[[quoteright:293:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Iron_5969.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:293:Our heroes!]]
''Ironclaw'' is a TabletopRPG of Anthropomorphic Fantasy published by Sanguine Productions. Its first edition came out on 1999, with its second edition released in 2010. The setting is a LowFantasy setting with the themes of a MedievalEuropeanFantasy experiencing [[TheRenaissance the rise of the flintlock, the musket and the merchant classes as powerful influences]]. The big difference is that all the races that live in this game are [[PettingZooPeople anthropomorphic]] [[FunnyAnimal animals]].

''Ironclaw'' takes place in the continent of Calabria, the majority of the lands controlled by the Great Noble Houses:

* '''Avoirdupois''': The House of horses, chivalrous and austere, with a history of [[BurnTheWitch strong religious convictions]]. Their army is the strongest in Calabria, though their hesitance to modernize might spell their downfall.
* '''Bisclavret''': The House of wolves who cast off their [[NobleSavage traditional roots]] to claim the resource-rich woods, giving them control over lumber production (and subsequently, shipbuilding). They are for the moment the House most interested in progress and innovation.
* '''Doloreaux''': The House of boars, beset on all sides by rival Houses and with only enough farmland to subsist, is the most aggressive of all Houses. The official religion is the worship of a [[MotherNature fertility goddess]] and, naturally, the clergy is all female.
* '''Rinaldi''': Greatest of the Great Noble Houses, the grey foxes count the High King of Calabria as one of their own. They rule from the city of Triskellian, the greatest of all cities and the origin of the continent's biggest religion. Sadly, their titles are hollow and their rule is wavering. The true powers of the city are the Guild Masters. Still, the House basks in their remaining power and plays at still being relevant.

Apart from the Great Noble Houses and their vassals, two other forces lay claim to territories in Calabria:

* '''Phelan''': These are the wolves who continue to keep their old ways, the five clans continuing to live as their great-grandfathers did. To outsiders, this is a land untouched by civilization and fraught with dangers. They even say that goblins known as the Morrigna live in these dark woods.
* '''Chevernaise''': Goat-tribes who inhabit and lay claim to the Rothos Mountains, something that infuriates the Doloreaux to no end.

The players take the role of adventurers plucked from the new middle class. They have esoteric skills and abilities above the common unskilled laborers, and have access to expensive equipment. Meanwhile, the nobles of Great Houses fight their petty wars for more power, and are not above using those below them as pawns in their game. The world is waking up to an Age of Reason where technology is slowly catching up to magic and the old ways of government are being questioned.

In addition to the main book, Sanguine Productions also published a number of supplements for first-edition ''Ironclaw'', detailing the major political players of Calabria. For second edition, they have released two supplements so far - the ''Book of Mysteries'', the ''Book of Jade'' and the ''Book of Adventures'', all of which have updated versions of materials from [=1e=] supplements. Additionally, Chris Goodwin, who did all of the illustrations for the second edition's species chapter, has released a book titled ''[[http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1604690 Ironclaw: A Bestiary]]'', which contains those illustrations as well as the full versions of the descriptions he wrote for them.

Sanguine Productions also made an Oriental-themed anthropomorphic RPG called ''Jadeclaw''; the first edition was separate from Ironclaw but the second takes the form of a supplement called ''Book of Jade''.

