DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
Full Metal Fridays: Volume 1
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2018 18:25:33

This is a must-have if you plan on running Iron Kingdoms RPG (whether the "Full Metal Fantasy" variety, or "Unleashed"). You certainly can't beat the price.

In particular, the "Satyxis" seemed an odd introduction for conventional "Full Metal Fantasy," since Cryx still isn't playable (and you can't very well have Satyxis just casually blending into polite society in the Iron Kingdoms), but with the release of "Unleashed," they make far more sense now as a playable race among the "savage" races who quite likely simply wouldn't care that someone has horns and hooves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Full Metal Fridays: Volume 1
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2018 18:21:35

I've run two Iron Kingdoms RPG campaigns, and "guest-GMed" in a third, and I found this to be an invaluable resource either for more conventional adventures based in the "Iron Kingdoms," OR for those focused on the "wild folk" as seems to be intended by the rebranding of this as "Unleashed." It still leaves a few gaps, however, and I would strongly recommend that anyone getting this book also pick up the "Wild Adventure" supplement (which goes a long way toward filling those conspicuous gaps).

PRO:

  • This provides a greatly expanded bestiary, larger and more impressive than the "Monsternomicon." A great many archetypes are filled in here for Iron Kingdoms GMs who want to run wilderness encounters against various of the denizens made familiar in the miniatures wargame.

  • Related to the above, the new PC races, archetypes/professions, and branches of magic could be used to greatly expand what sorts of adversaries a more "traditional" Iron Kingdoms party might run up against.

  • "Unleashed" arguably has better support as an RPG setting than the more traditional Iron Kingdoms. (If you want to play any of the major Unleashed races -- or as a GM you want to have them as fleshed-out adversaries -- you either have what you need in this book, or else in the Skorne supplement, or about 5 issues of "No Quarter" to provide most of what you need for Everblight. If, however, you wanted to play (or play against) the Retribution of Scyrah, Rhulic Mercenaries, or Cryx, you're just going to have to make do with the 2nd edition "Forces" books from Warmachine, and hand-wave all the missing RPG elements.)

CON:

  • There are some issues with balance between the races. Gatormen can be pretty much placed side-by-side against the Ogrun from the core IKRPG, and in virtually all respects (except for POI, or the likelihood to be allowed to walk around freely in a city) are just plain BETTER than them. (The "hunger" disadvantage for gatormen isn't really as big a deal as the fluff makes it sound.) Over the course of our Unleashed campaign, more players ended up changing over to Gatorman if they wanted to be all-around awesome. Gatormen ARE fun to play, but when you're on the GM side of the screen, it's hard to balance encounters that will challenge the Gatormen without simply creaming all the non-Gatormen in the party.

  • Warlocks need a LOT of work, and are poorly adapted to RPG use, at least over the scope of a long-running campaign. (These problems are not so evident if just running a "one-shot" or short-run campaign with beginning characters.)

    Depending upon how the GM runs it (and there are so many grey areas in regards to just how the GM should walk the line on this), they could dominate the campaign, or be utterly unplayable. No guidelines are provided for the GM as to how difficult it should be for a warlock to acquire a new Warbeast (with the possible exception of a Swamp Warlock, who has his work cut out for him in that he has to find a monster and "subjugate" it). Unlike the rules for Warcasters and Warjacks, there's no provision for "buying" a Warbeast, whether with money or some other resource -- it seems to depend upon the GM to determine when some benefactor (the Circle Orboros, etc.) is going to simply provide your Warlock with a new beast, or whether you can happen upon it in the wild on your own.

    Once a warlock starts advancing to the point where he can devote additional "slots" to additional warbeasts, things can really spiral out of control. Whereas a Warcaster's ambitions to start his own "battlegroup" might be tempered by a lack of funds, or because spreading his Focus around means he isn't personally so much of a combat powerhouse anymore, each additional Warbeast in a Warlock's retinue can be a potent force all its own (many have three decent attacks without having to be "Forced" at all), AND provides additional insurance for the Warlock's steady supply of Fury even if another Warbeast is downed in combat. Unlike the care and maintenance required for damaged Warjacks, Warbeasts have a number of options for recovering health even in the middle of combat. And, even though there's the "threat" of a Warbeast getting out of control if a Warlock pushes it too much and fails to bleed off all its excess Fury, the consequences (the Warbeast makes a single enraged attack that MIGHT be against an ally if no enemies are in reach, then returns to normal the next round) aren't really all that scary in practice. (A GM could of course just wing it, and play it as something far more dramatic than the rules-as-written, but that's true of any system, so for reviewing purposes I'm focusing on "as-written.")

