A Song of Ice RPG

Talk about Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling fantasy series. Winter is here!

Postby higgins » Sun May 27, 2007 8:40 am

Anomandaris wrote:After reading a teaser for OtE i really hope that is not the way they will go. I like more "meat on the bone" for my rpgs, but YMMV of course.

Could you elaborate the "meat on the bones" issue? I don't get what you mean by that.

Anomandaris wrote:And I really hope that GR will depart from the D20/OGL things for this baby. But maybe that's just me :)

It's confirmed in the second post of this thread, tha GR will dseign a brand new system for it. Yay! :D
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Postby Maester Luwin » Sun May 27, 2007 1:31 pm

Hey Aran! Welcome aboard! I agree that Green Ronin has done an excellent job with both Black Company & Thieve's World! I see good points on both sides of this discussion. True 20 seems most likely. I only know that Green Ronin will put forth the work to make a great game. Will it please everyone? Probably not. But give it a chance & most likely you'll love it.

Now back to further campaign development... Thanks Maester Luwin
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Postby 300lbs Gorrilla » Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:05 pm

Maester Luwin wrote:True 20 seems most likely.
Unless I misunderstood you...but it was stated very clearly that a new system was going to be created for A Game of Thrones.
300 lbs and counting.
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Postby Mantyluoto » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:25 pm

Pramas wrote:Neither. We're designing a new system for the game.
Live long and party!!

or live long and fall over :D
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Postby SnowDog » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:02 am

khaalis wrote:As someone mentioned earlier, Arya is much younger but has by far more experience than Sansa, already having training or experience in a variety of advanced skills such as Water Dancing. One thing that also doesn’t translate from fiction to RPG is that people want to “improve” their PCs when they play an RPG. No one really likes playing in a stagnant system where you never improve beyond what you started with. However, unlike in d20, this doesn’t mean that when you do improve that you should be able to take any ability or improve any skill you like. If you never actually do anything stealthy, why should you be allowed to take ranks in a stealth skill? The system could easily include this type of information for GM adjudication.

All JMHO.


I agree that people want to improve their character's abilities during the game. To me that's OK and even something that is to be expected if your character starts as incompetent as a first level d20 character (just an example). On the other hand if you create a character that is already more proficient (either a higher level character or with a freeform system that allows that) then character development can be more like how the character's mentality changes during the campaign. Another way to map the change/improvement in this particular game is how he raises in the ranks of his house/organization, gets followers etc. things political. After all I see this game more of a political than adventure game.

The way I have run all the games lately where you get experience but has a free way use it is simply to use check marks. If you use a skill then you can put a check mark on that skill. When you want to spend your experience points you can spend it only on those skills that are marked.

On the other hand if you can't get check marks because of the lack of opportunities to use one or more skills I would allow some kind of use of teacher/practice.
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Postby HeirophantX » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:24 pm

I wonder if the developers have looked at Harn or Pendragon? Both have great systems designed around role-playing a medieval setting.
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Postby higgins » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:31 am

I have to say I just loved Pendragon's chapters about customs! Inheritance, marriage etc. Very educating.

I had to choose between AGOT d20 and Pendragon... and I picked AGOT. Oh, how I regret it when I saw the Pendragon customs chapters! Best thing about AGOT d20 were the Westeros map (I still want bigger and better to put on my wall!) and the the character portraits by Amok.

So, yes, please articles about customs!
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Postby gruntz » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:25 pm

First of, I am exstatic that this will not be any form of D20. D20 can be fun and all and I do play dome classic FR but I would be hardpressed to even call it roleplaying. It more gaming, tabletop playing or something like that. And misunderstand me right, I am NOT a big fan of storytelling version of rpg but It must be faster and more descriptive that d20 and in all forms of d20 you take regular damage which you heal overnight. Battle and damage must be dangerous, a crossbow bolt to the chest will in 9/10 be lethal, maybe in 7/10 if you were the heaviest of armors

I love alot of things with the fading suns system and I also hate alot of things with it. One of the things I do love happens to be character creation.

Fadingsuns (v2) had two different ways to handle it (or rather only one and then a story mode of the same system) namly point buy system, you buy everything from it and story mode pointbuy.

Pointbuy is easy enough to understand, every single thing costs points and you have a limited amount however the storyline mode is the most interesting.