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!!''Ironclaw'' Provides Examples of:
* AbusivePrecursors: Heavily implied to be the case with the Autarchs.
* AChildShallLeadThem: A few examples
** Don Constantin Rinaldi's father died of plague when he was a child, he almost died as well but his nurse had a religious experience and developed white magic, after she died curing the city he and his mother founded the Church of S'allumer.
** One of the Avoirdupois kings, Paien IV, was three years old when his great-grandfather died (after outliving his son and grandson), his uncle Childeberd was his first regent but his financial policies caused a massive rebellion and he was assassinated by one of his own guards. His second regent exascerbated the civil war by giving the rebel lords' titles and lands to loyalists. Paien IV later died just a few years after his official coronation.
** The current Bisclavret Duke, Mausein, was nine when he ascended four years ago, it remains to be seen whether his [[RegentForLife regent]] will step down when he comes of age.
* AllPartOfTheShow: In the adventure "The Wages of Envy" it's stated that any fighting the PC's do in an opera house will be taken by the wealthy, somewhat sheltered nobles in the audience as part of the show. Even the villain firing an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribauldequin organ gun]] on stage will be seen as mere "opera grotesque."
* AnimalStereotypes: Each of the species detailed have their own quirks and stereotypes. Note that these are ''InUniverse'' examples of stereotypes, as well; the Species Descriptions are largely how the other species see ''each other''.
** Armadillos: Tough-skinned pacifists with a penchant for introspection.
** Badgers: Artisan homebodies. The most stable of the mustelids.
** Bats: As the only flying mammals, they suffer FantasticRacism, with some notable overtones of the UsefulNotes/{{Romani}}.
** Bears: [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Pagan seafarers and explorers]] slowly being assimilated into cosmopolitan life.
** Boars: Tough, relentless, and [[TheDeterminator determined]] to prove [[AnythingYouCanDoICanDoBetter how much better they are]].
** Bulls: Uncomplicated, steady, and hard-working [[TheBigGuy big guys]].
** Common Cats: Everymen and the most urban of felines.
** Cheetah: HotBlooded [[LightningBruiser lightning bruisers]].
** Coyote: [[TheDrifter Wanderers]] with a lot of knacks they've picked up along the way.
** Deer: Graceful [[AwesomenessByAnalysis to the point]] of appearing to have [[BornLucky miraculous luck]].
** Dholes: [[HumansAreAverage Not as ferocious as a wolf, nor as charismatic as a fox, not as clever as a coyote or as calculating as a jackal.]] Basically, what common cats are to the felines.
** Common Dogs: [[MasterOfNone Masters of none]] who differentiate themselves from other pack species by being [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits all-]][[TrueCompanions inclusive]].
** Donkeys: Patient, hard-working and unlucky. The species portrait shows one about to be hanged!
** Gray Foxes: [[RoyallyScrewedUp Blue-blooded]] [[DeadlyDecadentCourt aristocrats]] whose Noble House claims the title of [[AuthorityInNameOnly High King]].
** Red Foxes: An entire species of [[{{Keet}} keets]]!
** Goats: Self-sufficent independents with NoSocialSkills.
** Horses: A species fixated on [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy honor and chivalry]], with a history of sliding into KnightTemplar territory.
** Jackals: Ruthless canines with an [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder unsavory reputation]].
** Lions: Male lions are [[BoisterousBruiser charming and charismatic]], if a bit too [[LargeHam exuberant]]. The no-nonsense lionesses seem to be the only ones immune to their glamour.
** Lynxes: Cold-weather felines with an [[NatureHero affinity for the outdoors]].
** Monkeys: [[TricksterArchetype Everything you've ever heard about monkeys is true.]] If they haven't done it already, some monkey is doing it right now, or will have by the end of the day.
** Mice: One of the weakest of the species, who make up for their size with [[ChurchMilitant unwavering faith]].
** Otters: Graceful swimmers with a spinning moral compass.
** Panthers: Ruthless, competent [[{{Leader}} leaders]].
** Porcupines: [[TheStoic Quiet, contemplative]] servants and clerks.
** Rabbits: Mess with one and [[TheClan you mess with every one of them.]]
** Raccoons: As much a [[TricksterArchetype trickster]] as monkeys, except with [[StickyFingers more fidgety hands]].
** Rats: [[HadToBeSharp Survivors]] through and through.
** Ravens: Eccentric and intelligent [[DeadpanSnarker snarkers]].
** Rhinos: Biggest of the [[BigGuy big guys]] and [[GentleGiant gentle giants]].
** Shrews: The unwashed masses, [[TorchesAndPitchforks handmaidens to Madame Guillotine and heralds to King Mob]].
** Skunks: Due to their [[SmellySkunk reputations]] preceding them, skunks either show beatific patience or [[BerserkButton lash out at the slightest provocation]].
** Sparrows: Being creatures of the sky, they really don't get the whole feudal system all the ground-creatures seem to base their entire lives around.
** Squirrels: [[TheCollector Hoarders supreme]] be it material, magical or abstract.
** Tigers: The [[SuperiorSpecies exotic, beautiful foreign species]] who could almost fit as the [[OurElvesAreBetter elven race]] [[BadAss of Calabria]].
** Voles: As devoted to a cause as mice, just a lot more monastic and sedentary.
** Weasels: [[CloudCuckoolander Impossibly mercurial]].
** Wolves: [[NobleSavage Ferocious but wise]] with a tendency to explain everything [[OralTradition through a story]].
* BadassCreed: Every character is supposed to have a motto that describes their outlook on life. Acting out according to said motto earns you more experience points.
