Iron Kingdoms Requiem 5e
Updated: May 1
What is Iron Kingdom Requiem?
Embark upon a journey of adventure and intrigue in a world where steam power and gunpowder meet sword and sorcery. Armed with mechanika and accompanied by mighty steamjacks, explore the soot-covered cities of the Iron Kingdoms and the aftermath of the otherworldly invasion of the infernals.
Take on the persona of unique character classes, like the gun mage, who combines powerful magic with a deadly acumen for firearms, or the steamjack-commanding warcaster, who can command 10-ton autonomous machines of war with just a thought. Explore a fantastic world rebuilding itself after an apocalypse as it marches onward with its industrial revolution.
The lands known as the Iron Kingdoms have been shaped by strong faiths, the acts of the gods themselves, and centuries of conflict. They are home to proud peoples whose identities and cultures are inextricably linked with the ground upon which they build their homes and cities, and although they have survived plague, famine, war, invasion, and the horrors of the Claiming, the citizens of these kingdoms—and the people of the wilds that surround them—know that their greatest challenges may yet lie ahead.
What are some unique features of the Iron Kingdoms that help it stand out when compared to other settings and supplements?
Of all the benefits that magic has brought to the people of the Iron Kingdoms, mechanika—the synthesis of the arcane and the mechanical—has had the most profound impact. It has
revolutionized industry and warfare in every way imaginable, and its innovations continue to create new marvels. By using magic to overcome engineering obstacles, mechanika allows for the reliable production of tools and weapons that harness arcane energies and apply them in useful ways, putting the power of the arcane in the hands of those who might not otherwise have it. Many gifted individuals make their livings as arcane mechaniks, practicing industrial thaumaturgy in the crafting of potent devices, and those with the skills and aptitude to do so are always in high demand.
Steamjacks are among the greatest of all modern mechanikal wonders, and they have revolutionized warfare, industry, and agriculture in countless ways since their introduction to western Immoren. Laborjacks work in logging camps, freight yards, docks, and construction sites throughout the continent, and every citizen of the Iron Kingdoms is familiar with the fearsome sight of warjacks—the greatest weapons of war of the modern age, equipped with dedicated military weaponry and the most advanced cortexes that the finest arcane mechaniks can produce.
These steamjacks combine all the principals of mechnika, demonstrating how the melding of magic and industry can produce something beyond the powers of either. Steamdriven engines power a metal chassis controlled by a cortex, the steamjack’s mechanikal brain. Although not as smart or adaptable as humans, steamjacks possess a basic intelligence and an ability to solve specific problems—two properties that combine with their tremendous strength and durability to make them incredibly valuable as heavy laborers.
The Iron Kingdoms are a widely varied place, and characters’ natural aptitudes determine as much about their abilities as the parents they were born to and the places they grew up in. When creating a campaign, a DM can decide to use the following rules for essence in addition to those for race, class, and background. When using these rules, racial ability score increases are not used. Those values are instead determined by a character’s essence and background. Each essence also grants an additional trait and access to feats that have the essence as a prerequisite. Below is an example.
Capable of true bursts of genius, characters with the Intellectual essence are often exceptionally intelligent and think impossibly quickly, and clearly. Characters with this essence are cerebral thinkers and planners who see all the angles and anticipate the likely course of action taken by those with lesser minds.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score increases by 2.
Intellectual Aptitude. Choose one of your skill proficiencies or tool proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses the chosen proficiency.
At 11th level, you can choose another skill proficiency or tool proficiency to gain this benefit.
Each essence grants access to unique feats related to that particular essence.
Prescient. At the beginning of a combat encounter, if you are not surprised, you can choose to take the first turn instead of rolling initiative. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Quick Thinking. Your nimble mind enables you to act impossibly fast and take advantage of the slightest hesitation by your enemies. You can take one action or bonus action at the end of another creature’s turn. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Humans are by far the most prevalent of all the settled peoples of western Immoren, but they are by no means the only ones. In every city from Uldenfrost in the far north of Khador to the sweltering isle of Blackwater in the Scharde Islands, a range of other races call the continent their home. Clever gobbers build communities in and among human cities, hulking ogrun bellow out commands in factories and on docksides, and savvy Rhulic dwarf mercenaries and traders haggle over the price of goods or services in the streets, all while teams of urban trollkin patrol their communities clad in tartan and plate mail. In some cities, the former inhabitants of the Shard Spires, the enigmatic Nyss, live among their cousins from mysterious Ios. Almost every permanent settlement in the Iron Kingdoms is home to various peoples, languages, and customs. 7 New races each with their own unique variation of subrace.
