?

The Tough Quickplate is not a Template for PCs as such (you could if you had a DM that let you) but more of a adjustment to a creature to make it different from the norm
Tough on a Dire Troll is one heck of a nasty troll

2008-08-21, 01:28 PM
As much as I love the Iron Kingdoms system I agree with all of the above sentiments; it's not so much oh-my-god-why-are-we-playing-this crippling gameplay but parts can be niggling to people familiar with other systems. This isn't much of a fix but concerning combat and other mechanics try telling yourself that this isn't your typical dnd- this is IK dnd. Combat may be slower than your typical dnd session but in IK, as long as those pistols are firin' than combat takes as long as it needs to.

This is something I'll have to drum into my players when I eventually start up "Witchfire With A Twist". It's not their fault they've gotten used to their tomes of battles, their spell compendiums and magic item compendiums..

It's grim, it's deadly, it's low down and unashamedly dirty.. Welcome to the Iron Kingdoms! :smallamused:

PS: Don't play as a monster race. They're just obscene.

2008-08-21, 02:42 PM
The problem is, with a bow and a decent arm you can easily outperform a gun, and even if you miss, well, arrows are cheap, just shoot some more. Guns are a gamble that really doesn't pay.

But hey, boomsticks! :smalltongue

2008-08-21, 02:44 PM
PS: Don't play as a monster race. They're just obscene.

"Obscenee" as in "obscenely powerful" or something different?

2008-08-21, 05:34 PM
Dunno, I think the Satyxis and the Skorne are okay as player races... especially in the 3.5 version. But yes, lots of the niggling rules bug me. I love the setting, I love the word, but I hate the gunplay rules as it completely makes guns so subpar except as a surprise tactic, and you're better off with a bow or crossbow. But otherwise it's pretty awesome.

Steven the Lich
2008-08-21, 05:44 PM
How are the rules with the guns subpar? I find the guns pretty sweet, espicially when you can add double barrely weapons onto it, and some of the PrCs just plain rock.

2008-08-21, 05:48 PM
A simple solution to the ammo problem is to just make it half the listed price if it's pre-war, there being no need for it to be so prohibitively expensive. If it's wartime than try making it a small sidequest to procure an ammo cache or something; if a group is particularly ammo-hungry party they may have already put some thought into this. If they join a military organisation they could probably get the ammo needs accounted for (given a little persuasion of course). Three out of the six in my prospective posse are looking to be dedicated gunslingers- a gunmage, rifleman and pistol packin' archivist so I've had to think about the issue myself.

I'm not too sure as I don't have my books in front of me, but I think guns have an edge due to just how customisable they are. A custom pistol jobby could end up looking like a beast with additional barrels, bayonets and custom-fit gubbins.

2008-08-22, 01:10 AM
How are the rules with the guns subpar?
Let's look at the military pistol, probably one of the most common guns in the 'Kingdoms. The price is a fairly prohibitive 300 gold, and the thing weighs five pounds and deals 2d6 damage. It costs 8-10 gp to fire this veapon for tvelve seconds. Then you can fire another bullet.

You could use that. Or you could put two arrows into the enemy with a shortbow and save an ISO-standard metric buttload of money.

From a probability standpoint, a gun is again pretty pointless. You can shoot a bow twice as fast, which means more hits, which mean reliable damage. The only situations I can think of where you might want a gun for its stopping power would be the surprise round or when facing an easy-to-hit enemy who needs to drop now. In both cases missing would be pretty embarrassing.

Also, skill checks to reload are just silly. Even though the Privateer Press folks seem to prefer the low levels, low-level characters can very feasibly have a one-in-five chance of failing to chamber a cartridge. And then they have to start reloading again. Bad dice-arm, and you can end up spending the whole skirmish trying to stick a silk pouch into a metal tube while your mates have all the fun.

2008-08-22, 04:34 AM
Skill familiarity then? Much like how a character used to replacing his accumulators ("positive to negative, positive to negative") gets the DC on Craft: Mechanika reduced by 5, I could probably allow the same thing for reloading. I mean gunmages practically cuddle up to their prized magelocks so it makes a certain degree of sense. A gun, by all rights, should be easier to use than, say, a composite longbow.

