Game of Thrones characters

I was having a discussion with my players about how 4e and 5e seem to be a bit too much about maximising the stat bonus and we started to wonder how viable it would be to build the characters from Game of Thrones tv series.

Now admittedly, in a low magic campaign it won't be possible to build magical pcs but we have a lot of fighters and rogues (and non-magical rangers) and very few of them follow the style encouraged by the stat system of maximising your main stat.

I wondered what people's views on character builds were (class (and build), level, stats,and alignment) and whether they would be viable characters in DDN.  If not, what changes could they make to DDN to make the characters more viable?

 PS Avoid spoilers please!
There was a Dragon Magazine about "Song of Ice and Fire", it was my first time I read about it...(Myself bought the Spanish traslation). I don´t rebember about character stats...



And there was a official d20 Game of Thrones, but it wasn´t D&D but a variant.



When I am the creater I foget the canon, if I want in my campaing Anaking Skywalker allowed Mace Windu killed senator Palpatine..or Leto II Atreides (Children of Dune) wasn´t a worn-like creature but a D&D linnorm, or the wizard guilds are the "traditions" from "Mage: the sorcerer´s crusade", or lord Soth avoided the Cataclys, creating a new timeline (who the Raistling-god from other wish conquers).

Maybe you know "Game of Thrones" uses the War of Roses from History like source of inspiration...(Mmmmm, I feel curiosity about the Westeros version of saint Joanne of Arc or Anglican schism).   

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Since George RR Martin doesn't go too much into the magic of Essos and focuses on Westeros, I'd do a low magic low level campaign.

Fighters, barbarians, and rogues are easy. Maybe rangers for wargs and greenseers with special spell lists. Or druids for powerful wargs with the druid's body collapsing where they assume new bodies.

Maybe a special Paladin oath for priests of Rhllor or Phoenix monks?

That is closeto how the video game did it.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!


Well, half the characters in the books, although central for the story, are just nobles, diplomats, commoners and such. They'd probably be just 0-level humans by 2e standards. Don't know how that would go for Next.

The warrior characters would all basically be Fighters, although their fighting styles differ greatly (in 3e terms they'd be fighters with very different feat setups).

The Night's Watch men are of course Rangers, although a non-casting variant would be needed.

And then we have the "mysterious" ones who can do bits of magic. But D&D's spellcasting classes would all be too high-magic for that, and wouldn't quite translate these characters. I'd say they'd be either 0-level people with a fey w random magical powers (the Red Lady for one) or Fighters with bits of magic (that other Red priest whose name I forgot).

Finally there's a few multiclassers in there... John Snow certainly started out as a Fighter since he trained for years in Winterfell, then went Ranger after joining the black. Tyrion probably picked 1 level in Fighter later in the story after being forced into fights and wars (likely also spending a feat in Weapon Focus-Axe since the books state its his favored weapon). And Arya may have gained 1 level of Fighter while training with her finesse-style teacher, or may not have gone as far as actually be considered 1 level fighter (probably not), and then became... who knows what when she joined the... well, no spoilers. You'll need to read book 5 (or was it 4?).



That would be my take on character classes for A Song of Ice and Fire. A few of the wildmen from beyond the wall could perhaprs be Barbarians, by I'd say a ranger-type like the Night's Watch would fit them better since Barbarians in D&D are all about the Rage and stuff, and there's nothing like that in the books really.


Now concerning ability scores, most of the characters wouldn't fit the min/maxing style Next is heading towards. With the Bounded Accuracy thing, maxing specific ability scores for your class means a great in Next (unfortunatelly), and perhaps of all the characters in the books only The Mountain would be a really good fighter when converted to Next. And perhaps Brienne and The Hound.

Those 3 have high Strength, but most of the other warriors in A Song of Ice and Fire would be severely hindered as Fighters in 5e for having Str scores around 12-13. And that wouldn't really reflect how good the story shows them to be. If we were using any earlier edition I think the conversion would be more close in that aspect, since the contribution from Ability Scores (although still considerable) wasn't so critical when compared to the contribution from class.
DDN works very well for most of the Game of Throne fighters because of bounded accuracy. Most of the formally trained knights and nobles who trained and squired for years should be about level 4 or 5 at least which would make up for the Strength and Dexterity of 12-14. They'd still be able to chop up human commoners and warriors with ease.

