They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them - Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On the prince's breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. the waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned [Stark] had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor." - Game of Thrones
I'm looking to put together a Game of Thrones rpg set a few years before the beginning of the first book, meaning it's not necessary that you've read them or seen the show, though reading at least the first book should help you pick up the language and get an idea for the culture. If you're interested in a schemy, political game in a gritty fantasy world but don't know Game of Thrones, PM me with questions and I'll do my best to fill you in! I'm toying with whether to make this casual or advanced.
Plot and Setting
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." - Queen Cersei Lannister.
The idea is that the characters will all be members of one of the small noble Houses that rule Westeros. The adventure will be a chronicling of this House's rising and falling (hence the name) in Westeros through their role in wars and intrigues, betrayals and alliances. I'd like quite a large group, but ideally the 'core' would be around this noble family, meaning you'd either be members of that family or members of their castle staff; one character might be the lord of the House entire, while another might be the stableboy who sees things around the castle etc. But each of them will be important in deciding the ultimate fate of their House - for better or worse.
This is set ten years after Robert's Rebellion, the civil war that killed Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, and catapulted Robert Baratheon to the Iron Throne and the title of King of Westeros. By most accounts, Robert is a decent king, largely thanks to his connection by marriage to the extravagantly wealthy House Lannister. Robert's son, Joffrey, is about eight years old and Tommen only recently born. His allies in the war have been given seats of great power and many who rode against Robert were spared in exchange for them pledging loyalty. The coasts of Westeros are being raided by the rebellious Greyjoys and Robert's fleets are marshalling their strength to defeat him. Jon Arryn is Hand of the King and enforces his law, while to the North lies the great Wall, where Benjen Stark and Jeor Mormont lead the Nights Watch in keeping away the cold and the dark with fire and steel.
With another uprising so soon after Robert's Rebellion, there is much upset and rumour in the courts of Westeros. Some are saying that the some Targaryens escaped Robert's wrath and that they still have sympathisers in the noble Houses of Westeros. Motives are being questioned, suspicious deaths are occuring and at the centre of all this - is your House.
"Some battles are won with swords and shields, others with quills and ravens" - Tywin Lannister
[If you have a picture for your character, put it here. Also, include any particular quote for your character here.]
Appearance: (If you've used a picture, use this to note any typical clothes or distinguishing marks they have)
Line of Succession: (If noble male. How many people would have to die before you became lord? For instance, the lord's son is first in line, so he'd put 1 here. The son's younger brother puts 2 etc. Women will only inherit after all male heirs are dead, because gender equality's not great in Westeros)
Role: (What do they do for the House? Are they Lord? Steward? Cook?)
Edge: (What one thing do they have that will lead them to glory? For instance, Tyrion Lannister's edge is his wits)
Flaw: (What one thing do they have that will lead them to the grave? Ed Stark's is his honor, for instance.)
Secret: (There's something your character doesn't want other people to know. PM me with that. Just put "Yes" in this box)
Equipment: (Any weapons, armor and general gear)
Backstory: (At least a couple of paragraphs)
Remember that a major theme in the Song of Ice and Fire series is the subversion of a lot of heroic fantasy tropes; you can make a heroic idealistic character, but just remember that they'll find themselves at odds with a lot of what goes on around them and are more likely to die by being betrayed than to defeat a wicked tyrant in single combat. Similarly, Game of Thrones is very low fantasy in that magic is primarily the stuff of myth and legend; dragons existed but now are extinct, the gods are distant if they even exist and a wizard's staff is just a stick.
"Everyone who isn't us is our enemy." - Queen Cersei Lannister
Now, you maybe have noticed that I've carefully avoided naming the noble House you'll all be members of. That's because I want it to be something everyone has a bit of impact in creating. That way everyone is a bit more involved and engaged with the goings-on of the House. The only thing I as GM want to "mandate" is that your House will start play being relatively minor. You won't be playing something on the level of the Starks or Baratheons; more like the Boltons or the Karstarks.
I'll be using the House Creation rules in the Song of Ice And Fire roleplaying game rule book to randomly determine the basic shell of the House, and then anyone who's interested and submits a character sheet can also create things like notable settlements in your lands, the house words, historical figures, any peculiar quirks and customs of the family... The things I determine will be based on dice rolls, so it should definitely end up interesting..
How does that sound?