Insider 6-29-2017

A roleplaying game may not be a competitive experience, but that doesn’t mean Game Mastering can’t be.

This year, Lock & Load GameFest 2017 marks the triumphant return of our competitive Game Mastering event. Once again, we will pit contestants against one another to determine who is the true master of the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game. Game Masters have the chance to prove their skill by running a short game for a group of volunteer players, and players then vote in a number of categories to determine the winner of this year’s Lock & Load event!

The rules of the event are simple: create the coolest adventure idea you can that can be played in roughly an hour. Like a good competitive cooking show, we’ll have the ingredients on hand (like map tiles and figures) for you to run your adventure. It’s up to you to pull them together into a fast-paced and fun scenario. The following are the guidelines for the Full Metal Game Master Competition.

Our Ingredients
To give each Game Master material to work with, we will be providing a selection of map tiles and figures to use during the event. Each table will have four pre-generated characters and figures (the four original members of the Black River Irregulars: Colbie Sterling, Eilish Garrity, Milo Boggs, and Gardek Stonebrow). Wise Game Masters will start looking at their character sheets (available here) right away to determine the skills and weaknesses our heroes possess!

Each adventure the Game Masters create must adhere to the same theme: folklore and legend. To celebrate the arrival of the Wicked Harvest, our theme this year ties in with the myths and legends the people of the Iron Kingdoms tell about the grymkin and Defiers. Your adventure could be based on the tale of a legendary beast that hunts in the deep Thornwood Forest. Or perhaps of a spectral highwayman who died on this very road ten years ago to this day. The choice is up to you, but the better your game suits the theme, the better chance you have to win.

Your Secret Ingredient
In case there’s something you absolutely must have for your adventure to be a success, we’re allowing you to bring along your own secret ingredient. This can be any single item. Need a terrain piece to make your set piece encounter work? Bring it along. Have a specific antagonist in mind but only your converted miniature captures its true menace? Have it on hand! There’s no limit to the size, complexity, or type of secret ingredient, but everybody gets only one.

Our Secret Ingredient
Just like last year, we won’t be going easy on the Game Masters. During the adventure, each Game Master will have to confront the various challenges we throw in along the way. These can go from simple (like last year’s “Crit High-Five” challenge, which required Game Masters to high-five a player who rolled a critical success) to difficult (like not being able to roll dice with their hands) to downright unusual (like the special item “Fish Poison” that was required to be critical to the conclusion of the adventure).

There's still room to sign up as a GM. Then, your fate will be in the hands of your players! Join us at Lock & Load GameFest 2017—tickets are available at