The issue how parties would be either uniform or have characters of various power due to how segregated the classes are.

I played a oneshot years ago as one of the men who went with Beric Donderrion to deliver the king's justice. TPK via the Mountain. Canon preserved!

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

4E would be a good fit for game of thrones. DDN would have a difficult time with healing, without healing surges, second wind, or non-magical healing. I guess you could hand out alot of potions, healing kits, etc. Skill challenges would be a gun thing to add to a highly politcal campaign, and not using a lot of magic to detect evil, read minds, or any other high fantasy magical effects.

Nah, healing surges would be a bad fit. None of those characters were ever alright the next day after getting into a brutal fight or suffering a serious injury, like Ned Stark having one of his legs crushed by a falling horse (or getting stabbed in the leg with a spear if you watch the show). In both cases he walked with a limp for a long time, whereas in 4E he would've been perfectly fine after a couple healing surges, and definitely would've been alright by the next day. A setting where it takes days or more to fully recover hit points would be far more suited to A Song of Ice and Fire than any system that lets you heal fully after a short while.
4E works perfectly. You just have to understand that losing hit points does not mean you are being injured.

Besides Game of Thrones is all about power. Gaining power. No edition does an army-building campaign better than 4E. The minion rules, the excellent character companion rules, the warlord, non-restrictive social rules etc. all work together to make 4E the best edition for Game of Thrones. 

Short rests = in between chapters.
Extended rest = in between books.

If that doesn't really work for you and you absolutely need rules for lasting injuries then just use the disease track.

5E currently would not make for a good GoT campaign. An all (or mostly) martial party in 5E would be dull as hell. 
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
4E works perfectly. You just have to understand that losing hit points does not mean you are being injured.

Except that people ARE injured. Constantly and severely. 4E is the worst system to represent that. A system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay would probably be the best. Generally low magic, few to no magic items, and a brutal critical hit table that can result in permanent injuries and amputations.

Besides Game of Thrones is all about power. Gaining power.

Political power, not power in levels.

No edition does an army-building campaign better than 4E. The minion rules, the excellent character companion rules, the warlord, non-restrictive social rules etc. all work together to make 4E the best edition for Game of Thrones.

Sorry, but no. 4E is one of the worst for this. Even if you restrict magical classes you still have PC's with astronomical AC's which would leave them almost untoucheable to lower level characters. And Minions? Minions are antithetical to the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, where even the greatest heroes still have trouble fighting more than one man at once. There is no character in ASOIAF who can walk into a room with a dozen men or more and come out on top. Not even Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, is capable of a feat like that.

If that doesn't really work for you and you absolutely need rules for lasting injuries then just use the disease track.

It's not what I'd need, but what best models the setting, and it's ludicrous to claim that 4E best models a setting where people sustain injuries that leave them crippled long term and even suffer amputations, or where even common men with little training are still potentially a deadly threat if you have a few of them. 5E at the very least has a few advantages over 4E in that Bounded Accuracy still makes lower level characters threats and you can't just instantly recover from injuries without magical healing, although it's still not the ideal system.
4E works perfectly. You just have to understand that losing hit points does not mean you are being injured.

Except that people ARE injured. Constantly and severely. 4E is the worst system to represent that. A system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay would probably be the best. Generally low magic, few to no magic items, and a brutal critical hit table that can result in permanent injuries and amputations.



How many of those permanent injuries were a result of hit point loss rather than bad decisions and failures in social / combat encounters? Most of those came when the character was reduced to 0 hit points, not during combat. And when it did come during combat it was to an NPC or minion, not a POV character.

Besides Game of Thrones is all about power. Gaining power.

Political power, not power in levels.


Oh I agre entirely. I don't think any GOT campaign would be suited for paragon or epic. Mostly low heroic tier play with very slow advancement speed. Most of the rewards would be the trappings of political power - henchmen, mooks, and titles rather than actual items or experience. 

No edition does an army-building campaign better than 4E. The minion rules, the excellent character companion rules, the warlord, non-restrictive social rules etc. all work together to make 4E the best edition for Game of Thrones.