There are no classes per say, no fixed anything instead you are encouraged to consider what kind of a character you want to play and take a few notes. After this the "story" begins. You are given multiple choice queestions about events that has happend to you during your time from birth to adulthood. You can for example divide in them into childhood, adolesence, youth, adult or any other way (maybe not ages at all).

Then you get a series of question to answer for each period. Where did you grow up? farmstead, village, town or city ( or maybee more choices). For every choice you actually get both attributes and skills. I mean attributes and skills are due to more of your enviroment than to your actual genetics. Other forms of questions could be what was your fathers profession(hunter, scholar, noble, manatarms, carpenter etc), what did you do when you turned 12(helped my father in his profession, applied for guard duty, etc). Another way to simplify this process is to eliminate exact skill points. Instead of havinf the choices for fathers work as carpenter, baker, bicyclerepairman etc, we could just call it handyman or worker and give the player a number of work points which he can put into a suitable work skill. Same with say guardsman, instead of giving one point to halbeard, one point to shortsword or sword, one point to str, one point to con (if we have those attributes) we could give 3 points to to combat skills and the person could choose into what those goes(with some form of limiter probably to not get extreme values to start with).

Another idea, if we want flaws/edges would be to instead of having 2 separate lists just to have one. every edge has a flaw and every flaw has an edge. Booksmart, you have read ALOT, (some bonuses here and there on skills and attribs but some negatives due to not running around playing with the other kids as much) and so on. This list shouldn't be an absolute but only suggest how to balance edges and flaws so if a character want to be brutishly strong (mountain that rides class juggernaught) the GM knows how to handle it. some bonus to physical attribs and skills and some penalties to mayhap speed, dexterity and ridiculous prices on armor(and we all know armor is valuable since otherwise those arrows and daggers really should be more or less lethal). Sure, the mountain that rides can take a helluva beating but the only reason syrio died was due to that dang armor.

Oki, enough from me for now. And oh, btw, Hellu, firsttime poster and nice meeting you. And oh btw, its very late here in sweden as I type this so please excuse my poor english skills, I have written as my thoughs popped into my head. Cheers.

/Gruntz
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Postby 00Machado » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:53 pm

Some things I'd like to see in the new RPG.

A Stephen You'll cover, and interior art if he accepts commissions for such.

Some art that is dark, shadowed (if in color), or shaded and inked to be eerie and ominous (if it's in black and white).

The main book should teach GMs how to run, and maybe even players how to play, political storylines. Additional books in the line should expand on the ideas here as needed.

The main book should contain a template for the creation of political adventures and storylines.

Plenty of plot hooks and storylines - those directly from the novels, and made up ones.

Useful rules for hunting and foraging that are not overly compicated or verbose. Being penniless and traveling seems pretty common in the books. Maybe we need a mechanic to allow for weakening when you don't have enough food, water, warmth, shelter, sleep, etc.

Population and demographics for nobles, land holders, knights, etc for the kingdoms.

Advice for the GM on using characters from the novels to drive events behind the scenes, so they can be included without being in harm's way, and without the PCs having to be involved as secondary characters to the novel story arc.

Common foods for feasts, inns, the lord's table on an ordinary day and when important guests are present, the common man's table, and the trail - like pg 89 in Feast for Crows paperback.

Details on the histories of the noble families, their internal politics, the ambitions of its members, current state of their immediate and long term plots and schemes, blood relation to and interpersonal/political relationship to the crown, relationships with other families, relationships with organizations, marriages and alliances, bastards and secrets, spies and information sources, spies for others within the family's household and landholdings, threats to their power and influence and wealth, resources (coin, land, its earnings nd natural resources, investments, favors owed, etc). Royal and other noble family's initiatives that they support, work against, and examples of how they go about it (recruit more men for the night's watch, refuse to lend money, poison, etc).

Encounter ideas/charts for the road, city, countryside/cross country, sea, beyond the wall, on the wall, maybe regions as well. - the north, casterly rock, etc.


Crime, the law, and punnishment - what happens to characters who get carried away with their swords?

Life and opportunities of hedge knights and robber knights

Lists of names to use for inns, ships, hedge knights, and other things you'll need to randomly come up with - first names, epithets, etc.

