“Alright, you’re characters have fought hard in the Riverlands but now it’s time for some fun festivities.” announced the game master.
“The King’s uncle, Lord Tully, invites you to attend his wedding to one of Walder Frey’s daughters at the Twins. Hopefully, the union will restore strength to the army of the North!”
The players look at each other with absurd faces. “GAME OF THRONES OVER, MAN!“
The worst part about running in the setting of a great story is the damned great story! Thanks Mr. Martin for your beautiful art, which has sparked my own creativity – now, get the hell out the way.
A Song of Fire and Ice is still being composed and I don’t want it to drown out my own li’l melody. I can’t really add on until it’s done and I don’t want to tarnish such a saga. The future is still in motion – like Yoda said while he popped open a can of Pepsi to earn Lucas another few million dollars.
This leaves us the rich history of Westeros, where only a few nerds such as myself have delved.
Option 1 – FATE of the Dragon Throne
A hundred years before Danerys married Kharl Drogo, King Aegon Targaryen IV, the worst king in the history of Westeros, legitimized his bastards on his deathbed. This created dozens of heirs in royal line. Shortly after, one of his royal oopsies made a play for the throne. It becomes known as the Blackfyre Rebellion.
The events are far enough from the series to have narrative freedom, but still feel like GoT. I didn’t make this up. I read this in the Hedge Knight series. George R. R. Martin is spilling over with fucking talent.
A game requires conflict and this is a good one. Player characters need a Trouble or Struggle to define themselves against. Daemon Blackfyre is this great warrior with lots of charisma. The crowned king Daeron Targaryen is a bookish administrator trying to focus on fixing the damage his father did. Uber jock versus Super nerd on an epic scale!
The players I have lined up are mostly unfamiliar with the setting. A few think of GoT as “D&D with lots of talking”. There’s only a little magic in Westeros and few other tropes of medieval fantasy games. How can I run GoT AND fulfill comfortable expectations?
Option 2 – FATE of the Seven Lands
Six THOUSAND years before the death of King Robert of the House Baratheon – ruler of the First Men, the Andals and the Rhoynar, the first Andals conquered the Vale of Arryn. They brought with them the Seven Gods and steel to the wild spirited First Men with their many Old Gods. The invaders aim to spread the Faith to the seven lands of Westeros, civilize hundreds of clannish kingdoms and destroy the wierding powers of the Great Weirwoods with their inhuman keepers.
Whether the players play First men, Andals or whatever else, this mythic age holds only potential. I see it as sort of GoT with classical Roman flavor. The Andals as the Romans battle with their steel spathas ringing against bronze scale armor of the “barbaric” First men.
Add in the Crusades with the themes of old tradition versus alien ideas.
This is a vaguely detailed setting in GoT’s past where there was magic and sorcery. This is where the supernatural powers that Brandon is learning about were much more common. The Children of the Forest used dark magic to destroy a peninsula! Snarks and Grumpkins REALLY do prowl the dark woods doing evil faery tale shit! Dire wolves? Dire bears, boars, mammoths, dire EVERYTHING!