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 variant » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:40 pm

Pramas wrote:
variant wrote:I agree. This is why OGL and D20 products are so popular. OGL is flexible enough to handle almost anything with the right adjustments.


Here's the thing though: d20 products are a really hard sell these days unless you are WotC. The days when it made real business sense to attach games to the d20 logo are over.


I would never say include the rules simply because of a logo but for the entire package. The hardcore fanbase will know it is based off OGL even if all that is done is a tiny OGL logo at the bottom of the back cover. A Song of Ice & Fire will sell itself without any system logo on it.

With a new system created from scratch I would like it to partially mimic the feel of the OGL system. Too many companies, when designing a system, try to shy away from D&D as much as they can. Even if it makes for a worse system.

1d20 + modifiers, skills, feats, and six ability scores are all apart of the package that makes the OGL system simplistic without sacrificing character detail.

I am not against a change in system but the system needs to fit both the world and the player. I don't want to end up rolling 3 dozen dice to determine if I succeed nor would I like my character to be defined by three ability scores(Mind, Body and Spirit).
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Postby Anomandaris » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:17 am

This is really great news. I'm glad that someone picked up the license.

And I think a custom made system from scratch is the right way to go.

I do hope though, that it will be something different from the OGL and/or D20 things. I guess GR would take their True20 if they wanted something OGL/D20 related, no?!

And I, for one, don't see the WFRP System for ASoIaF, so I'm glad this doesn't seem to be an option.

I would like to see a dice-system that is not linear...that is closer to "realism". Say somthing like the dice-system from GURPS or some sort of Dicepool-Variant. Bell-curve, not linear.

I also hope there will be a bit more attributes than only 3. But then, I am an attribute-fan :wink:

Too bad it is still some time off until we will see the first teasers :green:
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Postby Pramas » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:33 am

Anomandaris wrote:Too bad it is still some time off until we will see the first teasers :green:


It's true, it is going to be some time.

So folks know where we are at, we just signed this deal a couple of weeks ago. Work will begin in earnest in May, after everyone is back from GAMA Trade Show. Rob Schwalb and Steve Kenson are flying to Seattle in a few weeks and we're going to put our heads together to make plans for the system and game line. Rob will be taking on lead design and line development for the game.

Our first priority is to come up with a game that really reflects the books. That's one reason we didn't immediately attach it to a pre-existing system. We don't want to make the sort of compromises that inevitably come when marrying a work of fiction to a well-defined game system.

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?
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Postby Jason Durall » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:46 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?

I worked on the GoO book, and if I had the time, I'd be clamoring to be able to contribute to the new edition, but here's some stuff that I definitely wanted to see the GoO edition cover (and things I'd pitched to them):

- Source material for running in The Hedge Knight era
- Rules and guidelines for running tournaments that feel like dozens, if not hundreds, of participants are taking part in them (obviously the PCs' stories will be the central ones, but giving the verisimilitude of a big tourney is very much a part of the setting)
- A big book of castles book, with maps, yes, maps! of all of the main keeps of Westeros
- One big bad-ass campaign (perhaps set before the books) that gives the flavor of the novels without turning into a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead affair (with the PCs hanging out in between scenes while important NPCs do everything of note)
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Postby Nifft » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:05 am

Will you get to use some of the artwork from GoO's book? There were some breathtaking two-page spreads in there, and it'd be a shame if new buyers didn't get a chance to gawk. :)

Will you include rule sidebars for various levels of grit (e.g. armor degradation for grittier, a differentiation between mooks and "named meat" for swashbuckling-er)?

Thanks, -- N
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Postby SnowDog » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:09 am

It's great to see that you picked up the license. Congratulations! I really digged Thieves' World, although another system would have probably been to my liking so I am really excited to see that you will likely create a new system for this one.

Although as I am not a great fan of d20/OGL system (sorry guys) I have to agree that it won't serve any purpose to make the new system totally different from the said system just to be different. But then again you are professionals and already know that.

There is another confession to make. I have only read the first novel (boy those volumes are huge!) :oops: But based on the impression I got from that one is that the setting is pretty realistic spiced up with some pretty funky magic.

So I would make the combat pretty hazardous with possibility to get grippled for life. Something along the lines of WFRP (but obviously not exactly). On the other hand since combat can be pretty important aspect of the game at least PCs should have some sort of way for not to get killed/mauled too easily.

