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.
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 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.
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