Dual wielding & quick draw helps to bump up the damage, but the ol' crossbow issue of cost rears its ugly head. Then again, if you're giving guns to the baddies it may not be so bad.

At the end of the day though, it's all much of a muchness when, as rightly stated, bows come out of the box better than your typical firearm. Although the execution is off the intention, I do believe, is there when Privateer Press wished to make firearms the ranged weapon of choice for the typical adventurer in the kingdoms. Bows may be superior but are they still all that popular in the world's day and age? They could be a sign of the old times- a step backwards for a forward thinking society y'know? A bow may be a standard weapon, by try telling that to the folk of Llael, where pistol duelling is all the rage and every man and his dog pack a firearm.

Like I said above, this is IK dnd, where the typical rules may not be immediately applicable. There's no need to be draconian and outright ban the usage of bows in your world; a night assassin, say, will still find a use for one. The gun, however, should be a more popular choice in today's society, especially amongst the classes who can afford such security.

2008-08-22, 06:09 AM
I'd agree that guns are overpriced for their utility in IK. I dropped all prices (guns and ammo) by half and let them scavenge a few pistols off the their enemies (hey - they got shot for the priviledge :smallwink:). I also did not look too close at encumbrance for the Gun-mage.

You also have to bear in mind that guns get better criticals than other stuff (19-20 x3 if memory serves), which helps balance stuff out a little).

So long as combat are reasonably short, my players generally fire a gun then go into melee, except the Gun mage who just pulls the next gun out til he runs out. Then they just reload out of combat (normally taking ten).

Of course, if you really want to use the rules as-is and discourage bow-use, you can always make bows exotic. After all, they take a lot more training to use well than a gun does (to say nothing of the upper body strength a typical longbowman developed), and guns have replaced them, so that training is difficult to come by.

But all in all, IK is a great dnd setting. Probably my favourite :smallcool:

2008-08-22, 07:53 AM
I'm very excited about this setting.. I've just gone on a long quest myself to find the out-of-print Character Guide.. got it at a steal for <$30 through my uncle :) From what I've read sofar it does seem pretty dang awesome... and the books that Privateer Press made are fabulous reads

2008-08-22, 10:14 AM
I'm very excited about this setting.. I've just gone on a long quest myself to find the out-of-print Character Guide.. got it at a steal for <$30 through my uncle :) From what I've read sofar it does seem pretty dang awesome... and the books that Privateer Press made are fabulous reads

Gratz on finding it and for so cheap.

IK Tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IronKingdoms)

The argument of weather a Bow beats a gun is all fine and dandy until you sit and think - This is a Game of Steam, Gunpowder & mechanikal creations etc why care that a bow can shoot so much when you can conceal a pistol in the fold of you coat and threaten a mugger to leave you alone, Strap on a Suit of Steam Armour and play at being a Jack, have you eardrums ruptured by the booming voice of a fellcaller etc.

Its a Great setting for a vast array of reasons to not care about if a twig and string is better than a block of wood and a pipe

Like everything else, the place is Mutable - some things can fit but others don't but - your game, your choice.
The setting is a dark and nasty place, there is no revolving door of afterlife - its risky to heal to much, casting particular magics will taint you or draw attention to you (and your soul) for creatures best left alone.

Choosing a religion can have a big impact on you and your party (but Alchemical healing is very good for patching this divide) a party of Morrowans will be better received with in some places than others

Dragons are each unique and Vastly powerful creatures that only a a band of very brave hero's and the army that they have raised to follow them can think of taking on - even then its not a given that it'll stay dead unless eaten by another dragon

PP have show us this small corner of a much bigger world, some has been revealed in the various books (inc a fantastic map) but alot can be expanded upon - do you dare find a away across the Black Merindus to see where the dreaded Orgoth came from and see if they still exist.