Social situations seemed to be very important for the setting so a sort of social combat rules would enhance the feeling of the game when you are negotiating at the court for your case etc.

Some sort of profession/culture system would serve quite well as a basis for character generation. After you have generated your character his development should be pretty free. At least for noble families there seems to be pretty notable characteristics (both mental and physical in many cases). So having these in game are pretty essential.
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Postby 300lbs Gorrilla » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:27 am

I see Master Leuwin gravitated to these boards pretty quick. :lol:

Hey fantastic news. I'm glad it will be a whole knew system...I abhor d20 and it made it very, very difficult to pick up the GoO one because of that. I'm also glad they decided to tailor a system specific to the books instead of tacking on a existing rules set that maybe good at one aspect of the game but runs poorly on another part. It'll just make it difficult to unload my Uber AGoT book from GoO. (You know the limited thingy)

I'm not thrilled about having to learn another system but considering the license I certainly don't mind in this case. As far as "dumbing" it down as someone put it. I'm guessing the comment was in contrast to the rules heavy d20. Like because if it isn't rules heavy it isn't smart or good. I think we all know lighter rules does not make for a bad game. And if there will be many rules attached for things like mass combat...I personally don't want to have to slog through a over saturation of general rules just to have to go through equally complex mass combat rules etc.

My wish would be to have a system that melts into the background and is not the central figure. Kind of like how FATE becomes apart of the game and just doesn't run the game.

Over-all I'm pleased Green Ronin got the license. I have never bought a Green Ronin game but the word of mouth is very good. I wouldn't have minded it going to WW either and ideally I would've loved to have seen it become a GURPS game. But, we know how much SJgames stays away from license's these days.
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Postby skywalker » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:10 pm

Pramas wrote:Rob Schwalb and Steve Kenson are flying to Seattle in a few weeks and we're going to put our heads together to make plans for the system and game line. Rob will be taking on lead design and line development for the game.


Excellent news. Both Rob and Steve in a green field is a very good thing IMO
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Postby Pramas » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:00 pm

skywalker wrote:
Pramas wrote:Rob Schwalb and Steve Kenson are flying to Seattle in a few weeks and we're going to put our heads together to make plans for the system and game line. Rob will be taking on lead design and line development for the game.


Excellent news. Both Rob and Steve in a green field is a very good thing IMO


This license is really important to GR, so I thought it best to get the whole brain trust involved in making the important decisions for the game. And believe me, our views are not uniform and that's good. It ensures that our debates will be vigorous. :)
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Postby Jason Durall » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:54 pm

Since you're going to formula on a system, I'd heartily recommend something easy for newcomers to get into. This IP is a wonderful one for bringing new players into the hobby, and as such it should be as newbie-friendly and approachable as possible.

The Pendragon system is, in my mind, the absolute limit of complexity for new players, though it didn't go far enough in providing ready-to-use templates and easily-customizable characters.

The ideal, in my opinion, would be for a system where players can choose from a variety of recognizable archetypes (young noble, guard captain, household knight, inexperienced Maester, cutpurse, wise septon, Wildling, Black Brother recruit, outlaw, etc.), customize them with a regional/house background and a few advantages/disads (player choice), shuffle points around a bit if desired, and be ready to play. Something like Feng Shui's templates in ease of use.

One of the big failings of d20 games, in my opinion, is the immense amount of startup time to get going - where you've got a huge list of feats to know before you can pick the one or two you'd like.

Also, though this is likely an unpopular position in the gaming industry... you might consider enabling players and GMs to throw balance out the window when it comes to choosing characters. With advice and warning, of course. If you look at the cast of the first novel as a group of PCs, how can you possibly reconcile Sansa with Rob, or even Jon? Tyrion?

Allowing players an easy means of coming up with exactly the characters they want to play would be, in my mind, the absolute best way to serve the license.
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Postby REG » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:07 pm

Jason Durall wrote:One of the big failings of d20 games, in my opinion, is the immense amount of startup time to get going - where you've got a huge list of feats to know before you can pick the one or two you'd like.

Then start with a smaller list.

Put me in for "adapting/tweaking/stretching/pulling the True20 rules to the setting, not adapting the Westeros setting to the True20 rules."
Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

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Postby Rand » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:31 pm

Foreword: This post is a pretty long one. I try to think of all that I could said about ASOIAF, and what I would hope for the game to be. As I love the book and have high hope for the game, I wrote a lot. Also as I'm French and English is not my native language, you might find out a few mistakes in the grammar or the spelling. Overall, I think I wrote well enough, but I'll see it by yourself.