    If the GM should try to temper this and allow other players to shine more by contriving to put the party in a smallish dungeon where large Warbeasts and Warjacks simply won't fit, the Warcaster can still be personally awesome through alternative use of Focus ... whereas the Warlock, sans Warbeast (and his supply of Fury) is suddenly hobbled. (Either that, or you had a "Light" Warbeast, which is technically no bigger than half the PCs in a typical Unleashed party. The medium-base "Brute Boar" is arguably a better deal for a Farrow Warlock than a large-base "War Hog" anyway.)

  • As with the 2nd edition Monsternomicon, this bestiary still lacks stats for a number of basic wilderness creatures. (This oversight is addressed in "Wild Adventure.")

  • A lot of your adversaries in Unleashed campaigns are likely to be others of the "Unleashed" races -- gatormen, bog trogs, farrow, tharn, trollkin, etc. -- but since those are all PLAYER races, it's mostly left to the GM to try to build them up as characters, rather than having quick encounter stats handy. The Iron Kingdoms RPG core book rather nicely included a section on "humans" that had ready-made profiles for a bandit, thief, alchemist, town guard, etc., in convenient blocks, ready to go. It would have been nice to have something similar for a "Gatorman Posse," "Bog Trog Ambushers," "Farrow Brigands," "Tharn Ravagers," etc., ready to go. The Unleashed Adventure Kit handily settles this for the Farrow; for the rest, you might see about getting a copy of "Forces of War: Minions" to get stat blocks for the last edition of the miniatures wargame, which ALMOST cover everything you'd need for the RPG.

...

(Disclaimer: Just because I spent more space explaining the "con" doesn't mean it outweighs the "pro" -- but I still think it's worth considering.)

Overall, if you are a GM running a conventional Iron Kingdoms (Full Metal Fantasy) campaign, this is a very useful resource to fill in a great number of gaps in the world. This will provide you with a great number of interesting new adversaries.

If, however, you actually want to run an "Unleashed" campaign, as is clearly intended here, the game design over the course of a longer campaign suffers from some pretty severe play-balance issues that I haven't managed to find any satisfactory solutions to via "house rules." You could do away with a large number of the headaches by not allowing PCs to be warlocks, but that would be like running Iron Kingdoms and prohibiting steamjacks.

IMHO, the best bet for a GM is restrict any Warlock to only having one Warbeast as a Hero, up to two at Veteran, and then not worry about the cap upon reaching Epic (at which point we'd hope everyone is kind of awesome already) -- and then, make it clear that a non-wold warbeast is a living creature, and the GM reserves the right to play fast and loose with what exactly happens when the warlock loses control of it. If the danger of getting munched by your own warbeast is a real threat, it makes things a lot more "interesting," in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Frontier Towns: Fort Griffin Savaged
Publisher: Dog House Rules
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2018 17:17:51

For a long time, I've wanted to run a "Deadlands Reloaded" campaign, but with the weirdness factor dialed down considerably: The supernatural just isn't special anymore, if NOTHING EVER HAPPENS in the setting without a werewolf or the walkin' dead or some other weirdness being behind it all. As such, what I really had been wishing for was some sort of a framework for a wild west setting/campaign WITHOUT all the weirdness ... and then, maybe, once I let the heroes go through a few more "conventional" western adventures, I could slowly reveal something more sinister and strange going on.

Well, when I related such a wish to a friend, I was directed to look into the works of Dog House Rules for a starting point. I'm glad I took a look!

First off, the important thing to clarify is that this IS NOT a Deadlands supplement, and it most certainly IS NOT a "plot point campaign." As written, it's a resource that could be used for a conventional western adventure using the core Savage Worlds rules ... but it could also just as easily be used as the backdrop for more strange goings-on in a Deadlands campaign. The sample town of "The Flats" is presented as loosely based upon the historic frontier town that sprang up around Fort Griffin, though quite a bit of artistic license is taken to fill in gaps in the historical record (and there are several author's note sidebars to underscore which elements have more historical grounding, whereas others are invented to serve an adventure role, as a heads-up for the GM). Colorful floor plans are included of various buildings of interest in the town, and a separate document includes blown-up versions of the floor plans -- with or without 1" grid -- at a scale useful for miniatures gaming.

The organization is very location-based, as each "chapter" proceeds to spell out, in detail, what can be found at a particular business, who works there, and details about other "colorful characters" who can be found there regularly, their relationships with others, and so forth. In addition, there are multiple "plot hooks," some tied to specific characters, some more generally associated with the location iself. In keeping with the /possibility/ that this could be used for Deadlands Reloaded, there are a few adventure hook suggestions for ways to introduce more of a supernatural twist to each hook.

It's also important to note what it is not.

