Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Crowns of Blood: Chargen (Part 1)

This will probably be a fairly long series, so I'm going to try to keep it to the straight facts/rules of chargen in the Crowns of Blood campaign. The timeline for the saga is 249 A.C. (After Conquest) through 283 A.C.; however, as with Pendragon we'll be looking back a few decades prior to see what events occurred in the lives of your parents and grandparents. Still, that comes later (at the end of this series). In an attempt to keep this section as short as possible, I'm not going to give a lot of explanation/reason for my design choices, though I'll be happy to answer questions in the comments section of each post. I'm also going to proceed with the assumption that interested folks already have a good idea about how the Pendragon system works.

Got it? Good...let's start.


1. Choose (or Roll) for Starting Region

The GM may decide to have all characters begin in the same region, though this is not necessary (other methods will be provided for linking characters of disparate regions). The "starting region" may or may not be a character's homeland; it is where their career begins.

D20: Region
1-3: Crownlands (Faith of Seven)
4-5: Dorne (Faith of Seven)
6: Iron Islands (Drowned God, Faith of Seven)
7-8: North (Old Gods, Faith of Seven)
9-11: Reach (Faith of Seven)
12-14: Riverlands (Faith of Seven)
15-16: Stormlands (Faith of Seven)
17-18: Vale (Faith of Seven)
19-20: Westerlands (Faith of Seven)

2. Determine Character's Culture and Homeland

Roll D20: Homeland
1-15: Of the Region
16-20: Fosterling (re-roll Step 1 to determine "home" region)

Fosterlings have specific culture, religion, traits, and stats based on their home region. Fosterlings may be male or female. Players who wish to play female warriors/rulers should consider having their characters' home region be the Crownlands (Targaryen), Dorne, the Iron Islands, or the North where the laws of primogeniture aren't nearly as strict (or are, in fact, non-existent). However, a female character of any culture may choose to pursue a warrior life; Brienne of Tarth (the Stormlands) is a prominent example.

Roll D20 for Specific Culture based on Homeland
Crownlands: 1-12 Andal, 13 Dornishman, 14-20 Targaryen
Dorne: 1-6 Andal (Western Dorne), 7-20 Dornishman (Rhoynar)
Iron Islands: 1-3 Andal*, 4-20 Ironborn
North: 1-3 Andal, 4-5 Crannogman, 6 Mountain Clan**, 7-20 Northman
Reach: 1-20 Andal
Riverlands: 1-16 Andal, 17-18 Ironborn, 19-20 Targaryen
Stormlands: 1-19 Andal, 20 Targaryen
Vale: 1-16 Andal, 17-20 Mountain Clan
Westerlands: 1-19 Andal, 20, Ironborn

*Unless character is a Fosterling subtract 10 from Step 3 (minimum 1).
**Actually a "wildling" from north of the Wall.

3. Determine Father's Class (+5 if character is a Fosterling)

Roll D20: Social Class
1: Sellsword (+6 to Step 5)
2-3: Footsoldier or Clan Warrior* (+1 to Step 5 regardless)
4-5: Squire or Sergeant
6-7: Hedge Knight (+4 to Step 5)
8-10: Sworn Sword
11-15: Landed Knight/Northern Vassal
16-19: Minor House Lord, Officer, or Clan Chieftain*
20+: Great House Lord or Clan Chieftain*

*Only mountain clansmen may have fathers who were clan warriors or clan chieftains. Fathers of mountain clansmen may never be lords or officers.

4. Determine Birth Order (by Sex)

Roll D6: Birth Order
1: First son or daughter
2: Second son or daughter
3: Third son or daughter
4: Fourth son or daughter
5: Fifth son or daughter OR legitimized bastard
6: Bastard son or daughter

5. Father's Survival

Roll D20: Father's Survival
1-10: Father is still living
11-12: Father alive, but bedridden
12-14: Father took the Black (+100 Glory)
15-19: Father deceased
20+: Father missing for 2D6 years

6. Determine Religion
  • All Andals worship the Faith of Seven, regardless of region.
  • Mountain Clans worship Old Gods, regardless of region.
  • The Drowned God is only worshipped in the Iron Islands.
  • The Old Gods are worshipped by cultures of the North (except Andals).
  • All other regions follow the Faith of Seven, regard of region.
7. Other Personal Data

Choose a name for your character. Given names in Westeros range from standard American/English names (Robert, Brandon, Jaime, Jon, etc.) to names that are similar (Joffrey instead of Jeffrey or Stannis instead of Stanley, Eddard instead of Edward, etc.) to weird "fantasy" names (Selwyn, Rhaegar, Daenerys, etc.). Historic names from ancient cultures (like those found in Pendragon's Knights Adventurous) might also be used.

Your character's surname is based on his or her house (family) if noble (landed knight or better). House names (by region) can be found at A Wiki of Ice and Fire. Even if a character's father is a Great House lord, it is suggested that they not be of any of the principle Great Houses (Lannister, Stark, Targaryen, Greyjoy, etc.) unless a member of a "cadet" branch. It is suggested that no player character be a member of the Blackfyre cadet branch of House Targaryen.

Non-noble characters may choose to ignore surnames (like Bronn), or use a town as Surname (Whitehall or Oldtown, for example), or a descriptive based on career (Wainwright, Smith, Steward, etc.). Westeros has a specific tradition for bastard surnames whereby illegitimate children take a surname based on region of birth: Flowers (Reach), Hill (Westerlands), Pyke (Iron Isles), Rivers (Riverlands), Sand (Dorne), Snow (North), Stone (Vale), Storm (Stormlands), Waters (Crownlands).

Your parents' names should be chosen in similar fashion. Assume all characters' parents were legitimate.

Your character starts their career at age 16 (adulthood), or at a random age determined by rolling D6 and adding it to 15 (to a maximum of age 21). Subtract your character's starting age from 249 A.C. (the starting year of the campaign) to find the year your character was born.

Your character's immediate Lord is determined by their home region:

Crownlands: House Targaryen
Dorne: House Martell
Iron Islands: House Greyjoy
North: House Stark
Reach: House Tyrell
Riverlands: House Tully
Stormlands: House Baratheon
Vale: House Arryn
Westerlands: House Lannister

For simplicity, use the principle noble house as your character's liege, though some minor houses owe immediate fealty to a lesser Great House (itself a vassal of the principle house).

If your character is a noble of one of the houses named in Martin's saga, it would probably be a good idea to make a note of your "house words" (the family motto). Landed knights (like House Clegane) don't generally have "words" or words worth knowing. If you're making up your own noble house (a fine idea), you should create a motto and sigil for the family, too.

[to be continued]

The sigil of ruling House Targaryen. Its motto: "Fire and Blood."


  1. I don't know the Pendragon system, actually, but this looks like an awesome way to do ASoIaF as an RPG.

  2. @ Dennis:

    The more I've worked on it, the more I've come to the same conclusion.

    Pendragon is a pretty sweet little system, just a sexist one (by design and genre). I think it fits Martin's setting pretty well, though.