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Sundered Isles - Expansion for Ironsworn: Starforged
by mark [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2024 13:56:50

The book's massive collection of tables and oracles is worth the price alone. I also love the cursed die mechanic, which adds another layer of immersion to the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sundered Isles - Expansion for Ironsworn: Starforged
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Sundered Isles - Expansion for Ironsworn: Starforged
by Dr. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2024 13:39:48

Another great (Solo)RPG. This expansion is very good. Even if you want to play the base game starforged in Sci-Fi, you will find additions (rules, assets) that improve your base game. 5 stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Sundered Isles - Expansion for Ironsworn: Starforged
by Carrie [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2024 12:58:48

Another amazing title from Tomkin Press. The Starforged system hits the sweet spot of being substantial without being cumbersome, which helps the narrative shine. This expansion opens up the imagination to whole new worlds and will be a slam dunk for any Starforged fan. My Sundered Isles story involves Ghibli-style airships...so much fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Sundered Isles - Expansion for Ironsworn: Starforged
by David [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2024 10:36:42

Pretty much a must-get if you're into Starforged and enjoy pirate/maritime settings at all. The quality is on par with previous Ironsworn works, and the addition of the Cursed Dice mechanic is really fun and evocative. And there's so many oracles!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn: Starforged
by Lewis [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2024 07:29:44

First time I've ever tried a Solo RPG and have had such a blast with Starforged over the past few weeks that I just had to leave a review and thank Shawn for his creation. I've become lost in the world that's been forged by creative character decisions and random dice rolls. The idea of making "vows" (promises) that your characters should follow is a genuinely good idea as it gives focus to the story.

I've seen some say that the rule book is large, but a lot of it is the initial world-building and main character creation, which you don't need to refer to again once you've done. A lot of it is also random 'oracle' tables, most of which you only need on occasion. The core rules are understanding how three dice work together, and how the various 'moves' work. Even then, certain moves are used more than others, making them become second nature. So overall, I spend most of my time referring to maybe a dozen pages during actual game play.

Overall, a great game and highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn: Starforged
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Ironsworn: Starforged
by Anton [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2024 12:52:38

I absolutely LOVE this game! This is my first solo RPG experience and I have been using the phenomenal Stargazer app (https://nboughton.uk/apps/) with this game. It really has helped unlocked a level of creativity that was previously untapped in me just with the world building tools (the Oracles) alone. The Oracles really help one shape a consistent and believable Forge as well as creating NPCs with realistic motivations as one plays the game. And the use of the Oracles to actually play through a campaign is just something that has to be experienced. I have been having a blast playing through my version of a gritty and somewhat lawless version of the Forge as a "Firebrand" law keeper that works for a "government" that is a well-meaning, if fascistic, stratocracy.
But that is only one possibility of the Forge. Once I am done with this campaign, I can create a new version of the Forge that has a more science-fantasy theme with completely different characters that have completely different motivations. Or I can continue using the current one that continue to explore a perhaps different aspect of the Forge -- perhaps from the character who is stoking a rebellion against the status quo or just an explorer that wants nothing to do with either side. The possibilities are endless. And I think that is what is most appealing to me about this game. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn: Starforged
by Benedict [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2024 05:47:55

Phenomenal! My first solo rpg experience, and it's been great. At first I got stuck cos I didn't understand how Moves worked. But after I realized it was more PBtA and narrative, everything flowed so smoothly. Thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait to see where it brings me next!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn: Starforged
by Doric [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2024 21:06:59

Excellent game with great storytelling mechanics.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn Lodestar (Reference Guide)
by Sam A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2023 06:33:16

Lodestar Reference Guide really help to making navigating all the moves and oracles for Ironsworn 6 times easier. If you play Ironsworn, picking this up is a must.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn Lodestar (Reference Guide)
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Ironsworn: Delve
by Jarosław D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2023 16:13:34

Ironsworn: Delve is a supplement to the role-playing game (RPG) Ironsworn. As in the case of the base game, the author is Shawn Tomkin, this time supported by Matt Click. In the rest of the text, I will simply call it Delve, but it should not be confused with another game with this name.

