Adventuring in the Four Brothers Era

The Four Brothers Era is a campaign era set after the fall of the Aquarian Empire and before the rise of the Dark Empire. It roughly spans five hundred years from 700 to 200 PI. Noran historians classically attest to the Four Brothers Era falling only between 600 to 300 PI, but in the interest of campaign eras, this definition has been greatly 'fuzzied'.

The time of this era is noted for the bloody, cruel and short lives of its people. It is a time of misery, ignorance, fear and tyranny.

Table of Contents

Basics


Names

You have the freedom to name your character as you see fit, but the GM may have some ideas for character names that fit a particular setting. Many traditional, or stereotypical, fantasy names don’t fit well with Westeros naming conventions.

Characters from the Seven Kingdoms, the Free Cities, and even the unknown East have a wide variety of names. Common names. Evocative names. Strange names. Names that seem archaic, and names that are only a letter or two off from being entirely familiar. Players should strive to come up with names that evoke the medieval feeling of Westeros to enhance, rather than break, the atmosphere.

The custom in the feudal society of the Seven Kingdoms is that commoners, peasants, and smallfolk only have personal names, and it is the province of nobles and highborn to keep family names. Bastards, however, may not take a noble house’s name, but take common surnames based on the land of their origin, such as “Snow” in the North (see page 46 for a list of bastard surnames by region). Characters from the Free Cities follow a variety of name conventions, with either a single personal name, a name and surname, or even more. Dothraki use a single name, often a derivative of their father’s name, and the naming customs of other folk of the eastern lands varies by region, culture, and likely, by village.

Personal Names

There are many types of personal (first) names in “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Some of the names used (Jon, Brandon, Robert, Mya, Beth, etc.) are common enough to most modern readers. Others like Jaime, Desmond, Stannis, Garth, Nestor, etc. are uncommon, but still familiar. Some first names are often thought of as surnames or place names, such as Preston or Stafford. Others are historical in origin, or spelled uncommonly, such as Joffrey, Catelyn, Lysa, Willem, Martyn, or Petyr; another option is to substitute, add, or drop a letter, such as Rickard, Marq, Eddard, Walder, Robb, Robett, Raymun, Lancel, etc.

Others, such as the Dothraki names or the folk of the Free Cities, are quite foreign (Xalabar Xho, Syrio Forel, Drogo, etc.). Men in the Nine Free Cities often have names that end with “-o” while women there often have names that end with “a” (as is common in Westeros), “ah,” “eh,” or “ei.” They do seem to follow certain grammatical constructions that are somewhat familiar to us, however; for example, the “io” at the end of Syrio’s name seems Latin in origin, while the names of the Dothraki seem alternately Mongol or Turkish. Names are drawn from a variety of sources, mixing them and twisting them to create a realistic tapestry of characters with suitably evocative and believable names.

Some good methods for finding character first names include searching name dictionaries. Names coming from Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, English, French, German, Scottish, or Teutonic sources are a good place to start. Another trick for coming up with new names that seem familiar is to take pieces of two names and combine them in a new fashion: Redmond and Corwin becomes Cormond or Redwin.

Family Names

There are four different ethnic lines of family names in Westeros. By now, the groups
are heavily intermingled so there is some blurring, but the most common names are Andal
in origin. The older names of the First Men stand out because they are short and descriptive:
Stark, Flint, Tallhart, and Glover. Rhoynish names, seen most often in Dorne, are more
longer and more complex, like Allyrion, Santagar, and Qorgyle. Finally, names like Baratheon,
Targaryen, and Velaryon derive from High Valyrian.

The choice of a family name for a highborn character can depend greatly on the style
of game the GM is running. For example, in a noble house game where all the characters are
from a single house, it would be appropriate for the character to all have the same surname.
If some of the characters are from a different house, they will probably carry the surname of
a banner house.

If the GM is running a Night’s Watch campaign set on the Wall, few of the black
brothers will have surnames, unless they were highborn who took the black. Most of the
baseborn in the Night’s Watch have only a single name, and many take (or are given) a
nickname rather than use their real name.

Since family is of central importance to the folk of the Seven Kingdoms, no new
family names are presented here. Players wishing to have family names should consult with
the GM to determine what their options are, and should work with them to either fi nd a
house mentioned in the setting, or to determine a new house and family name. Occasionally,
commoners in the larger cities and towns bear family names, an occurrence when they
are from cadet branches of noble houses (such as those founded by children without
inheritances). Instead of titles or land, the family keeps the name as a show of status, to
distinguish themselves from common folk.