* BlackSpeech: Semi-subverted. Night Speech is an ''ultrasonic'' language that can only be spoken by Bats (who can echolocate), though other races with "Keen Ears" can learn to ''understand'' it. Though not an inherently evil tongue, due to the bats' [[FantasticRacism reputation]], others treat it as such.
* BlackMagic: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Unholy]] magic. It doesn't make you evil, but since it's so damn ''[[DangerousForbiddenTechnique dangerous]]'', it often doesn't matter either way.
* CarnivoreConfusion: Subverted. ''Ironclaw'' and ''Jadeclaw'' took a page from ''UsagiYojimbo'' and introduced an entire ecosystem of lizards, [[DomesticatedDinosaurs dinosaurs]], and lizardy birds which fill the usual niches of livestock, beasts of burden, pets, and wildlife. Pests include both small lizards and oversized insects; WordOfGod has mentioned beetles the size of cats.
* ChunkySalsaRule: If you score an overkill (or are subject to one), the result is being so horribly mutilated that allies will become afraid. There's also not enough left for Necromantic spells requiring corpses to work on the victim, and not enough for the game's only genuine resurrection spell to work ''fully'' -- it can resurrect them, but they're too badly mangled to be restored good as new and are permanently disfigured.
* ColorCodedWizardry: Elementalists wear colors associated with their element, cognosticites wear either green or purple, priests white, and thaumaturgists grey.
* CorruptChurch: One of the central conflicts in the adventure ''A Crisis of Faith'' (originally in the ''Avoirdupois'' supplement, later to be updated and rereleased in ''The Book of Adventures'') involves this trope.
* CriticalFailure: Rolling all ones, called a "botch". Especially bad when rolling to reduce damage taken, as a botch ''increases'' the damage. On the other hand [[NumberOfTheBeast rolling three or more sixes when casting black magic]] is really bad as well.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Saint Helloise, the central figure (though not founder, the faith came after she gave her life powering a spell to cure a plagued city) of the Church of S'aullumer.
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Necromancy and aggressive Blessed magic draws on the power of [[OurGhostsAreDifferent the angry dead]]. This would not be so bad, except it also gives said dead a chance to influence the living world; Sample backfires include [[UnstoppableRage one possessing an unconscious person and working out it's issues with the living]], [[TheUndead possessing a corpse]], or [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking being spooky]].
* DualWielding: The Ambidexterity gift allows you to wield two weapons (and more if you have prehensile feet and tail), even [[GunsAkimbo pistols]].
* ElementalPowers: Being an Elementalist lets you have access to this.
* FakeKing: The adventure published in the Rinaldi sourcebook, and the tie-in novel ''Scars'' feature a fake Prince Fabrizio de Rinaldi [[spoiler: who has been brainwashed with purple magic into thinking he's the real thing.]]
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The Great Houses: The Bisclavret (despite their French house name) and Phelan are rather blatantly [[ViolentGlaswegian Scottish]], the Avoirdupois seem French, and the Rinaldi Italian. The Doloreaux are less clear, they have a vaguely Celtic/Germanic religion while the rest of their society seems general European.
** Some of the less influential species are as well: Bats and coyotes are mostly like gypsies, bears were like Vikings, and tigers are generic Asians.
* FantasyGunControl: Averted, as pistols and other firearms are available in the game.
* FeatherFingers: Avian species have wings for arms, but can somehow swing a sword as easily as any other species. The raven depicted in the species art is carrying a bag and cane.
* GiantSpider: Two of the sample wild creatures in the Omnibus. The Damhánalla is stated to be about the size of a human head, and the nastier Tarantella is even bigger.
* GoldSilverCopperStandard: The standard coinage is the silver denar, they've also got less common gold aureals (24 denarii) and more circulated bronze orichalks (1/12 of a denar).
* GreyAndGreyMorality: As part of the game's political focus, every single major noble house and culture is given both sympathetic and unsympathetic qualities. The only notable exceptions are goblins, undead and necromancers (and even then, one sample adventure has a necromancer NPC who'll let the [=PCs=] go through his lands unharmed if they ask nicely). This is perhaps best exemplified in the adventure ''The Wolves in Winter'': no-one involved in the conflict is clearly good or evil, [[spoiler:and there's no way to get an unambiguously happy ending]].
