Touring the Iron Kingdoms – Ord

A special thank-you to Jason Hobbs (ZeeWulf) for sending me a copy of his notes he took during this seminar.  With his and my notes, I reconstructed the seminar.

Our mercenaries, under the influence of a set of Khadoran runes inscribed on them, head down towards Ord.

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Touring the Iron Kingdoms – Khador

A special thank-you to Jason Hobbs (ZeeWulf) for sending me a copy of his notes he took during this seminar.  With his and my notes, I reconstructed the seminar.

Our mercenary company has been captured by the Khadorans, implicated in a plot to kill a Khadoran commander.  They are being transported through Khador along the rail system

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Touring the Iron Kingdoms – Protectorate of Menoth

A special thank-you to Jason Hobbs (ZeeWulf) for sending me a copy of his notes he took during this seminar.  With his and my notes, I reconstructed the seminar.

This entire seminar focused on following a mercenary band as they travelled around Western Immoren doing a job for hire, and discussing the different regions as they went through them.  The first stop on their trip was the Protectorate of Menoth.  This was because their journey started in Icthyr, where they were being hired by a Scrutator to deliver a package to the Northern Crusades.

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Touring the Iron Kingdoms – Introduction

This was a seminar headed up by Doug Seacat and Simon Berman.  I sat in on the 11:00 AM seminar on the first of June (Saturday).

This seminar was really interesting.  Seacat and Berman focused on the setting here, and did it by following a band of mercenaries as they travelled along and attempted to complete a job.  In the process, they discussed the different areas and information, along with the different lifestyles, what you might see there, etc.

It was interesting, amusing and enjoyable.  As I have said in the past – if you get a chance to listen to Doug Seacat speak, jump on it.  I will amend that after this session to say if you get a chance to see Simon Berman speak as well, jump on it.  Both of them?  You would be silly to pass it up!

Since this was packed FULL of information, I have decided to break it up into different sections for each region discussed.

  • Protectorate of Menoth
  • Cygnar
  • Divided Llael
  • Khador
  • Ord

I will be doing a country a day for the next two weeks on a MWF schedule.  Protectorate of Menoth will be the first on the list, starting on Wednesday.

IKRPG: Into the Inferno Pt. 2

Its time to update you all with what occurred in the second night of my IKRPG group last night.  You may remember last time, the party awoke to find themselves in a prison that they quickly managed to work through; freeing prisoners, finding their equipment, and combating some guards.  The finale of that first night found them escaping through the dungeon’s doors (with a mighty cannon blast that decapitated an exterior guard) to find themselves standing in a Menite temple (in a state of current construction).

I also realize I forgot to include the names of our adventurers:  Baddock the Ogrun Explorer / Man at Arms, Logan the Military Officer / Gun mage, Malificent the Aristocrat / Cutthroat, Milisandra the Morrowan Priest / Investigator, and Ryall the Warcaster / Arcane Mechanik.  The party also currently includes an NPC: Mella the Cygnaran Sorcerer / Thief – a young child who doesn’t say much.

So as our party burst into the Menite church they found 6 people in the room:  3 Temple Flameguard, 2 Cinerators (sans shields), and 1 priest, who seemed very much to be in charge.  The explosion which destroyed the door and decapitated one more (now dead) Flameguard surprised everyone, except the priest, who immediately began to chastise the adventurers.  Referring to them (respectively) as the barbarian, puny resistance man, drunken whore, Morrowan filth, and Iosan abomination she ridiculed them while preparing her magic for battle.

Baddock assaulted one of the Cinerators, coming up just short but planting a shield cannon shot into him thanks to the surprise attack.  Mella protected her new friends with a burst of fog and teleported behind a column, while Logan  dropped a Flameguard.  Milisandra moved up to B2B with Baddock, and attempted to drop another Flameguard.  Ryall put Polarity Shield up on Baddock, advanced himself, and shot the other Cinerator, who then moved towards Baddock.  Malificent then got into the fray, taking on the Cinerator who just moved, and sent him straight to Urcaen.  She then sprinted behind the cover of another pillar.