The manual has 246 pages and is black and white (except the cover). It can be purchased in electronic version (PDF) for $12.50 on itch.io, and also in paper version on DriveThruRPG ($23.50 paperback or $28.50 hardcover). However, the crucial elements of the game (Moves reference, Site cards and Site worksheet) can be downloaded for free at the author’s website, as well as free preview, which includes the first two chapters of the Delve rulebook. In 2020, Delve won a silver ENnie Award in the Best Supplement category.

Delve is a set of tools to enhance your gameplay in Ironsworn. They are independent of each other, so each team can choose the ones that suit them.

Themes and domains The key element of the supplement, which takes up about half of the volume of the manual, are the rules for exploring dangerous sites.

Since the very beginning of RPGs, dungeon crawling has been one of the basic types of adventures – Dungeons & Dragons, Mazes & Minotaurs or Tunnels & Trolls are called so for a reason. It consists in the fact that the players' characters travel through a smaller or larger location (the so-called megadungeons fully deserve their name) in search of treasures. This is made difficult by the monsters, traps, dead ends, and dwindling resources, from food to medicine to torches. In the classic dungeon crawling, the Game Master's map of the location (on which rooms, hidden passages, traps and treasures are visible) plays a fundamental role. What does a dungeon crawl look like in Ironsworn, a system that allows you to play without a GM?

The authors, inspired by the fan-made Labyrinth Move for Dungeon World, created something groundbreaking, which I personally call a narrative dungeon crawl.

Each site consists of a theme and a domain. The theme indicates the types of inhabitants and the dangers that can be found there – e.g. Corrupted means a place tainted with dark magic. A domain represents the physical characteristics of a place – the terrain or architecture you need to walk through. Cave is a dark place of winding tunnels and claustrophobic chambers. Shadowfen is a nasty swamp. Right! Unlike the classic dungeon crawl, 4 of the 12 domains contained in Delve are "under the sky" – the already mentioned Shadowfen, as well as the Tanglewood, mountain Pass and Icereach. The others are more typical: Barrow, Mine or Stronghold. There are 8 themes – the location can be, for example, ancient, fortified or haunted. Thus, we have 96 potential combinations, and this number increases significantly if we reach for fan creations, e.g. from the Ironsmith add-on (10 themes and as many domains). Each theme card has 5 features and 12 dangers, and each domain card has 12 features and 5 dangers. I'll explain what their role is in a moment.

We Delve the Depths Delve assumes that we enter the site for a specific purpose: to obtain some item or information, to free a trapped kin, or simply to get to the other side of the mountains or swamps. Once when I played with a friend, our goal was to escape from the dungeon of the fortified fortress of a certain Extreme Eric (yes, his rank also became his nickname :)

Each site has one of five characteristic Ironsworn ranks, from Troublesome (e.g. a small burial mound) to Epic (a gargantuan castle of a vampire prince). Rank determines how many milestones separate us from the beginning of exploration until we have a decent chance of finding our goal (Locate Your Objective Move). Delve introduces 12 new Moves to the game, of which 7 refer to the exploration of sites.

The key one (as the name suggests) is Delve the Depths. We start by envisioning the place where our character is currently located. Rolling d100 will show us the characteristic feature of the location – we read the results 1-20 on the theme card, and 21-100 – on the domain card. For example, in an Ancient Ruin, a score of 15 would be a preserved corpse or fossil, and a score of 83 would be a temple of forgotten deities.

Then we choose whether we explore the location in a hurry, sneaking or based on observation and experience. Depending on this decision, we add the value of the appropriate attribute to the six-sided die roll and compare the action score with the numbers on the two ten-sided challenge dice. If the action score is higher than the score on both challenge dice, we have a strong hit – we mark progress on the 10-square track of this exploration: from 3 full squares for Troublesome to a quarter square for Epic. Additionally, we perform the Find an Opportunity Move.