Sorry, but no. 4E is one of the worst for this. Even if you restrict magical classes you still have PC's with astronomical AC's which would leave them almost untoucheable to lower level characters. And Minions? Minions are antithetical to the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, where even the greatest heroes still have trouble fighting more than one man at once. There is no character in ASOIAF who can walk into a room with a dozen men or more and come out on top. Not even Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, is capable of a feat like that.


It's also the series where one person took on at least six armed guards with a wooden sword. Or where three of the kingsguard took on seven of the north's best men and still took down five of them before going down. Also Brienne and the Hound have wracked up quite the minion kill count throughout the series

Minions fit into the ASOIAF series perfectly. It has mass sweeping battles, characters with their backs against the wall, and high action as most series do. Minions are the best way to represent this in a P&P game. You aren't required to have a PC take on eight minions alone. But a group of five Westerosi knights could easily take on twelve peasants armed with pitchforks. Any heroic tier PC who walks into a room against 12 minions is also a pretty dead PC in 4E. At level one that is an average of 30 damage per round (12 minions, half hitting for 5 damage), all but the most tough PC's are going to be in dire straights within in a couple of rounds, if not the first round.

Minions are there for salad dressing, not for the actual salad.

If that doesn't really work for you and you absolutely need rules for lasting injuries then just use the disease track.

It's not what I'd need, but what best models the setting, and it's ludicrous to claim that 4E best models a setting where people sustain injuries that leave them crippled long term and even suffer amputations, or where even common men with little training are still potentially a deadly threat if you have a few of them. 5E at the very least has a few advantages over 4E in that Bounded Accuracy still makes lower level characters threats and you can't just instantly recover from injuries without magical healing, although it's still not the ideal system.


Come now. Lasting injuries in ASOIAF happen as a result of combat/social/skill failure, not as a result of Frank the Casterly Rock Guard critting Robb Stark. Serious injuries should serve a part of the campaign's story, not be a slave to the dice.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
How many of those permanent injuries were a result of hit point loss rather than bad decisions and failures in social / combat encounters? Most of those came when the character was reduced to 0 hit points, not during combat. And when it did come during combat it was to an NPC or minion, not a POV character.

"
Ned’s horse slipped under him and came crashing down in the mud. There was a moment of blinding pain and the taste of blood in his mouth.

...he tried to rise, only to fall again, choking on his scream. He could see the splintered bone poking through his calf..."

There's one critical in-combat injury.
"How... how long?" The sheets were tangled, his leg splinted and plastered. A dull throb of pain shot up his side.

"Six days and seven nights." The voice was Vayon Poole’s. The steward held a cup to Ned’s lips. "Drink, my lord."

In 4E Ned would've used a Healing Surge and he would've been fine that same afternoon. So again, how does 4E do such a great job of representing this? And remind me again, on what page can I find the rules for amputation after failed skills checks or being reduced to 0 Hit Points or less? I don't seem to recall them.

It's also the series where one person took on at least six armed guards with a wooden sword. Or where three of the kingsguard took on seven of the north's best men and still took down five of them before going down. Also Brienne and the Hound have wracked up quite the minion kill count throughout the series.

There's an enormous difference between killing a guy here and there and being able to take on scads of minions in one go, which has never happened. And the Kingsguard are supposed to be the best of the best, with Ser Arthur Dayne being one of the best swordsman in 8,000 years of Westerosi history, and they still lost a matchup where the odds were a little better than 2-to-1 against (and no, Ned is not one of the North's best men. He was only ever an average swordsman, and Yohn Royce beat the tar out of him with practice swords).

Any heroic tier PC who walks into a room against 12 minions is also a pretty dead PC in 4E. At level one that is an average of 30 damage per round (12 minions, half hitting for 5 damage), all but the most tough PC's are going to be in dire straights within in a couple of rounds, if not the first round.

You have something of a point with a 1st Level Fighter, although the fight's not as easy as you make it out to be. I'm looking at some minion stats right now and they get +5 to hit, 4 damage. A typical Fighter with full plate and shield would have AC 20 and about 30 HP. They win is if he stands right in the middle of the room and they all surround him. If he fights by a doorway or in a tight hallway, though, then odds are good that they all die. It's not so easy a win, but once you get higher levels and your options increase then the margin becomes even wider when the Fighter starts throwing out burst attacks.