How the different types of magic work.

Rules for running (and being part of) a household at all levels - from the head of the family, to a small landholding, to being a relative with no landholdings.

Domain management, land yields, managing the domain and the family, or even the realm if you should win the game of thrones!

Rules and events for hosting and participating in tournaments. The hedge knight, and a game of thrones - maybe a supplment if necessary.

Troupe style play - teach GMs how to run games for players who want to play multiple characters in a family, or characters who reside in different regions - tyrion and jamie, brienne and kaitlyn, etc.

Creatures like the various dragons at different ages, dire wolves, the others, melisandre's shadow creature (if it's separate from the spell that controlled it) etc.

Spells - rituals to cast them, what training or faith is needed, etc.

Economics, Trade and mercantalism - pricing system, movement of goods, bartering, value of goods and services, etc. Tie it into farming and domain management as needed.

The black market - for players who want to profit from loot, war profiteering, smuggling, theft, etc.

Rules for crafting items of various quality, and for re-forging valaryian steel.

Capers - something similar for NPCs as they had for 1E Freedom City and Foes of Freedom.

Sections that describe life in the different landholdings - including regional maps, conflicts, dangers, etc - maybe a supplement if necessary. Basically, a grand gazeteer of the seven kingdoms. Think of books like the marklands, karameikos, etc. Should also include terrain features, noteworthy locations, local plots, schemes, politics and power structures. Bandits and other perils of the road and countryside. Generic inn, roadside tavern, etc.



Secondary products I'd like to see
Adventures like the dragonlance ones tied to the novel storylines.

Or maybe combo books - adventures/source material like locales tied to novels, and a book that elaborates on the novel like the LotR RPG books on fellowship and two towers, Mysteries of the Moonsea, Ptolus, etc.

Supplement - playing the war with Ned and Robert. The battles, the factions, shifting alliances, encounter locations, events - ways the PCs can play through and maybe even re-write the history. Something like Eberron's The Forge of War.

Supplement - playing during robert's reign. The in-between period where everything was festering under the surface, and the ground was being laid for future conflict. Another timeline expanding product like The Forge of War.

Supplement - the lands where Daenerys is.

Supplement - beyond the wall (or maybe include it in a gazeteer of the north)

Supplement - the high seas, naval battle, events, encounters and locations. Include rivers, smuggling, piracy, maybe also iron islands, and other sea centered regions.

The lands of Dorne and the Iron Islands.

Adventure supplements - or compilations of adventures - even as PDFs.
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Postby higgins » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:49 am

00Machado wrote:A Stephen You'll cover, and interior art if he accepts commissions for such.

Could you link the ASoIaF work has he done if any? I for one would like to see Roman "Amok" Papsuev's art, though most of his existing "scene pics" are licenced to FFG, His ASoIaF portraits are brilliant.

00Machado wrote:Spells - rituals to cast them, what training or faith is needed, etc.

I'd like to see categories with guidelines on these, not the spells and rituals themselves. Basically an inspiration source and a place where the principles of magic are explained to the GM. And of course, guidelines to the sacrifice and price.

A spell or rituals list would probably destroy the GRRM's magic. I mean, I didn't see as Mirri Maz Duur performing some lifekeeping spell, but I believe she would have been capaple of performing any "tilting an uncertain fate with blood sacrifice" in general.

As an ST, I'd hate to see a spell or ritual copied over and over, as it tends to happen with "list spells".
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Postby 00Machado » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:00 pm

higgins wrote:Could you link the ASoIaF work has he done if any?


Stephen Youll did the old covers for the books (before the current incarnation - which I like less).

I don't have enough posts to be allowed to post URLs, but you can see samples on George R. R. Martin's web site, under gallery.

There is an example for each Ice and Fire book.
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Postby higgins » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:26 pm

You must mean these then: AGoT, ACoK, ASoS, AFfC. The pics definetly look good. :)
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Postby HeirophantX » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:59 am

All of those rules regarding medieval life and adventuring are covered rather well in Harn material.
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Postby 00Machado » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:05 pm

Which HARN material should I look for?

Also, in the main book I'd like to see a list of household positions, and kingdom positions, and which are merely honorifics, and which have actual responsibilities - warden of the north, castellan, seneschal, all that kind of stuff, so you can populate your household.

