Monday, October 8, 2012

Character Creation in the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game

Character Creation in the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game
When you sit down to create a character in the Iron Kingdoms game setting, the process for character generation is both quick and easy.  The designers did a great job of streamlining what could have been an extremely complex process to a very simple five steps.  I’m going to go through the steps and create an Iron Kingdoms character during this post to showcase how fast and easy it is to generate a player character.

Creating Your Character

Step 1: Choose your character’s race

There are seven options to choose from for race selection.  You may be a Human, Dwarf, Gobber, Iosan, Nyss, Ogrun or Trollkin.  Dependent upon which race you choose will determine your starting stats.  I have chosen to go with the Iosan race.  In addition to my starting stat line, I will choose my height, weight, view what archetypes are available to me and write down what racial benefits/abilities I gain for choosing Iosan.  Each race has a preset base set of stats that they are given which every player then uses to create their character.  For the most part most racial stats begin anywhere from 2-8.
My starting Primary* and Secondary stats go as follows for an Iosan:
·         Physique* (PHY): 5 - How tough the character is – also helps determine Willpower, Armor [ARM], and number of damage circles on the Life Spiral
·         Speed (SPD): 6 - This determines how fast the character moves and is also use to help calculate and derive stats such as Defense [DEF] and Initiatve.
·         Strength (STR): 4 – This is the measure of how strong the character is by determining how much they may carry and how much damage they inflict during melee combat.
·         Agility* (AGL): 3 – The measure of how quick and nimble a character can be.  This stat is also affects non-combat skills involving coordination and reflexes.  The Agility stat is also used to help determine the character’s Defense [DEF] and the number of damage circles on the Life Spiral.
·         Poise (POI): 4 - This stat determines hand eye coordination and manual dexterity.  This stat is used for attacking with ranged weapons.
·         Prowess (PRW): 4 – This stat determines the character’s grace and balance.  It is also used to for attacking with a melee weapon.
·         Intellect* (INT): 4 – This is the character’s wits and mental dexterity.  It also helps determine Willpower and number of damage circles on the Life Spiral.
·         Arcane (ARC): nil – When a character chooses the Gifted Archetype, then they are provided with a base stat for this secondary ability score.  If they are a will weaver the base is 3, if they are a focuser it starts out as 2.  This ability score helps determine the character’s arcane power.
·         Perception (PER): 3 – This is the character’s awareness and astuteness.  It also helps determine the character’s Defense [DEF] and Initative.
The starting Derived Stats go as follows:
·         Defense (DEF) – Speed + Agility + Perception = 6+3+3 = 12
·         Initiative – Speed + Prowess +Perception = 6+4+3 = 13
·         Armor (ARM) – Physique + Armor Type = 5 + ? = 5
·         Willpower – Physique + Intellect = 5+4 = 9

Now that I have jotted down my primary, secondary and derived starting stat, I will decide how tall or short I want my character and their weight. When that is complete, I will then select my languages.  Since I am an Iosan my starting language is Shyr and I get one additional language that I will select as Cynarian/Sulese.  Once that has been decided, I will jot down my racial ability which is – Iosan’s are able to begin game with an additional ability selected from one of their careers.

Step 2: Choose your character’s Archetype

The Archetype determines what type of character that you are going to play.  There are four archetypes that are available: Gifted, Intellectual, Mighty and Skilled.  Each archetype bestows certain capabilities, attributes and benefits that shape how a character performs in the game.

I have chosen the Skilled archetype which provides me the following benefits:
-          The character is able to perform an additional attack during the Activation phase if I choose to attack that turn
-          I chose the Ambidextrous benefit which means I do not suffer the normal attack penalty with a second weapon while using the Two-weapon Fighting Ability.

Step 3: Choose your two Careers

In Iron Kingdoms you do not have character classes but rather a career mechanic where you choose two of their careers and the two options will create a character concept that defines your character. 

