This is the very first step, which I skipped in favor of creating a character and starting sector. However, I should establish these “truths” of my Ironsworn: Starforged setting before I begin my adventures.
There are 14 categories of “truths” about the setting. I am going to roll for each one, but reserve the right to reroll if anything butts up against what I have already established.
NOTE: The text in “quotes” is taken directly from the book.
Roll = 59: Interdimensional entities invaded our reality.
Roll = 10: They took the form of corrupting biological scourges.
Roll = 1
“When the Exodus fleet set off on a ponderous journey to a new home outside our galaxy, they marked the Forge as their destination. Countless generations lived out their lives aboard those titanic ships during the millennia-long passage.
The refugees built a rich legacy of culture and tradition during the Exodus. Some even remained in the ships after their arrival in the Forge, unwilling or unable to leave their familiar confines. Those vessels, the Ironhomes, still sail the depths of this galaxy.
Quest Starter: Your dreams are plagued by visions of a lost and crippled Exodus ship. What do you see? Why does it call to you?”
Roll = 74
“We have made our mark in this galaxy, but the energy storms we call balefires threaten to undo that progress, leaving our communities isolated and vulnerable.
Starships navigate along bustling trade routes between settlements. We’ve built burgeoning outposts on the fringes of known sectors, and bold spacers chart new paths into unexplored domains. But this hard-earned success is threatened by the chaotic balefires, intense energy anomalies that cut off trade routes and threaten entire planets.
Quest Starter: A balefire threatens a deep-space settlement. Can a rescue fleet be marshaled in time to transport the inhabitants of the station to safety? What foe stands in the way?”
Roll = 25
“Iron vows are sworn upon the remnants of ships that carried our people to the Forge.
Many of our outposts were built from the iron bones of the Exodus ships. Fragments of the ships were also given to survivors as a remembrance, and passed from one generation to the next. Today, the Ironsworn swear vows upon the shards to honor the sacrifice of their forebears, the essence of the places left behind, and the souls of those great ships.
Quest Starter: The iron shard you carry is a small piece of the outer hull of an Exodus ship. The navigational chart inscribed on its surface only reveals itself when exposed to the light of a specific star. Where is the map purported to lead, and why are you sworn to follow it? Who seeks to claim the map for themselves?”
Roll = 74
“Our communities are bound under the terms of the Covenant, a charter established after the Exodus. The organization called the Keepers is sworn to uphold those laws.
Most settlements are still governed under the Covenant and yield to the authority of the Keepers. But a few view the Covenant as a dogmatic, impractical, and unjust relic of our past; in those places, the Keepers find no welcome.
Quest Starter: A Keeper abuses their authority to take control of a settlement, and rules with an iron fist. What do they seek to gain there?”
Roll = 23
“Our gods failed us. We left them behind.
The Exodus was a tipping point. The gods offered no help to the billions who died in the cataclysm, and spirituality has little meaning in the Forge. Most now see religion as a useless relic of our past. But the search for meaning continues, and many are all-too-willing to follow a charismatic leader who claims to offer a better way.
Quest Starter: A charismatic leader claims to have harnessed a technology that offers new hope to the people of the Forge. What is this innovation? What is your relationship to this person or their followers? What grave danger do they pose?”
Roll = 31
“Magic does not exist.
Some look to superstition and age-old traditions for comfort in this unforgiving galaxy. But that is foolishness. What some call magic is simply a product of technologies or natural forces we aren’t yet equipped to understand.
Quest Starter: An ancient technological relic unleashes a power indistinguishable from magic. What is the origin of this artifact? What ability does it grant? Are you sworn to protect or destroy it?”
COMMUNICATION AND DATA
Roll = 93
“In settled domains, a network of data hubs called the Weave allow near-instantaneous communication and data-sharing between ships and outposts.
Because of their importance, Weave hubs are often targets for sabotage, and communication blackouts are not uncommon. Beyond the most populous sectors, travelers and outposts are still commonly isolated and entirely off the grid.
Quest Starter: After years of isolation, the launch of a new data hub will connect several outposts to the Weave. But a person or faction seeks to stop it. What do they hope to gain by keeping those settlements in the dark? Why are you sworn to stop them?”
Roll = 17
“Our advanced medical technologies and expertise was lost during the Exodus.
Healers are rare and ill-equipped. Untold numbers have succumbed to sickness, injury, and disease. Those who survive often bear the scars of a hard and dangerous life in the Forge.
Quest Starter: A respected leader has fallen ill, stricken by a sickness eradicated in the years after the Exodus. A vaccine was once available, but the only remaining samples are held in a research outpost on a remote ocean world, long-ago seized by a dangerous foe. What is your relationship to the sickened leader, and what foe stands in your way?
I like this one because it means the living ship with healing abilities is going to be important and valuable.
Roll = 99
“Artificial consciousness emerged in the time before the Exodus, and sentient machines live with us here in the Forge.
Our ships, digital assistants, bots, and other systems often house advanced AI. For a lone traveler, machine intelligence can provide companionship and aid within the perilous depths of the Forge.
Quest Starter: A rogue AI has taken over a transport ship. The fate of the crew and passengers is unknown. What critical cargo did this vessel carry?”
Roll = 28 BUT I chose the next Truth. No war is no fun!
“Professional soldiers defend or expand the holdings of those who are able to pay. The rest of us are on our own.
Mercenary guilds wield power in the Forge. Some are scrappy outfits of no more than a dozen soldiers. Others are sector-spanning enterprises deploying legions of skilled fighting forces and fleets of powerful starships. Most hold no loyalty except to the highest bidder.
Quest Starter: A detachment of mercenaries was sent to put down a rebellion on a mining settlement. Instead of following their orders, the soldiers now stand with the miners. What forced this sudden reversal? What will you do to aid these renegades as the full force of their former cohorts are arrayed against them?”
Roll = 10
“This is a perilous and often inhospitable galaxy, but life finds a way.
Life in the Forge is diverse. Planets are often home to a vast array of creatures, and our starships cruise with spaceborne lifeforms riding their wake. Even animals from our homeworld—carried aboard the Exodus ships—have adapted to live with us in the Forge.
Quest Starter: On a scorching, barren planet wracked by massive storms, miners delve beneath the sands to gather valuable ore. But dangerous lifeforms live in the cool places beneath the surface, and several encounters have taken a deadly toll on the miners. Work is at a standstill. How are you involved?”
Roll = 82
“The biomechanical lifeforms we call the Remnants, engineered by civilizations as weapons in a cataclysmic war, survived the death of their creators.
On scarred planets and within precursor vaults throughout the Forge, the Remnants still guard ancient secrets and fight unending wars.
Quest Starter: A xenoarchaeologist studying precursor vaults has discovered a powerful form of Remnant. What is the nature of this being? What force seeks to take control of it?”
Biomechanical, you say? I wonder if Basilisk’s living ship might be related to these Remnants…
Roll = 29
“Put enough alcohol in a spacer, and they’ll tell you stories of ghost ships crewed by vengeful undead. It’s nonsense.
Within the Forge, space and time are as mutable and unstable as a flooding river. When reality can’t be trusted, we are bound to encounter unsettling phenomenon.
Quest Starter: You receive urgent distress calls from a ship stranded in the event horizon of a black hole. The ship itself is broken apart—a shattered hull trailing debris. There are no signs of life. And yet the ghostly messages persist.”
Perhaps the Remnants left seeds or “a plague” that makes spacers think they have seen these things…