Iron Kingdoms RPG – First Thoughts


So, I have a strange tradition (so I’m told) on the anniversary of me and Mrs BSG getting together, I buy an RPG, just as I did the day I proposed. I mean, come on guys, a new book and she said yes, that was an awesome day!

On that fateful day I bought Contested Ground’s surreal A-State. Since then I’ve continued the tradition, adding the excellent Diaspora and another addition from Contested Grounds: Cold City

Then, when it came to this year, I had a quandary. The Laundry RPG was looking tempting, but apart from that it looked like it might be a random impulse buy. Not that I’m complaining, my last impulse buy was Diaspora. However then the Iron Kingdoms RPG appeared at my not-so-friendly LGS.

I wasn’t going to buy it, I was done with Warmachine and I’d moved onto other things, mainly losing at 40k. However the one thing I’ve always loved about the world was the fluff, I’ve got a full set of the old RPG books, including Five Fingers, which is one of the best source books ever written. However the system was horrible, not Traveller die in character creation horrible, but not far off. By nature I’m a rules light GM and I found 3.5 horrible to work with, even before we got to the Mechankia system.

So for me I thought I’d be able to keep away unless:

  • The system was simpler and more user friendly
  • The character creation was interesting and made character gen easier, with spell casters and more importantly Warcasters balanced with other characters.
  • The magic system fit the world and made casting, especially combat casting, fast and simple in combat
  • Fun with Jacks, as it’s always good for one of the party to be 3 tonnes of smoking rage

So as you can see, damn PP, they managed to hit all these things and as such this years RPG was the IK corebook.

On first reading its great, I love the expanded backgrounds and the system is mainly Warmachine with extra RPG bits. The highlights for me are:

  • Good system – if you can play the table top game, then you can play this, it’s that simple.
  • Character Generation is great, and the two career system is genius as it allows pleanty of variention in what you’re creating.
  • Magic and jacks are in and balanced from what I can see

So it looks like it ticks all the boxes. I’m actually surprised at PP for the quality of the game. It does seem to be the home brew everyone was hoping for. I’m not gonna hide the fact it is mini focused, but I don’t see it as an issue, the lack of social stats show the focus is where it should be, on the action! Also with the wide and varied Warmachine collections of my gaming group it won’t bi an issue, and for those of you that prefer things more abstract, there’s full rules for mini less battles in the book.

I’ve only ran a one shot so far, and it was great. I didn’t realise until after that 2 of our group hadn’t role played before, but it was accessible enough for then to slip right in: a real achievement in any game.

There’s a group of us about to start an experimental type game, 5 linked one shots using a rotating cast of characters taking it in turns to GM. Once I’ve given the system more of a run on both sides of the table, I’ll share my thoughts.

What does everyone else think of the new IK edition?


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