I have chosen to use the Mage Hunter career (Iosan only) as my first choice.  I chose the Mage Hunter not only because he is a skilled assassin that hunts down human sorcerers and arcanists but also because it fits the theme of my Retribution of Scyrah theme I wanted to accomplish. 
The Mage Hunter career provides the following Starting Abilities, Connections and Skills:
-          Abilities: Arcane Assassin and Iron Will
-          Connections: Retribution of Scyrah
-          Military Skills: Hand Weapon 1 and I chose Crossbow 1
-          Occupational Skills: Climbing 1, Jumping 1, Sneak 1, and Tracking 1.
-          Starting Assets: 75 gc

Now that I have chosen my first career, I need to choose another career that will complete the theme I want.  I took Ambidextrous when I chose the Skilled archetype so I should find a career where Two-weapon Fighting is an ability available to that career.  I also want to excel at being sneaky and using hit and run tactics.  The only careers that have the Two-weapon Fighting ability available to them are Cutthroat, Duelist, Highwayman, and Pistoleer.  Having examined the four available choices, the Cutthroat fits the theme the best.
The Cutthroat career provides the following Starting Abilities, Connections and Skills:
-          Abilities: Anatomical Precision, Backstab, and Prowl.  I also chose Two-weapon Fighting as my additional ability available to me due to being an Iosan.
-          Connections: Criminal
-          Military Skills: Hand Weapon and I chose Crossbow 1
-          Occupational Skills: Intimidation 1, Sneak 1 and Streetwise 1.
-          Starting Assets: 75 gc

I have chosen careers that rely on stealth, assassination and brutal combat effectiveness.  The character will begin the game with the following package:
-          Abilities: Arcane Assassin, Iron Will, Anatomical Precision, Backstab, Prowl and Two-weapon Fighting
-          Connections: Retribution of Scyrah and Criminal
-          Military Skills: Hand Weapon 2 and Crossbow 2
-          Occupational Skills: Climbing 1, Jumping 1, Sneak 2, Tracking 1, Intimidation 1, and Streetwise 1.
-          Starting Assets: 150 gc

Step 4: Increase Stats

The character is given three advancement points to spend on the character’s primary of secondary stats.  In this instance since I am playing a character that relies on Stealth, Melee Prowess and Agility then I need to put my points into Agility, Perception and Prowess. 

Once the three advancement points have been allocated, then it is important to fill out the Life Spiral.  This character will have 5 bubbles into the Physique section, while Agility and Perception both close with 4 bubbles each bringing the total to 13 bubbles.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

This is the part of the game where you spend your newfound wealth on equipment and items.  Since I want to be fast and mobile, I have chosen to buy the Custom Battle Armor (-1 DEF, +6 ARM).  I chose to buy two Swords, a Crossbow, and a Quiver.  I will still have 16 gc left.

Now that all of those steps have been completed, I will then list out the character as he should appear.

Iron Kingdoms Character

Sylvos Greystorm
Male Iosan Skilled Mage Hunter/Cutthroat
Height: 6’1”        Weight: 185 lbs
Faith: Scyrah
Level: Hero
Experience : 0

Primary/Secondary Stats:
Physique: 5
Speed: 6
Strength: 4 
Agility: 4
Prowess: 5
Poise: 4
Intellect: 4
Arcane: *
Perception: 4

Defense: 11
Armor: 11
Initiative: 15
Command Range: 4
Willpower: 9
Life Spiral: 
-          Physique: 5
-          Agility: 4
-          Intellect t: 4

Military Skills: Hand Weapon 2 and Crossbow 2.
Occupational Skills: Climbing 1, Jumping 1, Sneak 2, Tracking 1, Intimidation 1, and Streetwise 1.
Feat Points: 3
Benefits and Abilities: Ambidextrous, Arcane Assassin, Iron Will, Anatomical Precision, Backstab, Prowl and Two-weapon Fighting

Ranged Weapons:
Crossbow – RNG: 60-300, RAT: 6, POW: 12

Melee Weapons:
Sword x2 – MAT: 7 P+S: 7

Armor: Custom Battle Armor (-1 DEF, +6 ARM)

Assets/Meckanica: 16 gc

Language: Shyr, Cyngarian/Sulese

Connections:  Retribution of Scyrah, Criminal


This entire process took less than 15 minutes to generate and flesh out a fully functional and themed character that serves as a brutal Mage Hunter and Assassin for the Retribution of Scyrah.  As you can see this process was easy and streamlined to get the players involved quickly and games started. I will try to spend some time in the next few weeks describing how the system plays works especially social encounters and combat. 

Until next time, enjoy!