With only very minimal changes to the setting assumptions of Fading Suns, one could run a game of it using the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG. While such a campaign might not have quite the same breadth of available adventures as the more toolkit-style Victory Points system, it would gain the genre emulation tools inherent in the ASoIaF RPG engine: specifically, the intrigue and mass combat systems. Since one could set A Game of Thrones in the Fading Suns setting without changing much beyond a few house names and adding in a few sci-fi features, it seems like a very good match.

Setting Changes

  • Rather than being monolithic families, the five great houses of the Known Worlds merely serve as the figureheads for a collection of banner houses closely tied to them by oaths and blood. A “Hawkwood Knight” may actually be from a smaller house that rules a large section of one of the Hawkwood worlds in the name of his lords.
  • Energy shields work more like the ones in Dune: they dampen inertia and energy, and work much better against bullets and other attacks that deal damage by being very energetic. They are also one of the Second Republic technologies that are readily replicable in the new dark ages. Consequently, melee weapons are used far more heavily that seems logical in a setting with high tech firearms: a couple pounds of steel swung as fast as a human can swing it will rarely trigger a shield, while a gun will almost always set it off.
  • Spaceships are rare and hard to replace, fortresses are often dug deep and protected by massive energy shields, and the Church has declared orbital bombardment a sin (as it tends to wipe out the countryside and risk upsetting terraforming while leaving the actual fortresses intact). Wars are, thus, often fought by infantry and ground vehicles.

Rules Changes to ASoIaF RPG

Skills

The Animal Handling skill is changed to the Driving skill. It is used for most of the same kind of thing (particularly for “cavalry” actions), but is focused more on how to operate vehicles than on befriending horses. Players need a special Quality to operate spacecraft.

Knowledge is used for understanding technology, but players need a special Quality to operate Think Machines or work with really high tech items (virtually anything more complex than 1950s tech).

Status means different things for nobles, churchmen, and guilders:

Status Nobility Church Guild
1 Servant Petitioner Freeman
2 Retainer Novitiate Apprentice
3 Squire Canon Associate
4 Knight Deacon Chief
5 Baron Priest Fellow
6 Earl/Marquis Bishop Captain
7 Count Archbishop Consul
8 Duke Metropolitan Dean
9 Prince Patriarch
10 Emperor

Noble Skills: Agility, Deception, Fighting, Persuasion, Status, Warfare

Church Skills: Awareness, Healing, Language, Knowledge, Persuasion, Will

Guild Skills: Cunning, Driving, Endurance, Knowledge, Marksmanship, Thievery

Non-Entered Skills: Agility, Athletics, Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Thievery

(PCs start with their group’s skills at 3 and all other skills at 2. Raising skills from 2 to 3 costs 30 points, instead of 10, and all other costs are increased appropriately.)

Qualities

No Fate Qualities from the standard list are allowed except: Cadre, Cohort, Famous, Head of House, Heir, Landed, Sponsor, Ward, and Wealthy.

No Heritage Qualities from the standard list are allowed (though a GM might want to invent some for different planets).

The Braavosi Fighter and Water Dancer Martial Qualities are renamed Duelist and Fencer, but their effects are the same.

The following new Fate Qualities are available to Guild members:

  • Spacer: You can pilot a spaceship (use Driving).
  • Technologist: You can understand how to assemble and repair high tech devices (use Knowledge).
  • Hacker: You can operate a Think Machine (use Knowledge). Requires Technologist.
  • Banker: You can manage money without being bred to it (use Cunning instead of Status for Stewardship checks).

Theurgy, Psi, Changed, and Cybernetics are purchased as new Fate qualities. Use the Pious and Third Eye Qualities as a basis.

House Creation

Create stats for different planets to replace the Westeros regional statistics. Land 100 is roughly the size of a planet, so most PC houses will control somewhere between a country and a continent in space.

The rough area controlled is found by squaring the Lands number and multiplying by 5000 square miles (Lands^2 x 5000 sq miles).

The rough population of these lands is found by cubing the Population number and multiplying by 1000 citizens (Population^3 x 1000 citizens). At population 100, the PCs are responsible for a billion souls.

