YOU ARE IRONSWORN
In the Ironsworn tabletop roleplaying game, you are a hero sworn to undertake perilous quests in the dark fantasy setting of the Ironlands.
Others live out their lives hardly venturing beyond the walls of their village or steading, but you are different. 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?
Quest-driven mechanics and fast, flexible character creation
Story hooks and creative prompts to eliminate game prep and push your adventures forward—with or without a GM
A setting guide for the Ironlands, a rugged and treacherous peninsula at the edge of the known world
Inspiring tools to customize your setting and fine-tune your game experience
Extensive advice, examples, and options for exploring the story of your characters and their fateful vows
THREE WAYS TO PLAY
One or more players take the role of their characters, while a gamemaster (GM) moderates the session.
You and one or more friends play together to overcome challenges and complete quests. No GM required.
You portray a lone character driven to fulfill vows in a dangerous world. Good luck!
Whatever mode you choose, you will create your character, make some decisions about the world you inhabit, and set the story in motion. When you encounter something dangerous or uncertain, your choices and the dice determine the outcome.
Your character is composed of stats and trackers. These elements help you determine the outcome when you perform risky actions. As you complete quests and gain experience, you add new assets—skills, animal companions, combat talents, and rituals —which deepen your abilities and options.
Character creation is fast and flexible. Assign values to your stats. Pick some starting assets. Play.
The Ironlands setting is gritty fantasy on a rugged frontier. Generations ago, your people settled here in the wake of a cataclysm which drove them from the Old World. Now, you live in isolated villages of wood and thatch at the edge of dark forests, or as nomads among the northern hills, or as seafarers along the rugged coast. Your world is bounded by deep woods, violent seas, and imposing mountains where only the reckless or resolute venture.
However, the default assumptions are only a starting point. You are encouraged to make Ironsworn your own, and to bend the setting to your liking. Your version of the Ironlands will be unique because you’ll define aspects such as the history of your people, magic, mythic beasts, and much more. The choices you make will also help inspire the personal vows that drive your character.
You can also ignore the default setting entirely and play in your own world, or in one inspired by media, history, or another RPG. The Ironsworn rules are flexible enough to accommodate many forms of fantasy and historical fiction.
MYSTICISM AND MONSTERS
Magic in Ironsworn is subtle, evocative and mysterious. Mystics seek to ward away the darkness through the practice of magic, but often succumb to it.
Magic is performed through rituals which help to support your actions or act as unique moves. Like all assets, rituals can be selected as you gain experience and can be upgraded over time to make them more flexible or powerful.
These rituals are often used to protect Ironlanders from supernatural horrors and monstrous beasts. In the Old World, they were superstition and legend. Here, they are nightmares made real.
If it suits your version of the Ironlands, rituals and mythic creatures can also be ignored entirely.
In the Ironlands, a vow is sacred. When you declare your solemn promise to serve or aid someone, or to complete a personal quest, your honor is bound to that vow. Abandoning or recanting an oath is the worst sort of failure.
When you swear a vow, you touch a piece of iron. It can be an iron coin, a weapon, or your armor. It’s an old tradition. Some say the iron, a piece of the primal world, serves as a conduit to the old gods—so they may better hear your promise.
Vows are the core of playing Ironsworn. It is your vows that drive you. These goals create the context for your adventures and challenges. As you fulfill vows, you gain experience and new abilities.
In Ironsworn, moves help you decide what happens when you do something dangerous or uncertain. There is a move for most common actions and situations you will encounter in Ironsworn.
Ironsworn moves are inspired by the innovative, fiction-first mechanics of games such as Apocalypse World and Dungeon World.
Momentum is a special track which is core to playing Ironsworn. When you have positive momentum, you are building on your successes and ready to make decisive moves. When you have negative momentum, you have suffered setbacks and your quest is in jeopardy.
You can use momentum to gain a decisive result — or avoid dire failure — on a critical move.
THE ACTION ROLL
When you make a move representing a risky or uncertain action, roll three dice at once: An action die (D6) and two challenge dice (D10). Add your relevant stat and any bonuses to your action die. This is your action score. Then, compare your action score to each of the challenge dice and check for a strong hit, weak hit, or miss. The move will tell you how to interpret the result.
Your action score is greater than both the challenge dice. You succeed at what you are trying to do.
Your action score is greater than only one of the challenge dice. You probably succeeded, but with a lesser effect or cost.
Your action score isn’t greater than either of the challenge dice. You failed, or you need to make some serious concessions.
Did you roll a match on the challenge dice? If so, you encounter a surprising complication or opportunity.
Ironsworn Oracles help answer questions in solo or co-op games, or provide inspiration for the GM in guided play.
Ironsworn includes a full suite of moves and oracle prompts designed to lead your story in exciting and unexpected directions—with absolutely zero preparation.
GET IRONSWORN NOW
It's FREE IN PDF
The free download of the Ironsworn RPG includes the 270-page rulebook, character sheet, printable asset cards, and reference handouts. It's a complete game, ready to play. Want a physical copy? You can also purchase the rulebook in hardcover or softcover.
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