What do I think define the books? I can summarise it in two words: Wits, and Guts.

On Wits first:
In ASOIAF, characters face impossible situations. They should be defeated but most of the time one of the character get something clever out of his brain, confront the problem from another point of view, and win, because of a simple idea. I would call this cheating.
This is true for almost every aspect of the character. Daenerys get its unsullied by cheating, Tyrion won the Blackwater battle by cheating, Stannis takes Renly down by cheating, and so on...
Wherever you look, you see characters solving problems by bending the rules.
All rules are made to be broken, and so should be the ones of the RPG. The weak and smart shall prevail on the strong, even if stats and dices said it should not. Embeding this in a system might be a pain in the ass, but I sure it's the only way to get the feeling of the books back into the game.

Now what about Guts?
Guts are about Bronn not using armours to defend Tyrion, it's about Cercei poisoning Robert, its about the one true rule of the game of throne: You win or you die.
Great deeds may be accomplished, but that will be heroics deeds only if the odds are against the character and that he is ready to bet everything he has on a single move.
Most of the times, players have the choice not to act as they do, they can chose a safe way, or even chose not to engage in the game. Still once you play, the chances are fate will consume everything you put in the game.
So, I think that on important maters, the player should be given a way to risk everything on a single shot, even if they may be asked to figure out how to do so, as I explained earlier in Wits.
Guts are about choices and consequences. Using a dagger against a guard may be the right way for Arya to leave Harrenhal, but if she missed, she will be dead, and even if she don't, she will be tracked for the killing.


Well... Now that I define that are for me the central elements of the book, I have to admit that neither of this help much when it comes to game design.
So let's talk about situations...

First is Politics:
Social conflicts and influence are definitely key aspects of the universes, but I don’t thing they should be the core of the game system. There should be rules to manage social status, wealth and fealty, and also fear and reputation, but those rules should be kept to a minimum. I think social situations should be roleplayed by the player, and that the pertinence of his point shall decide of what happen. I don't think a player speech should be interrupted to role dices, so game mechanics, if any, should not be more than one roll, and very simple modifiers. It might also be good for the game master to handle social roles, as the effects might not be apparent for the character, and he could keep the story flowing...
More than influence and social rolls, Politics is about intrigue and plotting. There is no need for rules on this, but there is a need for guidelines to get as close as possible of GRRM work.
Here are a few things that I think matters in GRRM storytelling:
* Organizations and conspiracies don’t have agendas, but the character in command does.
* Past is the seed of the present, children are their parent's puppets, learning history is part of the game.
* Every character want something, find out what, and you will control that character.
* When you have a surprise, keep it and unveiled it only when the timing is good (which usually means that a very bad situation turns to worst, or that a good one turns to bad)
* Plans will fail, secrets will be told, or they are pointless as the PC don't have interaction with the story.
* Don't give the players time to think, something must happen to keep the busy, the world don't way for them...
* NPC are humans, they can fail, they have motivations and weakness, they're not white not black, and not grey either. NPC are colourful and deep...
* Attack the characters on personal level. Don't let the feel comfortable, unless you want them to get sleepy so you can strike them twice harder.

Second, Swordplay:
Here is a difficult one. Fight is random, there's chaos in it, and anyone shall be hurt. Still, in Westeros, real fighters are very dangerous, and very hard to take down. Relying on luck shall not be an option, even if luck is part of the game. So the training is the real important fact. When he comes at the wall, Jon is by far better than the other boys, even if he's young and thin, because he as been trained before. Hence he takes down bigger and stronger opponents.
So, as far as I'm concerned, skill is the key here (right after Guts and Wits, of course).
Personal edges, such as Clegane's might, should be include in his overall ability, but is not really what will change the deal. To me, it looks like a signature, his personal combat style.
I don't really know if it can be embedded in a simple system, but I would like to see more than one fighter type: Gregor Clegane is a very dangerous man, but he is quite different than Jaime Lannister, still neither of them fights like Oberyn Martell or Syrio Forell. It would be hard to say which one is the best, and it would mostly be a mater of tactical choices and luck than mere skill.
So I put skill first, but I want tactics and luck two.
And by tactics, I'm not talking about the 5-feet-squared dungeon maps, or flanking to get sneak attack. Tactics to me mean something different.
In deed, I'd like to see my players trying things in combat, solving it by intellect rather than just relying in dices. Like, "he's big, he should be slow, so I will strike him quicker than he can parry". If it works good, the opponent gets hurt, if it goes bad you give a chance to your opponent to hurt you and if it's not that clear, you can just try something else...
I think fighting should be about finding out the opponent weakness before being killed, but it's more a personal belief than a real conclusion of my reading of ASOIAF.

