Unboxing awesome! As many of you, I was fortunate enough to play in the Iron Kingdoms Unleashed demo at GenCon under the guidance of none other than Mister Doug Seacat, which was a pretty darn special experience. Now, with the IK Unleashed Adventure Kit, it’s your turn to get your feet wet… and slightly sticky, because eww, there’s bits of Farrow everywhere…
The Adventure Kit is the next step up from what we were given when Iron Kingdoms RPG: Full Metal Fantasy was released. Fools Rush In is an excellent introductory scenario, helping your players get used to the mechanics while also introducing the characters that also showcased in the excellent Murder in Corvis novel from Skull Island Expeditions, but that’s all it was (Hah, as if that’s not sweet as it is…). The Adventure Kit gives you a scenario and pregenerated characters, but then kicks everything up about 12 notches.
I was lucky enough to pick this baby up at Templecon, but it’ll be in stores shortly, and if you’re interested in Unleashed then you’re given everything you need to help your playgroup experience the wilder side of Immoren, right down to dice and a tape measure. Wandering through the contents of what can only be described as a hefty box, we find…
A condensed Rulebook that covers all the basics, including rules for the abilities of the four pre-generated characters, rules for advancement should you want to take them further, details on their skills and abilities, how the game mechanics operate, Will Weaver magic (relevant especially for the Bog Trog Bone Grinder), how Warbeasts are forced, and even full spell lists for Blood Weavers, Bone Grinders and Mist Speakers. This is by no means an exhaustive rulebook and if your players catch the scent of blood you’ll want to pick up the core rulebook when it’s released, but this slender pamphlet (as much as 32 pages is a slender pamphlet) gives you everything you need as a GM to teach your players to fear the wilds (or be feared in the wilds, let’s be honest.
The Scenario booklet is another 32 pages of nifty, brimming with art and atmosphere as you lead your intrepid troupe through what can only be described as Hogwash… because that’s what the adventure is titled, after all. Hogwash is a five-encounter tale with notes for expansion beyond. But wait, you ask, how can I continue the story?
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Scenario book gives you full entries for a Farrow chieftain, bone grinder, Razor Boars, Brigands and Slaughterhousers, not to mention suggested directions the story could take. As with the Rule booklet, you’ll want the core rules once they’re released to make the most of things, but you’ve got a starting point here, and of course you can always tap into Iron Kingdoms: Full Metal Fantasy and No Quarter for more material.
Each of the four pre-generated player characters has their own four page portfolio that gives your player a full introduction to their character including origin, relationship with the other characters, motivations. Flip the whole thing over and the back page is a cheat sheet with all of their abilities listed – each player has their own summary that’s specific to themselves. Open up the doc and….
Character sheet! You may want to laminate it and rely on dry-erase if you plan on re-using the kit over and over, or if you love your players that much you can just run with it. Everything’s already filled out and ready to rock and/0r roll.
Speaking of the player characters, let’s have a quick introduction…
As a Mist Speaker, Lurglekk (Lurk) is a difficult model to photograph. His Mist Speaky ways are very distruptive (yeah, that’s it, don’t admit you just took a blurry shot and didn’t realise til it was too late). Also a Bone Grinder, Lurk enters the game with a personal grievance against a Farrow Bone Grinder named Knor. Specifically, he’s pretty darn certain Knor wants his head, so he’s determined to leverage the current arrangement he has with the party to extract a little prevenge.
Zocha the Outcast is a Bloodweaver and a Scout. For those who’ve played IKRPG: Full Metal Fantasy, think of Bloodweavers as melee-centric gun mages. Her tribe has long had conflict with the Farrow warlord Morrg, and now she’s convinced that Morrg is responsible for a drought that has striken her village. Since none of her tribemates wanted to pursue this angle, she’s declared herself outcast and has gone on a pig hunt, picking up some friends on the way.
Gullin Oakbreaker is a pygmy troll Chieftain/Warrior, and he’s got an axe to grind. Warlord Morrg has abducted several of his tribemates, and he’s determined to get them back. He’s like the Nicolas Cage of the group, assuming Nicolas Cage was a short troll with a handful of axes and accompanied by a Whelp named Knuckle.
And then there’s Longchops, a Brigand/Monster Hunter, who boggles my mind by playing the role of sniper. Nothing says Sniper like an enormous reptilian killing machine. Sure don’t want THAT near the front lines. Ahem. The most mercenary of the team, Longchops has agreed to hunt down Morrg in exchange for hunting rights in Zocha’s tribe’s territory… and word is, Morrg has some particularly impressive Razor Boars that could make for a good hunt too…
Speaking of, the Adventure Kit comes with said Razor Boars!
And Knor and Morrg!
And an assortment of Farrow Brigands and Slaughterhousers!
It’s worth noting that every single model in the kit is a single piece, no assembly required. They’re made of a soft, almost rubber plastic which will make them super durable for transport purposes, though they’re not quite as high a quality of casting as most of Privateer’s Warmachine and Hordes lines. Of course, there’s nowt wrong with using your existing models, or converting new ones. No Quarter has had RPG conversion articles in many recent issues.
Now, anyone who’s played Warmachine or Hordes knows that you need an actual table to play on. The Adventure kit provides nine 9″x11″ boards with which you can make your map. Forests, rivers, escarpments – you’re covered, and you can mix and match them to your heart’s content (or, ya know, actually follow the instructions in the scenario).
A map needs terrain features, and ther eare four more sheets full of punch-out forests, walls, rocky outcroppings, bridges, fences, huts… you get the idea.
Oh, and both the board tiles and the terrain features are all double-sided, as with this forest/corral. One way or another, you have all you need for an amazing introduction to Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed, and plenty to work with as you expand your campaign beyond the bounds of the Hogwash scenario.
I’m very keen to get my hands on the Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed rulebook once it becomes available (there’s three or four variants of Tatzylwurm in there! I love Tatzylwurms!), but for now? This just might tide me over…