In this dark fantasy, sword&sorcery setting you are a member of the Brotherhood of the Iron Fist, a company of mercenaries who work in the shadows in the City of Judas.
The setting focuses around an imaginary Jerusalem, heart of flaming religious crusades between the church of Christ and the cult of Judas, with the new sept of the Book of Q getting stronger each day. Which side will you choose to fight for?
But that's not enough: evil monsters, dark demons and wicked minions will try to partake in the feast.
City of Judas is an Apocalypse World dark fantasy hack, for 3 to 6 players.
The manual contains a set of new moves, additional mechanics such as the Advantage Die, original combat mechanics, ten different playbooks of Iron Fist mercenaries for your players.
The GM section includes GM Principles and GM Moves, a guide to the first session and character creation, elements for missions and fronts, and a complete set of wild monsters and demons.
A Quickstart document will help you start the game with half-pregenerated characters, maps and mission ideas for your Brotherhood. Use it for your one-shots and convention games.
The City of Judas is Jerusalem, in a dark and imaginary middle age, populated by mysterious cults, invaders from Europe, and surrounded by demons and monsters and the evil forces of sorcery.
The adventures should take place within the city itself, in its palaces, fortresses and streets, or in the immediate surroundings, between villages, cities, untamed forests and deserts, in ports and seashores. Sometimes you can venture in the remote and mysterious regions to the east, to the forests in the north, to the desert in the south, perhaps even in Europe, but the key remains Jerusalem.
The Iron World is dark and hard; get rid of fancy fantasies, powerful heroes and noble stories that fill your head, and start fresh.
Think instead of poor villages, rocky deserts and scraggy animal, dirt and blood, swords and axes, soldiers and mercenaries.
Think of unwelcoming cities and closed communities, unsafe roads and villages plagued by war and poverty; think of long marches in unwelcoming territories, of fortified cities under siege, of sea ports busy with the traffic of ships bringing yet more warriors from Europe.
Think of cold castles in the north, of burning deserts in the south; think of brutal guards and soldiers following the orders of ambitious and greedy nobles.
Think of dark woods infested by mysterious and ferocious monsters, of wicked caves infested by demons barely kept at bay by broken sigils, and of obscure sorcerers at work to set free these forces of evil.
Knights are uncommon and chivalry code is out of the question when you're fighting for your life.
These are dark times; life is hard, both for warriors and peasants.
CHRIST AND JUDAS
When the Roman Empire collapsed, the majority of the population in Europe slowly converted to the new Christian religion. It was a slow process, and old pagan beliefs still survive in small remote enclaves or in the privacy of some noble houses. Most of the nobles and peasants in the various kingdoms in Western Europe, though, profess their loyalty to Rome and the Pope. Among all the five important Christian Patriarchates - Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinopolis, Rome and Jerusalem - the Roman Papacy is gaining importance, through the crusades and strong ties with the nobility.
In the meanwhile, through the centuries, a separate sect of Christians, the Judaists, gained importance in the Holy Land. They claim to follow the teaching of Judas, the apostle that raised an army against the Romans after Christ was crucified. Judas became the symbol of a new era - almost as powerful as the Christ - for the poor and the oppressed, for those who fight the current order and the power of the nobility.
Note that Judaists are not the same as Christians, but a separate religious entity; in fact, these two often clash, more or less openly, for the control of the Holy Land.
THE IRON FIST
The Iron Fist is a mercenary company, a brotherhood and a guild, which connects people of different extractions and different trades: from merchants to warriors, from sea captains to nobles, and so on. Open to be hired by anyone, by commoners as much as nobles, the Iron Fist is a well known, and sometimes feared institution, but certainly not always respected nor beloved.
The characters entered the Iron Fist - the Brotherhood, as its members call it - just recently, each one with his own background and history, each one with his own motivation. At the start of the game, all characters somehow know each other; perhaps some better than others, perhaps just barely by name and reputation, but still: they're together in the Iron Fist.
The Brotherhood, whose main headquarters are in Europe, has recently established a fortress also in the heart of Jerusalem. A lot of its warriors played some part in the crusades and in the last siege of Jerusalem. The Brotherhood is renowned, although not always well respected, because it works with both the Cult of Judas and the Church of Christ, and hosts members of any religion or background.