Probably more often the action score will be higher than the result of only one of the challenge dice, which means a weak hit. We roll d100 and read the result from the appropriate column of the table. This is where the difference between the approaches to exploration becomes fully apparent. The hasty approach gives you the best chance of progress (sometimes even double!), but it also entails an increased likelihood of having to make a Reveal a Danger Move. As you might guess, this means rolling a d100 and applying the appropriate result from the theme or domain card. Sneaking is the safest option. Relying on observation and experience is moderately risky compared to other options, but gives the best chance of Finding an Opportunity.

Regardless of the approach, if the results of both d10s are higher than the action score – it means a miss, i.e. the need to discover the danger.

Geography and history The method described above means that we do not need a map of the location before starting exploration – even if we play Delve with the Game Master, their role is limited to introducing and describing features and dangers depending on the players' performance in the Delve the Depths Move. Nevertheless, the author encourages players to draw up a schematic map summarizing the course of the expedition, especially in the case of high-ranking sites that can be explored for many sessions.

In addition to tools for creating your own sites, Delve offers us 20 ready-made ones, scattered throughout the Ironlands. Each of them, apart from the indicated theme and domain, has half a page of historical background. They can be a valuable source of inspiration!

Passive and active threats In addition to the exploration rules, Delve expands the base game bestiary with 23 creatures, from the mere Troublesome Shroud Crab to the Epic Kraken. It also introduces anomalies – manifestations of natural forces or ancient spirits. In addition to the rules for creating them (and dealing with them), we also have 6 examples described. My attention was caught by a Circle of Stones, hungry for knowledge and memories and often hidden in snow, brush or fog. A person who inadvertently steps in between may lose their memory. Some Ironlanders do it on purpose, wanting to get rid of painful memories. Daredevils with an iron will can make a "knowledge for knowledge" trade with stones and gain information that is otherwise unavailable.

Another Delve tool is the mechanics of threats, which we can associate with quests to add drama and dynamics to them. The manual describes 9 types of threats, such as escalating conflict, natural disaster or fanatical cult.

Failures in rolls or passivity of our hero can result in an increase in the power of the threat, which should be marked with a symbol in the corner of the square on the progress track of the relevant Iron Vow. When the last square is marked in this way, fulfilling the Vow becomes impossible – the hero must abandon the quest (which for the Ironsworn is one of the worst things that can happen to them in life).

However, apart from the stick, there is also a carrot – if we manage to fulfill the Vow while the number of squares marked by a threat is equal to or greater than your vow progress, we get an additional experience point.

Delve also features another carrot – an optional failure track where you fill a quarter square whenever you fail a Move, and a half square if it's a Progress Move (e.g. attempting to fulfill an Iron Vow). When we fill at least 6 squares, the hero can try to learn from past failures, which in the best case can give us 3 experience points (just enough to buy a new Asset!).

I think the threat mechanic is a great idea – the world no longer waits passively for the hero to complete the task, engaging in various sidequests along the way. In addition, the threat approaching the end of the track can tear us out of the comfort zone (if such a thing exists in the Iron Lands) and force us to make a desperate attempt to fulfill the Vow, even when the number of filled squares does not give much chance of success. And dealing with the threat that has previously made us trouble can give great satisfaction!

Magic items and Oracles One of the motivations for delving into dangerous sites may be the desire to get a magical treasure. Delve lists 65 of them – one for each Asset, excluding animal companions. All these rarities, although they differ in description and the number of experience points that must be spent to be able to use them, mechanically they work the same. When performing a Move supported by an Asset to which the rarity is associated, some d6 results modify how the Move is resolved: 6 is an automatic strong hit (even if the challenge dice roll 10s!), 5 gives +1 Momentum, and 1 (when the result is a miss) makes things worse as the item's magic turns against us.

