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Ironsworn: A Tabletop RPG Of Perilous Quests

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In the Ironsworn tabletop roleplaying game, you are a hero sworn to undertake perilous quests in the dark fantasy setting of the Ironlands. You will explore untracked wilds, fight desperate battles, forge bonds with isolated communities, and reveal the secrets of this harsh land.

Are you ready to swear iron vows and see them fulfilled—no matter the cost?
Hardcover, Print-on-demand hardcover, 260 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Shawn Tomkin
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 ·  55 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Fraser Simons
Ironsworn is a Powered by the Apocalypse game with a bunch of inspirations that make for a really elegant design. It puts an emphasis on undertaking quests in a dark fantasy world that can be tweaked to a groups tastes.

If you’re familiar with PbtA games, you’ll find a lot of moves; more than I generally like in a design. But the structure helps manage the cognitive load. Each set aside for a journey or combat, etc.

The major selling point for this game is the single player, co-op, or
Paolo Zanella
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly well-designed narrative RPG, adopting the moves from the Apocalypse Engine and solid features to support GM-less play. And it works really well. Drawing inspiration from the Mythic Game Master Emulator Ironsworn offers a lot of setting specific tables to roll on when you don't know what happens next, who is you're talking to, what dangers you face, etc.
Brilliant. I'm starting and documenting a solo play right now, hoping to draw the wife in.
And it is Pay What you want.
Thank you Shawn
Mark Austin
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From first looking at the character sheet before even cracking the rulebook, I knew this was something special. I don't know how I knew, but having read dozens to maybe hundreds of RPG books something just clicked. My intuition was correct and here's a few reasons why:

Everything has a story hook. Make a settlement? What's interesting or vital or relevant about it to the story? NPC - same. Each creature has a bit left blank for the players to fill in about its connection to the world and
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I may adjust my rating after playing, but after just reading the thing, it seems like a well organized guide to a kind of game that fills a niche in my TTRPG repertoire.

Gritty fantasy?
Dark magics?
Themes of migration and colonialism?
Fronted and consistently represented by people other than burly, beardy men?
Jeffery B Lopez
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic resource for creative writing and group storytelling.
Warren Cann
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, gaming
Well written and beautifully organised RPG. I doubt that I will play it, but I will borrow lots of ideas! Liked this statement a lot... ‘Without story, the game is an exercise in rolling dice. Without mechanics, your story lacks choices, consequences and surprises.’ The PDF is free too!
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite RP Games of all time. I find myself playing it more than any other game in my collection. Ironsworn is supported by a friendly author and one of the most welcoming communities I've ever been lucky enough to be a part of.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really intuitive rules make this a great supplement for story telling in groups, a pair, or alone.
Brad Ellis
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set in a harsh country known as The Ironlands, Shawn Tomkin has created a low-fantasy role-playing game system that allows for fictional narrative framing to both add to and be part of the game's mechanics.

In Ironsworn, players portray competent-yet-flawed characters who swear vows on pieces of iron (blades, coins, pendants...iron is their most valued and revered commodity) which come to be known as "Iron Vows". These vows are the plot mechanics which set the players' goals and move the story
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ironsworn is much smoother and fun than I could have possibly expected. I went into the my first solo-session assuming that it would be a fun thought experiment on what can be done to shake up my own preconceptions about RPGs. A couple sessions into my own Ironsworn campaign and I am delighted by the smoothness of the mechanics and fiction flowing into one another. This is a brilliant addition to the broad Powered-by-the-Apocalypse canon and everyone should at the very least read through it. You ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book, nicely edited and great layout. Outstanding rules for solo, co-op or GM play. This book and rules will help to drive the narrative of your RPG game, crafting great stories than you can use later in other adventures and campaigns. One of the most simple but clever game mechanics and conflict resolution I've ever seen in an RPG. Outstanding, a must-have in your library, highly recommended.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ironsworn offers a coherent world (or, rather, a set of assumptions about the setting) that pushes just the right buttons for me, and a ruleset that might just be the first Apocalypse World inspired mechanic that actually speaks to me. The added fact that this is first and foremost a solo RPG is intriguing, and the fact that the PDF is free to download is just icing on the cake.

Will soon check this out, but first impressions after reading it are extremely positive!
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ironsworn is not d&d. If you try and make it d&d it will not be a fun game for you. If you want to play a more narative driven game that self propels it's players at goals that they make for themselves then you will enjoy this game. It has a solo play mode that is amazing. It's completely free. Go get this game.
Antonio Soto Patiño
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excelente sistema de juego de rol en solitario, con el que escribes y disfrutas tu propia historia, y un muy elaborado sistema para que la aventura sea flexible y con giros y momentos creativos. Gran conjunción de libertad creativa con un esquema con el que te guías a ti mismo como director de juego o game master.
Jason Vanhee
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great game, as written, and it sounds like it will play well. I like the reflavoring/updating of the Powered by the Apocalypse base into something unique and a little clunkier. The rules focus is heavier than a typical PbtA, which I prefer a few more rules honestly. The setting is only sketched out but is both familiar and evocative enough to work well. Great use of inclusive art and writing.
Craig Stilabower
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great solo RPG. Free in pdf. Amazing role play and will make you a better DM/GM/Keeper
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