A Song of Ice and Fire RPG Hardcover

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The King is dead! Long live the King!

Freed from the grip of mad King Aerys II, Westeros emerges from a bloody civil war as Robert Baratheon attempts to bring a lasting peace to the Seven Kingdoms. In spite of the promises of justice and prosperity for all, this perilous time is marked by the political maneuvering of ambitious nobles and foul plots hatched in secret councils. Villains are rewarded for dark deeds and honest men are brought low for old loyalties. Conspiracies abound, the wind carries rumors of war, and the Great Houses struggle to find their places in this new regime. And all the while an ancient evil stirs in the far-flung reaches of the north.

Green Ronin Publishing is proud to bring adventure gaming back to Westeros with A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. Based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying gives you everything you need to play and run games in the Seven Kingdoms using an all new and easy to learn game system specifically designed to evoke the atmosphere of these best-selling novels. You and your fellow players take on the roles of key members of a noble house. Opportunities abound under the new king and as old loyalties die and new ones are born, your house is poised to claim its place alongside the Great Houses of Westeros. Should you succeed in your efforts, you might find yourself among the Starks and Lannisters, gaining the favor of the king, and securing your place in history. Should you fail, your rivals will destroy you on their own desperate climb to greatness. Seize your birthright in Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying!

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An RPG Resource Review


Opening with an Introduction that gives an overview of the adventure in which you are about to embark, the freedom and excitement of role-playing, taking control of your own character's destiny in a shared story, rather than watching or reading what others (writers, actors, directors...) have decided he should do; and explains the roles of Narrator (this game's term for the Game Master or GM) and players, then there's a brief overview of the contents of the book and we're off!

First up is an overview of the setting in Chapter 1: A Westeros Primer. If you are interested in this work you have probably read George R.R. Martins' novels or watched the TV show Game of Thrones already, but here's a fascinating account of the land and the people that dwell thereon from the pen of one Maester Jesiah - looking almost like an illuminated manuscript complete with the sigils of major houses. For this game is all about power struggles and intrigues - although there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to get more physical here as well - as the houses vie for power, position and perhaps the Iron Throne itself (which is said to be remarkably uncomfortable as a chair, whatever it might represent). The history is written from a standpoint of about the time the story in the novels begins... which may of course unfold quite differently in your hands.

The chapter continues with further notes. Knights are central to many of the stories told here, but they are by no means the only players in the Game of Thrones. Still, concepts of chivalry and the importance of rank and of bloodline run deep. There's an outline of how the land is governed and law works - mostly at the whim of whichever lordling is in control, by right of birth or of conquest, at that place. Details of technology, of religious beliefs, of the concept of knighthood as practised here, of maesters and more are also to be found in this chapter. Essential reading to give an overview of the setting.

Next, Chapter 2: Game Rules provides a look at the game mechanics underpinning A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. They are based around fists-full of d6s, with bonuses and modifiers as appropriate. Put simply, to attempt a task you decide which ability applies and use that to decide how many dice to roll - these are your Test Dice. If you qualify for a bonus, you get to add more dice to your roll, but then select the highest ones to the number of Test Dice you have. Modifiers are numerical additions or subtractions from the result achieved with the Test Dice. The aim is you test your abilities against a Narrator-set difficulty for the task you are trying to perform. That's the basics, and there are plenty of examples and special cases to show you how it all works. It's more straightforward than it looks at first glance, and soon becomes second nature.

We then dive straight in to characters, beginning with a series of archetypes for those who don't want to go through all the effort of creating one from scratch. These can of course be customised to suit your specific needs and desires. These come as Adults or Young Adults - youthful characters can be quite potent in the Game of Thrones, particularly if they are heirs to one of the houses. However, if you'd rather create your own character from the ground up, move on swiftly to Chapter 3: Character Creation and find out how it's done.

Now it gets interesting. The assumption is that the players get together and create members of a single noble house. Thus individual and group fortunes are tied together, success and failure affect everybody. So you start off by designing, as a group, your house and lands. Only then do you consider the role you wish to play in that house. In creating that character, first you decide his age (banded from youths under 9 to venerable people over the age of 80) and status (from 1-6). These can be chosen or rolled randomly as preferred, although it may be best if everyone uses the same method! Then you start fleshing out the character with things like the area of expertise you're after - Expert, Leader, Rogue, Schemer, or Warrior - backgrounds, goals, etc. Only then do you get to grips with determining abilities and other things that tie into the game mechanics directly. As everyone is affilitated to the same house, you'll need to ensure that all aspects you want are covered. High status comes at a price - rank is bought from the same pool of points as your other abilities! There is plenty of guidance - and lots of examples - to help you through the process.