Hell, that fight is broken once the Fighter gets to 3rd level and has Sweeping Blow. Then even if those Minions surround him on all sides it doesn't matter, because he can kill eight of them in one attack. How many times have the Hound, Brienne, Jaime, etc killed eight men in seconds? If the game only serves to represent the setting in the first two levels of gameplay then guess what? It doesn't work. If you have to expunge 25 or more levels of gameplay out of the 30 levels of gameplay to make the setting work then no, it does not do a good job of representing the game world.

Come now. Lasting injuries in ASOIAF happen as a result of combat/social/skill failure, not as a result of Frank the Casterly Rock Guard critting Robb Stark. Serious injuries should serve a part of the campaign's story, not be a slave to the dice.

Let me know again where I can find the rules for lasting injuries in 4E. 4E doesn't do a good job of modeling Game of Thrones, period. 5E does a bit of a better job thanks to Bounded Accuracy and the elimination of Healing Surges. But as I said before, the best system for Game of Thrones would be something akin to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It's certainly not a game where you'd have to rip out 90% of the classes and 20+ levels of gameplay to make it work.
4e's baseline is a little too strong for ASoIaF.

And nobleman and knights are at a strange power relation to common footmen.

A noblemen or knight who properly squired under a warrior should be able to take out 5-6 commoners or 3-4 regular footmen nd barely be bloodied... if that. But doubling that is suicide to most of nobles.

Then you have Kings/Rainbow/Queensguard who could take out 6-8 guys no problem but be dead in a 12 on 1 fight.

3rd or 5th style HD, PCs, and monsters work better.

Most named warrior nobles are level 4 or 5 fighters. They can take out 4-6 human warriors each in one hit if they don't gang up on him.  But they'll hack away ~20 of his ~35 HP. Add a few more guys and they must yield. Or die.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Yeah, can you imagine a move like Sweeping Blow in ASOIAF? I can see Jaime Lannister killing eight footmen if he takes them on one or two at a time, but can you imagine him taking them all on at once? For him to be surrounded by eight men on all sides and somehow killing them all in a six-second span? That would never happen. Then throw in the 1st Level Encounter Power Passing Attack and 1st Level Daily Power Tempest Dance and you can reap a horrendous number of casualties amongst minions in the span of a few seconds.
2nd ed using a mighty fortress historical soure book and a lot of houserules would be the best. THe 2nd ed barbarian would be better as well than the 3rd ed one for the hillsmen.

 3rd ed may come close with varient rangers and adapting rules from 2nd ed A Mighty Fortress.  Several charatcters would have levels in the aristocrat NPC class. You would need some custom classes or prestige classes for some of the magical abilities that are prescent.

 Star Wars Saga would probably be even better lol. Houseruled 2nd or 3rd ed would be the best as they are really the only editions with enough options and varients to come close.

 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

4E works perfectly. You just have to understand that losing hit points does not mean you are being injured.
 





Hmmmmmm yes, of course. Because you fall from a precipice and take a truckload of damage, but this only means you're "tired" from the fall. Just the kind of thing we read in A Song of Ice and Fire.

I wonder why Tyrion never though of jumping from his prison in the Eerie and just walking away. A short rest after falling down a mountain and he'd be good as new anyway.
Wee DDN has just posted a Q&A about a wounds module.  I think much of the magic could be replicated via feats or ritual casting.  I do think that the knight background in DDN needs level-based benefits but then I think that generally about backgrounds - they should be more like themes with level based options.

I'm not an expert on GoT but if we base levels on DDN's premise that level 3 is a fully trained adventurer I think it is easier to envision where the characters sit at the start and where they progress.  We have to be wary about characters base stats, the skills in which they are trained, and their level.

E.g. Tyrion could be Rogue (Rake) 3, S8, D13, C13, I16, W14, Ch17, CG, who uses a hand axe as a weapon.

Tyrion would make a poor combat character because his physical stats are so low but that is how the character is portrayed in season one.  I don't have a major problem with low stats making you inferior combat character but I would worry if they made it so that even at level 20 you still struggled to hit.

