So, last Friday I ran my session of the Iron Kingdom Role Playing Game. This was a first in many ways: the first time we have played the game, the first time I have taken a turn at GM, and the first time my wife has ever played an RPG. So I was fully expecting an evening of epic fails. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went.
As I mentioned before, ours is a party of five adventurers:
- Human Gifted Priest /Investigator
- Human Gifted Gun Mage /Military Officer
- Human Skilled Aristocrat /Cutthroat
- Iosan Gifted Warcaster / Arcane Mechanik
- Ogrun Mighty Man at Arms / Explorer
With the exception of the priest and the Ogrun (whom the priest hired to defend her), our campaign began with the adventurers all strangers, finding themselves locked in a dungeon of sorts. Actually it was the screams of other prisoners far away that awoke them, as they all remembered the situations that brought them to imprisonment. The Gun Mage was part of the Llaelese resistance, the Priest and her Bokur searching the land to bring Morrow’s ideals, the Iosan seeking for answers to his nation’s plight, and the aristocrat the captured daughter of the mayor of Greywind; the city our adventurers were unknowingly held beneath.
It was clearly Menites that held these five people prisoner, but before I could deliver an explanation for the relevant circumstances from the mouth of their captors, the Iosan surprised me with an epic boosted skill roll to smash the iron gate of his cell open with his boot. After quickly discovering the cell keys, and freeing the only other person in the cells (a young human girl who only muttered ‘mama, mama’; the party was off far more quickly than I had anticipated.
As they made their way down the dimly lit and dank passageways of these catacombs, they were confronted by a guard force of 2 Template Flameguard and 2 Holy Zealots. The adventurers, being unarmed at this point, were resourceful – the Cutthroat had managed to conceal her blade, while the Ogrun ripped some hardware from the walls; improvising chain gauntlets for himself and arming the Iosan with a candelabra. This first combat went fairly well for our adventurers, except that we were consulting the rules often. The one constant issue was the anti-magic bracers the Menites had placed on the Warcaster; anytime he or any companion near him cast a spell (which mattered for 4 of the 6 members of the party), he ran the risk of taking damage, and if often worked against him. Still, after a few short rounds, they had vanquished their first foes. On the bodies were a few gold coins, and an writ of arrest for one Jaell Roberts.
In the adjoining room they found their stashed equipment and some bottles of wine, which the Aristocrat greedily snagged. Also, there were some Protectorate tomes which the Morrowan priest took, including ‘Interrogation techniques’. Odd choice for the Morrowan. There were also some flasks which would come in handy later. Down another hall the adventurers found, and released some prisoners, before they continued into the next room, which gave me several doors to choose from. One door was locked, and one Detection test later and the Aristocrat noticed the blood stains on another. She convinced the group to avoid the ‘bloody door’, but the screams from behind it convinced the Ogrun that they couldn’t leave whoever’s voice it was to suffer.
As the barrel-chested Ogrun led the way, the adventurers opened the ‘bloody door’ and stepped inside an obvious interrogation/torture room. A enormous Menite man was beating a prisoner, and reacted to the entering party by picking up stone maul and murdering the prisoner within. Our brave party then advanced and began one arduous battle. The torturer was brutal, bring able to spend a feat point to heal his ample 6 PHY each turn, and also unleashing fear-causing screams that had a few of the party a little anxious. Every time the players took a dent out of the torturer, it seemed he had one more trick to hold onto life, and was threatening the Ogrun. However, the drunken Aristocrat tossed the flask she had found in the storage room, which turned out to be a blind bomb. Along with thunderbolt from the Gun Mage, and the torturer lost his ability to retaliate and was defeated soon after.
One thing they found on the body of the prisoner was a not from the Jaell Roberts they head about earlier, this one promising the prisoner that he would soon be rescued. Apparently, this Jaell had not come soon enough, or had the adventurers sealed his fate themselves? Perhaps they will find out more soon. Although the players wanted to break here, I urged them to continue just a bit further. They went back into the room of multiple doors and took the last path. It led to stairs, which themselves ended in a locked cellar door. While I expected them to attempt to peer out, the Ogrun decided to test his shield cannon; placing it squarely on the door and pulling the trigger…
The cannon ball blasted through the door (ripping it to splinters) and into the back of a Menite guard. The image of his lifeless corpse spinning through the air was the highlight of the evening. Our adventurers poured out of the dungeon, into the construction site for a young Menite church, where they found several Menite soldiers understandably surprised to see them. And that is where we stopped the evening. I sure look forward to seeing how this band of adventurers handle the awaiting mob.