* HeroicBastard: Danica from ''Scars'', for a given value of [[AntiHero "heroic"]], is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, [[spoiler: the late king, Don Fidelio di Rinaldi]]
* HorseOfADifferentColor: No, not the Avoirdupois. Rather this trope refers to the variety of dinosaur-like reptiles used as mounts, many of which are named after types of horse (palfry, destrier, etc).
* IndenturedServitude: The practice is one of the more serious penalties that can be applied to commoners in Calebria. And the Phelan normally impose fines for all crimes but if the accused cannot pay they are sold into slavery. The price list for Labor in the equipment chapter lists slaves with an indenture of one year or for life.
* InterspeciesRomance: While it does occur fairly often few specifics are given on the results, save for the novel ''Scars'' stating that when a Grey and a Red Fox have kids the peasant color dominates.
* LeParkour: A gift that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lets you do just that]].
* LightTheWay: Access to Thaumaturgy lets you do this.
* LovableCoward: Any PC with the Coward gift. You can actually make yourself afraid (as it gives bonuses to dodge and run)!
* LowFantasy: Monsters and Evil Overlords are mostly relegated to legend and folklore, and morality is Black and Grey at most, but magic is a bit more common and benign than most Low Fantasy settings.
* MadeASlave: Most houses take war captives as slaves but wolves (both Bisclavret and Phelan) are the most prominent slavers. It's also used as a criminal sentence in some places, like Phelan who can't pay the normal fines.
* MassiveRaceSelection: As of the ''Book of Jade'', there are 61 playable species available, not counting variant species.
* {{Metaplot}}: Subverted. The first published adventure and the first tie-in novel deal with the murder of the High King and most of his family, and the search for the sole surviving heir. It became the common touchpoint for almost every campaign using the official setting -- but ''every campaign resolved it differently'', with far-reaching impact on the rest of the political situation. (It also immediately established ''Ironclaw'' as a game where beginning characters can be ''kingmakers''.)
* MysteriousAnimalSenses: Each Species in ''{{Ironclaw}}'' has one or two Natural Senses, but no more; when using those senses, they can include their Species Trait in their Observation roll. Some Species have Gifts that improve those sense even further (Keen Eyes, Keen Ears, Keen Nose), or provide exotic sensory abilities like Echolocation.
* NaturalWeapon: Comes with being an anthropomorphic animal.
* NobleSavage: The Phelan have a rich oral tradition and enjoy greater social mobility than their Bisclavret cousins (who already allow more mobility than the other great houses), and the pics generally portray them wearing {{Loin Cloth}}s and [[FurBikini leather bikinis]] and fighting with bare claws or stone spears. Even though the written descriptions indicate they're just as likely to wear [[ManInAKilt the kilt]] and fight with steel [[{{BFS}} claymores]].
* NoNameGiven: To [[IKnowYourTrueName protect yourself from magic]], there's a gift that lets you forsake your name.
* NonCombatEXP: EXP is completely based on roleplaying. Combat only figures in when it accomplishes one of the characters' Goals.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: In order to avoid [=PCs=] being mowed down by lucky [[OneHitKill shots]], there are gifts that allow you to avoid it with appropriately dramatic results.
** In 2nd Edition all [=PCs=] start with Combat Save for free. As do major villains.
** OnlyAFleshWound: The Toughness Gift allows a character to treat one attack per scene per instance of this Gift like that.
* NotUsingTheZWord: None of Sanguine's material ever, ''ever'' uses the word "[[FurryFandom Furry]]". Officially, these are ''anthropomorphic animals''.
* NubileSavage: Most of the Phelan women portrayed in the artwork, see above.
* OhCrap: What happens to an ally of a recently [[ChunkySalsaRule overkilled]] character-they literally become [[StandardStatusEffects Afraid]] if they're vulnerable to it.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: They're known here as the Morrigna by the Phelan and look like a cross between a wolf and a raven. The Morrignai are also far more dangerous than typical goblins; one regular goblin can be a threat to an entire group of player-characters. Also, they can fly.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: "Oupires"; they're undead, drink blood and fear holy symbols running water and sunlight, though those things don't hurt them.
* PointBuildSystem: 1st Edition was a fairly traditional setup. 2nd Edition still has it as a variant rule and for character improvement, while the default method budgets the points out into Traits (2d8, 3d6, 1d4), Skills (13 marks), and Gifts (3). While to prevent MinMaxing Flaws were either converted into Gifts (i.e. Coward, above), or reduced to a variant rule enabling more opportunities for roleplaying EXP.
* PretentiousLatinMotto: Every denar (the standard coinage) bears the motto of Calabria, ''Rex una, republicus una'' in the [[AltumVidetur Magniloquentia language]].