All the standard classes exist in the Iron Kingdoms, although some have different roles and levels of social acceptability. In addition to the standard classes, the book presents options for classes unique to the Iron Kingdoms, ranging from clever alchemists, who use simple reagents to produce incredible alchemical items, to warcasters, skilled arcanists who can bond with the fusion of magic and technology known as mechanika. It contains five new classes, the Alchemist, Gun Mage, Mechanik, Warcaster and Gunfighter which are very well done. Beyond that, there are 31 subclass options across the new classes and core classes.
Adventuring companies represent groups of characters bound together for some purpose. A company provides a theme, unique benefits, and a loose framework for a group of characters.
Creating an adventuring company is optional and can be done only with the GM’s consent before the start of the game. Unless the GM mandates the use of an adventuring company, all players must decide whether to form a company. If they agree to do so, they then select one company concept for their characters. A group of characters can gain the benefits of only a single adventuring company; it cannot benefit from belonging to multiple adventuring companies. As an adventuring company earns accomplishments and gains notoriety, it receives unique benefits and recognition for its deeds.
There are eight adventuring companies in the Iron Kingdoms. To be able to join there are particular prerequisites and furthermore to increase in tiers of prestige requires specific company accomplishments.
For example: Joining the Law Dogs only requires being trained in Investigation or Insight. This grants the boon of patrolling streets in your downtime and reassuring the locals and serving as an intimidating presence against lawbreakers. What’s really cool is that for a number of days equal to the days spent engaged in this activity, you gain advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks to gain information from local citizens. So even joining right away there is a bit of a benefit.
The next step in ranking up to earning even better benefits is to earn that prestige and that can be done through special accomplishments. For the Law Dogs for example; foiling a criminal plot, recovering stolen goods, or preventing an innocent person from being wrongfully punished are just a few examples. With each increase in tier, the benefits get even better.
For the Law Dog reaching Tier 4: Justicar earns you Legal Immunity. Your company has earned so much respect from lawmakers and other enforcement in your kingdom that you can operate with near impunity. Barring extraordinary circumstances, you are immune to reprisal for actions that occur during your pursuit of a criminal.
RUNEPLATES & CAPACITORS
Runeplates are the surfaces on which magical runic formulae are inscribed. They are created from rare, magically attuned materials that can harness powerful arcane energy. Mechanika runes are the magical formulae inscribed onto runeplates. These runes transform the magical energy charging the runeplate into arcane effects. Each rune is a true expression of the arcane mechanik’s craft, and the inscription of different runes upon powerful runeplates allows for almost unlimited combinations of arcane effects.
Myriad different runes are used in mechanika. Some are small and simple, effecting a minor arcane change in a device, while others involve elaborate and interlocking series of symbols capable of producing powerful and extensive effects.
Every mechanikal device requires a power source to fuel its runeplate. Although capacitors technically function very differently from one another, each is designed to provide energy to the item it powers. The amount of energy a capacitor stores depends on the size and type of the capacitor, and the rate at which the energy is consumed depends on the item’s runeplate and how it is used.
Electrocutioner (Melee Weapon, Ranged Weapon). As part of an attack, you can expend 2 charges of the item’s capacitor to deal an additional 2d8 lightning damage. If the attack hits a steamjack, the steamjack must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be incapacitated. The steamjack can attempt this saving throw at the start of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
Quicken (Armor). As a bonus action, you can expend 2 charges from the item’s capacitor to activate this rune to drastically improve your reflexes. For 1 minute, you can take the Dash action or the Disengage action as a bonus action.
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Monster: Apprentice Gunslinger
Lost/Altered Features: -2 AC (lost shield), brute, morningstar, javelin, surprise attack.
Focus Points. The gunslinger has 3 focus points. It regains all spent focus points when it finishes a short or long rest.
Aimed Shot. The gunslinger can spend 1 focus point before it makes an attack to gain advantage on the attack roll.
Blackpowder Backfire. The gunslinger can spend 1 focus point to take the Disengage, Dodge or Hide action.
Explosive Shot. When making a pistol attack, it can spend 1 focus. Hit or miss the shot explodes. The target and each creature within 5 feet of it must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 3 (1d6) fire damage.
Pistol Whip. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.
Pistol. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 2) piercing damage.
Quick Draw. At the start of the round the gunslinger can use its reaction to make two attacks with its pistol.