The Menites did what they could to respond to this surprise attack.  The remaining flameguard attempted to charge Baddock, but found it quite difficult due to unknown magic.  The lone Cinerator put some damage onto baddock.  The Menite priest uttered arcane words, sending a wall of fire up in front of Malificent, and casting another spell to send flame shooting into Baddock, who took more damage.  She then backed up a bit to await counterattack.

Unfortunately, with so little of her bodyguard surviving the initial fight, the adventurers did not have to work very hard to drop the priest, who uttered some last words to Menoth before death.  After looting the corpses and finding more writs for the arrest of ‘Jaell Roberts’, the adventurers examined the two desks and found a journal detailing the construction of the church, which was being built on land previously occupied by a Morrowan church.  They also found notes authorizing a partnership with a mercenary group known as the Dead Crows, wherein the crows would help the Menites capture Llaelese citizens in Greywind.

In what was undoubtedly the best part of the night, and adventurers argued about how best to escape the template.  In the end, Logan rolled amazingly well on a intimidate check against some Menite guards as he donned the deceased priest’s garments and impersonated her.  The guards were hard to dismiss, but Logan shot out an amazing roll (18 I believe) to convince them and send them running from their angered ‘leader’.  After finding some chests with gold and arrest warrants, the party was out into the night.

Before they fled too far, the party found an old converted warjack that Ryall managed to take control off; dropping a weapon bond.  Fritz here is pretty old, sporting an inaccurate spray 6 ranged attack along with a flail in his other arm.  His movement system has seen better days, having a bit of wear and tear, and some pressure leaks as well.

The party elected to make a hightail for the river to the safer Llaelese part of town, but stopped when they saw the contingent on the bridge.  It was far too much for them to take on, so they retreated, encountered some leftover Llaelese citizens, and took refuge in a friendly basement while Ryall went to work in the dark repairing Fritz.  All in all, another entertaining night!

IKRPG: Into the Inferno

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.

My First GM

So, this coming Friday I will be GMing my first role playing game ever, as I take the reins of a custom campaign I am working up.  I am really excited, but a little nervous.  The campaign begins in the Llaelese city of Greywind, where our adventurers find a city in the midst of conflict between a branch of the Protectorate of Menoth Northern crusade and the Llaelese Resistance.  I cannot say much more at this point (as a few of the players are writers on this blog), but I hope to bring back occasional updates as we work our way through the campaign.  Hopefully we can all laugh at my failures and (hopefully once in a while) my successes.

A few thoughts about the game itself, before we sit down to give it a try:

  1. The careers give a really good mix of backgrounds.  I am really pleased with the breadth of careers included in the core book.  From the hardline combar careers (Soldier, Gun mage, Cutthroat) to the subtle, more soft careers (Investigator, Explorer, Priest), there is quite an array.  I also really like the fact that new character choose two careers; this really lets players take a combar-centric option along with something a little bit more suited to social situations.  In case you are interested, this is what we have in our campaign:
    • Human Morrowan Priest-Investigator
    • Human Gun Mage – Military Officer
    • Ogrun Man at arms – Explorer
    • Iosan Warcaster – Arcane Mechanik
    • Human Aristocrat – Cutthroat
  2. I like that there isn’t an immense variance in initial skills.  This seems to preclude hard min-maxing, as the range for skills isn’t immense, largely due to tiered limits.  Characters have a cap on their skill levels and their stats in the beginning (and throughout their lives, although the caps increase).  I think this got players more focused on what kind of character they wanted to portray, as opposed to what in-game mechanic they wanted to focus on.  Our group has a nice balance of magic, ranged, and melee attacks – and with Explorer, Investigator, and Aristocrat, we are pretty set in the soft skill department as well.
  3. Privateer Press has made some named skills undergo interesting translations for the role playing world.  Ambush, for example, gives a player boosted attack and damage rolls against an opponent who hasn’t yet gone in the first round of the game, as opposed to the miniature version, which let you place on the tabletop later.  The revised version still makes sense, and players a bit like its miniatures counterpart.  Virtuoso has also been changed, as all player characters pretty much have the miniatures version of the skill at all times.

So, I look forward to putting it through its paces this week, and I am excited to let you all know how it goes!

Are you playing the IKRPG?  Let us know what you think in the comments!