A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion



  • I know, another damn lords and ladies game. Before continuing I'll preface the rest by saying my wife has watched me MU for 20 years now and is suddenly showing an interest in trying it herself. She'd like to try a Game of Thrones game but those that are out there don't interest me and seem to intimidate her so I was thinking about doing either a private or semi-public game set in the GoT universe.

    The game would use the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG by Green Ronin Games and it'd be set in a time period where the characters from the books/tv show wouldn't even be a thought. Before I got started setting stuff up though I thought I'd fish around with some questions about what some people might like to see in a game of this nature.

    1. Custom houses. I think this would be one of the biggest draws to a game, getting a few people together and creating your own house. The RPG has fantastic rules for this. Would people actually use such a system?
    2. Setting. The game needs to be political, sure, but it could be Big Political or Little Political. By Big Political I mean setting it in some place like King's Landing and allowing all types of characters from all over Westeros and beyond. By Little Political I mean setting it in one specific location (Casterly Rock, say) and focus on the politics of that region. This would obviously have an impact on what custom houses were available.
    3. Ready-made characters. Would having a +roster filled with characters that players could just do a small app for be worth investing time in? It seems to work on other places but I don't play on those places so I'm unsure.
    4. Sticking to canon. This is something I don't really care much about. I figure we start the game and not worry about if what we do would prevent the game from eventually leading into the books or whatever. Do what we want and have fun telling our story, not worry about the story that GRR Martin will eventually tell. Would this be a deal breaker for fans of the theme?

    Anyway, just some thoughts and questions I had. Like I said, it may lead to either a private or semi-public game if there's any interest from people checking it out. I was just curious what, if anything, people might be looking for that may be missing from current games in the L&L/GoT niche. Thanks.



    1. Custom Houses will be used if staff makes them a thing. If you actively put impetus on people to do so, then it can happen. But it must be something that says 'Hey, this is something staff wants people to do' rather than just 'Hey, this is an option'. Plus people will go where their friends are, so you may have no Lannisters and all McGillicudy's.
    2. Little Political outside of King's Landing focusing on one area, which can still have a cross-section. Free Cities would work for cross-sectioning, or a Westeros with a Regent instead of a King on the Iron Throne, so that there's a bit more jockeying other than the FIND DE HEIR!
    3. Rosters with the ability to create characters to fit a needed nice might work. A lot of people avoid these games because they're All Roster and they can't find anything they like. A short application process for an original character wouldn't hurt, IMO.
    4. Throw canon into the dragon fire. Also, if you're going to avoid exact canon, do something insane like an ongoing conflict between the Westerosi and their allies and the Night Walkers, or remnants of the Valyrians under the leadership of a competent Targaryen trying to wrest the Westerosi via an invasion force. Give something else besides Politick and Fuck Ad Nauseum to do. I think a lot of people spoke highly of Firan's regularly-scheduled War Eras, so repelling invasions and such at a constant stalemate of equal military force could be intriguing, especially if players are giving the ability to affect that status quo.

  • Pitcrew

    1. The rules are great, but I am pretty sure some of the major draws would be taking the reins of a canon house, even if it is something as small as the Marbrand or the Banefort. With a few tweaks to the Green Ronin game, it should be amazing, but prepare for both.

    2. Setting: King's Landing as a main hub, and then the other 'Kingdoms' if you think people would like to build their castles there. So you can have Reach -> Horn Hill (where you can then have the Tarly castle). People want pretty castles, I'm pretty sure.

    3. Ready-made characters I think are needless. Just have people app, and as they go inactive, roster them, instead of dumpstering bits.

    4. Start canon, and then go wherever the game takes you.



  • Will step in to say I agree with @Bobotron on the have a mix of roster and the ability to create your own.

    I used to think it was pointless to have ready-made characters, but I've been meeting more and more people who really enjoy being able to dive right into a game with a roster character who has connections, history, and some hooks (not necessarily secrets, but hooks into the game). This is good for the people who are more shy and have a hard time integrating themselves.