Delve also includes a number of new random tables called Oracles. Below we see the most important of them, very helpful when, for example, we roll for a location feature, we have "something unusual or unexpected", and we have no idea what it could be. Then we roll in the tables below and it turns out that it is, for example, a "mystical trap". In this particular case, we can refer to the next Oracles, specifying exactly how this trap works.

A treasure or a trap for our gold? If you like Ironsworn, Delve is definitely worth picking up. The tools included in the supplement greatly enrich the play. In my opinion, Delve-style exploration is a distillate of what is most exciting about dungeon crawling, and skips the repetitive corridors that turn left and right. Dangerous sites, anomalies and threats are additional challenges facing our Ironsworn, but at the same time gaining experience for failures or magical rarities increase our chances. Some of the elements introduced may seem too high fantasy for people who prefer the most down-to-earth and realistic version of Ironlands – but in that case, you can just ignore them and enjoy the rest.

There's really only one thing I don't like: the Opportunities that we can find by doing the Find an Opportunity Move are the same for all themes and domains, which can make them repetitive (especially since there are only 10 of them). Shawn Tomkin corrected this in the sequel to Ironsworn – Starforged.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn: Delve
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Ironsworn
by Jarosław D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2023 13:21:30

Ironsworn is a role-playing game (RPG) created by Shawn Tomkin. The premiere took place in 2018, and even earlier the author released a beta version, which already at this stage aroused some interest in the RPG community. It certainly belongs to the narrative kind of RPG.

The game offers 3 modes: classic guided play, with Game Master and players, cooperative, where all participants control their characters and at the same time co-shape the narrative, and solo mode. This means that the game has unusual approach to separation of powers. I’ve played all 3 modes, so I can confirm that they all work very well.

The manual has 272 pages and is black and white (except for the cover). The electronic version (PDF) can be downloaded for free on the author’s website, the DriveThruRPG portal (where it has been the most popular free game for years) or on itch.io. In 2019, Ironsworn won the ENnie Award for Best Free Game.

Who and where are we in this game?

We take the role of the titular Ironsworn – wandering heroes who undertake difficult and dangerous quests, swearing an oath on iron. Quests can result from personal motivation (e.g. revenge on the enemy), as well as be a form of payment for a favor or a spontaneous reaction to injustice – for example, our hero can wander into a village whose inhabitants live in poverty because of tribute paid to bandits, and decide to relieve them of this burden. Vows are the main driving force of the action, and fulfilling them is the only way to gain experience points and thus develop the character.

The action takes place in the Ironlands – a harsh land whose landscapes and level of technological development evoke associations with Scandinavia of the early Viking Age. Personally, it also reminds me of the northern reaches of Westeros and, to a lesser extent, Skyrim.

In many RPGs, the setting is either described very precisely, as in the case of the Old World in Warhammer, or vice versa – it is created from scratch by players in systems such as Fate, FU (Freeform Universal RPG), PbtA games (Powered by the Apocalypse, i.e. inspired by the groundbreaking Apocalypse World system). Shawn Tomkin, however, opted for the “middle option”. The Ironlands are outlined in the manual (the relevant chapter is only 20 pages, not including the bestiary), and players fill out their version of the realm with personally created details. The land consists of 9 characteristic regions – from the coast full of fjords, through dense forests, to the extremely unfriendly ice wastelands, which are the northern border of this continent. I consider the description of these regions to be a masterpiece – for each there is only half a page of text and one photo, but it is enough to feel the atmosphere of a given place and remember how it differs from the others.

At the beginning of the campaign, players define several Truths about the world – in each case they can choose one of the 3 proposed options or come up with their own. For example, you need to determine whether the Firstborn (i.e. elves, trolls and giants) in our version of the Ironlands are just a legend, or small and isolated populations, or maybe they are the dominant ones and humans are the minority.