* {{Privateer}}: A 1st Edition sourcebook for House Bisclavret had privateers as a playable career.
* RoyalInbreeding: The description for grey foxes states that due to inbreeding they tend to exhibit traits like hemophilia and colorblindness, with rumors of things like split tails, polydactyly, and hairlessness.
* ShoutOut: The cover of the first edition was a deliberate homage to ''{{Slayers}}'', with Lina and Naga as a Fox and a Wolf.
** One sample character, a vixen warlock known as the "bandit killer" is a continuation of the above; it's more obvious in the first edition where the character is Lina in all but name and species.
** There is Mount Eisengrim, named after Ysengrim the wolf of the Renard Cycle.
** The Bisclavret are named after a 12th Century French poem of the same name. It's about a werewolf.
** Example given of using the Deceit skill to make someone light a candle: "It's very dark in here. [[VideoGame/{{Zork}} You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.]]"
** The section on undead is titled "[[CthulhuMythos That which is not dead can eternal lie.]]"
** The artwork for the Peafowl race in ''Book of Jade'' is very clearly inspired by Lord Shen from ''KungFuPanda2''.
* ShownTheirWork: particularly noticeable with the Phelan, whose culture is based heavily (and accurately) on pre-Christian Celtic society. The Phelan calendar is based on the actual Celtic lunar calendar, and the {{Druid}}s are much closer to the priestly caste of history and the mystics of folklore than to the nature priests of modern fantasy.
* SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism: codified in the ''game mechanics''. The Race Trait (Species Trait in Second Edition) is an attribute that ranges along the same scale as Body, Mind, and the rest, and indicates just how strong your animal heritage is. There's no direct connection to physical appearance stated, but the art suggests that the inhabitants of Monderévelé range from Borderline LittleBitBeastly to PettingZooPeople with "Atavists" who tread the line into CivilizedAnimal.
* SpellBook: Each spellcaster's (save for Druids and Blessed, who don't even need to be literate) trappings Gift includes one. ''On Elementalism'' for Elementalists, ''Thamauturgoria'' by Kyndranigar the Shadow Magus for Thaumaturge's, ''Ye Book of Black Magic'' for Necromancers, and [[strike: a Bible]] ''The Testaments of Helloise'' for Clerics.
* StealthPun: The Avoirdupois are well known for their Chivalry. [[spoiler: Cheval means horse]]
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: You can talk freely on your turn, but you'll have to wait until the other person's turn for them to reply. Talking may be free, but a conversation is not.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: What happens when you score six or more successes on a damage roll, which leads to [[ChunkySalsaRule messy results]]. The art work demonstrating an overkill shows the victim [[TakeOurWordForIt dying off panel]].
* ThrowItIn: the species descriptions in the second edition were originally written by the section's artist, to provide himself with a mood and theme for each image. They were too good ''not'' to use.
* TitleDrop: Or as close to one as the game can get while still making sense - one of the Atavism gifts is named "Claws of Iron".
* WhiteMagic: Primarily the demesne of priests of S'allumer, though some claim that it existed before the Church. It also includes more offensive spells than usual.
* WordOfGod: Sanguine has maintained an active mailing list since 1999, and many details of the world background, game mechanics, and design philosophy have been discussed over the years.
* WorldOfFunnyAnimals
* {{Villains}}: The NPC creation rules have their own version of the standard hierarchy
** {{Mooks}}: Horde, d6 in all traits, no skills other than their species and career bonuses, and the only Gifts they get other than species and career are Pack Tactics and Local Knowledge.
** EliteMooks: Elite Horde, d8 in all traits, plus the Armored Fighter, Shield Fighter, and Unshakeable Fighter Gifts.
** MookLieutenant: Leaders, as their associated Horde except with True Leader and Militia Leader, and Elite Leaders also have Toughness, Diehard, and Troop Leader.
** TheDragon: The Enforcer, d10 traits, along with one Trappings gift, Diehard, two Toughness gifts, Counter-Tactics, Mob Fighter, and Unshakeable Fighter. Intended to threaten the entire party on their own.
** The Villain, d8 traits, one Trappings gift, True Leader, Militia Leader, Toughness, Luck, Combat Save, Pack Tactics, and a personality gift.
** BigBad: The Supernaut: All traits are ''d12'', Armored Fighter, Bravery, Charging Fighter, Combat Save, Counter-Tactics, Diehard, Guard Breaker, Local Knowledge, Luck, Militia Leader, Mob Fighter, Pack Tactics, Resolve, Shield Fighter, Toughness x''3'', True Leader, Unshakeable Fighter, Veteran, and two other saving gifts plus three others of the GM's choice. The kind of character who only comes around in one out of every dozen adventures, and can take on [[OneManArmy entire armies]].
* YinYangBomb: NPC Vaslov Jakoba is rumoured to be able to use both White Magic ''and'' Black Magic (optional in [=2e=]; confirmed in [=1e=]). Regardless of whether it's true, it's a source of much consternation for the church. It's possible for a player character to be able to do this too.

