Saturday, 28 February 2015

Iron Kingdoms RPG - My First Character

As getting the people who I play the Through the Breach RPG with all in the same place at one time is akin to herding jellyfish I felt that I could agree to another RPG group without it creating any conflict and as our GM for Through the Breach is also playing I doubt it'll cause any issues...

So I ordered the core rulebook from my FLGS Titan Games and so it began...


Details are at a minimum at the moment which means our GM is either choosing to keep it a secret or he has absolutely no idea what's going to happen...either is a possibility to be honest...I'm also somewhat at a disadvantage as my knowledge of Warmachine (whose game world this RPG is set in) is limited to Cryx, enemies of Cryx, scenic parts of Cryx, countries Cryx have invaded, etc. and we weren't going to be playing Cryx characters (what with them being evil and all...) So I've decided to pick something easy...also I've discovered recently that every writer of RPG's does character creation in a completely different way.

I additionally only have access to the core rulebook so any options in any of the other source books wouldn't be available for the very important reason that I don't actually know those options exist.

Step One - Choose a Race.
My choices are Human, Dwarf, Gobber, Iosan, Nyss, Ogrun or Trollkin.
Human seemed like an obvious (and simple choice) but as they're all over the place in the world of Warmachine it would have meant some thought about background which I felt my limited knowledge of the setting might create issues with. I also had no real desire to play either a Dwarf or an Elf (for those of you unfamiliar with the world in question Iosans and Nyss are basically elves), a goblin or a Troll. This process of elimination left me with Ogrun and after some brief background research this seemed like a good choice. Their religion was relatively straightforward, their homeland was also fairly well defined and the structure of their society fit an easy to remember feudal/tribal archetype...so I'm an Ogrun...

In game terms this means I speak three languages (two are specified the other isn't...presumably this is so the whole group has a language in common) gives me the 'Huge Stature' Characteristic enabling me to use a two-handed weapon one handed (with a minor penalty of course). It also limits my selection of an Archetype (the next stage of character creation) to either Mighty or Skilled...

Step Two - Choose an Archetype
These are Gifted, Intellectual, Mighty and Skilled.
Gifted means that you have magical potential and unsurprisingly isn't one of the options that is available to my Ogrun. My options were 'Mighty' or 'Skilled'.

Each option has a generic benefit and access to a list of 'Feats' of which starting characters get to choose one with others becoming available as your character gains experience. 'Mighty' ups my damage, 'Skilled' gives me an extra attack and after some consideration (and a false start created by me not reading a rule properly) I went with 'Mighty' for the extra die of damage. For my free starting Feat I picked 'Back Swing' which gives me an extra attack for the cost of a 'Feat Point'. As I'm new to the system I'm not sure whether Feat points are an easy to replenish resource or not so I'm currently unsure about how useful that's going to be. More damage however seems very useful indeed. As apparently the world of Warmachine lacks any kind of benefits or welfare system my character needs a job so has to pick a career...well, two actually...

Step Three - Choose Two Careers
There are thirty of these to pick from in the core book though some have race and archetype based prerequisites.
This would take some thought as it had a very significant impact on starting Abilities, Skills, Assets as well as creating caps on the maximum level that certain skills could reach. The fact that starting Skills stack also was worth considering if your one of those 'power-gamer' types...I'm not...well...not with RPG's at least. Prerequisites helped out as they eliminated twelve or so of those options for me as all the magic based ones require the 'Gifted' archetype and a few others need you to be a race other than the one I'd initially chosen.

For my first career I selected 'Man at Arms' as it seemed like a,likely starting point for an Ogrun. This gave me a couple of useful defensive abilities and the Military Skills - Great Weapon, Shield and a choice from which I selected Hand Weapon (rather than Pistol). I also got the Occupational Skills of Command and Detection. This was firmly moving me into the 'Tank' category but I figured I'd like a bit more variety for my character than that...luckily I had a second career to choose...

Common sense further eliminated some options such as Thief or Spy (I suppose they'd do for comedy value...) and I didn't really see myself as either the Military Officer or Ranger type. Ranged weapon careers like Pistoleer also lacked appeal which meant I was running out of options. I'd originally dismissed Bounty Hunter but on further examination certain of the Skills crossed over with Man at Arms surprisingly well. They both had Detection and the fact that those Skills would stack to two would go some-way to offsetting my distinctly average PER (Perception) score and it also had a selection of Military Skills to choose from (no Great Weapon unfortunately but that does make sense). Actually reading the two starting abilities for the Bounty Hunter career offset one of my initial concerns about taking it as a career.

