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Of these two game lines for the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, Game of Thrones by Guardians of Order, or Song of Ice and Fire RPG by Green Ronin, which contains the largest amount of series-specific and general world setting material? Does one of them have an edge in utility or organization of that material?

As both are available for download in pdf format, and the reviews I have come across do not touch on a direct comparison of provided information for story and setting background, character, culture, cartography, and so on, it is somewhat hard to make an informed choice between them for reasons other than system, or the disappearance of Guardians of Order precluding the likelihood of further product support for their version.

  • Additionally, is there a difference in the amount of setting material offered in the two versions of GoO's Game of Thrones?

As I encounter as many people who want to immediately divorce a setting from its system as not, and as I have no particular interest in basing my purchase of one or both of these games on the included game system, I thought this was the best place to ask for clear and non-partisan responses.

NB: This question is looking for details on quantity of information primarily, with an additional interest in the overall utility, and organization of setting material in the two game lines. Details about production quality, availability, or system are not intended to be included in the scope of this question.

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As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to the FAQ, the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and our rules for game recommendations. All responses must cite actual experience or reference others' experiences!

The GOO Game of Thrones book is a hefty tome- 495 pages... and a map! – Jeffrywith1e May 4 '11 at 15:10
up vote 11 down vote accepted

There is no difference between the GOO editions in terms of content. I preordered the deluxe edition and helped them proofread (I'm credited in the book! Look, I'm an industry insider!), so I have the pre-publication PDF, the publication PDF, and the book. The PDF and book are the same. The editions are the same except for cover art and page edging, etc..

The Green Ronin game is, IMHO, better organized than the GOO version. I ran my first SIFRP game from start to finish before the campaign guide was even published, so I think there's a plenty of information in the core book for a fan to run with. I have the PDF of the campaign guide, and I think it's excellent.

I have the map from the GOO version (not the one folded in the book, but another one I ordered separately) framed and hanging by my gaming table. As far as I can tell, the maps of the kingdoms in the SIFRP campaign guide are from the same map.

It's been a long time since I read the GOO version, but my memory says this:

  • SIFRP beats GOO for details about King's Landing and the court. The map of King's Landing in the Campaign Guide is very good.
  • GOO beats SIFRP by having a Dothraki warrior statted out, and some other non-Westerosi information - like a Water Dancer, I seem to recall.
  • SIFRP beats GOO for details about the North and the Wall
  • They both have plenty of history of Westeros
  • GOO had an excellent summary of at least the first book. Wikipedia probably obviates that advantage now. Not to mention HBO in 7 weeks...
  • SIFRP is well indexed and beautifully laid out - it's readable and accessible.

Recommendation? SIFRP, hands down. Organization and utility are far better than the GOO product.

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Thanks for all the detail - and the brush with fame. Industry Insider! – Runeslinger May 4 '11 at 23:54
@Runeslinger - Full disclosure: I think they asked everyone who preordered for help with the final copy check. Being an RPG geek, AGoT fan, and locally recognized grammar fiend, I had to jump at the opportunity. But it's not like the GOO guys could pick me out of a lineup or anything. I just pitched in to help a product I was desperate to get my hands on see the light of day. – gomad May 5 '11 at 18:26
you have shattered my illusions of having a tangential brush with tangential greatness. I now have no cool tale to tell this week. Regardless, I will go with this answer as it covers all the key points of the question, and with Drakinfar's answer about the Campaign Guide, gives me the information for which I was looking. – Runeslinger May 5 '11 at 22:52

I have them both and I have run both.

The Game of Thrones by GOO core book has a more extensive background section.

I do believe Green Ronin's version is better thought out with clearer rules and more of a 'right' feeling for the setting. Green Ronin just seemed to work better especially the rules for Houses. I have the Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide too and its level of detail is comparable to the GOO book. I also found to be a good source of information. I have read the books and they are of course the best source.

My vote for one over the other is Green Ronin's version.

I ran the GOO version soon after it's release. We found that we wanted more on the mass combat side of things and so we used the GURPS rule from the old Conan source book. That seemed to fit our needs.

The Green Ronin game I ran was very intrigue based and we found that the rules to resolve those sort of contests to be more then adequate.

One thing I took away from each game is that you definitely need the right group to keep things going. There will be sessions where combat may not happen and a lot of talking and npc interaction will occur. This can grate on some players who are looking for more action.

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Welcome! Can you give us some of your impressions of running both games? What house rules did it provide for? – Brian Ballsun-Stanton May 4 '11 at 13:18
I am looking for which one has the greater amount of setting information. I understand that most of the information in the Green Ronin version is in the SIFRPG Campaign Guide. Do you have it? How does its level of detail and organization compare to that in GoO's Core book? – Runeslinger May 4 '11 at 22:14
I have the guide too and its level of detail is comparable to the GOO book. I also found to be a good source of information. I have read the books and they are of course the best source. – Drakinfar May 4 '11 at 22:18
Thanks for that~ Could you add this information to your answer? – Runeslinger May 4 '11 at 23:52
sure put my comment up in the answer. – Drakinfar May 5 '11 at 0:32

Points in Green Ronin's favour:

  • Guardians of Order is out of business, and what you see with the GOO PDF is all you're ever going to get; Green Ronin is alive and (as far as we know) financially viable, and so at least has the chance to continue producing material.

  • Green Ronin started later to the game; this means they had more of the author's work to work with. (And a more recent vintage of the author to ask questions of, assuming both publishers had equal access to the author.) It also means they had a good look at the first attempt and could make adjustments to their work in light of that.

I'd say that out of the gate, GOO had a marginal edge in terms of volume of setting material, but that edge is practically meaningless. If Game system doesn't matter to you (and even if it does), going with Green Ronin's products is almost certainly the right choice here.

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