Face the metal bound Fury of a Iron Lich that is fueled by the solidified carnage of a thousand battles and uses pure souls to power its spells, leading a Horde of Thralls into battle, sneak through the Thornwood and hope that you get out alive, encounter curious creatures that eat blasting powder and explode if jostled, Command a jack of your very own hand built by you or your party

2008-08-22, 03:57 PM

Amen, brother! :smallcool:

Angel in Black
2008-08-23, 10:55 AM
The reason guns are so prevalent in IK? The simple point-and-click interface, of course. Same as real life, really.

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-23, 03:02 PM
I haven't played yet, so I have a question: in IK, can you aquire warjacks? I would asume so, but I would like to know.

2008-08-23, 04:02 PM
Yeah, you can. They're damn expensive, though. And I'm talking serious monies.

The reason guns are so prevalent in IK? The simple point-and-click interface, of course. Same as real life, really.
So simple, in fact, that you can learn to use all guns just by taking the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms)!

Wait, what? :smallconfused:

See, my beef here isn't with how prevalent the guns are in IK. I'm cool with it, it being way cool. I most certainly don't want everyone tossing their pieces in the bin because, let's face it, a bow is totally the smarter choice. But the problem is, there's such a jarring disconnect between the rules and the reality of the setting that it's not even funny. Seriously. Name three characters who carry more than two gunsı. :smallannoyed: Why care? Because these are not rules that represent Iron Kingdoms with any sort of accuracy.

Ask yourself this; How awesome would it be playing a Warcaster if your 'Jack had the hardness and hit points of a chunk of moldy cheese?

ıI'll even give you two to get started; The Ordic pistoleer Valeria Alvaro, and the quartermaster of the Talion, Mr. Walls.

2008-08-23, 04:17 PM
I haven't played yet, so I have a question: in IK, can you aquire warjacks? I would asume so, but I would like to know.

"Aye, sir, why we 'ere at the Steam and Iron Workers Union pride ourselves on the finest of steamjack products with no expense spared on reliability and functionality... Hmm yes I think we have just the model for your requirements- no, no need to explain, sir, I know all about you and your *cough* types. The "adventuring" sort. I dunno, youth today, eh? Now before we sign- er, would you be paying by coin or bank credit?"

Steamjacks, although sophisticated, unwieldy and pricey, are still just a commodity within the 'kingdoms. Labour jacks only though. Warjacks are strictly military class; parts, from both legitimate and black market sources are incredible hard to procure, what with the burgeoning conflict hiking prices. An enterprising mechanik could still theoretically build one, but it would be an extremely expensive & possibly illegal endeavour.

2008-08-23, 04:51 PM
Don't forget, there are a number of legitimate mercenary companies with their own warjacks, such as the Devil Dogs. I'm pretty sure the Steelhead Mercenary Company has some as well, being so big and wealthy and stuff. Nomads (conveniently statted out in the back of the IKCG) are a very popular choice for straight-up beatdown and simple haulin'. Like the Nomad, most of the warjacks in use are old, decommissioned Cygnaran models such as the Talon and the Mule. They're still far from cheap: A simple Nomad can fetch upwards from 34,000 gold. Plus coal and maintenance.

Yeah, Merc player here. I needs to buy me a Mule and hire some of those Steelheads.

2008-08-23, 05:06 PM
Damn... someone really needs to run a good IK campaign around here. Remembering all of this stuff is really giving me an itchy trigger finger.

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-23, 10:20 PM
well, I'am going to be borrowing the witchfire triology, so if I can find a good maptool, I could make a PBP.

2008-08-26, 10:07 AM
With much rejoicing that would be met with i think.

Huzzar, latest NQ has the Combat Alchemist in it

2008-08-26, 11:36 AM
With much rejoicing that would be met with i think.

Huzzar, latest NQ has the Combat Alchemist in it

Ooh, what's it like? My friend is pretty much wanting to play a gobber alchemist/bow ranger and the Combat Alchemist sounds perfect for him, neither of us could mesh the two ideas to fit well together.

Unfortunately my home town is a ghost town for gaming goodness so procuring the next issue of NQ is a pain to say the least. :smallsigh:

2008-08-26, 01:43 PM
What is NQ?