Fighting also means being hurt, and in Westeros, being hurt is bad. There are no hit points that a master would heal by laying hands. There are broken bones, hand amputations, nose cut, bleeding and dying.
While the exact description should be handled by the gamemaster, injuries should be bad. Injured character are weaker, slower, they are not as good in a fight as they should be and they need to be healed quickly to avoid aggravation, bleeding, sickness and so on...

Third, Battles:
Battle in Westeros don't work like most war-game do. Defeating the opponent doesn't mean killing his troops, it means making the troops leave the battlefield. Tywin Lannister has a good word for this somewhere in the books, but I can't manage to find it now that I need it...
So moral should be more important than troop strength or number.
So as I said skill was the key point of swordfight, I think now that the commanding skills are the determining elements of the battle. If the commander is able to feed his troops, to gets them move as he wants and to make them believe in victory, they should win.
But, as for swordfight, tactics should be part of the game. And now I don't speak of the character tactics, but the player's one. Placing archer in reach of fire, and the cavalry where it would do most damage, to me it appears to be part of the commanding skills, and it's not really what the books are about.
What the character bring to the battle, and what I expect the player to bring to the game, is surprise. It's the whispering wood, the one thing that you think of and the opponent don't. If the PC brings surprise to the battlefield, troops won't know how to react and most of the time they will flee and give you victory.
That's what I understand from the books. And that is what I would expect from a game system to allow me to put in my campaigns.

Also, in the book, when characters are in the middle of the battles, they don't have an overview. Battle means chaos, and so should the PC feel. So there should be a simple way to handle characters in the middle of a fight. They should have chances to get hurt, and chances to hurt people according to their actions, but we certainly don't want to draw every soldier on a map and to make a roll for each of those near the PC. I don't have any preference or suggestion on the way to solve this as long as the player feel like they're in the middle of a hundred lances and swords, with control on nearly nothing and a good chance to die even if they hide.

Fourth, Magic:
Magic is something rare and dark. It is hard to learn, it require time and sacrifices. So very few people should be able to use magic.
But even when characters don't want to use magic, magic can work. As far as we now, Stark's direwolves are a kind of magical effects, when Catelyn pray for Bran to stay in Winterfell, bran stays in Winterfell, when Bran dreams of a three-eyed-crow, he didn't asked for anything, and it is for all the song.
There is Magic, for everyone, but only those who dedicated themselves to that force can attempt to control it.
Also the use of magic does not rely on magic point, nor on spell slots. The way I understand magic in martin's work, it rely on sacrifice. You can use it as much as you want, but each time you call on magic, it will take something in return. The maegy, the one who know the mysteries, know the cost, and when he chose to use magic, he knows how to do so.
Melisandre use some of Stanis life strength to create killer shades. Bran lose part of his sanity has he take control of Summer. Daenerys burn a lot of things in the fire that wakes the dragons...

So I thing learning spell (or should I say gaing power as spells are only a tiny aspect of ice and fire magic) should be hard, and time consuming, and most of the time should require sacrifices. Faceless men spend year to train and prey before the can meld their face, and it appears that their god take them something, even if not always the same thing...
When a character has learn how to induce a magical effect on the other hand, doing it should not be very difficult, and the only limit should be the price the character is willing to pay. Powers should be ... well, powerful. There is not a lot of magic in ASOIAF, but when there is, it's always impressive.
The price is high, so characters willing to pay it shall not be cheated on the effects...


Ok, I think that with Politics, Swordplay, Battle and Magic, I've run with the major aspects of the song.
So I'm nearly done... Hang on. :wink:


My last consideration is about the system itself.
As other has said before, I don't think a complex system should not be appropriate. Because some won't like to learn a new system, because some won't like to use it, but also because if rules cover precisely every aspect of the game, players and gamemasters rely on rules to solves thing and become unable to bend them.
And so, I think an exhaustive system will work against creativity and the "Wits" pillar of the books. When playing in the seven kingdoms, I would like to forget about the system and focus on what my character will do to stay alive, and looking on the character sheet or in the rulebook shall not give me any safety.
So please, please, keep it simple and efficient...

