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Song of Ice and Fire RPG – the Game of Thrones

Song of Ice and Fire RPG – the Game of Thrones

by Monday 15 April 2019
In April 2019 we presented the Song of Ice and Fire RPG Bundle. Timed to match the premiere of Season 8 of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, this timely all-new offer presented A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, the official RPG from Green Ronin Publishing based on the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin that inspired the TV series. Designed by Robert J. Schwalb (Shadow of the Demon Lord), SIFRP (2012) focuses not just on characters but on noble houses that wage war and stage intrigues in the great game where you win or you die.

In the land of Westeros seasons last for years, not months, and family histories go back thousands of years to the Age of Heroes. Ancestral weapons may be worth more than a lordling’s only daughter, and castles may have flown a score of banners in their storied histories. Magic lives mostly in myths and faded dreams. The learned maesters say it died out a lifetime ago, with the last of the dragons, but others say it still exists among the maegi and warlocks of the exotic eastern lands.

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying draws on material from the novels A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance With Dragons to conjure a sweeping epic of war, political power, and survival in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. SIFRP is about Machiavellian court politics, family alliances and enmities, the rise and fall of kingdoms, and the clash of armies, but it is also about honor and duty, love and loss, family, leadership — about tournaments, murders, conspiracies, prophecies, dreams, war, great victories, and terrible defeats. It’s about knights, both false and true — and it’s about dragons.

In SIFRP‘s Chronicle System, characters have abilities like Cunning, Deception, Fighting, Status, Warfare, and Will. Each is ranked from 1 (Deficient) to 7 (Paragon), representing the number of six-sided dice you roll in task resolution. Specialties add bonus dice, and characters may use Destiny Points to invest in advantages that grant further bonuses. If you know the novels, you won’t be surprised that characters can also have Drawbacks, such as Bastard Born, Craven, Dwarf, Eunuch, Inept, Lascivious, Maimed, Reviled, and Supreme Arrogance. Optionally you can use Archetypes like Anointed Knight, Godsworn, Hedge Knight, Maester, or Noble.

In the default campaign approach, all the player characters are heirs or retainers in the same noble household in one of the realms of Westeros, like the North, the Westerlands, King’s Landing, the Iron Islands, or Dorne. You randomly generate your house’s defense, influence, lands, law, wealth, and historical deeds and crimes that shape the house’s identity. (Defeat! Descent! Treachery! Madness! Doom!) These determine the resources your group can draw on. By your actions in the great game of thrones, your house thrives or dies.

In ability tests you aim to exceed a target number set by the Narrator or, in combat, your opponent’s Defense. The margin by which you beat the difficulty number determines your degree of success or the damage you inflict. Given the lethality of the source material — the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones show 2,339 onscreen deaths — combat is surprisingly forgiving: If you’re defeated, you may die, but you might instead be maimed, ransomed, or “take the black” and join the Night’s Watch on the Wall. The rulebook does recommend creating several characters per player.

A detailed Intrigue system lends depth to political machinations, provocations, and seductions. Participants use techniques like Bargain, Incite, Intimidate, and Taunt, and Actions like Fast Talk, Manipulate, Mollify, and Shield of Reputation, to gain influence over the opponent. Influence in excess of the opponent’s Disposition Rating reduces Composure and may increase Frustration. The Intrigue system feels very, uhh, Varys-ian, or maybe Cersei-an. Littlefinger-y. And the whole game feels like Seasons 1 through 8 of your own personal song of ice and fire.

This Song of Ice and Fire Bundle gathered almost the entire SIFRP line for a bargain price. There were five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $72) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying core rulebook in both its Game of Thrones Edition (retail price $20) and its Pocket Edition optimized for tablet use (retail $14), as well as the Campaign Guide (retail $20) and Chronicle Starter (retail $13) and the introductory adventure Wedding Knight (retail $5).

Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with eight more supplements and scenarios worth an additional $70, including the Night’s Watch sourcebook (retail $18); the full-length chronicle Dragon’s Hoard (retail $19); three Chronicle System rules supplements — Out of Strife, Prosperity (new Holdings), Spark to Powder (gunpowder rules), and Chronicle of Sorcery (enhanced magic) — and three creature guides: Woodland Creatures, Mountain Terrors, and Desert Threats.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) was donated to the charity designated by Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing, the Union of Concerned Scientsts.

Winter is here, but even after the end of Game of Thrones, you can stay in Westeros and keep playing the great game.