The house’s first founding is rolled normally and provides the same number of historical events, but is compared to the following list:

  1. Ancient (The Diaspora, c. 2500)
  2. Very Old (The Ukar War, c. 2855)
  3. Old (The end of the Second Republic, c. 4000)
  4. Established (The death of Emperor Vladimir, c. 4550)
  5. Recent (The beginning of the Emperor War, c. 4956)
  6. New (The ascension of Emperor Alexius, c. 4993)

Equipment

When awarded in character creation or as treasure, 1 Gold Dragon in ASoIaF is worth roughly 100 Firebirds in Fading Suns.

Weapons

Use the ASoIaF stats for melee weapons and bows.

Slug Guns use the following table. All Revolvers and Shotguns have the Reload (Greater) quality. All other slug guns have the Reload (Lesser) quality. Each gun has a number of shots (obviously) before a reload is required. Improved ammo can be purchased for most slug guns to gain the Piercing quality.

Gun Specialty Training Damage Qualities
Light Pistol Pistol Agi + 1 Close, Fast
Medium Pistol Pistol Agi + 2 Close
Heavy Pistol Pistol Agi + 3 Close, Slow
Imperial Rifle Rifle Agi + 3 Long, Two-Handed
Assault Rifle Rifle Agi + 4 Long, Fast, Two-Handed
Sniper Rifle Rifle 1B Agi + 5 Long, Slow, Two-Handed
SMG Medium Slug Agi + 2 Close, Fast
Shotgun Medium Slug Agi + 5 Close, Two-Handed

Energy Guns use the following table. Laser guns and Flameguns do not trigger energy shields. Blasters bleed through energy shields (see the Energy Shield description.) Flamers continue burning on a successful hit for 2 damage per round for 1d6 rounds (or until smothered).

Gun Specialty Training Damage Qualities
Laser Pistol Laser Agi + 0 Close, Fast
Laser Rifle Laser Agi + 1 Long, Two-Handed
Assault Laser Laser 1B Agi + 2 Long, Fast, Two-Handed
Blaster Pistol Blaster Agi + 4 Close, Fast, Piercing 2
Blaster Rifle Blaster 1B Agi + 6 Long, Two-Handed, Piercing 3
Blaster Shotgun Blaster Agi + 6 Close, Two-Handed, Piercing 3
Flamegun Flamer Agi + 2 Close, Slow

Shields and Armor

An energy shield triggers automatically against all slug guns and blasters (and anything similarly energetic), but does not trigger against melee attacks and anything else going much slower than the speed of sound. When hit by a gun when wearing a shield:

  • Reduce the shield’s charge by the base damage of the weapon + the armor worn’s bulk rating (e.g., a character in half plate (bulk 3) hit by a Sniper Rifle would reduce the shield’s charge by the attacker’s Agi + 5 + 3).
  • For slug guns, deal 1 damage per Degree of Success (mitigated by any armor worn under the shield). At some areas of the body the shield is thin enough that some force from the slug will make it through.
  • For blasters, deal 2 damage per Degree of Success (also mitigated by armor). This represents the energy and heat bleeding through the shield even if the plasma was dissipated away from the body.

Energy shields can also soak up falling damage if the character falls far enough to generate enough speed to trigger the shield (greater than 20 yards or so). Doing this reduces the damage to 0 but has a 50% chance of shorting out the shield (and reduces 30 points of charge even if it doesn’t short it out).

Different shields have different battery sizes:

  • Standard Shield: 50 charge
  • Dueling Shield: 100 charge
  • Assault Shield: 200 charge
  • Battle Shield: 300 charge

Armor in the Known Worlds is generally better than in Westeros. Use the following chart for armor:

Armor Rating Penalty Bulk
Jerkin 2 0 0
Studded 3 -1 0
Mail 5 -2 -2*
Half Plate 5 -1 -3*
Scale 6 -2 -3*
Plate 9 -4 -3*
Ceramsteel 14 -7 4
Synthsilk 3 0 0
Stiffsynth 6 -1 -1
Adept Robe (Powered) 14 0 0**

* Plastic has -1 Bulk
** Adept Robes also add +2B to Athletics

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