Anything with Iron Kingdoms supplements in it is okay by me.

2008-08-26, 01:53 PM
No Quarter, Privateer Press's bi-monthly hobby magazine. It's pretty sweet, much like everything Iron Kingdoms -related.

2008-08-26, 02:41 PM
Damn... someone really needs to run a good IK campaign around here. Remembering all of this stuff is really giving me an itchy trigger finger.

I could always try to run a PBP IK game. I haven't done any GMing, but I've played in a couple IK games. Plus, I have a huge Highborn Covenant/Dwarven Wrecking Crew army. Luvz me merks, as they say. Oh yeah, I have all the core books, and am about to snag a Monsternomicon 2.

I would probably run it on rpol.net, which has a lot of neat mechanics for running PBP. I will confess that I may not be a regular poster, considering that I'm still compiling data for my thesis, and will be traveling back to Africa at the end of January, where connectivity is a huge issue.

Anyway, I agree, I love the fluff of IK, and am very fond of Warjacks. I'm still looking for ways to help streamline some of the clunkier rules.

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-27, 08:57 PM
Well, we started playing Iron kingdoms. I like the setting, it's very flavorfull.
Our party consists of:
A gobber bodger, who likes steam armour.
A Dwarven gunmage. Her player has no personallity for her yet.
Myself, a Sueleese favored soulf of Cyrix.
A Elven ranger, who was kicked out of Ios and is obbsesd with guns.
And our spec ops captin of the Cygnarn army, along with 2 of his flunkies.
(The DMPC who occasionly tags along with us)

So our party was off to to preform a mission for the Cygnarn millatary, off in Ord. when we got to an inn, a Grey lord of Khador was stabling his horse, as the DM decided abit of flavor would be good. Here's what happend:

DM: So arriving at the inn, a Khadoran man is stabling his horse. The front of the inn seems fairly standerd, and the Khadoran walks into the Inn.

Gobber: I go to the stable

Group: We do to.

DM: Okay. Inside the stable you see a single horse, the one stabled moments earlier.

Me: I steal the horse.

DM: Okay.... Well the stableboy comes in and-

Interupting, the elven ranger: I kick the guy in the face. *rolls a hit* *rolls enough damage to knock him out*

DM: Okay, so the stableboy is knocked out, and you have the horse.

Gunmage: Okay, so let's leave. *the group agrees, I'am on the horse*

DM: Well that horse belonged to a Khadoran Warcaster, and he was looking out the window and saw you stealing his horse. He draws a long rifle and starts shooting at you.

So we start to run, and the greylord shoots me in the back 3 times, knocking me out. The gunshots draw the guards, and see a Khadoran firing firing at a group of people. Hilarity ensued.

Oh, and what book are accumulators in? My friend doesn't remember, and we have the world guide, charcter guide, Lock and load, The Liber mechanika and Numbers 1 to 15 in No quarter magazine.
Lastly, what would the DC to make a flash grenade be?

2008-08-27, 09:04 PM
Liber Mechanika. I don't have any of the NQs, but in a few weeks, that should all be remedied.

As for the DC, I don't remember, but since Flash is a low level spell, it shouldn't be too high.

2008-08-28, 03:40 AM
To make a Flash Grenade:

Impact - DC 25, Craft <Demolitions> 7 ranks, Cost 25gp (Non magic)

Timed - DC 30, Craft <Alchemy> 4 ranks, Craft <Demolitions> 9 ranks, Cost 30gp (Non magic)

2008-08-28, 04:32 AM
Cool story.

Silly Khadorans with their show of force, he's a long way from home to be pulling that sort of stunt. :smalltongue: (not mocking how he was played, just the character)

Inhuman Bot
2008-08-28, 11:29 AM
Yeah, it's true.

We had alot of fun when we went to Khador after that..:smallsigh::smallamused:

2008-11-03, 01:01 AM
I'm running the witchfire trilogy night now actually. to be honest I can;t play regular now. I just love steamjacks and gun mages running around. then fable 2 came out and I was like OH MY GOD I'M A GUN MAGE! YES!