Creating a character is simple – we have 5 attributes to which we assign values: 3, 2, 2, 1, 1. In addition, we choose 3 out of 75 Assets divided into 4 categories: Companion, Path, Combat Talent, Ritual. In Ironsworn, you don’t have to choose between being a warrior, a druid or a mage. You can choose, for example, one Combat Talent Asset (such as a Shieldbearer or an Archer), a faithful animal Companion and some climatic Nordic Ritual. Assets should not be repeated in the party – thanks to this, each member has unique abilities.

Experience points earned by fulfilling Iron Vows can be spent to upgrade our Assets or obtain new ones.

How do we act

As in PbtA games, the actions of heroes take the form of Moves, of which there are 35 in this system. When a character does something that triggers one of them (e.g. reacting to danger, resupplying or setting up camp in the wild), the player rolls 3 dice: 1 six-sided (d6) and 2 ten-sided (d10), here called challenge dice. To the result on d6, the player adds the value of one of the attributes (and sometimes other bonuses, e.g. those resulting from Assets), and compares the resulting sum (the so-called action score) with the numbers that came out on d10.

If the action score is higher than the score on both challenge dice, we have a strong hit. The character achieved exactly what they set out to do. If the action score is higher than the result of only one of the challenge dice, we have a partial success (weak hit) – the action was at least partially successful, but there were also unforeseen complications. However, if the results of both d10s are higher than the action score – it means a defeat (miss). This can be taken literally as a failure of the character’s actions, or the character may have achieved what they intended after all, but serious complications are introduced at the same time. Shawn used this example: if a hero is trying to track a monster and the player fails the roll, it doesn’t necessarily mean the trail is lost. Instead, the hero may discover something that makes his situation more dangerous or complicated, such as that one of his tribesmen is in concert with the monster. According to my calculations, depending on the amount of the given attribute and other bonuses, the risk of miss ranges from 9% to 45%. It is usually closer to the latter value.

Ironsworn’s mechanics are designed in such a way that heroes can easily get into serious trouble, but at the same time they rarely die. This creates a constant atmosphere of peril. For example: each character has only 5 Health points, which are very easy to lose, but this does not mean immediate death – when we take further damage, we must either accept receiving a serious wound that hinders some actions, or roll 2d10 and read the result in a special table. Some of its results may force us to roll a special Move called Face Death, and only failure in the latter means the hero’s sad end. Interestingly, one of the animal companions, the raven, can give a +2 bonus to the Face Death roll and thus significantly increase the chance of getting out of trouble.

How we fulfill our Vows

Each Iron Vow has a progress track consisting of 10 empty squares. It also has one of 5 ranks, from Troublesome (e.g. getting healing herbs in the nearby forest) to Epic (carrying a powerful magical ring to a volcano in a cursed land :) ).

Some of the hero’s actions, such as overcoming a dangerous obstacle, going on a journey, fighting a fight, solving a mystery, obtaining a valuable item, or supporting another character or the entire community, if directly related to the fulfillment of the Vow, may be considered a milestone. In this case, progress is made on that Vow track: from 3 full squares for Troublesome to a quarter square for Epic.

What is important: the progress track does not have to be completely filled! At any time (so long as the plot fits) the player can attempt to complete the mission by rolling the Fulfill Your Vow Move. In this case, they roll only 2d10 dice and compare the results with the number of fully filled squares (instead of the action score). The result is considered in the same way as in the case of other Moves: the task may therefore be crowned with a complete success (and earning from 1 to 5 experience points depending on the Vow rank) or it may turn out that something more needs to be done (in which case we receive a smaller reward and we can swear another Iron Vow to complete the work – but we don’t have to). We can also fail, which means a powerful blow to our Spirit (psychic equivalent of Health points – in extreme cases it can lead to madness of the character) and a potential crisis in the relationship with the person we swore to. With 4 filled squares, the risk of failure is 49%, with 6 – 25%, with 10 – 1% (there can always be two 10s!).

It may happen that when we ask someone for help in our task, that person will support us, provided we do something for them. In this way, a side quest may appear, the successful completion of which will also mean reaching a milestone in the main quest. Several quests tend to be active at the same time.