Structurally, since the books are so good at immersion, I think the RPG should follow suit. Make the game information into sidebars where possible, and the main next narrative/prose. I'm thinking like a different point of view character for each chapter, telling you how it is in the Seven Kingdoms. Here's this bit of history, watch out for that, I've heard these rumors about what's going on in Oldtown, etc. I really like the idea of different point of view characters to mirror the feel of the novels. Not necessarily those characters. Iconics for the RPG would be better I think.
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Postby HeirophantX » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:23 pm

HarnWorld, Harnmaster, HarnPlayer, all have detailed info on running a realistic medieval setting. HarnManor spells out in detail how a manor works and how to determine how much and what sort of wealth your lands generate. The materials are kinda pricey on the Columbia Games website and Kelestia's as well.

If you go to the Harnforum or lythia dot com you can find some good links. There's a Swedish fanzine called Thonahexus that has tons of articles on medieval settings as well.

Anyway, a couple friends and I have been thinking of doing Harn conversions for GoT.
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d20 is broken

Postby atlascott » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:55 pm

Plain and simple. The biggest issue is character advancement, and the quantum leaps in power levels. It imbalances the game and turn the PC's into Gods by level 10.

Green Ronin has done a hell of a job with True20--hit points are no longer the yardstick, and everything is streamlined.

GoO did a great job shoe-horning Martin's world into d20, and they just capped how many hp's you gain per level, and capped levels--even the main characters are not much more than 10 or 12th level, have half or a third of the hp's you'd expect, and as a result of little to no magic, is that spell casters are no longer stopping time or other game-imbalancing stuff. It works ok.

But if anyone can design something new and more appropriate, its Green Ronin.

Good luck, guys. I'll be first in line if you do pre-orders!
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Re: d20 is broken

Postby higgins » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:53 pm

atlascott wrote:Plain and simple. The biggest issue is character advancement, and the quantum leaps in power levels. It imbalances the game and turn the PC's into Gods by level 10.

It's not a problem if they don't use d20 system, and they said they will design a new system altogether. I really-really hope it will not be a level-based one.
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Postby 00Machado » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:11 am

Some other things that I've thought of since my first post - poison use and infection.

Both have shown up multiple times in the series, especially poison, which has played a role in a number of key events. It wasn't just a passing mention. It's use has been pivotal in the evolution of the events in Kings Landing.
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Postby donbaloo » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:18 am

Just wanted to chime in as a cheerleader for the guys at Green Ronin. I've been away from the table for a couple of years now and away from forums for a while as well. Just started pecking around to see if there were any new info of A Song of Ice and Fire since GoO went down. I'm a big fan of the books but I think I'm finished with D20 so I didn't even look at GoO's production. I was quite pleased to see the announcement that GR was taking up the license and even more pleased that they're gonna put it to a non D20 system. I'm very excited to see this product hit the market and maybe it'll get me back to the table again. Anyway, good luck GR, I can't wait to see what you come up with!!!
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Postby bishop026 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:12 am

Short answer: make it different from D&D but gritty like you did with WFRP.

Social conflict that takes time like a good combat sequence would also be great.

I think the other concerns have already been illustrated by others.

Best,

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Postby WildElf » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:14 am

Pramas wrote:If you all would like the help, the best thing you could do at the moment is talk about what you see as the essence of A Song of Ice and Fire. What do you think defines the books? What features do you think a Westeros RPG needs to have to be successful?


Focus on systems for their personal relationships and political manuevering and army tactics. And recognize they are all intertwined. Combat or how skilled someone is isn't more important than those two things, so the rules should give the former more focus. I'd expect we'd see some completely different character stats than the usual physical and mental rundown. Also, since most of the characters are powerful nobles, players should be able to make them when they sit down. I see players even having a supporting cast that sort of acts in the sidelines until their main character is killed. Almost troupe style, or like the Dark Sun character trees.
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Postby Tharen the Damned » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:35 am

WildElf wrote:
Pramas wrote:If you all would like the help, the best thing you could do at the moment is talk about what you see as the essence of A Song of Ice and Fire. What do you think defines the books? What features do you think a Westeros RPG needs to have to be successful?


