Posted by: markfender | October 30, 2013

World Writing

Have you got the new Iron Kingdoms book, Kings Nations and Gods?

IKRPG Book 2 CoverWell, I have it. And it’s pretty good. It’s got a bunch of new careers and equipment and stuff to make just about any military unit from the nations of the Iron Kingdoms. There’s all kinds of useful game information in there.

It’s also bigger than the main book, which was already quite a hefty tome. Because it details every square inch of the Iron Kingdoms. Every. Single. Square. Inch. I could tell you who’s the mayor of every single city. I could tell you how many acres the Fairfield’s farm is. I might even be able to tell you who wore blue last week. It’s got a lot of details, is what I’m saying.

None of these details are particularly bad. It’s potentially interesting information. One of the thing the book does fairly well is making that wealth of detail actually interesting. While my game may not venture anywhere some of the places detailed, if my game were to move there, I’d probably have a few hooks in place for when the party got there. So that’s good.

However, it strikes me as the opposite of how I’d write up a setting. I tend to live by the proviso of “let me write up some interesting places for this place.” Whereas, IK seems to go for “Let’s put something interesting in every place.” Neither of these approaches is wrong (they both use the word “interesting”). But I’m apparently a more free-form sort of person who’d rather have some stuff that could slot in anywhere rather than every last detail of a make-believe place.

So, despite the engaging writing and generally decent information, I found my eyes glazing over while reading this book. Which just proves to me once again that I am the worst gamer on the planet. I apparently like the opposite of what everyone else likes in this hobby. What is up with that?


  1. The IK World Guide (which I bet you can see on a shelf from where you are sitting now) was the same way but without the rules. And coming from a miniatures game I think people identify more closely with one of those specific areas than you get in a normal roleplaying game. I know to know the history of the Motherland, no some generic area I can put in if we happen to be playing there.

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