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Matinta
2019-05-30, 08:46 PM
Now that GoT is over I'm kind of inching for some cool political intrigue akin to the first seasons of the the show.

Different factions seeking influence and power is so cool.

As I said that to my DM he said D&D is terrible for that since it's a "Punch your problems away with violence and fire kind of game" and suggested for us to play world of darkness if we really want that sort of thing.

Which got me wondering, is there any other system that is really good for political intrigue games? Do you guys have any tips or suggestions for this type of game?

2D8HP
2019-05-30, 09:10 PM
I've heard (but not played) Legend of the Five Rings, and the old D&D Birthright setting was geared for intrigue.
I played some 1e Vampire/World of Darkness which implied that the game was supposed to be intrigue filled, but I never saw it.

My favorite RPG King Arthur Pendragon has a skill named "Intrigue", so there's that.

The board game Diplomacy often features player intrigue, so much so that friendships may be lost.

KineticDiplomat
2019-05-30, 10:25 PM
Honestly, any system where players canít be godly. Politics hardly matter if you can slaughter a thousand men with your level ten murdermaster. If any fight against one man is dangerous, two men is a very bad day, and three or more means that you better be extraordinary or they better be homeless beggars if you want to live through it...well, all of a sudden, who is on whoís side matters a whole lot.

Blade on the Iron Throne, Runequest or Rolemaster, low tech GURPs...they could all work.

Iím assuming youíre looking in the swords and sorcery area. Thereís modern stuff as well.

Koo Rehtorb
2019-05-30, 10:40 PM
Burning Wheel is hands down the best system for Game of Thrones style feeling gameplay.

Satinavian
2019-05-31, 01:33 AM
You could try "A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying" which is also inspired by the books and first seasons and has the major emphasis on houses, holdings and politics, providing stats for all that while being not too heavy elsewhere.
It is certainly not perfect, but it works reasonably well.

Or you do one of the many systems primarily based on skills, not on class features. TDE, GURPs etc.

I guess you could use WoD, which is still better than D&D in intrigue games. It certainly tries to do that but mostly only provides factions and background while most of the nice supernatural powers don't really help that much with that and the skill rules are working but a bit barebone.

kebusmaximus
2019-06-01, 08:16 AM
Burning Wheel is hands down the best system for Game of Thrones style feeling gameplay.

+1 for burning wheel. Relatively low power level (easily adjustable when you make your character), three different ways of resolving combat (a single roll for fights that don't matter much, an opposed roll for medium-level, and a system that's like d&d for big deals). Most importantly, a system that gamifies having a debate.

Pleh
2019-06-02, 07:48 AM
Honestly, any system where players canít be godly. Politics hardly matter if you can slaughter a thousand men with your level ten murdermaster. If any fight against one man is dangerous, two men is a very bad day, and three or more means that you better be extraordinary or they better be homeless beggars if you want to live through it...well, all of a sudden, who is on whoís side matters a whole lot.

By this logic, D&D works while constrained to very low levels.

3.5 E6 rules might fit rather well.

KineticDiplomat
2019-06-02, 02:21 PM
You could hack it that way, perhaps with level 5 being living legends and level 2 being an average professional. It would be very light on non-punching mechanics because the system is almost entirely about pushing, but you could do it. It would just require a comfortable DM and players who donít mind that there are going to be on the fly mechanics.

farothel
2019-06-02, 02:33 PM
As already mentioned, if you want to play heavy politics, Legends of the Five Rings is certainly an option. In the fluff there have been instances where a battle was fought and one side won, but due to politics they had to give up everything they won, plus some extra as payment for the damages done.

There is indeed a Game of Thrones roleplaying game. I've not played that one, except for a demo, but it looks quite nice.

The great Pendragon campaign certainly has its political moments.

In most of the World of Darkness systems you can do heavy politics.