Focus on systems for their personal relationships and political manuevering and army tactics. And recognize they are all intertwined. Combat or how skilled someone is isn't more important than those two things, so the rules should give the former more focus. I'd expect we'd see some completely different character stats than the usual physical and mental rundown. Also, since most of the characters are powerful nobles, players should be able to make them when they sit down. I see players even having a supporting cast that sort of acts in the sidelines until their main character is killed. Almost troupe style, or like the Dark Sun character trees.


You are almost spot on with your predictions!

If you want to survive you better lern to duel with words as well as with weapons. And being able to lead armies is never a bad thing.

In the "still no news" thread I have posted comments to all of the chapters I have seen in draft format as a playtester.
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Postby Maester Luwin » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:59 pm

Thanks for the updates everyone! This game sounds better & better all the time! It has me already looking forward to June! Thanks Maester Luwin
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Postby Helderik » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:38 am

Hi all, my first post here, just wanted to share my enthousiasm...

Last week, I visited GRR's website and happened to stumble across this GR project. What an incredible news, a new SoIaF rpg! I have been a fan of the books ever since turning the first pages in a game of thrones and can't wait to get my hands on the new book...

I am also a DM using D&D 3.0 rules (my group didn't want to buy all the 3.5 books). I was actually wondering what to do with the 4.0 release when I happened to stumble upon this project...

I have no experience with any other system than the D&D system (2nd edition and upwards) but I definitely see a number of drawbacks to the D&D system. Hopefully, the try-out that will be released in a couple of days will convince me not to buy 4th edition D&D but the new aSoIaF system...!! I love the westeros setting and its real and gritty feeling.. Can't wait to see how my players will deal with the intrique that should be a big part of the setting... I just love characters like littlefinger and Tyrion. And I think most of my players do as well...

My hopes for this system are high. I indeed hope it will be easily accessible and doesn't require too many books and supplementary rules.. I hope this system will deal with the following things I don't like about the D&D rules...

- armor should work as a damage reduction instead of extra defense value.
- A character should get a bonus to AC just as he gets a bonus to attack. It should still be near impossible to strike an unarmed Kingslayer.
- Attack improvement should not be linear, a 3-sigma curve seems more logical and realistic.
- Hitpoints are unrealistic and should be replaced by a system that makes it much harder to kill somebody.
- Level progression... I think the level mechanism isn't fun and doesn't make to much sense. I guess it reminds me too much of a computer game solution... Also, I think it should be possible to loose skills whenever they aren't used (or trained). A graduate shift of skills should be possible to represent changes to a character's life..

I have taken a look at the 'iron heroes' setting by Monte cook, and this system solves several issues but still uses levels and hitpoints. Also, it focusses on battles instead of intrique. What I do like about the D&D rules (don't know about the 4th edition) is the introduction of a grid and minis, combined with movement rules. This was a great step forward compared to 2nd edition dnd and I hope it is also used in a similar way in SIFRP.

As far as to what I've read about SIFRP, it sounds very, very promising. Hopefully, I can download the try-out soon since I don't think it will be available in gaming stores in Eindhoven... I'll be following this board from now on...
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Postby Skyman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:33 pm

Hi Helderik, welcome. :)

Just one comment I want to make:

- A character should get a bonus to AC just as he gets a bonus to attack. It should still be near impossible to strike an unarmed Kingslayer.

Well, I agree that defense should be increasable as well as attack abilities (that's just a weird quirk of the DnD system that it doesn't). But I think you should get a penalty to defense as well as offense if you're unarmed - in the SoIaF setting an unarmed man would never run into the middle of a combat, even if he was high level. You couldn't threaten your opponents and force them to stay back, or parry.

However, I wouldn't think about this system in terms of d20 anyway. It's going to be quite different. It looks like fighting skills will be worked in directly to the skill system along with social skills, etc. You're right that there probably won't be levels. So we can't really think about certain curves for attack progressions, just a manner of increase for all skills.

PS I also love Iron Heroes. It's great for tactical games with a lower magic, slightly grittier feel than DnD. I'm hoping (and think likely) that SoIaF RPG won't have the focus on balance or tactical combat that D20 does (although some is fun) - fights should be quicker, more random and deadly (although still cool and fun to describe), and an accessory to the rping. I ran a Night's Watch game in Iron Heroes, and it was a lot of fun, though.
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