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Game of Thrones

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Category: Variant



A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy series written by George R.R. Martin. The series is often referred to as Game of Thrones in reference to the first book, entitled A Game of Thrones, or the television series of the same name. I will not go into detail about the series here, but suggest instead you read the novels and watch the television series, as both are quite excellent.

This Diplomacy variant is based on the houses, people, places, and happenings of the series. Each player plays as one of the 7 Great Houses that are featured most prominently in the novels.


Variant Rules

  1. The regular rules of Diplomacy apply, except where amended below.
  2. The game begins in Spring 298 AL (Aegon's Landing). The terms Spring, Summer, Fall, Autumn, and Winter will continue to be used to avoid confusion despite the fact that in this universe seasons are actually longer than years. And so the player of House Stark can frequently remind everyone that Winter Is Coming.
  3. There are 33 supply centers, so the victory criterion is 17 supply centers at the end of any Autumn retreat season.
  4. Houses may build in any unoccupied center under their control (chaos builds), representing the ability to call new bannermen upon assuming a new lordship. The only exception to this is King's Landing, in which no house may build under any circumstances (see below).
  5. A House's armies are represented by its emblems, its fleets by its boats with sails marked with its emblem, and its supply center ownership by its sigils.

The 7 Great Houses

House Baratheon (Stag)

The youngest of the Great Houses, born during the Wars of Conquest. Its founder Orys Baratheon, was rumored to be Aegon the Dragon's bastard brother. Orys rose through the ranks to beomce one of Aegon's firecest commanders. When he defeated and slew Argilac the Arrogant, the last Storm King, Aegon rewarded him with Argilac's castle, lands, and daughter. Orys took the girl to bride, and adopted the banner, honors, and words of her line. The Baratheon sigil is a crowned stage, black, on a golden field. Their words are Ours is the Fury. House Baratheon starts with a fleet in Griffin's Roost and armies in the Kingswood and Storm's End.

House Greyjoy (Kraken)

The Greyjoys of Pyke claim descent from the Grey King of the Age of Heroes. Legend says the Grey King ruled not only the western isles but the sea itself, and took a mermaid to wife. For thousands of years, raiders from the Iron Islands - called "ironmen" by those they plundered - were the terrors of the seas, sailing as far as the Port of Ibben and the Summer Isles. They prided themselves on their fierceness in battle and their sacred freedoms. Each island had its own "salt king" and "rock king". The High King of the Isles was chosen from among their number, until King Urron made the throne hereditary by murdering the other kings when they assembled for a choosing. Urron's own line was extinguished a thousand years later when the Andals swept over the islands. The Greyjoys, like other island lords, intermarried with the conquerors. The Iron Kings extended their rule far beyond the isles themselves, carving kingdoms out of the mainland with fire and sword. King Qhored could truthfully boast that his writ ran "wherever men can smell salt water or hear the crash of waves". In later centuries, Qhored's descendents lost the Arbor, Oldtown, Bear Island, and much of the western shore. Still, come the Wars of Conquest, King Harren the Black ruled all the lands between the moutains, from the Neck to the Blackwater Rush. When Harren and his sons perished in the fall of Harrenhal, Aegon Targaryen granted the riverlands to House Tully, and allowed the surviving lords of the Iron Islands to revive their ancient custom and chose who should have the primacy among them. They chose Lord Vickon Greyjoy of Pyke. The Greyjoy sigil is a golden kraken upon a black field. Their words are We Do Not Sow. House Greyjoy starts with an army on Harlaw and fleets on Great Wyk and Pyke.

House Lannister (Lion)

Fair-haired, tall, and handsome, the Lannisters are the blood of Andal adventureres who carved out a mighty kingdom in the western hills and valleys. Through the female line they boast of descent from Lann the Clever, the legendary trickster of the Age of Heroes. The gold of Casterly Rock and the Golden Tooth has made them the wealthiest of the Great Houses. Their sigil is a golden lion upon a crimson field. The Lannister words are Hear Me Roar! House Lannister starts with a fleet in Lannisport and armies in the Crownlands and Casterly Rock.

House Martell (Sun)

Nymeria, the warrior queen of the Rhoyne, brought her ten thousand ships to land in Dorne, the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms, and took Lord Mors Martell to husband. With her help, he vanquished his rivals to rule all Dorne. The Rhoynar influence remains strong. Thus Dornish rulers style themselves "Prince" rather than "King". Under Dornish law, lands and titles pass to the eldest child, not the eldest male. Dorne, alone of the Seven Kingdoms, was never conquered by Aegon the Dragon. It was not permanently joined to the realm until two hundred years later, and then by marriage and treaty, not the sword. Peaceable King Daeron II succeeded where the warriors had failed by wedding the Dornish princess Myriah and giving his own sister in marriage to the reigning Prince of Dorne. The Martell banner is a red sun pierced by a golden spear. Their words are Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. House Martell begins with a fleet in Sunspear and armies in Godsgrace and Yronwood.

House Stark (Direwolf)

The Starks trace their descent from Brandon the Builder and the ancient Kings of Winter. For thousands of years, they ruled from Winterfell as Kings of the North, until Torrhen Stark, the King Who Knelt, chose to swear fealty to Aegon the Dragon rather than give battle. Their blazon is a grey direwolf on an ice-white field. The Stark words are Winter Is Coming. House Stark begins with a fleet in White Harbor and armies in Karhold and Winterfell.

House Targaryen (Dragon)

The Targaryens are the blood of the dragon, descended from the high lords of the ancient freehold of Valyria, their heritage proclaimed in a striking (some say inhuman) beauty, with lilac or indigo or violet eyes and hair of silver-gold or platinum white. Aegon the Dragon's ancestors escaped the Doom of Valyria and the chaos and slaughter that followed to settle on Dragonstone, a rocky island in the narrow sea. It was from there that Aegon and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys sailed to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. To preserve the blood royal and keep it pure, House Targaryen has often followed the Valyrian custom of wedding brother to sister. Aegon himself took both his sisters to wife, and fathered sons on each. The Targaryen banner is a three-headed dragon, red on black, the three heads representing Aegon and his sisters. The Targaryen words are Fire and Blood. House Targaryen begins with a fleet on Dragonstone and an army in Pentos.

House Tyrell (Flower)

The Tyrells rose to power as stewards to the Kings of the Reach, whose domain included the fertile plains Dornish marches and Blackwater Rush to the shores of the Sunset Sea. Through the female line, they claim descent from Garth Greenhand, gardener king of the First Men, who wore a crown of vines and flowers and made the land bloom. When King Mern, last of the old line, perished on the Field of Fire, his steward Harlen Tyrell surrendered Highgarden to Aegon Targaryen, pledging fealty. Aegon granted him the castle and dominion over the Reach. The Tyrell sigil is a golden rose on a grass-green field. Their words are Growing Strong. House Tyrell begins with a fleet in The Arbor and armies in Highgarden and Oldtown.

Map Notes and Rules


General Clarifications


Island Supply Centers


King's Landing

List of Territories and Abbreviations

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