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Quick Look: Ironsworn: Starforged

Updated: May 14, 2023

Welcome to the vast expanse of Ironsworn: Starforged, where a perilous galaxy awaits those who dare to venture into the unknown. This standalone tabletop roleplaying game is a follow-up to the award-winning Ironsworn game and features story-driven mechanics that place your character at the center of their quest-driven adventures.


The game includes inspiring campaign launch exercises that allow you to build your setting, create your character, and set off into a universe full of perils and opportunities. With creative prompts, you can eliminate game prep and push your adventures forward, whether playing solo or with a group. Additionally, generators provide on-the-fly discoveries of spaceborne locations, planets, settlements, creatures, and more.


As a spaceborne hero in Starforged, you will explore uncharted space, unravel the secrets of a mysterious galaxy, and build bonds with those you meet on your travels. The game's extensive advice, examples, and options provide ample opportunities to explore the story of your characters and their fateful vows.


What’s Inside


Setting:


In Starforged, your adventures take place in a vast, chaotic galaxy known as the Forge. This globular cluster orbits your people's home galaxy, and is characterized by vast clouds of interstellar nebula, vibrant interplanetary dust, and strange energies. The Forge is constantly wracked by fiery stellar storms and unpredictable gravitational currents, giving rise to planets and stars born of chaos.


Your people fled to the Forge two centuries ago following a catastrophic event in their home galaxy, seeking new opportunities. However, their new home is fraught with peril as ancient civilizations with dangerous knowledge and forbidden power, conflicts between factions, raiders and pirates, and baneful creatures and dark forces dwell on the corrupted planets and in the depths of space.


The flexible Starforged rules allow you to adjust or ignore the default setting to explore your own unique form of perilous science fiction.


Characters:


In Starforged, your character is at the center of the story. You'll manage your character's stats and trackers through the character sheet, using them to determine the outcome of risky actions. As you progress through the game, completing quests, making discoveries, and forming bonds, you'll gain experience that can be spent on assets such as vehicles, modules, paths, and companions. These assets will not only deepen your abilities but also provide more options for your character to explore the galaxy and accomplish their sworn quests.


Mechanics:


Starforged offers a unique system based on the concept of Momentum, which is essential to the game mechanics. Players can accumulate momentum by making moves, representing progress in their quests, and securing advantages. However, suffering costs that cause delays or disadvantages can also result in losing momentum. Players can then use momentum to gain a decisive outcome or avoid a critical failure in a significant move. The game includes various moves for different situations and challenges, and when making a move, players roll three dice - an action die and two challenge dice. A strong hit is achieved when the action score beats both challenge dice, while a weak hit is when it beats only one. If the action score doesn't beat either challenge die, it results in a miss, leading to a failure or serious concession. The game also includes Oracles, which help players answer questions in solo or co-op play, providing inspiration for the guide in guided play.


Themes:


In Starforged, the default tone is gritty and focuses on human-centered science fiction set in a dangerous frontier. The world is full of people struggling for survival in harsh environments, with much knowledge lost or forgotten. The game draws inspiration from various sources, including The Mandalorian, Star Wars, Firefly, Alien, Dune, Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, players are encouraged to create their own universe, bending the tone to their liking by defining aspects such as the history of their people, technology, communities, lifeforms, and supernatural abilities. This approach ensures that each player's story and setting are unique.


Who’s It For


Ironsworn: Starforged is for anyone who loves science fiction and space opera. It's perfect for players who enjoy narrative-driven games that offer both structured mechanics and flexible improvisation. This game is designed for both experienced and new players who are looking for a game that is easy to learn and can be played solo, as well as cooperatively with friends.


If you're a fan of the original Ironsworn RPG, you'll love the new sci-fi twist that Starforged brings to the table. And if you're new to the Ironsworn universe, this game is a great entry point that can lead to even more amazing adventures in the Ironlands.


For those who are interested in designing their own sci-fi setting, Starforged provides a comprehensive toolkit to help you create your own unique and interesting universe, complete with its own lore and storylines.


Final Thoughts


One of the standout features of Starforged: Ironsworn is its flexibility. It can be played solo, cooperatively, or guided, allowing you to play in a way that suits your preferred style. For solo players, the game provides a rich and immersive experience with its engaging narrative mechanics and intuitive systems. The oracles and moves provide a framework for creating a compelling story on your own, while also offering enough unpredictability to keep things fresh and exciting.


For those who prefer cooperative play, Starforged: Ironsworn offers a shared experience that encourages collaboration and creativity. The game's mechanics promote a collaborative storytelling approach, where players can build on each other's ideas to create a shared universe filled with unique characters and compelling conflicts.


Additionally, the game's emphasis on quest-driven narratives and character development make it an excellent choice for players who enjoy immersing themselves in a rich and evolving world. With each completed quest, your character grows and gains new abilities, providing a sense of progression and achievement that keeps players invested in the game.


Overall, Starforged: Ironsworn is a game worth considering for its flexibility, engaging narrative mechanics, and immersive world-building elements that make it a fantastic option for solo and cooperative play alike.



In this article, some content was generated using ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI. The generated content was then edited and arranged for accuracy and readability by RPGPDFs.

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