A Song of Burning Ice and Fire

To make a long story short, I’ve got anew group forming, and in one of the great conjunctions of the stars, everyone knows some Burning Wheel. So I’ve decided to run A Song of Ice and Fire with BW (and BE for the mass battles, using Firefight with some finaggling).

So, Burners, anything to look out for? It won’t be a point for point conversion, more of a “faithful to the source material” one. I’ve got the ASOIF RPG to guide me, so it’ll be easy and all that. We haven’t had the first discussion yet, so I don’t know what folks want to play, so I sort of don’t know what to plan for. I will, kind of, use the House creation rules (don’t need the numbers, but the background stuff is golden). I figure, players can then buy properties and the like to represent the house’s stuff, no? I plan on running a nobles game, btw.

And Maesters and the like are easily represented with the scholarly lifepaths in the city setting, no? Or something else?

Anything else? I’m not even going to touch the faceless men and all that, for the record.

Well, I’m sure you’ve already noted the obvious–be clear about the fact that Faith magic is limited or even non-existing, and likewise for Sorcery–even more so, actually, in the case of Sorcery. The human lifepaths otherwise dovetail nicely into it, especially if you take the idea that PCs are not always common characters. A PC being the lone character in Westeros who is Gifted could be great story fodder.

I’d make sure to explicitly point out that House _______-wise is a good and viable choice of skill, and maybe slot that into lifepaths like Bannerman or some of the Noble lifepaths.

Pretty much all of the Mannish stock is great fodder for the series, though.

My thought as well, so, I’m thinking this will all work out fine. At least for the lifepath issue, save for one or two little things (like I said, how to represent Maesters, if a player wants to be one). The Faith one, yeah, it’ll be non-existent when I start (1 year before the books) but then kick into high gear later in the campaign (at least, as the books have shown).

If you have access to Blossoms, the Clan Burner is fantastic for burning up a noble house for Game of Thrones.

Burning Wheel is a wonderful fit for Song of Ice and Fire. The only pre-game work I would do is to make a list of suitable names, print a map, and possibly create a small cheat-sheet outlining gods, places, and other setting tropes. Keywords and outlines only!

If you feel up to it, you can brainstorm some cultural traits. A way to represent the Maesters is by adding a dice trait to the Student(city) lifepath, The Maester’s Path, Gains a +1D affiliation with the order.

Falconry could be replaced with Raven-wise~Ravenology for appropriate lifepaths.



All good, all good, and I’ll take all those suggestions!

@Hirram - yeah, I’d LIKE to be able to use the clan burner, but I don’t have Blossoms, alas. I’d like to have Blossoms. I wish they’d reprint it, but I understand that won’t be happening.

The House Creation rules in SIFRP are actually very good; they’re the part I like best about the game. A neat minigame.

Would you use them separately from the rest of the system? Have the group roll that stuff, then use that as the basis for their BW characters? I’ve toyed with the idea…

I think I would. The engine doesn’t really actually produce results that directly mesh with the mechanics of SIFRP, it’s more geared towards making something that you translate into SIFRP terms. At the end of it all, you’ve created a house that has specific geographical features, a particular population, a history, fortifications, etc.

Which convieniently puts a cap on what the PCs CAN buy with their Resource points, at least in terms of property. That’s kind of nice!

Also, how would one deal with house troops and banners? Assume a certain amount based on “rank”, or some number based on Affiliation dice? Or what? I have one player know WILL ask something like “How many house knights do I have? Archers?” Stuff like that. Was their anything in BE for that?

Hhhhm. Well, hold a sec, there was a post on that topic (sorta) where Thor broke down the historical basis of this…

Bah, can’t find it. Basically (and this is borne out in the books), your vassals are sworn to you but they have their own will. You’d make a test to call them up, and to get them in a timely fashion and in large numbers. When someone asks “how many do I have?”, I think that’s prime ground for making an appropriate test to answer that question.

(And don’t forget–an army marches on its stomach! Have them make tests to supply the army, as well. Somebody’s gotta pay for it, and personal finances are the best method. Unless you opt to plunder things to sell for cash…)

But yeah–it definitely does somewhat limit how much property the PCs can purchase. Also the scope of their lifepaths. You’ll have to make sure they’re all on board with that, but then again–Prince isn’t something that can be taken willy-nilly anyway.

Ah, yes, that’s true - question gets answered with a roll or two, aye, yeah, that’s the way to do it! I like that very much I do.

Also: make sure they all know how to use Wises. In the hands of skillful players, a tangled web of intrigue will spin itself out naturally. Just imagine what sort of lovely things you could pull out with Family Secrets-wise!

(I have a concept of an intrigue-heavy character whose primary schtick is having a handful of secrets-related Wises at good levels; they use this to draw on their knowledge of lesser-known facts which the player is making up on the spot, for the sake of entrapping another character.)

That I will! Been a while since I ran BWG - have to read up! Enjoyable it will be, too. Yeah, I think this should work out quite well.


(Just to give you perspective–in a game I recently ran, the players determined that a prominent NPC noble was secretly a lowborn who had gotten entangled with sorcery. Two distinct Wise tests separated by massive amounts of time. That got interesting when one of the players had a “Hunt ALL the witches!” instinct. Now imagine those Wise tests happening multiple times a session. From multiple players. Intriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigue! Heck, you could almost go full PvP with this one.)

Thor’s post was lost when the domain provider got hacked. Which sucks, because it was an awesome post.


Argh as well!

Burning Empires had you take a reputation and affiliation with the unit you were leading, as well as a relationship with the unit’s second in command (2iC in the parlance of BE) to become the units commander (I need a Gang or Crew, page 118). Based on the scale of the affiliation, that roughly defines the size of the unit. Much of the time in BE it didn’t matter and was mostly used for color. In Firefight it mattered a bit if you were trying to kill everyone on the other side with Direct Fire, but since Advance and Flank were the main ways to win the Disposition fight, worrying about exact counts happened less often than you’d think.

Oh, I know, but he will absolutely ask. And technically, Firefight! takes that into account (the bonus of outnumbering an opponent, and have better trained guys, both of which the House Creation rules of ASIF let you simulate).

So, I think I’ll use those as the main “flavor text” and just go for the rest in BW as-is, with minor changes.