My IK:RPG Backup Characters

I’m on something of an IK:RPG (Iron Kingdoms RPG) kick currently. I got invited to a group and we’ve been having fun hunting down a necromancer. My first character is something of an abomination, an Iosian Field Mechanik/Ice Sorcerer that runs around with an effective defense of 19. As I’m wont to do, I’m starting to prep back up characters with the player experience I’m gaining for how the game plays and flows. Couple things that I’ve noticed (and thus are guiding my character design):

  • Magic shouldn’t be used for combat purposes early on. 2d6 + 2 or 3 (ARC) is just miserable. Magical buffs on the other hand…
  • Taking damage is not fun. Going down is horrendous (changes recovery time from hours to weeks).
  • DEF skewing is probably the best plan when combined with blast damage ignoring.

So on to the characters! I’ve been digging into some of the supplementary material that PP has produced and scattered around for IK:RPG and come to the conclusion that whoever is planning these books and releases needs to have a serious rethink about layouts and deployment plans (#grumble). The first character I’m toying with is a Stormcaller/Investigator.

Stan Topher – Human (Cygnaran) Stormcaller (KNG 89)/Investigator (IK:RPG 132)

The stormcaller career is based around zapping people with giant lightning bolts from on high using the power of SCIENCE instead of magical voodoo powers. This is done via an occupational skill instead of a military skill and that’s where things start to go a bit pear shaped. The Stormsmithing skill is based on perception and has some interesting utility built in (AoE concealment, weather control, AoE knockdown) in addition to the tasering. As written, all of these abilities require the character to make a PER + Stormsmithing roll which makes this roll both a perception roll and a stormsmithing roll (lack of playtesting, huzzah!). Coupled with Hyper Perception from the Intelligence archetype (granted through Investigator), this makes all of the Stormsmithing rolls boosted (so I’m rolling 3d6 + 1 (skill) + 5 (PER)) right out of the gates to land lightning bolts on people which is pretty good. It gets better when coupled with the Astute ability (also granted by investigator) which allows this character to reroll failed PER rolls. Because Hyper Perception is granted through Investigator, I’m free to pick another another Archetype. I went with Gifted, grabbing Fast Caster for the future class expansion. Since Stormsmithing strikes are full round actions, this would allow me to also toss out buffs to my party mates and make enemies regret their lack of electricity immunity.

Stats PHY 5| SPD 6| STR 4| ALG 4| PRW 4| POI 4| INT 4| ARC 3| PER 5|
Abilities Astute, Language (any), Specilization (Stormcaller and Lightning Rod), Weatherman, Weather Vane
Archtype Gifted (Fast Caster), Hyper Perception
Connections Cygnaran Military
Military Skills Great Weapon 1, Pistol 1
Occupational Skills Detection 1, Forensic Science 1, Interrogation 1, Law 1, Mechanikal Engineering 1, Medicine 1, Stormsmithing 1, Sneak 1
Starting Gear Stormsmith Armor, Stormcaller and Lightning Rod, 100gc

Flint Stonespray
– Dwarf (Rhulic) Artillerist (KNG 304)/Rhulic Field Mechanik (NQ_49 63)

This character is attempting to capitalize heavily on the light artillery weapons added in Kings, Nations and Gods (because the core book had none…at all) in a unique way. So most of the light artillery weapons that aren’t strange (such as shield guns) require a tripod to be deployed and a full round action to set up the gun. There are also comical penalties for lugging these things around (even though they aren’t heavy enough to threaten load capacities…). Normally I’d avoid this sort of weapon like the plague, they typically aren’t worth the action economy but I had a thought (and here’s one of the inconsistencies in the IK:RPG system, jack weapons are basically equivalent to artillery, they just incorporate integrated autoloaders and/or magazines), what if the artillery gun in question was mounted on a jack? This alleviates the action economy issues of having to deploy/undeploy the gun but still puts an action economy tax on the player character (the jack can’t make unassisted ranged attacks). When I tripped across the Rhulic Field Mechanik, I finally decided to put all of this down on paper (NOTE: This does require GM permissions because the rules don’t exist to allow this…yet). The basic idea is that the Grundback Runner has a foot platform at the rear and it’s head ranged weapon slot outfitted with a light artillery mount. The ‘Jack Marshal stands on the footplate and fire the artillery gun. I’m leaning towards a Slugger or Chain Gun since the single shot guns (Light Cannon, Deck Gun, etc) require reloading between each shot (which is a full action).

Stats PHY 8| SPD 4| STR 4| ALG 3| PRW 4| POI 4| INT 4| ARC -| PER 3|
Abilities ‘Jack Marshal, Battle Plan: Close Fire, Bodge, Hit the Deck, Load Bearing, Scorched Earth
Archtype Intellectual (Battlefield Coordination)
Connections Dwarf Clan
Military Skills Head Weapon 1, Heavy Artillery 1, Light Artillery 1, Pistol 1, Rifle 1
Occupational Skills Command 1, Craft (Metalworking) 1, Detection 1, Driving 1, Mechanikal Engineering 1
Starting Gear Deck Gun (10 ammo), Grundback Runner w/ Hailshot Cannon, Mechanik’s Tool Kit, 100gc

Nottia Jack
– Human Ironhead (NQ_52 33)/Knight (IK:RPG 134)

This is a fun character and probably my first “tank” character I’ve seriously considered. She is a late game character based around overwhelming enemies with a large number of attacks and leverages the Ironhead Armor to make those attacks hurt (for those unfamiliar, Ironhead armor is steam powered armor that is highly customizable, think Man-o-War armor and that will get you 90% of the way there). One of the big decision points I had to make with this character was what archetype to take, Mighty or Skilled. Mighty has most of the “tank” and “dps” benefits, namely Righteous Anger, Feat: Invulnerable, Feat: Vendetta and Feat: Revitalize. Coupled with the fact that might characters are weapon masters with all melee weapons, there’s a tremendous amount of damage potential to be had, but at lower accuracy and a low number of attacks (a huge hit every turn). Skilled on the other hand, seems to offer a large selection of utility to this character, an extra attack every turn, Virtuoso, Sidestep, Preternatural Awareness and Ambidextrous. Coupled with some of the career abilities I’m planning on and the power lended to the character from her Ironhead armor, I think that overall Skilled offers the better utility. Because this is a character that really needs some experience and gold to function correctly, I’m building her with 30 xp (this puts her online and ready to rumble).

Stats PHY 7| SPD 6| STR 6| ALG 3| PRW 5| POI 4| INT 3| ARC -| PER 5|
Abilities Cleave, Defender, Ironhead, Makeshift Engineering, Tinkerer
Archtype Skilled (Sidestep, Virtuoso (Great  Weapon))
Connections Mechaniks Association, Knightly Order
Military Skills Great Weapon 2, Light Artillery 1, Hand Weapon 1, Shield 2
Occupational Skills Climbing 2, Command 1, Craft (Metalworking) 2, Detection 2, Etiquette 1, Intimidation 2, Lore (knightly order) 1, Mechanikal Engineering 2, Streetwise 2
Gear Ironhead Armor, Adventuring Tack, Mechanik’s Kit, War Hammer, Combat Shield, Boot Dagger, Assault Commando Armor, Purifier, 15ft Collapsable Pole
Ironhead Armor SPD: -1, DEF: -3, ARM: +10, HP: 12. Can run or charge

Heavy Boiler (free starter), Weight Compensators x2 (150 g), Ablative Armor x2 (250g), Hardened Case x2 (150g) (550g spent on upgrades)

Additional Career Cutthroat