Ironborn: a race of artificial creatures usable as player characters, with customizable ability packages that provide unprecedented flexibility at character creation. These ability packages give you an optimal choice for each class you wish to play. However, ironborn are not superior to existing races and are still playable as 1st-level characters. Included with this is a plug-and-play 1st-person point-of-view descriptive text that allows for an easy introduction of this new race into your existing campaign as though the race only came in the campaign world recently. In addition, each ironborn has a burden, or an inherent urge to perform the duty for which it was constructed.
Updated from 3.5 to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this product also includes:
New descriptive text told from an ironborn perspective
22 ability packages
The ability to create your own Ironborn Cohort
The Constructed Sorcerous bloodline
Clockwork Familiar template
From the same designer who crafted the hugely successful Evocative City Sites and the best-selling Feats 101 comes the first book in the extraordinary Questhaven Campaign Setting. This new line brings you the best of the 3.0 and 3.5 Open Gaming Content updated for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each element is customized yet kept modular, providing game components beyond the core products helping to create an evocative campaign experiences.
I picked this PDF up because it was an option for a steam-punk inspired game I was looking at. I really liked the character options so that you can tailor the character specifically to your needs. I know this book is dated but I'd really like to see options for favored class and traits to really flesh out a character. I highly recommend it to anyone and the fluff and crunch can be dropped into nearly any campaign as long as you are comfortable with the concept of an Ironborn.
The Ironborn of Questhaven is an exciting race that can be easily added into any Pathfinder campaign with some creative storytelling. (Treasure-hunting Pathfinders delve into ancient Thassalonian temples waking the sleeping ironborn! The Clocktower of Absalom dials open its inner workings and reveals its guardians and workers! A iceberg cleaves off the glacier in the Lake of Mists and Veils, revealing a hidden frozen temple protected by immortal Ironborn guardians!)
The PDF has a smooth layout and the illustrations simply whet the appetite for more unique ironborn.
The authors incorporate organic components into the ironborn to make them more accessible living characters instead of the easy route 'talking robot' characters. This eliminates some of the large complaints about those OTHER construct player character races. There are many roleplaying ideas and well-thought out options available to individualize your character with the numerous 'packages' available, each roughly equal to the Pathfinder Society Traits options for character generation.
The personalization options to craft radically different ironborn make for unique characteristics and avoids the cookie-cutter syndrome. This PDF includes additional ironborn Feats, a Sorcerous Bloodline, Clockwork Familiar template, and introduces motivational starting points for ironborn characters with the creation of Burdens, driving instincts derived from the ironborn master's purpose in crafting them. ironborn characters can learn to craft other ironborn, perpetuating their race and creating unique personalized cohorts.
One of the best Pathfinder compatible races available!
I HATED, HATED, HATED the Warforged. There are several reasons for this and it has, quite frankly, been the main reason for me not to buy this pdf for a long time. Until one of my players asked, whether it would be possible to play a gear-enhanced human and presented an excellent 4 page backstory. I dislike construct races for PCs, but his concept was cool.
To the review:
The base race is VERY well-balanced and the ironborn-subtype features the construct-flair without making wilderness/starvation/environmental adventures a joke for the character. Kudos!
The true strength is the versatility of the race, though. You choose a base-suit of abilities according to the purpose of the ironborn.
The concept of the "burden", i.e. an instilled craving to do what it was created to do helps to easily drop them in any adventurer group and makes for nice roleplaying opportunities.
The ability suits are well-balanced, with one possible exception: The Centurion Suite is, on low levels, the ULTIMATE tank. Plus, it hits a pet peeve of mine: It has a 25% chance to negate crits against the players. This is the only suite I'd exclude for my players, at least until they are level 5. My favorite was the Omenbuilt: I'm going to use the mini-token mechanic for other chars, too. Awesome!
The feats are well-designed and don't seem to be too overpowered, although two of them hit another pet peeve of mine: "Spring-loaded Reflexes" and "intricate joints" give Ironborn access to uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge, respectively. These are class features for me, not something that other classes have readily access to without multi-classing.
While the prose is good, it's not as AWESOME as the prose in the "Wyrd"-pdf.
Due to the fact that it hit 2 pet-peeves of mine, I give it 4 stars. Highly recommended for any campaign and better designed than the warforged.
Don't just look at the stars above (more to the story)
The main reason I gave this three stars is not due to the work put into this. Not only is the original concept a pretty good one when it first appeared in The Book of Iron Might, but the work to update and extract the OGL material into this product is pretty good as well.
Its a good, general construct race that doesn't require quite as much backstory as a certain other living construct race. That having been said, I guess I'm still of the opinion that I'm very leery of introducing a construct PC race. If I had a player that wanted one, I'd certainly offer this one up for use.
On top of the fact that living constructs can be a touchy subject, there is the fact that the race can be highly customized. This is both a plus and a minus. For someone that just wants to play a "golem," it might be a bit much to see all of the options at one time, although with a little digging its pretty obvious what are the best choices for what type of character you are going for.
So, to fully explain my three stars, I'd have to say that its more a matter of thinking that this race might need to be carefully introduced into a campaign for what it is, rather than the quality of the work involved. Not only is the design work solid, but its a fun read.
Give it a look, but if you are the type of GM that doesn't want too many "non-standard" races running around, know that you may need to be careful with how often you throw these around or how much access you let your players have to these guys.
An excellent Modular Race suitable for use in most Campaign Settings...
The Ironborn are (in my opinion) a superior alternative to the Warforged and are actually relatively easy to slot into any established Campaign World with only a few minor adjustments to their history.
Obviously their current incarnation was written with the Questhaven Setting in mind, but by simply changing this to another City (all be it a slightly removed one from the current placement of your PCs) you now have an extremely versatile race to add to your Campaign.
As I noted in my title, this Race is amazingly modular in it's customizability, due to a few factors.
The Ability Packages, I think, are the real winner in this .pdf and are what really make the Ironborn shine. The idea that every Ironborn is created with a specific purpose in mind lets you take options for your character that will enhance the role that you have decided to cast your Ironborn Character in and truly work towards making each one a little more unique.
The capacity to chose your attributes has a nice twist to it that I think lets them have an edge without letting them become too powerful and they also have a small suite of Feats to help them out.
I also like the ability to play both Small and Large Ironborn and how it is handled in a way to keep them in line with a regular Medium Ironborn in terms of power.
My other big like in this .pdf though is (not a surprise to anyone who has gamed with me using the Pathfinder Rules) the addition of the Constructed Bloodline. I'm a huge fan of the Sorcerous Bloodlines and I think that this one captures the essence of what it is like to have magic coursing through your constructed being.
Now the non-rules stuff:
The backstory is masterfully written to integrate them into Questhaven and as noted above is quite easy to adapt for your own use.
Sections on their Society and Relationship with other Races as well as a Height and Weight Chart all help to give us a full view of this Race and aid in the Character Creation process immensely.
All in all, a top notch product and one which has me itching to play an Ironborn Character.