    It'd also be a good idea for the player-made to have them set a flag on themselves whether they're OK being rostered if they disappear, that way you're not having to write tons of people out of the story if they disappear (so you don't have errrrr head of house just languishing away / dying off all the time... but you're also not alienating possible players because 'Ohhh I don't want my own creation being played by someone else if I leave, gross.').



  • Green Ronin has been active in not making it easy to get ahold of their rulesets; as a level of curiosity, how would you educate people in how to play the game?



  • If it went public in any way I'd do at least a tutorial room. It's a pretty simple system overall and I think most people would pick it up pretty quickly. This site offers some quick reference charts too I believe which would help quite a bit (https://sifrpg.weebly.com/).

    And thanks for the feedback everyone. It's given me a lot to think about.



  • @zombiegenesis

    There's also a free Quick Start of the ASOIAF RPG which explains a lot of what the standard MUSHer would need.

    https://freeronin.com/gr_files/SiF_Fastplay.pdf

    That, combined with an on-MUSH walkthrough chargen that does all the calculations for you would be plenty.



  • @thenomain said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    Green Ronin has been active in not making it easy to get ahold of their rulesets; as a level of curiosity, how would you educate people in how to play the game?

    Having spoken to one of their reps (specifically about the Expanse)...

    If you get the permission of the IP holder (in this case, GRRM / the show creators), they'll gladly let you use the game rules provided you don't claim to own any of it, etc etc... I think the issue more comes back to them being afraid of the IP owner circling back on them, since they only have permission to create the game rules.

    But from what I was told: if you have permission to run the game from the IP owner, Green Ronin is OK with you using their rulesets and more PDFs will be released of the games.



  • @auspice

    So, only the one GoT place will ever have the 'real rights' to use the game then? Got it. :P


  • Pitcrew

    @zombiegenesis said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    1. Custom houses. I think this would be one of the biggest draws to a game, getting a few people together and creating your own house. The RPG has fantastic rules for this. Would people actually use such a system?

    People will make them if you let them, but honestly there are so many -- so many -- established houses in the GoT canon that I wonder at the necessity. But yes, if you set it out as a thing people can do, people will definitely do it. I'd suggest having a minimum number of people required to start it off and also consider rules about staff taking control and possibly rostering leadership PCs if suddenly the group of friends disappears.

    1. Setting. The game needs to be political, sure, but it could be Big Political or Little Political. By Big Political I mean setting it in some place like King's Landing and allowing all types of characters from all over Westeros and beyond. By Little Political I mean setting it in one specific location (Casterly Rock, say) and focus on the politics of that region. This would obviously have an impact on what custom houses were available.

    Base it in one location no matter what size political you're doing. I'd say go for wherever you can make it reasonably IC to have a large variety of characters.

    1. Ready-made characters. Would having a +roster filled with characters that players could just do a small app for be worth investing time in? It seems to work on other places but I don't play on those places so I'm unsure.

    Some people love rosters. Some people love making their own characters. I'd strongly suggest having at least some rosters, as it 1) helps new players dive in quickly, and 2) helps you to manage continuity of houses and the like as players come and go. As others have said, let people flag their OCs as being able to go on the roster or not if their player leaves. Have rules about OCs going on the roster if they're abandoned in leadership positions.

    1. Sticking to canon. This is something I don't really care much about. I figure we start the game and not worry about if what we do would prevent the game from eventually leading into the books or whatever. Do what we want and have fun telling our story, not worry about the story that GRR Martin will eventually tell. Would this be a deal breaker for fans of the theme?

    Pick a point in the canon to start from, and then throw out anything and everything that comes after it. I strongly believe this is the only reasonable way to handle moving canon. I think it's a huge mistake when games try to adjust around new material. (Taking inspiration from new material can be great!)



