This isn’t exactly cutting edge gaming but the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG remains one of my favorite games out there. Recently, Green Ronin put out a settingless version of the game system as Sword Chronicle which made me think about it again recently.
I don’t know about you, but anything related to Westeros at this point is tied up in the series finale of the Game of Thrones series on HBO. The finale was… let’s say “divisive,” and there’s no guarantee that books’ ending won’t be similar. I’m in the “mixed views” camp on the events in the series’ last few episodes but regardless of how you feel about it there’s no denying that the worldbuilding of George R. R. Martin is fantastic. Besides the five (for now) books of A Song of Ice and Fire, there are the fantastic novellas of Dunk and Egg (now available as an illustrated collection in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms), the comprehensive The World of Ice & Fire, and the first part of the Targaryen dynasty in Fire & Blood.
All of this has me thinking it might be time to start up a new A Song of Ice and Fire chronicle. The book series might be in a holding pattern and the RPG discontinued but there’s plenty to rekindle your interest if you too want to head back to Westeros.
New In Sword Chronicle
The first thing to get excited about is the repackaging of A Song of Ice and Fire into Sword Chronicle. Having read through Sword Chronicle (which you can see reviewed on Gnome Stew here), I can tell you two things about it. First, you don’t need to buy it if you already have ASoIaFRPG because most of the mechanics are the same and the ones that aren’t mostly have to do with non-human characters which aren’t a thing for a Westerosi game. Secondly, if you want to expand your options for this system then this book is really awesome and well written.
If you aren’t married to Martin’s world then you can create your own setting with the expanded options of Sword Chronicle. You can also use the Benefits and Drawbacks from the non-human characters in different situations and there are some great changes to how some of the system is explained (I’m thinking of the Intrigue rules for social combat especially). Most obviously, the rules for magic which first appeared in Chronicle of Sorcery are clarified here and integrated into the main rules. You won’t find rules for sorcerers of R’hllor or priests of the Drowned God in here but it would only take a little imagination to make them.
Blood, Coil, and Steel
I also stumbled on a fantastic fan-created resource called Blood, Coin, and Steel. This fantastic set of fan supplements by Notepad Anon covers a lot of things I’ve always wanted to see in A Song of Ice and Fire RPG including the Free Cities and Slaver’s Bay, mercenary companies, and merchant houses. They also outlined campaign options for the Blackfyre Rebellion’s and the Dance of the Dragons, two eras that I’ve wanted to run games in. Added to that is the fun option of a split party with a Westerosi noble house working with a Essosi sellsword company or a castle of the Night’s Watch allied with a merchant house of the Free Cities. These fan rules are a little rough in places so I’m anticipating doing a little massaging before using them, but they are really great and have me thinking about new chronicle frameworks and options.
This has inspired me to come up with mechanics myself. That means you can expect some new stuff here for A Song of Ice and Fire RPG chronicle. Truthfully, I don’t know if I’m actually going to be running a new chronicle any time soon so instead I’m going to channel that interest into stuff that others can use. So watch this space!