Those who hail from the Free Cities, however, use surnames commonly, and are
encouraged to pick a family name (often originating from High Valyrian).

Lords and Sers

A knight’s title, “ser,” attaches to his given name, not his house name. Thus, “Ser Ilyn” would be proper. One could also say “Payne,” or “Ser Ilyn Payne,” but not simply “Ser Payne.”

The rules for lords are different, as the title, “lord” can be paired with either a man’s given name or his house name. “Lord Stark” and “Lord Eddard” are both correct.

Bastard Names

It is customary in the Seven Kingdoms, by royal decree, for bastard children to take a
name based upon the region in which they are born. These are as follows: Flowers (the Reach),
Hill (the Westerlands), Pyke (the Iron Islands), Rivers (the Riverlands), Sand (Dorne), Snow
(the North), Stone (the Vale), Storm (the Stormlands), and Waters (Dragonstone and King’s
Landing). Bastardy and its effect on characters is discussed on page 198.

Nicknames and Epithets

Characters are often distinguished by colourful nicknames, such as Bronze Yohn Royce;
Jon Umber, called the Greatjon; Jon Umber, called the Smalljon; Tyrion Lannister, the Imp;
Petyr Baelish, known as Littlefinger; or Euron Greyjoy, called Crow’s Eye. Sometimes these
epithets are testimony to an aspect of the character, as is the case with “the Mountain That
Rides,” Ser Gregor Clegane, Ser Jaime Lannister “the Kingslayer,” or Ser Barristan “the
Bold.” These nicknames can have more signifi cance than their bearer’s real name, like Lady
Tyrell’s title as “the Queen of Thorns,” or Ser Doran Martell’s infamous moniker, “the Red
Viper.” A character can also append information about their home to their name, such as the
unfortunate Ser Hugh of the Vale.

Nicknames can even replace real names, such as the unofficial custom at the Wall, where
belligerent trainers often dub raw recruits with unflattering nicknames like Toad, Pimple, and
Aurochs. Their fellow recruits may remember the nicknames better than the real names, and
the unfortunate souls have to live under cruel epithets until they can otherwise distinguish
themselves.

As in life, a nickname is something a character should earn in the course of play, not
choose for him or herself. It should refl ect how he or she is viewed in the world. The GM
might award a character a nickname during the course of play, perhaps as a manifestation of
his or her Reputation.

Social Status and ECL Modifiers
Rank ECL Modifier * Description
0 +0 Respected Smallfolk / Hedge Knight / Sellsword /
Novice Maester
1 +0* Sworn Sword / Household Servant / Lesser Merchant /
Acolyte Maester
2 +1 House Retainer / Landed Knight / Merchant / Maester
3 +2 Member of a Minor House / Greater Landed Knight /
Greater Merchant
4 +3 Member of a Great House
5 +4 Member of the Royal Family
(6) +4 King (or ruling Queen
* To progress from Social Status rank 0 to rank 1 requires the
character to have the Feats Raised Status and Wealth.
** The king (or queen, if she rules) would be of Social Status rank 5,
and then have the Feats Heir and Head of House.
*** Note: Child characters (page 50) should be considered -1 ECL (minimum of 0).

Social Status

Nobles are born to a life of fortune and responsibility. Great lords command far more power than the smallfolk, though even a small lord is due respect and courtesy. Social Status provides Influence Points over a character’s house or organization, and Wealth (see page 182). Because even a young lord has significant power, this is not purely a matter of Character Level (compare Crown Prince Joffrey to Bronn). This discrepancy can be handled in one of three ways.

Balancing Social Status

In the standard option for A Game of Thrones d20, a character’s Social Status is treated as an overall bonus. High ranks of Social Status are offset by an ECL Modifier. When the players design their characters, each character’s total Character Level may be effected by the Social Status rank ECL Modifier. The ECL is added to the Character Level to determine a true value used for character advancement (page 97).

In a balanced game, a 5th Level Noble of Lannister would be treated as an 8th Level character (+3 ECL). His companion, a 4th Level Man-at-arms / 3rd Level Knight (Social Status 2) would be treated as 8th Level (+1 ECL). His mercenary 8th Level Man-at-arms sellsword would also be treated as 8th Level (+0 ECL).

This ECL Modifier is only applied when the character is first created. If the character is raised in Social Status, or has titles and rank stripped away over the course of the campaign, the ECL Modifier does not change. Instead, the GM must decide how to handle in-game awards and setbacks (see Gaining Titles and Falling Far).

