I will always think back fondly on my Dungeons and Dragons youth. DnD and Star Wars D20 really defined my first expectations of the RPG industry. My friend Chris and I would play until our other friend Andy begged us to do something else with him. Chris and I wouldn’t hear it though – summer vacations were meant to be spent rolling d20’s.

Fast forward about a decade later, and you would see that I’m just as interested in writing up character backgrounds as I am in actually playing the game. I must have been a bane to my DM because I always wanted to re-roll, to see what what the DM had in store for my new characters.

Enter Green Ronin’s, A Song of Ice and Fire – this is the game I had been waiting for! Normally I wouldn’t have paid much attention to this game. But I saw Kurt Wiegel’s glowing review and realized that this might be the very fantasy game I had been dreaming of.

It was. The level of creative detail that the game encourages is just what I needed. Building a “House” is the first component of the game (even before character creation). Player’s make roles to determine all the characteristics of their feudal settlement, and jeez is the list of options extensive. In some ways, A Song of Ice and Fire feels very much like a computer RTS brought to the table.

My friends and I decided to play a game of pure intrigue, where we each rolled up a house and a single character spokesperson. It was great fun, but tensions flared quite quickly. We didn’t know who was against who, and the ever present raven messengers seemed only to bring bad news. Swords were hardly drawn, but our collective deceit landed the harshest blows. I have never been so paranoid in a game.

And I hadn’t had so much fun with a fantasy game in years! I cannot recommend this game highly enough. If your game group can handle “less than cooperative” play go and buy this game. NOW!

I won’t say that this game beats out DnD or Pathfinder – but rather, it offers something really quite different. I’m going to try and get in a session with my friends while I’m on spring break. Too bad my friends from school aren’t interested…

If you have a house or character that your proud of – feel free to share with the world in a comment below.

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