The next couple of chapters - Chapter 4: Abilities and Specialities and Chapter 5: Destiny and Qualities - go into great depth about all the options available and how to use them to best effect once the game begins. Choose carefully, these are the building blocks upon which your character will stand or fall.

Then comes the fascinating Chapter 6: Houses and Lands. We've already touched on the notion that the default is a group of characters associated with the same house. Here we learn how to create, as a group, that house. It's recommended that you do this before you create individual characters, so that you'll already have an idea of the place into which each of them will have to fit - but others may prefer to create characters first and build a house around them, so do not feel constrained, pick whatever seems right for you as a group. You start by deciding where in the Realms you're based (or you can roll for it). The first time I did this, it was a cold day and we unanimously decided to build in the deserts of Dorne on account that it was warm there! There are lots of ideas and notes to help as the process continues, choosing resourcesm, determining the history of your house, and so on. Of course, some groups may choose to play individual characters without this common bond, others may prefer to represent a noble house apiece and vie with each other rather than with NPC nobles for power and status. It's up to you - but this is a good manual for designing houses, and indeed quantifying the existing ones too. And if you want to be the Starks or the Lannisters, go right ahead! There's even advice on choosing a motto (or 'Words' as they're known in Westeros) and a coat of arms for your house. Whilst in the books houses go for sigils and colours, here there's a primer on standard European heraldry to help you create a good-looking and effective coat of arms. The final step is to describe the household - some people will be your characters, but most will be NPCs, but you will know who they are and what they are like.

After Chapter 7: Equipment gets you all the stuff you need, there are separate chapters on the three ways your characters will interact with the world and everyone in it: Intrigue, Combat and Warfare. Each is a mix of ideas and concepts and the game mechanics you need to make them happen. Although it comes over as if you can reduce everything to rolls of the dice, these are the guidelines, the element of chance in an uncertain world - it's what your characters say and do that is important, and a good Narrator will focus on role-play, interactions and planning far more than the fall of dice.

Speaking of the Narrator, Chapter 11: The Narrator provides a wealth of material to aid him in designing and running adventures and campaigns. Ideas are presented in the way major characters in the novels embodied them, be it Lord Eddard Stark facing dilemmas, his wife Catelyn living up to expectations, Petyr Baylish's treachery or Ser Barristan Selmy showing the influence of history on the present... and there's more, of course. There's also detailed advice about making the rules work for your story.

Overall, it's a fine representation of the novels and TV show in game terms, with plenty to think about as you embark on the Game of Thrones! See if your house will become a power behind the Iron Throne or even see a member of it sitting there, or perhaps you will be safer but more obscure... but remember, Winter is coming!

Is this the new version of the rpg that just came out?

Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Yep. The 'old' version was produced by Guardians of Order (who, sadly, appear to have gone the way of the Dodo).

Dark Archive

PAIZO Staff, you might want to update the Cover of the book.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

link to the new cover

SIFRPG cover

Sovereign Court

Does anyone know anything about the system?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Bagpuss wrote:
Does anyone know anything about the system?

The Green Ronin website has some information on it.

I just got this book the other day. It's interesting. At first I was put off by the amount of pure crunch in the book. Most of the book is just the system, and I just felt at first that there was no personality to the book and game itself.

However, upon further reading I found that the system does a really good job of creating a situations that could and do appear in the books. Combat is highly dangerous, yet there are safety nets that allow you to avoid certain death. So one hit good hit could kill you. And you could also survive a drop from a very high building. I won't give away the mechanics, but I will say it's really clever. And the focus on creating and managing your Noble House is really neat and very much part of the book.

Thus far, I'm enjoying reading this. Now to see if I can get a chance to actually play the system.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mike smith 853 wrote:

And the focus on creating and managing your Noble House is really neat and very much part of the book.

How much of the book is devoted to the player charcters running their own noble house? Are there formal rules for the operations of the house or is just some GM pointers? I ask cause I'm planning on running a campaign where the player characters are nobles. Would this book be worth buying if I was only looking to plunder that facet of the book?

Well, there's about 20-30 page that detail the Noble Houses and Lands, with game effects. And certainly the concept is that everyone play a member of the noble house, to help tell the story.