!!Tropes specific to ''Jadeclaw''[=/=]''The Book of Jade''

* BigCreepyCrawlies: Anthropomorphic centipedes, [[GiantSpider spiders]] and scorpions, part of what's called the "Five Venoms". And they're playable in ''Book of Jade''!
* CelestialBureaucracy: In stark contrast to ''Ironclaw'', where it's ambiguous as to whether Heaven exists.
* EasternZodiac: There's a nod to this; the twelve animals of the zodiac make up the twelve noble families of Zhongguo.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Zhongguo ''is'' Warring States era China with anthropomorphic animals and gunpowder[[note]] Chinese feudalism effectively ended in the 3rd century B.C., gunpowder was invented in the 9th century A.D.[[/note]]; many of the Imperial dynasties even share the same names. In addition, Yindu is clearly India, Camels are Middle-Eastern, the Yaks are Tibetans, and Leopards are implied to be similar to Mongolians.
* TheFourGods
* FragileSpeedster: In ''Jadeclaw'', swallows are fast and mobile, but very frail. They're no longer a playable species in ''Book of Jade'', but their [=2e=] counterpart (the sparrow) fits the speedster part.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: They're eastern-style, unsurprisingly.
* WingedHumanoid: Unlike other bird species, the zhuque have their wings and arms separate. This makes them the only flying species which starts off able to wield two-handed weapons in mid-air.
* {{Wuxia}}

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