With the next Iron Kingdoms Kickstarter for Borderlands and Beyond just days away, we present our final interview with the writers behind the next installment of the setting. Even if you don’t know him, Tim Simpson is no stranger to the Iron Kingdoms, having been around since the beginning of IK time. He has written numerous articles for No Quarter magazine (including a particularly noteworthy piece in 2018 for the IKRPG, “Vive la Resistance,” focused on the Llaelese Resistance) and was an excellent contributor to Unleashed Wild Adventures (2016). But Tim can tell his own history, including his commitment to his favorite Faction…
I’m Tim Simpson, and I have been a long-time fan of the Iron Kingdoms. I am a loyal son of the Motherland and faithful servant of Zevanna Agha. Some already know me from helping with Warfaire (formerly WARMACHINE) Weekend, as well as previous work I have done with Privateer Press via No Quarter and the Full Metal Fantasy RPG.
What was your first experience with the Iron Kingdoms?
My first encounter with the Iron Kingdoms was via Mk 1 WARMACHINE. My best friend had bought the original starters as well as the original Prime, and I was hooked from both the story and the cool-looking Khador models. Bought in right away and then immediately picked up all the related 3.5 RPG books available.
When writing new material for an RPG, do you know where you’re going right from the beginning, or is the writing a journey of discovery, as it were?
For me, it really comes down to the subject matter and how quickly I can connect to it. For Borderlands and Beyond, there was a very solid connection right away to several portions I got to work on with only one or two exceptions, where it took me a bit longer to wrap my head around the concepts. But once I made the connection, it started working itself out fairly quickly.
What was it like to work with the other writers on this project?
Working with this group of writers was one of my favorite parts of working on this project. Some of them I had worked with previously on other Iron Kingdoms-related content, so we already had an established relationship. However, everyone seemed to coalesce relatively quickly, and in my mind, it felt like what I would hope to see in a TV or film writers’ room. Lots of open discussion and information shared along with some really good conversations, both work related and not. Individual and group conversations definitely helped me with some ideas I was working through, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team or editor to collaborate with.
What do you find most unique and engaging about writing for the Iron Kingdoms RPG?
The Iron Kingdoms is such a unique setting amongst the many different fantasy worlds and realms. There really isn’t much else like it, which can afford a bit more out of the box thinking when creating new rules and concepts. The other element that really works well for the Iron Kingdoms is that has some serious depth that was established via WARMACHINE, HORDES, and the previous editions of the RPG. I tried to lean into those ties as much as possible, as I think it’s always nice to deepen those connections as well as to give a little fan service here and there, when it makes sense.
Do you playtest your own material or do you feel confident enough in your composition to predict its playability?
I try to, although that’s not always possible with deadlines and one’s life outside the writing. Thankfully, I have a handful of close friends who have good experience with playtesting as well as a strong background with RPGs and in particular 5e. I trust them and my editor to keep me from going too wild or crazy with my ideas.
What’s taboo in developing for an RPG that first-time writers should know to avoid?
I don’t know if I would call this “taboo,” but I would try to steer first-time writers and players away from the long-standing and established tropes that are sometimes built into playable races. In my opinion, it allows the writer to stretch themselves in new and creative ways, which makes for a better experience and overall a better product.
What excites you the most about the material you or someone else has written for Borderlands and Beyond?
I have so many things I am excited about in Borderlands and Beyond. Of the things I have worked on, the two I am most excited about are Iosan Warcaster Traditions and a new, playable race, The Soulless. You can now play as one of the increasing number of Iosans who have no soul. That may not sound like much, but it really afforded us an opportunity to not only provide a unique option with in-game rules to reflect that status but also to add something that was well established in the background of the world and hadn’t been in RPG in any meaningful way previously. With regards to the Iosan Warcaster Traditions, any Retribution of Scyrah players will like the ties I built into the first two traditions. The third is completely new (and I would even say a bit radical), so I can’t wait to see reactions to what we called the Void Touched.
It’s almost time! The Iron Kingdoms Kickstarter launches October 12, so be sure to get in on the action as soon as possible to get those early-bird specials! Visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/privateerpress/iron-kingdoms-borderlands-and-beyond to get notified as soon as the campaign is live.
The post Iron Kingdoms: Requiem – Author Interviews: Tim Simpson appeared first on Privateer Press.