Insider 5-16-2012

Western Immoren is a big place, big enough that we’ve set three games there: WARMACHINE, HORDES, and the Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Role Playing Game. In a world so vast, complex, and detailed, each of our games needs to tell a variety of stories, and the new RPG is no different.

As we were developing content for the game, we had numerous discussions about what game play would be like and what appealed to us as players. Some of us were interested in down-and-dirty tales of survival and intrigue on the streets and docks of major cities as criminals, spies, and laborers. Others were more interested in taking on the role of warcasters, military officers, or even Stormguard and Iron Fang Pikemen and wreaking havoc as members of the standing armies of the Iron Kingdoms. Still others were enamored with portraying adventurers, scholars, and treasure-seekers motivated by unraveling the darkest mysteries of Orgoth ruins, the ruined empire of Morrdh, and Thamarite cults. As we talked and wrote about these ideas, it soon became clear that there is no one true way to play in the Iron Kingdoms. We realized that the Iron Kingdoms appeal to different people for different reasons, and ultimately, a high-energy action-adventure with warjacks, cinematic battles, and mass destruction is just as valid an expression of the game as a tale of occult conspiracy, madness, and forbidden lore.

With this understanding, we endeavored to craft a game that would provide a toolkit for telling whichever kind of Iron Kingdoms story appeals to every gamer and group. Of course, not all elements of all campaigns will work well together, and we’ve added some advice throughout the book advising the Game Master on how to pick and choose the elements of the game he wants to emphasize in his own campaign. Foremost among these are the optional new rules for Adventuring Companies, which help the Game Master plot his campaign and encourage his players to create characters whose skills and abilities complement one another. Adventuring Companies give the players a coherent identity as a group whether they are intrepid investigators or members of a mercenary charter. By limiting the careers and races available within an Adventuring Company, the characters gain some additional benefits related to the theme of the company. As I said, the use of Adventuring Companies is totally optional, but it’s an excellent tool to help shape the kind of game the Game Master has in mind for his campaign.

It was a major goal of ours to give both players and Game Masters alike content to help them immerse themselves in the setting as fully as possible. By starting out with characters that not only make sense as citizens of the Iron Kingdoms but as a group of comrades invested in the culture of the world, the players gain tremendous incentive to tell stories unique to Full Metal Fantasy.

In the coming months we’ll have a lot more to share about the Iron Kingdoms Role Playing Game both here in the Privateer Insider as well as in the pages of No Quarter Magazine! In the meantime, though, I’m curious about a few things! What kinds of stories do you want to tell in the Iron Kingdoms and what kinds of characters are you looking forward to playing?

Come tell us on Facebook on Twitter @Privateerpress and in our Iron Kingdoms Role Playing Game forums!