Basically 'Rope Use' (tying people up being pretty much a job requirement for bounty hunting one would think) uses AGI (Agility) and that's not very high in the case of Ogruns. But Binding gives penalties to their chance of escape once I succeed and Takedown effectively means I can undo a killing blow and retrospectively have reduced them to one wound and tied them up, knocked them out, Manacled them, etc. The upshot of this was that from both a character background and game-play mechanics point of view the two careers worked together. My former Man at Arms making his way as a Bounty Hunter was beginning to take shape...

Step Four - Increase Stats
Three advancement points to spend...
This was fairly simple as I needed to do something about my terrible starting PER score of two and as my primary area of concern was hitting things I also increased both STR (Strength) and PRW (Prowess). There are maximum possible scores in each characteristic depending on your race and experience level which means that even the min/maxers still have trouble breaking their relative racial type which is a nice touch.

At this stage you also fill out your 'Life Spiral'. For those of you unfamiliar with the tabletop game this is basically your wounds total with the minor difference that you can be damaged in specific areas (loss of the Agility bit reduces your Attack Rating for example).

Step Five - Finishing Touches
Time to spend that gold granted you by your starting careers.
Your character is considered to have basic essentials such as, clothes, canteen, ammo pouches, backpack, coin purse, etc. so you don't have to purchase those. Neither of my starting careers granted me any starting equipment in addition to those essentials though they did give me 175 gold coins to spend.

I first bought some armour and selected the Custom Battle Armour as it gave decent protection with only minor penalties but it was a bit pricy at 60 gc leaving me with 115 left. Of course some kind of weapon might be a good idea as well...imagine how happy I was to find a Melee weapon called an Ogrun Warcleaver...so I had one of those. It also had several benefits when used by an Ogrun though it did cost me 30 more gc's. As several of my Abilities and Skills (both current and available in the future) revolved around having a Shield I figured that it might be useful to actually own one and I went for the slightly more expensive Combat Shield variant one as it was covered in spikes and doubled as a weapon with which I paired a Hand Weapon in the form of a Trench Sword so I had a few more melee options. I was now quite well armed and armoured but was down to 30 gold crowns.

I also bought myself some Manacles (one in human size and another set in Ogryn/Trollkin scale). This left me with a grand total of 5 crowns

It does also say in this section that savvy characters will pick up some kind or ranged weapon even if they don't have training in it in case they encounter enemies out of Melee range. Unfortunately no such weapon exists for 5 gold crowns so I'll just have to wait till I can acquire one later as I want to keep all the other stuff I've already bought...
Apparently these Ogruns were created by more Savvy people than I...

Advancement...
Normally I plan ahead a little when creating characters but the advancement system in Iron Kingdoms is a bit different than what I'm used to. Rather than there being a list of potential upgrades with XP costs there are instead a set of defined advancements based on how much XP you've earned. So (for example) when you reach the grand total of 2 XP you get to pick an extra 2 Occupational Skills from one of your two careers (There are maximum allowable values based on your level), at 4 XP you get an extra Spell, Ability, Connection or Military Skill, etc.

I suppose the advantages to this system are that every-ones characters develop at a similar rate and prevents the often seen RPG issue of one person min/maxing the hell out of combat abilities and neglecting all the others which subsequently makes balancing combat encounters a nightmare. As I'm reasonably sure that I'll only be allowed to increase, or create talents I've actually used during the sessions there doesn't seem much point in planning what I'll increase only to find that we don't actually get involved in any missions that actually utilise them...

What Now?
So my character now has a rough background, is armed and armoured and has the basic equipment and Skills necessary to get his job done. he also has a name thanks to a list of Ogrun names I found on a forum...he's Bosh Skullsplitter...what can I say...it seemed appropriate...

I also have acquired an appropriate model as apparently our GM likes to use models to recreate combat encounters rather than more esoteric means. The model I selected is this one though I may need to modify it a bit given my secondary weapon purchases. This is the 'official' pic of course as (will be no surprise to regular readers of my blog) I haven't painted mine yet.


