Privateer: Iron Game Master Competition


Put your GM skills to the test in this even at Lock & Load!

Matt Goetz gives us the details:

A roleplaying game may not be a competitive experience, but that doesn’t mean Game Mastering can’t be.

At this year’s Lock & Load GameFest 2016, we will host the Iron Game Master competition, our first-ever event to determine the cream of the crop of Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game Game Masters. Game Masters have the chance to prove their mettle (or metal, perhaps) by running a short game for a group of volunteer players. Players will vote in a number of categories, and Privateer Press staff will be on hand to determine who was the winning Game Master for each day, as well as who is the Iron Game Master of Lock & Load 2016!


The rules of the event are simple: create the coolest adventure idea you can that plays in about an hour. Like any good competitive cooking show, we’ll have the ingredients on hand (like map tiles and figures) for you to run the adventure. It’s up to you to pull them together into a fast-paced and fun scenario. The following are the guidelines for the Iron Game Master Competition.

Our Ingredients
To give each Game Master things to work with, we will be providing the contents of the Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Adventure Kit, a selection of figures from the Undercity board game, and the contents of the Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Game Master’s toolkit. Each table will have four pre-generated characters and figures (the four original members of the Black River Irregulars: Colbie Sterling, Eilish Garrity, Milo Boggs, and Gardek Stonebrow).

Each adventure the Game Masters create must adhere to the same theme. This year the theme is secret cabal. Your game can feature a cult of Thamarites or Infernalists, a secretive order of the Fraternal Order of Wizardry, a Cephalyx hive, whatever you want! The better your game suits the theme, the better chance you have to win.

Your Secret Ingredient
In case there’s something that you absolutely must have for your adventure to be a success, we’re allowing you to bring along your own secret ingredient. This can be any single thing. Need a terrain piece to make your set piece encounter work? Bring it along. Have a specific antagonist in mind but only your converted miniature could capture its true menace? Bring it! There’s no limitation to the size, complexity, or type of secret ingredient, but everybody gets only one.


Of course, the Iron Game Master has to be someone who has a proven ability to think on his or her feet, to adapt to a changing situation, and to turn even the silliest of obstacles into success. Over the course of the event, a Privateer Press staffer will provide a set of complications to test your skill.

How the Game Master adapts to these complications will separate the iron from the dross and go a long way to determine the ultimate winner of the title of Iron Game Master. Can you keep your game on track while forced to describe everything in a pirate accent and can no longer use your hands to roll dice? Can you run an encounter with your eyes literally closed? If so, maybe you have what it takes to win the…

In addition to holding the title, the competitors have the chance to win some great prizes. Each day’s winner will walk away with a prize, but for the true Iron Game Master we have partnered with Wyrmwood Gaming, who will be producing a one-of-a-kind Masterworks dice tray. Made with silver stringing and Bolivian Rosewood inlay, this tray has an engraved rolling surface bearing the Iron Kingdoms logo and the hard-earned title of Iron Game Master!


Alright game masters – are you in?

  • euansmith

    Those are probably going to be some fun games, with the GMs pulling out all the stops.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. I’m sad lock and load is on the other side of the country from me. I would have loved to play in some rumbles vs the staff and game designers with mk3 rules. So cool

      • Shawn

        Yeah that would have been awesome. PP is on the opposite side of the country for me too. Maybe they’ll start having the competition at Gen Con. Now that would be doable.