This is one of the reasons why I'm toying with the notion of halving attack bonuses from stats to attack rolls, and maybe loading a +1 attack bonus at levels 3 and 10 (or in a fighter's case 2 & 10).  Alternatively, buying feats to use secondary stats to increase attack rolls might work.  I'm also considering halving damage bonus on dex.

Tyrion at present would get +2 to hit and +1 damage
Tyrion with half bonus from dex, level 3 bonus, and half from charisma would get +3 to hit and +0 damage at the cost of a feat. 
If his dex goes up to 14 or Cha to 18, he'd get +4 to hit and +1 damage (if he chose dex) at the cost of 2 feats (presumably if feats are needed to increase stats)

It looks easier to build more varied characters that way.

Eh, I don't see Tyrion as any kind of adventuring class, or indeed, many of the characters in ASOIAF. Back in 3E they had NPC classes like Warrior, Expert, and Aristocrat, and if they had them around in 5E then Tyrion would definitely be an Aristocrat while characters like Maesters would be Experts. Which reminds me, I'd really like to see NPC classes make a comeback. They made for interesting and flavorful game options.
Eh, I don't see Tyrion as any kind of adventuring class, or indeed, many of the characters in ASOIAF. Back in 3E they had NPC classes like Warrior, Expert, and Aristocrat, and if they had them around in 5E then Tyrion would definitely be an Aristocrat while characters like Maesters would be Experts. Which reminds me, I'd really like to see NPC classes make a comeback. They made for interesting and flavorful game options.



NPC classes had their uses but but implementing an 18th level expert to represent a wise old sage was silly.  It does look as though DDN is going to mix and match.  Youe wise old sage would just be a level 1 monster with skills written onto his description.  The warrior blacksmith could be bult using expert rules for guidance.

I think Tyrion fits well as a rake though.  Persuade and bluff as skills alongside his Lore skills from his background plus advantage on his charisma checks?  Sounds like Tyrion to me!
The skills, yes, but the Attack Bonus, Sneak Attack, Isolated Strike, and Tumbling Movement? That's not Tyrion at all.
The skills, yes, but the Attack Bonus, Sneak Attack, Isolated Strike, and Tumbling Movement? That's not Tyrion at all.



Trained in theives tools, probably not from what we've seen but as a D&D character that would be fine.  With D13 the current playtest would get +2 to hit - isn't that quite poor?  That's only slightly better than a wizard.  Admittedly, the isolated strike is not suitable for Tyrion - backstab would be more his thing.  I'm happy for him to have that ability even if he avoids combat so much that he never uses it as part of the story.

It become harder to build Caitlin Stark or the women with no definable adventuring skills.  I agree that they would probably be 1 to 2 HD 'monsters' with skills and perhaps one or two feats.
It's still better than he should have. That +1 Attack Bonus doesn't come for free. It comes from intensive training, something which Tyrion has never had. And he certainly hasn't ever had the kind of training that would justify Sneak Attack. A proper Tyrion would be more accurately constructed like an NPC, just like Cersei or Catelyn.
5E currently would not make for a good GoT campaign. An all (or mostly) martial party in 5E would be dull as hell. 




Heaven forbid that you might actually have to Role-Play abit to differentiate your character & make  them interesting storywise.... 
5E currently would not make for a good GoT campaign. An all (or mostly) martial party in 5E would be dull as hell. 




Heaven forbid that you might actually have to Role-Play abit to differentiate your character & make  them interesting storywise.... 



How about we roleplay without being forced to by bad design?

Stop the H4TE

GoT is probably a good example of a world where you do not have to have powers or even magic.

  

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I could use and edtion to run GoT, but they would all need house rules, and good rp.


Example: no edtion has ever had a leg wound make you limp...

          In 4e if the DM tells you that the oger swing broke 3 ribs, then no matter that you spent surges and have full HP, you still have broken ribs...  We did this alot, and looked like John Meclean bu the end of most adventures... hurt but still fighting. 