Not only quests have progress tracks – combat, travel, and dungeon exploration (introduced in the Delve expansion) are also resolved in the same way. All of these activities have 1 out of 5 ranks, and by hitting enemies or completing the next stages of your journey, you mark your progress. At the selected moment (not necessarily after filling the entire track!) we check whether we won the fight (or the enemy had some ace up his sleeve) or whether we reached the destination (or maybe it turned out that we took a wrong road or that our destination was destroyed before we reached it). This mechanic makes it virtually impossible to railroad (i.e. remove agency from players by the Game Master), and it forces improvisation!

The Game Master cannot impose:

  1. what Vows will the Players’ Characters swear (although GM can and should create situations conducive to swearing them, e.g. NPCs asking for help), whether they will choose to fight, go on a journey;
  2. when they decide that they are ready to try to fulfill the oath, end the fight, reach the destination;
  3. if they succeed (it depends on the roll).

Whom and how we fight?

Now that I’ve mentioned combat, let’s move on to the essential part of many RPG manuals, namely the bestiary. As with the Ironlands regions, there is 1 page for each of the 29 potential enemies. However, forget about solutions from classic RPGs, where each creature is described in terms of the number of hit points, armor, resistances, number and strength of attacks, etc. In Ironsworn, each creature except Player Characters has only 1 stat, namely the rank, which determines the pace of filling the progress track with successful blows and the damage that the creature deals to our heroes.

As I mentioned, the rank system is consistent across all elements of the game, so we have a cross-section of Troublesome-ranked enemies like Marsh Rats to Epic-ranked Leviathan lurking in the depths of the sea. However, the rank is not immutable. When facing a group of low-ranked opponents, we can give them one higher-ranked progress track to simplify bookkeeping. However, if we are supported by a squad of allied NPCs, we can lower the rank of the opponent – without it, we have no real chance against the strongest ones.

Creature descriptions are not limited to rank. The manual also includes the characteristics of their appearance and behavior, including their preferred tactics. For example, wild boars usually charge at their prey, while giant spiders prefer to catch it in a web or surprise it with an attack from above. During combat, the key element is initiative – if the previous Character’s Move was resulted in strong hit, then the initiative belongs to the Character and the player can perform the most advantageous Strike Move. However, if the last Move was not a strong hit, then the opponent acts (probably using one of their favorite tactics, we can also randomise its behavior with a special table), and the Character needs to react, e.g. by dodging (i.e. Face Danger Move). In the absence of initiative, the Character can also counterattack with Clash Move, but the consequences of failure are more severe than in the case of Strike.

This way, none of the participants (players or Game Master, if any) roll for the opponents – enemies succeed when Characters’ Moves, whether aggressive or reactive, fail.

How we answer questions

You already know that Ironsworn can be played without a Game Master. The question arises: who and how creates the locations, NPCs and challenges faced by the Player Characters? The answer is Oracles, a set of 20 random tables. They answer most of the questions players and their Ironsworn players may have. For example, let’s look at Oracles 4 and 6: Let’s assume that our Characters are traveling and we want to determine what characteristic waypoint appears to their eyes. We roll a d10 4 times. The first 2 results give us tens and digits from the Oracle number 4 – we got 2 and 1, which is 21 – this means Cave. The second pair of rolls is for Oracle number 6 – a 3 and a 6 are rolled, which is 36, so the cave is Occupied! By whom? The answer may be the first thought that comes to mind, or we may ask another Oracle. After that, the only thing left to do is to decide whether we should avoid the inhabitants of the cave, try to communicate with them (e.g. by performing the Compel Move) or fight them.

Oracles have a good reputation – they are used not only by people playing Ironsworn, but also other systems, as an additional, helpful tool.

Do we enjoy?