Damon_Tor
2019-06-03, 03:25 PM
You could try "A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying" which is also inspired by the books and first seasons and has the major emphasis on houses, holdings and politics, providing stats for all that while being not too heavy elsewhere.
It is certainly not perfect, but it works reasonably well.

Seconded. I've both played it and DMed it quite a bit and it's a good system. The intrigue system is social combat, and it's just as complex as physical combat. Also, the system for managing your noble house is quite cool.

In a few of my games, I played where the players each had a different noble house with several different characters under their control. One of the players effectively took control of another house by manipulating one of their daughters into marriage with the second in line to inherit then arranging for the first born to be killed. The player had specced his second son for combat, so once he was the head of the household there was basically nothing he could do to stop him himself from being manipulated by his wife. So from that point on the player who controlled the wife was in practice running both his own house (a wealthy merchant house) and the other players (a military focused house focused on a large army).

In this system, having characters who are bad at intrigue is a huge liability. In another game I played one of the other players used the "cohort" trait to add a second character, their bastard half brother, who they specced as a melee juggernaut so they could have a bodyguard. The problem was that his social stats were piss poor, so when my character got the bastard brother alone, he was able to manipulate him, milking him for secrets about the other PC, secrets I could use against him later.

Resileaf
2019-06-03, 03:41 PM
I GMed a campaign that was supposed to be very political with Pathfinder. The maximum level was 5 (or 6 for the truly exceptional who did something so incredible that they just have to level up). The political part of the campaign didn't work out because the player who was supposed to be the noble in charge played an anti-social, no-charisma lord and never started anything.

Make sure that anyone in your players' party that is in charge is proactive.

Mendicant
2019-06-04, 12:35 PM
By this logic, D&D works while constrained to very low levels.

3.5 E6 rules might fit rather well.

E6 can support some amount of intrigue play, but it's still not set up for that to be the principle focus. It's great if you want a hybrid experience though.

Particle_Man
2019-06-04, 12:53 PM
Pathfinder has a sourcebook called Pathfinder Intrigue. Just saying.

A little out of left field but Iron Heroes has social feats for manipulating others. The thief class makes for a canny operative.

I have seen players go political with Exalted and Ars Magica.

Or you could go 7th Sea and have everyone play Vodacce in Vodacce. If you canít get your Machiavelli on in Not-Italy during the Not-Renaissance you are not really trying. :smallsmile:

Pilo
2019-06-06, 04:19 AM
Exalted 3rd has a cool social system that might well fit a political game.

jdizzlean
2019-06-09, 02:44 PM
Vampire the Masquerade is the most political imo, but it requires everyone involved to be actively pushing that side of it.

KineticDiplomat
2019-06-10, 02:14 PM
I am going to recant my previous position here. While I still feel it is valid that the less supreme you are the more political you can be, I have now looked at Burning Wheel, and even more so, it's Burning Empires off-shoot (which comes with a pre-set space opera setting, but the mechanics could be hacked easily). The rules for Duels of Wits, specific political maneuvering, and large scale play are really well done. Besides having the systems for conflict, the scene economy looks like it will help keep the action tight and focused without the danger of kingdom, empire, and planet wide conflicts spiraling out of control. Well, the tables's control - no doubt you want the characters to have a little spiral.

TalonOfAnathrax
2019-06-11, 12:21 PM
By this logic, D&D works while constrained to very low levels.

3.5 E6 rules might fit rather well.

Caveat : only if you have a good set of houserules for social stats. Rules-as-written, elaborate intrigue is very difficult in D&D due to the ridiculousness of Diplomacy rules.

AceOfFools
2019-06-11, 11:42 PM
If you really want a good intrigue going on, check out what LARPS are within your ability to participate geographically.

Big ones very often feature 20-30 players, each with individual agendas and goals. The actual politicking to get sufficient resources and backing to achieve your goals is a huge part of the game.

Marcloure
2019-06-12, 01:24 AM
+1 for Burning Wheel. That is it.