       

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

2nd ed combat and tactic has leg wounds that reduced movement;) A houseruled version of 2nd ed using C&T and the Crusades historical sourcebook would be your best bet. Or using things like that in a d20 based game like a houseruled low magic 3rd ed game with custom designed classes/varients and prestige classes.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

5E currently would not make for a good GoT campaign. An all (or mostly) martial party in 5E would be dull as hell. 

Heaven forbid that you might actually have to Role-Play abit to differentiate your character & make  them interesting storywise.... 

How about we roleplay without being forced to by bad design?

Because a Fighter being able to swing his sword in a certain way only once per day is good design?

"Ser Jaime, why don't you use that move you used half-an-hour ago to defeat these men?"

"Sorry, Brienne, but I can't. It was a daily power, so I can't do it again until after I've rested for eight hours."
Example: no edtion has ever had a leg wound make you limp...

As I've said, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay would probably be the best system (that I know of at least) to represent that. Also, good catch by the above poster. The 2E supplement Combat & Tactics had a critical hit table which would be great. It was especially neat since the critical hit chart had different tables depending on whether the weapon was slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning.
Many 20's were rolled yesterday and my players are used to 3rd ed critical threats and asked about critical hits in AD&D so they were looking at the critical hit tables in C&C and Spells and Magic. Critical failure vs acid= not pretty. Using custom designed classes via skills and powers (spell less rangers), and the various 2nd ed splats and you could come close to GoT. 3rd ed had things like NPC classes which would also help. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Yeah. You gotta love a critical hit table that has effects beyond death. I.E...

"12 Skull incinerated, immediate death."
"13+ As 12 above with immediate torso hit."

At that point it's not about whether you live or die, but whether your family will be able to hold an open casket funeral for you or not. Tongue Out
2E with Gladiator's Handbook and Fighter's Handbook called shots and styles (respectively), and the Greyhawk 0-level character rules from 1E for squires/the young (like Arya).  Z may well be right on the Historical book, but that's one of the very few I never got around to reading.

The -real- question is, what if I want to play Shae?  Or Catlyn?  Or Sansa?  I think that question pretty much necessitates an older edition, as I can't imagine one of them suddenly breaking out dailies or stacking modifiers out the wazoo (4 and 3.5 respectively).

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Yeah. You gotta love a critical hit table that has effects beyond death. I.E...

"12 Skull incinerated, immediate death."
"13+ As 12 above with immediate torso hit."

At that point it's not about whether you live or die, but whether they'll be able to hold an open casket funeral for you or not. Tongue Out



LOL, yah.  The original Cyberpunk had a crit chart entry that included something to the effect of 'They'll need a spatula for you'.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Well, that's why the 3E NPC classes are good. Then you can play someone like Cersei and level her up as an Aristocrat. Although there're some systems out there that have a Noble or Aristocrat class which is much more playable than that. You know what'd be neat? An Aristocrat class that had the option to advance combat or noncombat abilities. So that some nobles can be represented by having some combat training (although not being anywhere near as good as those who have Fighter levels), while others can have non-combat abilities to represent the advantages that they have from being in the Aristocracy but which aren't dependent on their knowing how to fight.
Well, that's why the 3E NPC classes are good. Then you can play someone like Cersei and level her up as an Aristocrat. Although there're some systems out there that have a Noble or Aristocrat class which is much more playable than that. You know what'd be neat? An Aristocrat class that had the option to advance combat or noncombat abilities. So that some nobles can be represented by having some combat training (although not being anywhere near as good as those who have Fighter levels), while others can have non-combat abilities to represent the advantages that they have from being in the Aristocracy but which aren't dependent on their knowing how to fight.



Ooh, I had completely forgotten about those.  Excellent call (and excellent idea).  I really need to work on a 2E/3E mashup one of these days soon.  Fix 3's Saving Throws and casters, a few other things.  For the most part it works fine out of the box when played with a 2E mindset.  For the most part.



"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Honestly D&D (All editions) handle this sort of gritty realistic world poorly. I'd figure GURPS would be your best choice.

Running 2E with combat and tactics critical hits would probably be the best choice if you had to select D&D as the system to run it, but D&D has always been more cinematic than GoT is.

You could do D&DN, though it'd probably require some modules for long-term injuries to get that gritty feel.