There could be more details on exactly how you can center the plots of your adventures on a noble house. I'm thinking futer books might go into more details. This book focuses more on the system and how the rules work: combat, weapon damage, poison, warfare, social combat, ect. And for what it is, it's pretty darn good.

If you're really interested in your character playing nobles, you might want to check out Houses of the Blooded. I will admit that it's a strange game. Lots of dark fantasy. But there is a mechanic that handles land management and retainers that is really neat. It even takes into account other nobles turning your retainers into traitous spies.

Check it out. Pretty cool.

The PDF is still only $5

Houses of the Blooded

Collectors bug... gnawing away... must get... need money...

I don't need food do I?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Tharen the Damned wrote:
PAIZO Staff, you might want to update the Cover of the book.

Updated. My, that is one vividly colored cover...

I just ordered it and the entire Song of Fire and Ice series so far! Im really intrigued by this setting. It might equal that of the Black Company and the Dread Empire series by Glen Cook for me.


nrtrandahl wrote:
I just ordered it and the entire Song of Fire and Ice series so far! Im really intrigued by this setting. It might equal that of the Black Company and the Dread Empire series by Glen Cook for me.

Have you not read the novels yet? Because if not, then you are in for a treat!

Hank Woon wrote:
Have you not read the novels yet? Because if not, then you are in for a treat!

Ive yet to read any of them. Ive heard nothing but good things and i love realistic gritty fantasy. And when i saw Green Ronin was making a system catering to a line of books like they did with Black Company I decided to just go ahead and get the series and the rpg. The adventure coming out for it also sounds awesome. And I have time to read all the books while im over here in the middle east for a year.

Dark Archive

This Book is indeed the "cCunch" book for th the Setting. The "Fluff" book will be the upcoming "A Song of ICe and Fire Campaign Guide"

From the Blurb:

With the fall of House Targaryen, an uneasy peace has settled over the land, but it stands on a razor's edge. King Robert rules, but his reign is haunted by the dark deeds of the past and imperiled by the corruption of the halls of power. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide describes George R.R. Martin's Westeros in lavish detail, providing full details on all the major regions and principal players of the game of thrones. An indispensable guide for fans of both the novels and the game, A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide brings the Seven Kingdoms to life and provides a rich setting for exciting roleplaying adventures.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The random generation for the characters and houses are fun as hell, especially if you have multiple people putting input in on how to interpret the results that you get. I haven't been able to get much more than that, but it should be fun.

Sovereign Court

Hank Woon wrote:

Have you not read the novels yet? Because if not, then you are in for a treat!

So long as you like remembering the names of a large cast of supporting characters most of whom appear to have interchangeable personalities and resulting behaviours. And you don't mind waiting for years between books. The actual story and the writing is pretty damn cool.

I like them enough, but Steven Erikson manages to write better books much more quickly.

Liberty's Edge


damn... need to wait till new job... need to wait till new job...

i want it, even if i don't play it!

snif i loved A Game of Thrones... i need to read the others

Dark Archive

Bagpuss wrote:
I like them enough, but Steven Erikson manages to write better books much more quickly.

That is true and I wonder why no publisher has gone for a Malazan Camapign Setting yet.

Sovereign Court

Tharen the Damned wrote:

That is true and I wonder why no publisher has gone for a Malazan Camapign Setting yet.

Given that it originated as a fantasy role-playing world, I imagine a fair amount of the work is already done, too...

The Exchange

I'm working through my copy now. It's truly a new system driven by d6s and multiple die roles based on the characteristic influencing the action being undertaken.

So if you are swinging a sword at an enemy, and your Fighting skill was 3, you'd roll 3d6 vs. your opponents defense. The combat defense number is derived from other characteristics and modified by your armor or shield. Armor reduces damage from attacks in much the same way it does in RQ or the Conan version of D20.

Combat, Intrigue and Warfare share the same mechanic and each has a separate chapter in the rules. The mechanic described above is explored with slightly different variations appropriate for the different gaming environment.

Players are bound together through their house, which is defined through a system of mechanics tied to the experience system. Success in the game can be translated into advancement for the house. regardless of the system you are playing in, this information is worth the price of the system. I will be pirating this for some home brew D20 adaptations moving forward.

I haven't run a table of this yet, but have some interest in the game among my playgroup. The game seems to do a very admirable job of capturing the books. Combat is brutal and deadly. Some of the most important activity driving any narrative will involve intrigue.

I'll provide a review once I've actually run several games.

Thumbs up from Mr. Kilgore so far though.

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