Encounter: The Price of a Life
Husband holds hospital hostage to save wife he can’t afford. While the characters are visiting a temple during a time of strife. The temple is overwhelmed by victims. The healers are doing everything they can to ensure they heal and care for as many of the wounded and lame as they can. A recent plague has struck a nearby village in the midst of strife. A filthy old retired and honorable veteran named Gilbert stumbles in carrying his extremely ill wife Juliana (f, commoner). Her eyes are bleeding, she is so thin her bones show visibly through her flesh.
Gilbert has traveled several days to reach the temple. He seeks healing for his elderly wife. None of the half-dozen village healers he’s met can help her. They directed him to this temple upon hearing the temple’s leader Eliza is a cleric and can cure even the most grievous of wounds. Eliza tells Gilbert that the level of healing she would need to stave off the disease requires a vast amount of power and a large collection of diamond dust to harness. While Eliza has enough materials for a single patient, she believed it would be best served on a younger person with a much longer life ahead of them. Juliana is elderly and doesn’t have much time left anyway.
Gilbert is horrified and uses his strength to take the entire temple hostage. He commands everyone into the primary sanctuary and bars the temple doors. With blade and anger, he threatens to burn the entire place down and destroy all the medicines they do have if they don’t give Eliza the treatment she needs. He will do anything for her. She is his light. While Eliza knows what Gilbert is doing is wrong, she is afraid of dying. Every 30 minutes that passes more materials are destroyed and patients die without care.
Emmeline, a young girl of age 12 is to receive the last components for the greater restoration spell to heal her severe wounds. Her father Clerebold is at her side and is furious with the couple that is stripping away his daughter's future. What will our characters do?
Magic Item: Runeaxe of the Greylords (Iron Kingdoms)
Weapon (battleaxe), uncommon (requires attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, while you are attuned to this weapon, if you score a critical hit against a creature with it, the target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed until the end of your next turn.
Dungeon Master Tip: Go Beyond!
Throughout all manner of media; comics, movies, novels, games, pretty much anywhere a story is told we see examples of heroes going beyond their limits. When a hero is battered, bruised, and fatigued. Yet, as the situation becomes dire, they somehow find the strength to continue. Releasing one last push of effort. This moment can have the audience on the edge of their seat as they know it could make or break the situation in the hero's favor. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly something Dungeons and Dragons really offers. Which is a shame, since they have the perfect mechanic to allow it, exhaustion.
Exhaustion is a savage debuff that can easily destroy a character in D&D. But, a level or two isn’t too bad. Especially since a long rest can remove a level of exhaustion. So why not use it? If we offer the players a choice, a chance to potentially alter the game one way or another, will they take it? What we are suggesting is allowing a character to recover a single use of an expended feature or spell slot (level up to their proficiency bonus) that would otherwise be unavailable to them. We give them the option to Go Beyond! All it takes is risk.
A player who decides to attempt this action must succeed on a DC 10 + their proficiency bonus Constitution saving throw. On a success, they gain one level of exhaustion and gain access to a single use of a feature and/or spell of their choice. On a failure, they can still succeed but gain two levels of exhaustion. This allows for that potential epic moment, but at a cost.
Player Tip: The Lazer Grinder!
When characters are surrounded by a contingent of enemies or even a single big bad it’s easy to want to simply deal as much damage as possible. This isn’t always the best option. Sometimes better tactics make the difference in victory. Here is a powerful combo that can turn the tide in your favor, or just give you a safety blanket against potential threats.
The core of this combo is two potent spells Plant Growth and Sickening Radiance that serve two very different purposes. Together, however, they become a laser grinder for a single big bad or many minions.
How does it work? Plant growth allows the caster to fill a 100-foot radius area with thick and overgrown plants. This makes the movement extremely difficult, costing 4 feet of movement for every foot it moves. Looking at 30 feet is the standard. Basically reduces any creature in the area’s movement to 5 feet. That is not much movement. An enemy that can’t reach you can’t do much damage unless they specialize in ranged combat. In either case, this spell is already detrimental in combat. Oh, and it doesn’t require concentration. But what if we could make it worse? Enter Sickening Radiance.
Sickening Radiance allows the caster to cause a burst of light to spread in a 30-foot-radius sphere centered on a point within range. As you can imagine, casting a spell that forces a Constitution saving throw and deals 4d10 radiant damage on creatures that can only move pretty much 5 feet per turn is devastating. But it gets even worse. Failing the saving throw also adds one level of exhaustion to the creature. Not only is each level devastating, but if they can’t escape and earn 6 levels, they just die. This spell does require Concentration but lasts up to 10 minutes. Have fun pissing off your GM with this one. But don’t be surprised if they use it against you later down the road.
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Keep your blades sharp and spells prepared heroes!
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