Also, and it's exactly the same thing, I'm bored spending hours designing D20 character, while at the end of the day, the only useful stat is Character Level.
So I would like to create character quickly, and I would like to be able to include a few customisation that allow to knight to be very different one from the other...
I don't think that in ASOIAF, abilities with strength, quickness or intellect would be relevant. As primal stats, I would like to see values related to the most frequents conflicts, that might be Politics, Weapons and Battle, or something completely different if you don’t like the way I enclose situations earlier. The point is we don't know whether is Jaime is strong or quick or smart, but we know that he is really good with a sword, and as a GM that's all I need to know to create the character quickly.
Then there should be secondary stats, that character life or reputation usually don’t rely on. Those abilities are used to describe the character and add colour to it, and would be Cersei beauty or Tyrion scholarship. This is certainly important, but I can't imagine a mind conflict between Tyrion and Oberyn where the one who has read the most books would destroy the other one. These abilities are secondary only by name, as they do not rely on conflict as the primary did. Still spending a few points in the "secondary" survival might keep a character alive beyond the Wall.


Now that's the end!
I hope at least some of it will prove useful, and even if it's a single sentence, it will be worst the time I spent writing this.
So have a nice day, play game, read book, and work hard on this one!
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Postby Haplo781 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:53 pm

Gritty. Gritty as all hell. Characters should be able to get infected wounds, amputated limbs, broken bones, ugly scars, etc. Combat should be a real danger, not only due to possibility of death, but also because of crippling injuries.

I'd love to see physical combat, intrigue, and power struggles use similar, if not identical, mechanics, as they're all equally prominent in the books, and all have about the same amount of influence on the course of the storyline. Learning one should make learning the others easier, or players (especially RPG noobs) are apt to only master one of them and ignore the others.

There should be a real sense of paranoia- you'll make alliances with people you know you can't trust in the long run, but you'll do it anyway because you NEED what they can offer you in the short term.
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Postby Rand » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:35 pm

Haplo781 wrote:I'd love to see physical combat, intrigue, and power struggles use similar, if not identical, mechanics, ...


I'd like to see that as well, but I'm a bit confused by intrigue and power.
Isn't power a subvalue of intrigue as strength is for combat?
Or do you refere as mystical powers?
In the first case, I don't realy understand when to use one and when to use the other, as they're closely connected.
In the case of magic power, I don't remeber of any magic struggles in the book. Magic works or it don't, but there's no saving throws...
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Postby skywalker » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:37 pm

Jason Durall wrote:The ideal, in my opinion, would be for a system where players can choose from a variety of recognizable archetypes (young noble, guard captain, household knight, inexperienced Maester, cutpurse, wise septon, Wildling, Black Brother recruit, outlaw, etc.), customize them with a regional/house background and a few advantages/disads (player choice), shuffle points around a bit if desired, and be ready to play. Something like Feng Shui's templates in ease of use.


This also sounds a little like Star Wars WEG's approach. It gave a bunch of ready to run templates and then a very simple system for creating your own templates.
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Postby Anomandaris » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:34 am

Yes, i am also one who votes for gritty combat. Quick and deadly. Maybe there needs to be a system who allows PC to alter that a bit in their direction (fatepoints or whatever) but overall, to emulate the books, combat should be fast and lethal.
There should definitely be a system for social situations...social combat, maybe a renown-system. Think Lot5R or 7th Sea.

Then I would like to see signature fighting styles for the different regions. Again, think 7th Sea and their swordman-schools. For example a dornish spear-school etc.

No classes. I like the approach of freeform character-generation. Maybe some premade templates, as some have suggested. But no rigid system. There should be as many different Maesters as there are different Teachers in our World etc.

As an overall statement, i am not a friend of too light a system. You could have different layers of complexity so that noobs can take an easy way in, but for the seasoned crowd, there should be more meat on the bone.

And as i said before, i am a friend of stats *g* So no forge-ite stats for me like Rand suggested...i want my Jaime to have strenght and beauty and whatever. Not only "excellent swordsman".
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Postby Rand » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:31 am

It seems that everyone wants gritty combats. I want it tow, as I think most fight are quick and deadly. On the other hand, we might need a way for PC to escape death, because characters only get attractive if they survive.
So I would like to see fate points, but these points should only serve to keep the character alive. By using a fate point, the PC stays between life and death instead of becoming a bare corpse. And when he wakes up alive, he as lost a lot. It's Bran falling and losing his legs and memory. It's Tyrion after the Blackwater, loosing his nose and influence.

