Crazy Plot Changes for a Song of Ice and Fire Game


First Post

Ok that should do it. I'm using Green Ronin's SOIAF RPG but I don't want my game to follow the canon of the books, because a) I want, if possible, the PCs to be the main characters of the story, b) I can't be bothered to try and keep up with the canon in my campaign and c) I have players who have read the books, I don't want everything to be predictable for them. .

So I'm thinking of starting out shortly before the books begin in the timeline, and then changing something so that the plot unravels a bit and we can go into a SOIAF Infinities game. Things might turn out in similar ways or not, who knows.

But what I need is something to change, something that will create a different timeline, that allows us to adventure in Westeros without chasing the canon.

So here are some ideas I have, criticize and add your own:

1) A Meteor falls on King's Landing, killing the Royal Family, sparking a battle for power and possibly a civil war. Also takes some of the hated Lannisters out of the picture. Rather crazy but, you mileage may vary.

2) Rhaegar Targaryen returns to the scene, apparently he didn't die on the Trident, but he has been missing for 15 years. As he is technically the rightful heir to throne this might spark a civil war also. Rhaegar might even be at the head of an army invading Westeros, having spent many years acquiring troops overseas.

3) The Player characters get involved in the plot to expose the Lannister incest in A Game of Thrones, possibly having the chance to warn Eddard Stark about the upcoming treachery against him, thereby possibly altering history/canon.

4) Robert Baratheon, tired of his boring life decides to go to war. He gathers up a huge host of warships and soldiers and goes to war in the lands across the sea. The PCs could possibly go along, this campaign would focus on Roman empire style warring against and governing colonies for the "empire". A bit weird, but maybe cool.

5) A mysterious stranger washes up on the shore of the PCs shore, carrying a cryptic message, one of the PCs is in fact the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen, and rightful king of the seven Kingdoms. What will the heroes do with this information, and how will they look upon it seeing as how their family has hated the Targaryens for a long time and supported Robert's Rebellion.

6) Something else.

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What I'd do:

Something like the first option (catastrophe destroys King's Landing), but midway through book one. I think I'd make it a tsunami, and have it hit Dragonstone as well. For optimum carnage, place it right at the moment when Catelyn is meeting Eddard in the brothel. That way, it kills off Eddard and Catelyn Stark, Jaime and Cersei Lannister, Littlefinger, Varys, and all three Baratheon brothers... not to mention Joffrey, Tommen, Myrcella, Arya, and Sansa.

Instantly there's a power vacuum. Everyone expects Tywin Lannister to fill it, but he remains mysteriously silent at Casterly Rock, ignoring all offers and entreaties. Tyrion, now the sole heir to House Lannister, has vanished on his way south from the Wall, and no one knows where he is.

Meanwhile, all the other lords start squabbling over the throne and splitting into factions--Mace Tyrell, Robb Stark, Randyll Tarly, Edmure Tully, the Blackfish, Doran Martell, the Red Viper, Lysa Arryn, Balon Greyjoy, and all the rest. It's chaos and civil war all round, a dozen coalitions clawing for power. Viserys Targaryen comes racing back from exile, bringing Daenerys with him. For a little while it looks as if he's got a shot at uniting the kingdom, but then he's slain by a Faceless Man. Daenerys, who is still the timid young Dany of the first book, escapes and disappears.

In this environment, the PCs have plenty of opportunity to carve out a place for themselves without any of the big names from the books looming over them. Any possibility of events proceeding according to the "canonical" plot is thoroughly scotched, so no need to worry about the players' expectations. If they need a little push to get them moving, they might come across Daenerys, who pleads with them for sanctuary. Plus there's the mystery of the Lannisters to pique everyone's interest: Why isn't Tywin moving to take control? And where is Tyrion?

I think it's important to break from the books in a big way right from the start.
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You don't really need to change the plot that dramatically to make your characters the main heroes. What is the scope of the campaign? Are you going to use the coming of the Others as your main threat? If you are, then practically nothing needs to change- Jon Snow, Daenarys and anyone else who are candidates to be The One Who Was Promised are actually nobodies, and one of your PCs is the the one prophecied to return to fight the darkness.

Or are you looking to make the civil war the main thrust of your game? In that case, its easy- Robb dies in the whispering wood. The Lannisters overrun Catelyn's position and capture her. The north is without a leader and the northmen begin to squabble and disperse- a perfect time for another Lord to step in and take up the banner.


You don't really need to change the plot that dramatically to make your characters the main heroes.

Don't need to, but I think it's a good idea anyway. You don't want the players to feel they're just trundling down the railroad of the canonical plot, swapping in for one of the main characters. Nor do you want them metagaming like crazy with their knowledge of everything that's going on.

A dramatic break with the books would serve notice that you're taking this story in a completely different direction. The players would have a chance to create their own story, and nobody would be trying to use their knowledge of the plot to gain advantage.


First Post
I'd start with option 5, and then follow it up with option 2 once the wars have built up some steam. That'd take the wind out of some sails.

Or perhaps divorce the campaign from the events of the novels, an artifact must be recovered from beyond the wall.


The easiest thing to do in my opinion is to have the game start during Robert's Rebellion. That is IMO the perfect point to diverge from cannon. The players can play young members of a noble house who has so far attempted to remain "neutral" throughout the war.

However, as the rebellion is now heating up both sides are squeezing them hard to send troops, to give resources, both sides are making promises AND threats. There can be a lot lost by standing with the wrong side, but also they stand to gain much as well.

Make it clear that nothing is fated - the ending to the story is not written. Robert's victory is by no means assured. Then run the game straight forward from there.


Registered User
The easiest thing to do in my opinion is to have the game start during Robert's Rebellion. That is IMO the perfect point to diverge from cannon. The players can play young members of a noble house who has so far attempted to remain "neutral" throughout the war.

I like this idea the best. It breaks the story wide open. You could even make the players contenders for the throne. Robert has the strength for the throne but he obviously doesn't have the temperament for governance.

You can always play around with the seasons and move the coming of winter to this time period.
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