Q&A Time: Iron Kingdoms Unleashed With Privateer’s Matt Goetz

June 3, 2015 by crew

It is no secret that I am ever-so-slightly obsessed with Privateer Press due to entering the Hobby with Warmachine and Hordes. I jumped at the chance to ask Matt Goetz, the RPG Producer at Privateer, all about their recent release of Unleashed – the new RPG based on their successful Iron Kingdoms franchise!

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed (Box)

If, like me, you are guilty of being ‘RPG-curious,’ read on to find out if Unleashed could be your first role playing experience!

Dani: Let’s kick things off by finding out just what Unleashed is; what made you delve into the wilder side of Immoren?

Matt: Iron Kingdoms Unleashed is our new stand-alone role-playing game for the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game line. While compatible with Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy, it is a complete game on its own.

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed (Books)

Putting out Unleashed was an unparalleled opportunity to examine a part of the setting that, while massive and interesting, didn’t yet have representation in the Iron Kingdoms RPG line.

There were always plans to examine the wilderness cultures of the Iron Kingdoms, but we never realized how deep we’d be delving. As production of the book went on, it was clear that we were turning the lens on corners of the world that hadn’t yet been examined in this kind of depth.

How is Unleashed different to the Iron Kingdoms RPG that already exists?

While it is built on the same skeleton as Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy, the flesh of Unleashed is quite different. The different races and cultures available in Unleashed are quite distinct, and we went out of our way to reinforce their unique qualities.

Iron Kingdoms Pre-Generated Characters

Every group in Unleashed, be they something like the reptilian bog trogs or a group as diverse as the various trollkin peoples, needed not only a wealth of background information but also their own distinct careers, magical traditions, warbeasts… well, the list goes on.

The tone also differs between the two books. Where we could, in Unleashed we endeavored to be more light-hearted. The content of this book can be pretty grisly—honest, it’s all cannibals and ritual sacrifices and soul-thievery—so we did our best to remind people to not take it all so seriously.

What is the ‘Adventure Kit’ and how does this fit into Unleashed?

The Adventure Kit is a complete adventure in a box. It contains an abridged rulebook, scenario, fully-assembled figures, map tiles and tokens, dice… you name it. The Adventure Kit is not only a good way to get started playing Iron Kingdoms Unleashed, it also serves pretty much any Unleashed Game Master as a toolkit for running games.

The components are modular and provide for some incredible recombination, which is something I hope many Game Masters take and use to build their own cool adventures.

Is there an Adventure Kit for IKRPG?

Not at the moment, no. There is a fun introductory adventure, Fools Rush In, available on our website and through Drive Through RPG. Plus, many of the components in the Unleashed Adventure Kit work great for Full Metal Fantasy games. (Provided they take place beyond the walls of a city, that is).

Why did you decide to release Unleashed as a separate game, rather than supplement IKRPG? Can they be played together?

Releasing Unleashed as a supplement was actually the original plan, but like I mentioned before we discovered during production that there was enough stuff in it that it really needed to be its own book. At the end of the day, I’m happy we went down this road, as it allowed us to reassess certain elements of the rules that required more robust exploration for the Unleashed side of the setting.

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed (Models)

Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy and Unleashed can absolutely be played together, though in most cases the societies reflected in the two books will be at odds. There’s some advice in the book on how the games can play nice together.

While the Adventure Kit contains a campaign for players to undertake could it be a great jumping off point for making our own adventures?

Absolutely. Hopefully most people treat it that way! The scenario in the Adventure Kit ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, and offers some suggestions on where to take things from there on out.

Do you think that Unleashed a great starting point for those of us who are RPG-curious but have never played? If so was this an important factor in designing the kit and the RPG as a whole?

It certainly has a fast-and-furious play style that I think will appeal to first-time players of RPGs. I rather enjoy running demos of the game for people who haven’t played a role-playing game before; in my experience they do some of the most entertaining and creative stuff at the table.

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed (Board)

While there are options in the book that are probably better suited to more experienced players—Warlock careers, I’m looking at you—there are also rather straightforward careers as well. Say, a farrow slaughterhouser/warrior. He’s probably not the sort to be interested in complex intrigues, he’s a powerful boar-man with a great big chopper on a stick looking to hand out some hurting.

I play (and love) Warmachine and Hordes. Will Unleashed expand my enjoyment of these games?

I hope so! Players of WARMACHINE and HORDES can get a lot out of the detailed background information we put in the book. A lot of time and care was taken to flesh out the world and give the reader an idea of what the environment and its people are like.

I’ve fallen madly in love with my Warcaster. Is there a way I can play as her and create my own fluff in Iron Kingdoms then also potentially bring her back into my games of Warmahordes?

I suppose you could, but your Tournament Organizer might give you a funny look!

Thank you so much Matt!

I would absolutely love to demo a game with someone who is equipped with the experience of helping new players into the world of RPGs. It is something I’ve wanted to try for a while. With my love of Privateer Press pretty evident, I wonder if this would be the perfect way to start?

Dani Abram

What do you think?

"If, like me, you are guilty of being 'RPG-curious,' read on to find out if Unleashed could be your first role playing experience!"

"While there are options in the book that are probably better suited to more experienced players—Warlock careers, I'm looking at you—there are also rather straightforward careers as well..."