Iron Kingdoms

The people who followed my Dungeoncraft articles may already have guessed that the Iron Kingdoms setting by Privateer Press was one of the major inspiration for Asecia. In the beginning IK started as a trilogy of adventures that later even spawned the miniature games WARMACHINE and HORDE. IK consisted of the beforementioned trilogy (the “Witchfire” trilogy), the IK: Character guide, the IK: World guide, two Monsternomicons and several smaller sourcebooks. IK was using the d20 System License, so you probably won’t find many copies in stores nowadays.

But alas there hasn’t been any new releases for the IK campaign setting for quite some time now and Privateer Press recently announced on their forums that they will not release an updated version with D&D 4th Edition rules. But they can’t sell their existing material because the d20 System license is no more. The only way to reprint the books would be to make them compliant with the OGL, which in my opinion would be no impossible task.

But if you ask me, I am sure that Privateer Press is focussing on new projects and the IK campaign setting is more or less dead. With WARMACHINE, HORDE and the new Monsterpocalypse they have three miniature game lines. And I don’t believe they have the manpower or will to reinvigorate their roleplaying game line.
And although I own lot of the IK books I haven’t run more than the first part of the Witchfire trilogy. When I’ve concluded our current Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign returning to the Iron Kingdoms could be one of my possibilities. BUT shall I run it as it was intended (using D&D 3.5), shall I try to convert it to D&D 4th Edition (my group really likes the new system) or is converting the setting to a completly different system like Savage World, True20, GURPS, whatever the way to go?

Deep in my heart I still hope that Privateer Press will surprise us with their brand-new IK roleplaying game that perhaps even is compatible to their miniatures line in the future. But I doubt this day will come. So what would you do, if you were in my shoes?

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

4 thoughts on “Iron Kingdoms”

  1. I am also a big fan of Iron Kingdoms, the Necrotek of my setting being inspired by the Cryx and their Iron Liches. I aslo happen to be a Warmachine player (Cryx and Menoth armies).

    I have the Character Guide and a Monsternomicon, but failed to purchase the World Guide when it was available and I am now kickin’ myself.

    I think I would leave it at 3.5 with a simple Pathfinder upgrade for core classes and whatnot. However, if you wanted to do a full on conversion, I would go with Savage Worlds because I feel it fits more with Privateer Press’s no apologies, balls to wall gaming.

    Fast. Furious. Fun.

    MadBrewLabss last blog post..Beast: the Ravaging – Genos

  2. I was lucky enough to get all of the books at my local game store. I even have a copy of the Liber Mechanika. A Savage Worlds conversion could be interesting especially since I planned to use the SWEE rules for Asecia too. But probably I will stick to 3.5 since I am lazy… 😉

  3. I like IK in theory, and I’ve played Warmachine since 2004, but my first brush with roleplaying in this setting was kind of dismal. The DM really has to work hard to set the game apart from any other blackpowder D&D setting. For me, all the best parts of the IK can be found in Warmachine (warjacks, blackpowder, arcane magic, militaristic factions) so I’ll be sticking with the tabletop game for the forseeable future.

    PatrickWRs last blog post..Fantasy orcs and the stormtrooper syndrome

  4. @PatrickWR: Hmm, I didn’t know that there are that many blackpowder D&D settings. And in my humble opinion there are quite a few things that make IK unique. But perhaps the DM was not really comfortable with the world.
    By the way, I’ve heard that the warjacks are pretty underpowered in WARMACHINE, is that true?

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