  • @bobotron said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    @auspice

    So, only the one GoT place will ever have the 'real rights' to use the game then?

    I am not trying to derail the important game-design part of this thread, but all you need to do is ask. It would help if you do it with politeness and conviction, and keeping Nym entirely out of the loop.



  • Or...

    Or........

    Just don't ask.

    "Oh look, there's 30 people (maybe, if you're lucky) over there pretending to play in my setting FUCK THEM THEY MUST DIE RARRRRRRRR!!!!!"

    Like....nobody cares about MUing, but yeah, if you ask, I'm pretty sure they're obligated to say no.



  • @tempest said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    Or...

    Or........

    Just don't ask.

    That depends. To you want to indirectly engage Nymeria, or do you want to ignore her and pretend she doesn't exist? One of these ways gets you potential permission from the RPG company as well and gives you the opportunity to use the alternate later on. The other way doesn't and gives more power to someone you don't like.


  • Pitcrew

    many creators are obligated to say no, even if they don't care, by their lawyers. I don't think GRRM is under any concern about having his trademark co-opted, because it's so well known, but legal teams do as legal teams do.



  • @kanye-qwest said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    many creators are obligated to say no, even if they don't care, by their lawyers.

    I've never really understood that. If they don't want people using their stuff, that's one thing, but "I really don't mind but my lawyer doesn't want me to" is bizarre. Copyright doesn't have a "dilution" clause like trademarks do. The author retains the sole right to create derivative works, and I don't see how granting permission to one person prevents them from saying no to someone else. Trademarks, of course, are a different matter. I understand why folks feel compelled to strenuously defend their brand if it's trademarked.



  • @kanye-qwest

    GRRM is also well-known to hate 'fan fiction' and find it distasteful, hes' talked about it in interviews and junk. I don't think I've ever heard of an IP holder ACTUALLY sending a C&D letter to a MU*; I feel like it's a holdover from the old days of Lion King MUCKs and the nebulous fear of Disney suing them.



  • @faraday said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    I've never really understood that. If they don't want people using their stuff, that's one thing, but "I really don't mind but my lawyer doesn't want me to" is bizarre. Copyright doesn't have a "dilution" clause like trademarks do. The author retains the sole right to create derivative works, and I don't see how granting permission to one person prevents them from saying no to someone else. Trademarks, of course, are a different matter. I understand why folks feel compelled to strenuously defend their brand if it's trademarked.

    A lot of people ignorantly think that you have to defend copyright or you lose it. I don't actually believe any real lawyers are telling any authors that they must say no, though. Its just a sort of urban legend that floats around and people claim to be true.



  • @ixokai said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    A lot of people ignorantly think that you have to defend copyright or you lose it. I don't actually believe any real lawyers are telling any authors that they must say no, though. Its just a sort of urban legend that floats around and people claim to be true.

    'People' in this context being Nymeria, who is on some kind of weird years long ego trip fueled by the fact that GRRM noticed her and thus apparently crowned her the eternal high princess of all Song of Ice and Fire related fan works. She must smite all pretenders to her title, or indeed any who fail to bend the knee.



  • None of the non-Blood of Dragons A Song of Ice and Fire MUs have ever been bothered by GRRM to my knowledge. The only 'bothering' that seemed to take place was Nymeria saying nasty things about them on her social media platforms, which isn't so much 'bother' as 'kind of funny.'

    The guy has written statements that he doesn't like fan fiction and if game-runners feel like they want to honor that, that's one thing, but unless you try and make money off this stuff, the lawyers circling the wagons is 99% not a concern.


  • Pitcrew

    @ixokai said in A Game of Thrones MUX Discussion:

    A lot of people ignorantly think that you have to defend copyright or you lose it. I don't actually believe any real lawyers are telling any authors that they must say no, though. Its just a sort of urban legend that floats around and people claim to be true.

    I mean, I said that because I read an author blog about it, but I'm sure they were lying or ignorant and you are definitely in the know.


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