Have recently been reading Iron Kingdoms, from Privateer Press.

Have recently been reading Iron Kingdoms, from Privateer Press.

Have recently been reading Iron Kingdoms, from Privateer Press. I thought it would be cool to adjust the hireling rules so that a character could have their own Steamjacks – or, frankly, any sort of automaton.

I’m not sure if anyone has put something like this together, so here it is – advice on refinements or clarifications is welcome and desired. 

All of this is the result of natural outcroppings of the regular hireling rules – I thought they worked far too elegantly for the situation to ignore. This may all be entirely too obvious to take up a post in the community, but i figure, meh, why not? 


Mechanical (non-sentient) Hirelings are defined by their SKILL (or skills), a COST, and a FUNCTIONALITY score.

“When  a [Mechanical] hireling finds themselves in a dangerous, damaging, or flat out crazy situation due to your orders, roll+FUNCTIONALITY. On a 10+ they stand firm and carry out the order. On a 7-9 they do it, but they are damaged or impeded in some way, reduce FUNCTIONALITY by 1. 

If a [Mechanical] hireling’s FUNCTIONALITY falls below 0, it is damaged beyond operation. Severe abuse or lack of maintenance may eventually lead to its utter destruction.  

A [Mechanical] hireling can be repaired to restore +1 or more FUNCTIONALITY, depending upon the skill of the repairer. The absence of regular maintenance may reduce FUNCTIONALITY by -1.

NEW COST: ‘maintenance and repairs.’ 

A [mechanical] hireling’s starting numbers will be based on where it was acquired or the skill of its inventor, ranging from 2-5, 4-6, 5-8, and 6-10. 

2 thoughts on “Have recently been reading Iron Kingdoms, from Privateer Press.”

  1. I kind of like those ideas for granularity, David Guyll – thanks for the suggestions!

    As I refine this for my players, I might give both versions a try – I didn’t want to stray too far from the standard rules to start, but I like that a mechanical hireling’s abilities can degrade with damage – certainly something to consider.

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