Monday, January 6, 2014

Iron Kingdoms

Iron Kingdoms is an RPG based in the world of the Warmachine and Hordes miniature wargames. Instead of leading a battlegroup of figures on a field of war, you play a single character apiece. Iron Kingdoms is set in a fantasy world that has reached an interesting level of technology - somewhere beyond steam technology and firearms, with a good helping o magic mixed in. There was a d20 version of the setting back when D&D 3.5 was still in print, but the current version is a stand-alone game produced by the same company that produces the miniatures games, Privateer Press.

In any case, I'll be trying to create a specific character today - a Paladin of the Order of the Wall, a paladin who follows the Menite faith - in Iron Kingdoms, Menoth is like the Old Testament god, full of fury, not caring so much for individual people as for the species as a whole. He gave humanity four major gifts - Fire, the Wall, the Law, and Agriculture. Nowadays, many people in the Iron Kingdoms follow the much more human-friendly Morrow, but some are still concerned with the old faith, and protecting those who still follow it - that's where the Paladins of the Order of the Wall come in.

The first step to IK character creation is choosing a race. The race choices are human, dwarf, gobber (kind of underclass, tech-friendly goblins), Iosan (elves from a fallen empire), Nyss (rugged, cold northern elves), Ogrun (ogre-like, honor-bound friends of the dwarves), and Trollkin (strong, tradition-bound relations to the trolls). Much as I'd like to play a Trollkin, or a human can be a Paladin, so I'll go with that. As a human, my starting stats are Physique 5, Speed 6, Strength 4, Agility 3, Prowess 4, Poise 4, Intelligence 3, Arcane *, and Perception 3. As a human, I can also add 1 to Physique, Agility, or Intelligence - I'll go with Agility, because I know it is the stat that governs reflexes.

Step 2 is archetype. My choices, as human, are Gifted, Intellectual, Mighty, and Skilled. Gifted is an archetype that gives me access to magic abilities, and I'm not going for that; I also don't feel like being an intellectual, so that leaves Mighty and Skilled. I like the idea of being a great warrior, so I'll go with Mighty. The Mighty archetype gives me an additional die on melee damage rolls, which I like. It also grants me a choice of one of a number of abilities - I'm not going to go through them all here, but the one I will choose is called Righteous Anger - when one or more characters friendly to my character are damaged by an enemy attack within my command range (the range at which a character can effectively command others), I gain +2 Strength and +2 Armor for one round.

Step 3, I choose two careers. Careers grant me my beginning skills and talents; choosing two gives me a chance to branch out from just a single area. One of my two careers has to be Paladin, and because of that, my second choice has to be one of the following: Aristocrat, Horseman, Investigator, Man-at-Arms, Military Officer, Priest, Ranger, Soldier, or Warcaster. I can't choose Priest or Warcaster because I didn't choose the Gifted archetype, but I didn't want those anyway. I think I'll actually go with Military Officer, because I want to be a good warrior and commander. Because of the Paladin career, I gain the Specialization (Firebrand) and Stone-and-Mortar Stance abilities, the Order of the Wall Connection, the military skills Great Weapon 1 and Shield 1, and the occupational skills Command 1, Etiquette 1, and Lore (Menite faith) 1. I also get a weapon, the Firebrand, and full plate armor and a shield. As a military officer, I gain the Battle Plan: Call to Action, Natural Leader, and Team Leader abilities, the Hand Weapon 1 and Great Weapon 1 military skills, and the Command 1, Medicine 1, and Navigation 1 occupational skills, as well as 100 gc (gold coins) and an officer's uniform.

Step 4 is increasing stats - I get 3 points to add to any of the stats established in the first step. I need Strength 5 to use a Firebrand in one hand - and since the Firebrand can light people on fire, as a special weapon of the Order of the Wall, I want to use ti in one hand, while also hitting people in the face with my shield. So, one point goes to Strength. Prowess determines natural ability with melee weapons, so I'll put a point in that; the final point I'll put in Intelligence. That leaves me with step 5, finishing touches. I can purchase additional gear, but there's nothing I want right now, and much of the rest would only be fully fleshed out with a group, so I'll just call my character Heremon and head to the summary.

Archetype: Mighty
Race: Human
Careers: Paladin of the Order of the Wall, Military Officer
Faith: Menite

Physique 5, Speed 6, Strength 5
Agility 4, Prowess 5, Poise 4
Intelligence 4, Arcane *, Perception 3
Willpower (Phy + Int) = 9

Great Weapon 2, Shield 1, Hand Weapon 1
Command 2, Medicine 1, Navigation 1, Etiquette 1, Lore (Menite faith) 1

Righteous Anger, Battle Plan: Call to Action, Natural Leader, Team Leader, Specialization (Firebrand), Stone-and-Mortar Stance

Full Plate   Spd -1, Def -3, Arm +8
Shield        Spd 0, Def 0,    Arm +1

Firebrand  Melee Attack 4, POW + Str 12
Shield        Melee Attack 5, POW + Str 5

DEF (Spd + Agl + Per + racial + equipment) = 10
ARM (Phy + shield modifier + Armor modifier + other) = 14
Initiative (Psd + Prw + Per + equipment + other) = 13
Command Range (Int + Command skill + ability modifier) = 8

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