It is NOT a "dungeon module." A GM cannot sit down at the table a couple of hours before he's due to run a game, skim through, and immediately launch into an adventure. There is a considerable amount of cross-reference, as there are various interactions (or POSSIBLE interactions) between various of the town's inhabitants, most of them presented as potential adventure hooks, and it's up to the GM to determine wihch of those options are actually true.

It's also not a "plot point campaign" of the sort featured in many of the Savage Worlds setting books. While there are plenty of optional adventures and "forks in the road" provided that could be used in a series of adventures for the heroes over the course of a campaign, there's no overall "plot," or anything pushing the heroes toward a final, climactic confrontation with the "big bad."

Rather, this is more of a tool for the GM to help flesh out a number of wild-west city locations and the NPCs who work and live there. It could be used to bring to life the core town that a group of PCs is using as a base of operations, or else the individual locations could be used as "seeds" for something more interesting than just another "generic" hotel, church, saloon, bank, store, jail, or theater that happens to be the backdrop for the adventure of the week.

In that role, I found it to be an entertaining and useful read, full of all sorts of possibilities for more conventional western adventures (and more than a few optional hooks on the weirder side, catering to more supernatural settings such as "Deadlands"). The map tiles are beautifully done, and by themselves they're worth the price of admission; I've printed them onto cardstock and glued them down onto mat board, using them as the basis for some gunfight scenarios. A third included document, the character reference, is also handy in that it provides short, organized profiles for a number of NPCs of varying importance in the scenarios presented -- they can easily be printed off separately and used as a quick-ref by the GM at the table, or cut out and used as handouts for scenarios where players have to form a "posse" out of local NPCs, and temporarily take stewardship of them for larger miniatures battles. (The more important NPCs also come with illustrations.)

Overall, I found this to be a very useful and inspiring resource for my not-so-weird-western game scenarios using Savage Worlds rules. Given the two-part title ("Frontier Towns: Fort Griffin"), I can only hope that this is the first of some sort of "Frontier Towns" SERIES of releases, because I could certainly use more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Frontier Towns: Fort Griffin Savaged
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savaged Six Guns: The James-Younger Gang
Publisher: Dog House Rules
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2018 15:23:51

This is a quick and useful Savage Worlds reference -- a group of NPC outlaws, either the historic James-Younger Gang, or just another gang strongly resembling it, "with the serial numbers filed off" -- either for plugging into supernatural/steampunk games of Deadlands Reloaded, or else more conventional westerns just using the core Savage Worlds rules. Given that it's FREE, I certainly can't beat the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savaged Six Guns: The James-Younger Gang
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savaged Buckshots: Triple-Barreled
Publisher: Dog House Rules
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2018 15:20:59

This is a simple bundle of three standalone wild-west adventures converted over to use the Savage Worlds rules set. As such, they /could/ be used with Savage Worlds settings such as Deadlands (for the occasional adventure that DOES NOT involve any steampunk or supernatural elements in it for a change), or they could just be used on their own with the core Savage Worlds rules for a more conventional western adventure. Straightforward, well-presented, and flexible.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savaged Buckshots: Triple-Barreled
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Little Fears Nightmare Edition
Publisher: FunSizedGames
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/28/2011 14:26:33

I love this treatment of the concept of playing kids fighting not-so-imaginary monsters, where belief can be a powerful force for good or for horror. The game is presented in a way that's delightful to read, especially with the example segments to set the mood, and goes a long way toward not only giving me the mechanics (which are clever yet simple on their own) but in helping me to figure out how I might actually run such a campaign. It's all presented with a very flexible framework that lends itself quite easily toward a more lighthearted and wistful take on such adventures, with nostalgia for a child's way of viewing the world ... or toward a darker, more horrific spin - all depending upon the GM and his players.

The mechanics are simple and effective, giving enough for each character to be distinguished from the others in terms of strengths and weaknesses, doing a fine job of allowing players to take on familiar roles of childhood protagonists from popular fiction, but without locking them into rigid archetypes. There are also plenty of options for the GM to handle combat and other action in a more detailed or abstract way (especially when considering multiple participants), so that there's the option of getting quickly through minor conflicts so that the time can be better spent on more story-focused elements.

All-in-all, this strikes me as a very well-thought-out system for an intriguing take on adventure roleplaying. .



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Little Fears Nightmare Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

E-Z DUNGEONS: Item Pack 1
Publisher: Fat Dragon Games
by Jordan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/28/2011 11:28:20

A nice, simple collection of basic furnishings, easy to assemble, and nicely detailed. This set goes a long way for the price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
E-Z DUNGEONS: Item Pack 1
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 7 (of 7 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
0 items
 Gift Certificates