We're starting next week so I'll let you know how it goes...possibly in some form of blog article...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Mantic Games Newsletter

A free story to download?!?!?!?....you had me at free...there's some news as well of course...

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Deadzone Kicks-off in March

In March we are going to be unveiling the secrets behind Exham IV and the infestation that has blighted the planet…
We'll be holding a week on the Mantic Blog starting on Monday 16th March, dedicated to Deadzone. This will include the launch of the new community website.

To get you in the mood you can exclusively download The Hunt by Michael Grey forfree. This Deadzone short story is part of our Containment Protocols compilation orDigital Compendium available through Mantic Digital. Give it a read and keep an eye out for Deadzone Week starting 16th March! *Squeek*
LAST CHANCE OFFER
The Incredible Crazy Box is a random assortment of roughly £50's worth of stuff from across the Mantic range for just £24.99/$34.99. Get yours before they’re gone – offer ends Sunday 1st March at 11:59pm GMT.
STOP - Hobby Time!
Also in the Mantic Universe...
Curis delves into the illegal sports underground of DreadBall Xtreme with Beasts of War master Warren. Check out the latest installment of DreadBall Academy above, and then follow-up with Game Time: Playing Xtreme (requires a backstage pass).
Ronnie and Luke take on the challenge of DreadBall Xtreme and the differences between this new game and it's older cousin. Find out more here.
Army Painter Highlight: Warpaints! Warpaints is an acrylic paint range that uses the best suppliers for great quality, coverage and useability. Get a great range of these paints in this simple set, complete with a paint brush. Find out more here, and check out The Army Painters great range of tutorials here.
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Mantic Games - Dungeon Saga Reminder

If you haven't done this yet then you should probably get a move on...

Hail Adventurers!

There are just two days left to complete the Dungeon Saga Pledge Manager. Please submit your pledge manager by 11:59pm GMT Sunday 1st March.

Don’t worry if you can’t get everything you want now, because we will be running a second pledge manager soon. If you do miss the deadline – perhaps you’ve not received your invite link yet or are waiting on a response to a support request – don’t panic, you’ll get extra time to get it completed.
 

If you’ve not yet completed your pledge manager, we recommend getting the Dungeon Master pledge, plus the Warlord of GalahirInfernal Crypts and the Tyrant of Halpi for the full game experience and all of the bonus extras.

If you have completed your pledge and want to add on more, you can do so by heading over to the pledge manager now and placing a separate order. That means if you missed any of the expansions above, you can still get them!
The Tyrant of Halpi includes Karrathor, a rather large Dragon!

And remember, if you pledge a total of $200 or more you will get a free Hardback Adventurer’s Companion included with your order when it’s shipped*

** PLEASE NOTE – YOU DO NOT NEED TO ADD THIS HARDBACK BOOK TO YOUR PLEDGE. IT WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY UPDATED AFTER THE PLEDGE MANAGER HAS CLOSED** 

If you require support at all please contact us on the Dungeon Saga Kickstarter messages and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. You can access the Dungeon Saga Pledge Manager via the email invitation that was emailed to you when the campaign was set live.

Thanks,

The Mantic Team!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Unboxing Warzone - Nasca Razides and Upgrade Pack

As well as the rules for creating custom Warlords and Lords in the Heroes of the Solar System free download there were also stats for many new interesting characters and units. Amongst these were a new type of Razide...


...so of course I had to have some...

Blister Insert.
The rear of the insert contains some instructions...

Stat Cards.
They obviously come with stat and upgrade cards...

Unassembled.

Assembled.
The pack itself comes with three Nasca Razides each armed with one of the weapon options available. You'll notice a slight gap where the arms join the model but that's just because I haven't glued them in place yet so I could show you them with the upgrade pack options later in the article. Assembly consists of attaching a set of arms to the appropriate body...and that's it...



Of course should you want multiples of the same weapon then your probably going to want an upgrade pack...fortunately such a thing exists...


Blister Insert.
The rear of the insert contains some instructions...

Stat Cards.
The upgrade pack doesn't come with any cards as all the weapon information is on the Nasca Razides stat cards found in the core box.

Unassembled.

Assembled.
When combined with the core box this enables you to have three Nasca Razides all armed with the same weapon or any combination you so desire.

Like this in fact...



Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.
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