I don't think fate points should allow success or give an edge to the character except for keeping him alive. If success becomes a mater of spending point, we lose the danger, and so we miss all the fun. Heroes of Westeros know failure, they don't control their destiny and failure taste bad. It's that bitter taste that gives the book its unique flavour, and gives the success their real greatness.

Now for stats, I think that I may have been misunderstood. I do think that some characters are stronger than others, and that Jaime is prettier than the hound.
When I wrote that combat should be a primal stats, I meant that in that game, being a good swordsman is far more important than being strong. So I would like to see the things that are really important in a preponderant position. Strength and beauty came after that.
The idea was not to use Forge theories in ASOIAF RPG, because I don't think they would fit well in there. My point was to put the most important thinks in the most important position, so that we can quickly get a gross sketch of what a character can do.
We can see example of that kind of design in game likes Amber or Dying Earth, and I think Amber political games are close to the one I would like to see in ASOIAF.
But still, I want dices or any other random mechanic.

I hope you all have now a better idea of what I meant by primal stats. Excellent Swordsman is certainly not enough to define Jaime...
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Postby SnowDog » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:19 am

I agree that skill should prevail plain luck at least in combat. That's how it seems to work in the book(s).

I understand why Rand wanted to keep dice away from social conflicts but the sad fact is that some of the players are more verbally proficient than others even when their characters aren't. To have a similar system in social conflict as in physical conflict allows all players to play different characters in that aspect too. A good example is Burning Wheel/Burning Empires. In those games PCs can influence even other PCs without magic. Very nice.
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Postby 300lbs Gorrilla » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:20 am

Jason Durall wrote:Also, though this is likely an unpopular position in the gaming industry... you might consider enabling players and GMs to throw balance out the window when it comes to choosing characters. With advice and warning, of course. If you look at the cast of the first novel as a group of PCs, how can you possibly reconcile Sansa with Rob, or even Jon? Tyrion?
I don't think this point should be glossed over. It is a excellent idea. Any GM worth his salt creates a campaign around the characters...not make the characters work around the campaign.
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Postby SnowDog » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:26 pm

About bending the rules. I guess that theme in the series is not so obvious in the first book than when you have read the whole series (so far). Still I think that it's not so good an idea to walk this road. I would rather see a rules set that encourages and supports creative thinking and out of the box implementation of ideas that players get. This should come to play in combat, mass combat, social situations as well as plain outwitting your opponent in any case. I use a lot of house rule after I become accustomed to the rules and find holes or parts that I don't like. But still bending the rules just for the sake of it sounds a bit odd to me. Maybe I just didn't understand what Rand meaned with it?

A bit more about combat. Maybe permanent damge, mutilation, infections etc. should be quite common rather than quick death. First of all it is much more fun to have a long lived character that has really suffered and it shows on him than just one of those long string of characters who died instantly. Mind you, I don't think that instant death should be ruled out completely, on the contrary but the balance should be on keeping a possibility for characters to survive, albeit not without scars.

In Fading Suns (1st Edition) there were templates for different factions (various noble houses, church sects and guilds) that represented stats/skills/advantages and disadvantages that were most often found in the members of that faction. These templates were totally optional and player could disregard them (almost) completely but they still gave a nice guideline to players what kind of game stats his charactes should/could be expected to have. I really liked that loose attitude and it might serve very well on this line too.
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Postby Rand » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:45 pm

SnowDog wrote:I would rather see a rules set that encourages and supports creative thinking and out of the box implementation of ideas that players get. This should come to play in combat, mass combat, social situations as well as plain outwitting your opponent in any case.(...) But still bending the rules just for the sake of it sounds a bit odd to me. Maybe I just didn't understand what Rand meaned with it?

Well, I meant exactly that... "encouraging and supporting creative thinking."
And you explain it far beter than I did.
The defect of most D20 product is that most of the actions are quite accuratly covered by very precise rules. So when the character as to do something, the idea comes from the rules rather than the game situation. I don't whant this to hapen, so I would like a way to put the idea before the rules in game mechanics.
So I think we want the same thing... :)

And I also agree on death and scars. Suffering and survival is what we need to make deep and interesting characters... but we also need instant death to remind us how dangerous the world is.
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Postby REG » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:57 pm

The most simplest grim-n-gritty damage resolution: flip a coin. Heads, you live, Tails you're killed.