Averaged Social Status

If the characters are all roughly the same Social Status (perhaps all members of great houses in a Game of Thrones Campaign), and thus at the same ECL Modifier, the GM may simply ignore the ECL rule. In this case, lower ranked characters should be allowed to take an optional Defect, In Service, which acts exactly as Stigma (page 202) to lower Influence Points, but without the negative connotations. The GM should monitor how many applications of this Defect are allowed (see Defects for advice on limiting Bonus Points). Similarly, characters of higher Social Status should take any of the feats: Heir, Head of House, Raised Status, or Command, as appropriate, where a difference of Rank is important.

For example, a Game of Thrones Campaign features the heir to House Tyrell (5th Level Noble / 1st Level Knight; one Feat used for Heir), a daughter of Baratheon (6th Level Noble), and a son of Stark (2nd Level Noble / 4th Level Man-at-arms). As members of great houses, all have Social Status Rank 4, and are technically ECL +3; but if all characters are ECL +3, it can easily be ignored. If the game included a 6th Level Maester (Social Status Rank 3), the GM could allow him to take the In Service Defect (to indicate why he is Rank 3, not 4). Similarly, if there was also a Princess of the Royal Family (Social Status Rank 5) the GM could make her take the Raised Status Feat. Finally, if there was a House Retainer (Social Status Rank 2) attached to the group, the GM could allow her to take In Service more than once, but the character might not get the full allotment of Bonus Points (depending on how many others Defects she has).

Unbalanced Social Status

The third option is for the GM to decide that characters from different strata of society will be unbalanced, but as long as every character participates equally in the game and has his or her moment in the limelight, the balance issue is irrelevant. Players may design characters from any level of Westerosi culture, as long as they fit the outline of the campaign. This may lead to a campaign of Tyrion, Bronn, and Shagga, or one of Jon Snow, Sam Tarly, Grenn, and Pypar.

In this type of set-up, the players acknowledge that some of them will have more resources in the game, but these advantages will be tempered with a character’s responsibilities within the story. Additionally, even when a group of player characters has a distinct leader or superior ranking character, during game-play it is common for all player characters to contribute to group decisions.

Backgrounds


Brehr

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

Coranthe

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

Erwynn

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

Ibben

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

Jurusorium

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

Outlands

Lands

People

Regional Benefits

House Affiliations


Royal Houses

House d'Avespeare

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Shield of House d'Avespeare
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House d'Garron

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Shield of House d'Garron
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Sollyn

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Shield of House Sollyn
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House of Therosin

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Shield of house-therosin
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

Minor Houses

House di'Capelét

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Shield of House di'Capelét
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House de'Foe

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Shield of House de'Foe
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House du'Norecer

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Shield of House du'Norecer
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Redletter

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Shield of House Redletter
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House d'Veign

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Shield of House d'Veign
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House du'Bélvésire

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Shield of House du'Bélvésire
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Céléclair

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Shield of House Céléclair
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House d'Verdeaux

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Shield of House d'Verdeaux
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House de'Ragar

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Shield of House de'Ragar
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House d'Bataless

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Shield of House d'Bataless
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House d'Remaan

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Shield of House d'Remaan
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Windpath

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Shield of House Windpath
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Algôl

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Shield of House Algôl
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Ostwyrt

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Shield of House Ostwyrt
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Tursgart

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Shield of House Tursgart
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

House Whitestone

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Shield of House Whitestone
House History
House Personality
House Holdings
House Position
House Destiny
Prominent Members
House Traits

Feats


Background Feats

Blood of the Aier Men

Descendants of the human tribes.

Blood of the Builders

Descendants of the Shii'mti.

Blood of the Caels

Blood of the Desbers

Blood of the Dunpeal

Descendants of the Vampire Kingdoms.

Blood of the Eldaar

Descendants of the Eladrin and humans.

Blood of the Lion

Descendants of the Aquarians.

General Feats

Legendary Feats

Animal Companion

Familiar

Rage

Unique Spell

Work Silversteel

Work Star Metal

Equipment


Unique Items

Magic


Wizard Spells

Priest Spells

Gazetteer


Recent History of the Four Brothers

Customs and Laws

Domain of Sulla

see Domain of Sulla

Brehr

see Kingdom of Brehr

Coranthe

see Kingdom of Coranthe

Erwynn

see Kingdom of Erwynn

Ibben

see Kingdom of Ibben

The Wildlands

Important People


Brehr

Coranthe

Erwynn

Ibben

Other

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