Ironsworn is a very specific game. Even RPG players who are used to PbtA games may need some time to learn how progress tracks or Initiative rules work. People who have never dealt with PbtA may be completely confused at first. I think it’s worth learning the game though. Shawn Tomkin designed it with the utmost care – the rules perfectly match the assumed mood of a harsh land full of dangers, but also honorable, brave heroes. Once we get used to the unusual rules, the gameplay is very fluid. The manual is perfectly clear, thanks to the index we can quickly find the aspect of the game we are interested in, and the PDF version is full of hyperlinks, so one click takes us straight to the desired section of the book. In addition, we have an 11-page Playkit containing, among others: a summary of the basic rules, a description of Moves and a character sheet.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Ironsworn if:

  1. you like a narrative approach to RPGs (as opposed to tactical battles with figures and a grid);
  2. you like Viking vibes;
  3. you prefer mystical rituals (mostly divination and curses) rather than throwing fireballs left and right;
  4. you are not afraid of challenges;
  5. you don’t have a willing Game Master on hand or you just want to try an unusual form of gameplay.

I advise against this game if:

  1. you want to play safety-conscious, cynical, non-empathic characters – in Ironsworn it won’t work, the characters have to be quite eager to swear Iron Vows to the people they meet (i.e. voluntarily get into new, potentially deadly trouble) to drive the action;
  2. you are bothered by a very abstract approach to inventory, prices, trade, etc.;
  3. you prefer tactical combat, with movement range calculation, counting bullets, etc.

Ironsworn has a dedicated fanbase. The official Discord server has over 8000 members, a bit more can be found on the relevant subReddit, and over 2,500 on the Facebook group. On Twitter, Shawn Tomkin has almost 5,300 followers. There are countless blogs with session reports and YouTube streams, most recommended by me is Me, Myself and Die! Season Two.

The Ironsworn community is very beginner-friendly and creative. Although the basic rulebook discussed in this text is more than enough to play a lot of adventures, fans have created many interesting additions. This is facilitated by the open license of the game. The author himself did not stop at his debut work either. But I will tell you about the additions another time.

In February 2023, i.e. about 5 years after the game’s release, Shawn Tomkin announced its second edition on the aforementioned Discord server – initially for 2025, and playtests are to start this year. The new version of the game is to include numerous solutions known from the additions to the original, more Oracles and Assets, the ability to expand settlements, but also a simplified game mode, more friendly to beginners. The author also considers a “time jump”, as I understand it, from the Early Middle Ages to the High Middle Ages (perhaps we will see a fantasy equivalent of Birger Jarl or the Kalmar Union?). I am very curious about the second edition, and in the meantime, I strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with the first one!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
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Ironsworn
by James [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2023 17:14:42

The solo, co-op, and guided modes are all fun for different reasons; they scratch different itches.

Every player that's played a oneshot of this has asked to continue playing by turning it into a campaign.

There's enough mechanical structure that GMs and players unfamiliar with Powered by the Apocalypse games will find it easy to learn.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn
by Leif N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2023 16:03:21

Ironsworn is a solo adventuring game that has all of the tools you need to go out on an adventure and discover what is going to happen. I do not consider myself a fan of PbtA games, and yet, Ironsworn's resolution system has found a way to make it click for me. The sense of discovery I had as my young alchemist traveled to find his mentor who went off to kill or be killed by a dragon is something I've never experienced in an RPG. And all it took was a few rolls on the right tables for the adventure to unfold.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn
by Jonathan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2023 08:41:55

Not a good fit for me. Seems like this game is much more for the solo player. If you like games like Fate, you might like this. It depends a lot on filling out the actings by making it up as you go. A few more mechanics than Fate, but still very much like doing improv. I do like the 2d6 plus a 1d10 dice mechanic. The timers are also interesting.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Ironsworn: Delve
by Zakk H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2023 17:39:28

Great addon to the Ironsworn RPG. It adds a good bit, I wouldn't start with it unless your already familiar with Ironsworn as it can give you some analysis paralysis with the sheer amount of options and additional material to explore/generate.

If you've played Ironsworn and enjoyed it, grab this and take it to the next level!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn: Delve
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