Even with the Head result, roll for major injury: Paralysis, Internal Bleeding, Butchering, Disembowelment, etc.

If I use that system, trust me, my players' PCs' Charisma are going into double-digit negative. Even the Others are scared to possess them.
Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

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Postby SnowDog » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:33 am

Rand:

Yes, I think we are thinking on the same line of thought. Let's see what comes up...
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Postby Maester Luwin » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:57 am

Wow! A lot of talk going on. All suggestions sound good. If going with a new system I would agree the main concepts of ASoTF are:
1.) Political intrigue- my players loved making alliances... gather followers... ect so something akin to GoO infleunce system makes sense;
2.) House backgrounds/ regional differences & pros/ cons to playing them;
3.) A good system for tournaments- like Jasson mentioned for both great & small ones;
4.) Grim combat where the fear of death keeps players from drawing swords at every insult (see #1 above) where wearing armor has its advatages & disadvantages & system to allow skill in those weapons trained vs your a warrior so you know all weapons;
5.) Mass combat rules- there's always a war going on somewhere... it Westeros afterall;
6.) Magic should be rare & mystical... as well as having a price for using it.

I also think offering different timelines to the book's to adventure in would be great. The players should not be overshadowed by the likes of Tyrion ect. nor does changing the course of the books appeal to me. Just my two coppers. Thanks again Green Ronin for picking this up. I am sure that you will do an awesome job! I would also like to thank Jasson for his work on GoO's game. My players & I have had a blast with it over the past years! Maester Luwin
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Postby higgins » Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:06 pm

Hi all!

The more I read this thread, the more I like these great ideas and this community. Hearing GR makes the ASOIAF RPG was great until I heard, it's going to be a non-d20 product. Now it's damn freaking awsome, as I think a specially tailored system is the right way to go. And since learning all this made me three times as exited as I was before, I thought I'd contribute with something as well.

Most of these comments here suggest me that The Riddle of Steel would be perfect system for Westeros. It's gritty, it's combats are fought with wits and it pretty much solves the balance issue many people have beenworrying about. There a two major downsides though. One, I see that GR doesn't want to licence a system, and two, it is rules heavy.

There are many good things to consider about it however. Firstly it's the only RPG approved by the Associaton of Renaissance Martial Arts and it shows. Just the way combat works is revolutionary, although a bit complicated for my taste. It's supplement The Flower of Battle includes rules for army-scale combat as well and simulates Braveheart-style heroic actions in front lines (I'm in the very beginning of ASOIAF, so I'm not familiar with the battle styles). But The Riddle of Steel is definetly worth picking up as it's combat system is unlike any I have ever seen before. Here's an example of how the combat works. It may seem complicated with a lot of dice thrown around, but once you get the core of how it works... There's no turning back, as you'll be thinking how to houserule this stuff into the system you're using at the moment. :)

As for the game balance, The Riddle of Steel uses the prority system not unlike the character creation system used in Shadowrun. The players chooses which categories are important to his character. The choice is made between Social Satus, Birth and Blood, Attributes, Combat Skills, Other Skills, Gifts and Flaws. The first part of the table can be seen here. So, basically Jon and Sansa would be "in balance". Jon having better Combat Skills for example and Sansa having a better edge on the Gifts and Flaws for example.

That all said, I would vote against using "archetypes" or "classes", because as Rand very nicely put "when the character as to do something, the idea comes from the rules rather than the game situation". While not a 100% grammatically correct, I know exactly what he means. The rules should not dicate what kind of characters can be made. If there are classes, it only induces people to make stereotypical characters with alike abilities. Having no stereotypes encourages and supports creative thinking! (Great wording, SnowDog!) Oh, and please no levels as well. And if possible, no hit points. :)

And one more thing. I know a lot of these pictures were used in the GOO AGOT RPG book, but is there any way to include a lot of Amok's portraits when the novel characters are mentioned? This fella is simply excellent in painting the characters and I've even printed out his whole gallery as palm-sized cards to flip through when reading the books. Just brilliant!

Looking forward for any news,
Higgins

P.S.
Sorry for the broken links, I have to have 5 posts to be able to include them properly. :( Maybe a moderator can edit my post and fix them if I don't gather the 5 posts quickly enough to edit and fix them myself.

Edit: Links fixed.
Last edited by higgins on Wed May 02, 2007 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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