Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy



Recently, I played the RPG Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy. It was a lot of fun to play and many of the mechanics were similar to the game Warmachine. The reason for this? Both games were created by Privateer Press and are even set in the same universe as each other. This means that Iron Kingdoms is in a steampunk-like setting that features magic, beasts, and (of course) machines. As a whole, game was well put together and my party of spies, alchemists, and nobility (and one BIG troll) had a blast.
To start off into the world of the Iron Kingdoms, we created some pretty unique characters. The process wasn't too complicated, but it did take a while with all the going back and forth between ideas. The process starts with choosing a race and then an archetype (of which there are four). Some races have all the archetypes available to them while others have only two or three as options. After that, you choose your two careers. Now, these careers don’t have to be what your character’s job is, it’s just a way to label what things they can (or have the potential to) do. My team ended up with several interesting mixtures including an Aristocrat/Duelist (who is amazing at using a bow), a Fell Caller/Pirate (guess who’s a Trollkin?), an Investigator/Spy (who had Photographic Memory), and a Alchemist/Thief (but none of the other characters know, so shhhhh….). Each of our characters had a different race but we made sure that everyone spoke a common language.

With our characters created, we went right to playing a game. Ten minutes in and the game was off to a great start. The investigator and the pirate had already almost lost us our job, the jack was standing around useless (he came as part of the setting), and we were really annoying some guards. As far as mechanics go, the game went really smoothly. Any questions we had were answered by a quick search in the rulebook.

Some of the unique features in the game included how combat was done and the use of only d6s. Being related to Warmachine/Hordes, the combat was more intricate than some other RPGs that I’ve played. Just like the table-top games, you can run, charge, or move and attack. Unlike the other games, you can make “quick actions” during a battle. You either make two quick actions or you can make a quick action and an attack. Quick actions include drawing your weapon, putting away a weapon, throwing something, etc. They also have what’s called “full actions”. These are things like skill checks and if you use one then you forfeit other actions that round.

Another interesting component of the game was that you can actually build steamjacks. You can buy the parts and customize it yourself so that it will fit all your needs. My son really liked this idea, but we looked at the prices for the parts and they’re pretty costly. In order to afford it, it seems like you have to slowly build it over time.

The use of only d6s was a major difference between Iron Kingdoms and other games. That mechanic was also very similar to the way Warmachine/Hordes works. Most of the time, we rolled 2d6 and added the modifiers to the outcome. Occasionally, we used “Feats” (each character starts the game with 3 feat points and regenerates them each day) to boost the die rolls for both attack and damage. Feats can also be used to boost non-attack rolls, to re-roll, and a variety of other things. The concept is like using focus or fury, except there are more options to use them for.

Overall, Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy was a great game. The rulebook was well organized and put together, complete with excellent graphics. It was well worth the buy and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a good RPG.

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