Monday, 8 April 2013

No Quarter - Review

So we have had 4 issues of No Quarter, Privateer Press' gaming magazine, since the release of the Iron Kingdoms RPG. So I thought I should review what we have had in those issues that is specifically for the RPG.

Those new to the Iron Kingdoms may not know of the magazine. It comes out every two months, prices $7.50. It is a full colour magazine, and is part advertisment, part gaming supplement, and part community magazine. Inside you will find articles that show off the latest rules and minis for the table top wargames, Warmachine and Hordes, painting and modelling articles, information on tournaments and conventions, short stories and more information on the world of the Iron Kingdoms, plus gaming articles for Iron Kingdoms. You could compare it in some respect to White Dwarf magazine. But I would say for the price you are getting great content, and a lot of free stuff per issue, compared to the content in White Dwarf.

No onto that free stuff. In particular the Iron Kingdoms content.

In issue 44 we get a modelling guide for making character models for Iron Kingdoms (Iron Kingdoms being and rpg that makes use of minis - not surprising considering what is on offer from Privateer press). We also get, following on from the expanded bestiary section that is a free download on the PP website, a Monsternomicon article, featuring more big beasties for your players to confront.The Gatormen rules are useful as it allows for the conversion of the Witchfire trilogy from D20 to the IKRPG d6 system. We also get a premade adventure, featuring a mission to retrieve a magical text pertaining to lost Orgoth magics, and tackling a possessed Steamjack.

Issue 45 keeps up the quality and quantity. We get a whole new career for the Trollkin, Long Riders. So now our Trollkin have mounts, Buffalo. Plus of course new rules for these mounts and skill related to using these mounts. This of course coincided with the release of the equivalent minis for Hordes. So there is some great setting material about the warriors that rides these beasts. We also get an article that looks at the logistics of Steamjacks. How to move them about when they are not in operation, the cost of fuel for these machine (something that in the main rulebook was broken!), and another Monsternomicon article. This time ghosts! We get shades and spectres (again massively useful for converting the Witchfire Trilogy and of course work a charm with Thamarite rules in Urban Adventures), and Riven - ghosts of Elves dating to the Rivening. Scary bastards. But the best thing is that we now have the perfect set of additions to Iron Kingdoms to run a horror based game in a fantasy setting. Next we get some new equipment, in Foundry, Forge and Crucible. All this equipment is stuff that is useful, primarily for particular tasks, like grapple guns, harpoon guns, acid sprays. But in a pinch any of these make for useful improvised weapons! And to add a cherry on top we have even more about converting minis for the rpg.

Issue 46 doesn't let up. A new career is added - Doom Reaver. F***ing hell! These guys are badass in the wargame, but as a playable character? Well you have a sort of homage to Elric and his black blade. Just that the blades of whispering evil Orgoth blades. We of course get new skills, new rules for the blade, and a painting guide. I can see these being great antagonists, and quite a horrific character to roleplay. They would make for a great bodyguard for a fellow Khador player in the troupe. Monsternomicon comes back with more creatures. Razor Bats, Devil Rats (perfect for the sewers of Corvis - yay more for Witchfire Trilogy revised!), and a massive buffalo. Furthermore we get the first Gazetteer, introducing the mining town of Wexmere. We get a map, some info on the politics of the area, and the lands around it. A great place to visit or run and entire campaign about.

Issue 47, the latest is filled with some great stuff. Yeah, because the last issues weren't good enough already?  We get a modelling guide for converting characters for Gobbers for the rpg. The Monsternomicon (yeah these sections are really useful) gives us more beasties. The Gorax, a sort of big Yeti like ape thing. We get rules for the Argus and White Argus, the two headed wolves of the Circle Orboros. We also have rules for a few types of trolls. This is quite great, because Trollkin can feasibly befriend these creatures. They also mean you can have players face the forces of Trollkin led party of Trolls. The really insightful part of this is that it makes clear that the rules for the wargame and the rpg are almost directly compatible. You may have a few stats to work out, and a few powers to convert. But it does make it clear that if you wanted, that giant dragon beast in the last issue could be used in your games. Just a thought, since they give you its stats in the issue. Foundry, Forge and Crucible returns, this time with arcane, cursed firearms. Again some great weapons with cool story hooks. The Imprecator pistol is a really great concept.

If that wasn't enough we have a new race and career and rules via some free downloads. Satyxis Raiders! Oh boy. Again a great new playable race, plus along with the Thamarite, Thralls and ghosts, we have a great way of representing the forces of Cryx in the game. Of course the Satyxis would not be complete without rules for ships, and even an example encounter with a Satyxis raiding ship.

So the first 6 months of Iron Kingdoms has been pretty awesome, and bodes well for the upcoming releases. This includes the book, 'Kings, Nations and Gods', and the forthcoming release of the Games Master kit, complete with screen, character sheet pad, and encounter sheets and health sheets (apparently dry wipe pen compatible!).

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