Review: Iron Kingdoms – Kings, Nations & Gods

IKRPG Book 2 CoverKings, Nations and Gods is the first full-scope companion volume for the new version of the Iron Kingdoms RPG, a minis focussed (but not essential) RPG set in Privateer Press’ wargame world of Warmachine and Hordes.

Kings, Nations and Gods presents the updated history and geography of the world of Immoren along with the demography, politics etc of the game world and new career and equipment options.

As someone who played the old d20 version, but never liked the system, I was blown away by the level of game detail in the older books. KNaG is a worthy successor but doesn’t go into quite the same level of detail as the old d20 version. In a way this is good, leaving more gaps for players and Games Masters to put in their own ideas and thoughts but as praised as the older version was, it seems odd to have shifted away from that, but it’s not entirely unwelcome.

That’s not to say that this isn’t a weighty book, hardback and nearly 400 pages it is jam packed with information and since it also includes full-on game information it is dually useful, not only as a lore sauce but as one that greatly expands the personalisation of characters and the scope of equipment for the game.

As with the previous version it’s divided into sections, by region with the history and current events/situation leading up and into the game information.

For me, the product shines in its sheer level of presentation and content, primarily as an equipment/character book and secondarily, since I already have the original world books but don’t follow the wargame, catching me up on the state of the world. Reading through the product, the history and current events cause ideas for games to leap out – whatever sort of concept your gaming group runs on.

There’s some flies in the ointment though…

1. Distributing the information throughout the book makes quick reference of it difficult. I’d have rather separated the actual ‘engineering’ (the stats) out into an appendix for quicker and easier reference.

2. My copy has blurred printing on a handful of pages through the book rendering those pages virtually unreadable. Fixable by finding a pirated PDF but I’d rather not have had to do that. It’s a let down in a book that otherwise is very well presented. I have no idea if this is a problem just with my copy or whether it’s afflicted others.

3. I feel really, really sad for Llael.

4. There’s nothing to speak of on Cryx, Ios, Rhul, the Skorne etc. I imagine this’ll be coming in another book. Rather than Kings, Nations and Gods this could have been called ‘Hoomins’.

Style: 4
Substance: 4
Overall: 4

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