Wel looking at game of thrones if you wanted to design it as a version of DnD next you would probely add in a noble subclass probebly as part of the bard.

many of the main characters would have at least a few levels in the nobel class.

leats look at the lanisters.
tyrion : noble/rogue ( not sure what rogue subclass)
Tywin : noble/fighter ( tactical build)
Jaime : Fighter.
Cersei : noble 
Wouldn't savage worlds simply work better?

It has a noble background edge, better non combat rules tan D&D, and combat rules that fit better with the system (wounds and such). No version of D&D really works for the setting.
Honestly D&D (All editions) handle this sort of gritty realistic world poorly. I'd figure GURPS would be your best choice.




I suppose Vampire the Masquerade's system would do the job too. Although of course ignoring all the lore about vampires, powers, etc, and using the basic resolution rules and character creation only. That system is very gritty. Even when playing the "creatures". Making humans with it even more.


Now to use D&D, another option I can think of would be using the E6 rules.
Not an official release of D&D, of course, but I think could maybe handle the ASOIAF setting better. 
Not a bad idea rasta. 3rd ed does offer some good options like the NPC classes such as aristocrat and adept. If you blended that with some of the options from 2nd ed you could probably come close to GoT game world. I can't remember off the top of my head if Unearthed Arcana had spell less Ranger options.  

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Well, there's really no need for all that work, given that there's already ASOIAF RPG published by Green Ronin. The playable classes are Expert, Fighter, Leader, Rogue, and Schemer. Alternatively, a player can adopt a premade archetype, such as Anointed Knight, Godsworn, Heir, Hedge Knight, Maester, Noble, Retainer, Scout, and Squire. For the hell of it, here's the character sheet for that game.

grfiles.game-host.org/gr_files/sifrp_cha...

 

Although that being said, I really wish WotC would bring back the Birthright setting. Honestly, that's a setting before its time as it came out a few months before A Game of Thrones was first released. The setting's fantastic. It's like Game of Thrones meets Highlander. Not only can you play a king from level 1 and manage a kingdom but you can also play a guildmaster, a high priest, or the master of a wizard's tower, which allows you to accumulate magical power from the land. So the entire party could play lordlings without all of them being at odds with each other because they're kings of different countries. It was a really great setting and I'd love to see it come back again.
Except that people ARE injured. Constantly and severely. 4E is the worst system to represent that. A system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay would probably be the best. Generally low magic, few to no magic items, and a brutal critical hit table that can result in permanent injuries and amputations.



WFRP is a perfect system for Game of Thrones - in addition to the low (and DANGEROUS) magic, few to no magical items, and a nasty hit table, I think the career system better fits a setting in which people undergo enormous changes, suddenly rising or falling in power, life courses suddenly altered by strange twists of fate, etc.

Another system that I think would really work is the Conan d20 RPG, although it would take some adaptation. Gritty and fairly-developed combat, a magic system that's scary and spooky and difficult, etc.

I've read both the d20 and non-d20 Game of Thrones RPGs, but haven't had a huge opportunity to play them. Wasn't a huge fan of the d20 version - it seemed like it was trying to do the gritty RPG thing, but was much more cumbersome than Conan's take on the same genre, and the classes were super-restrictive. Yes, magic is rare in GoT, but it's not non-existent, it's more that it's extremely dangerous, it's not predictable or consistent, and it's not always reliable. Playing a warg, for example, would be a bit like playing a druid - but with the added danger that your human body is lying there completely helpless, nasty feedback effects if something happens to your animal, and you take Constitution damage if you spend long periods warging without really being able to eat. And playing a Red Priest or Warlock or Alchemist would be great, if you modelled it such that there were either costs or unpredictability: you gain the blessing "Pyromantic Prophecy," but the DM gives you really ambigious visions; you gain the ability "Blood to Fire" but it costs a chunk of HP to activate and keep it activated and it damages your equipment. 

Also, the Dragon article was all over the map: Jon Snow (a 15 year old) is ECL 7, Tyrion Lannister is Aristo 6/Fighter 5 despite having only very recently ever fought in battle, Stannis is a 10th level Paladin (when he's the most archetypal LN I've ever seen in fiction), Dany is a 6th level Sorceror, etc.  
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
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