“The Mouser sighed. The moment had come, he knew, as it always did, when outward circumstances and inner urges commanded an act, when curiosity and fascination tipped the scale of caution, when the lure of a vision and an adventure became so great and deep-hooking that he must respond to it or have his inmost self-respect eaten away.”
― Fritz Leiber, Swords in the Mist
Ill Met in Five Fingers is a campaign set in the City of Five Fingers in the Kingdom of Ord, in the world of the Iron Kingdoms. The campaign uses the Iron Kingdoms RPG system, a proprietary system which is largely compatible with the Privateer Press strategy games Warmachines and Hordes. While the game is not fully compatible with WM/H, it is close enough so that the game will feel familiar to the strategy game players.
The campaign will be designed around “game store rpg dynamics,” with short adventures spanning 3-5 encounters, designed to finish before the store closes (3-4 hours typically). This is to allow for players coming and going, with a persistent game world that players can feel immersed in without having to feel like they are obligated to show up week after week.
Adventures will be conducted at approximately 6 pm (gamer time) on the first, third, and fifth (if there is one) Thursday of every month (additional games will be added if the GMs schedule permits). Adventures will be designed for between three and five players, with slots going on a first come/first served basis (with some exceptions). A sixth person will be allowed if everyone shows up on time and is ready to play by 6.
Players are not required to own the game materials, but are encouraged to purchase the “Iron Kingdoms Core Rulebook”. New players that come to play with a character already rolled up and ready to go will always have priority over people who come to play with nothing. In addition, knowing the rules helps speed things up immensely, and ensures I can pack in more and more encounters every week. Players that don’t buy the core rules are encouraged to download and familiarize themselves with the IKRPG Quick Start Rules found in the Fools Rush In scenario.
Players are also encouraged to find a privateer press model (either a warmachine of hordes model or one of the IKRPG models) or a compatible miniature company model on a 30 mm base (or 40 mm for trollkin and ogrun).
The theme of the campaign is going to be a gritty mercenary game, with lots of intrigue and double-crossing going on behind the scenes, which will tend to spill over into the game sessions. The sessions will mostly be 70% tactical hack-n-slash (with figures on a game board), with investigation, puzzles, and skill challenges thrown in between combat encounters to break up the combat and avoid boredom. Additionally, for the RP junkies there will be an in-character forum that players are encouraged to partake of (though it is not required) used for random character development and one-on-one character interaction.
What this means: While I will not be planning to kill your character, I’m not going to stop it from happening. Your characters will be mercenaries, and death is one of the hazards of the job. The enemy NPCs you face will be trying to kill you, and will as often as not be an organized fighting force under the direction of an intelligent leader. Leaders will typically tell their troops to “kill the spellcaster first,” “focus attacks on my target,” and use dirty hit and run tactics. In addition, I won’t be fighting that hard against TPKs as well, and I’ll likely use them as a plot device more than anything else. Rolling up characters in IKRPG is quick and easy, and dying is almost as easy. I will not be trying too hard to prevent this unless it is clearly because I’ve written the encounter poorly (it does happen).
THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION TO THIS. If you put a lot of time and effort into your character (i.e. write a background story, do a lot of roleplaying, buy or convert and paint a mini, etc.) I’ll be way more likely to fudge rolls to keep you alive. I feel really guilty about killing characters that are loved by a player.
Characters will primarily be rewarded with experience for playing at the store; however, if you can’t make it I will award experience for posting to the website with in-character stuff. Also, I will be awarding bonus XP for updating the campaign webpage with adventure summaries and wiki entries.
At some point I will give everyone a mandatory minimum amount of XP so that newly created characters aren’t ridiculously weak compared to their more experienced counterparts; however, for the moment everyone will start at nothing, and reroll at nothing when they die.