The game—as well as the whole Westeros.org site—is run by Elio M. García and Linda Antonsson. On the MUSH we are Balerion and Nymeria. On the A Song of Ice and Fire forum we are Ran and Linda.
We became involved with George R.R. Martin when we contacted him to ask his permission to create the MUSH. He very graciously not only gave us permission but provided us with various bits of (as of yet) unpublished information, such as additional houses and some information about the time period the game takes place in. We are now collaborating with him on the forthcoming setting guide, The World of Ice and Fire.
No. George R.R. Martin has given the owners of the game, Elio M. García (Balerion) and Linda Antonsson (Nymeria), permission to run the MUSH as well as provided them with various bits of (as of yet) unpublished setting information, but he is not involved with the game.
Yes. George R.R. Martin has given permission for this MUSH to be based off his intellectual property. It is also the only MUSH that he has authorized. See the following two quotes from e-mails sent by George R.R. Martin to Elio M. García and Linda Antonsson:
Regarding the approval:
“Also, after I consulted all my advisors, my agents and my editors and the like, I still did not know what to tell you about the Seven Kingdoms MUSH. Essentially my advisors told me that it was my call, that it is a complicated area, that there are certain dangers here but that others have done it without ill effects. I found myself wavering back and forth.
Hell, I =still= have my doubts. However, I do not like to discourage my fans, and you two have been both enthusiastic and patient. So I’m going to say, go ahead.”
Regarding Blood of Dragons being the only approved game:
“I continue to get emails from other ardent fans, asking my permission to base a internet MUSH or MUD on A Song of Ice and Fire. For a while, I would decline, and point them toward you and your site as the only authorized MUSH although I fear the last half dozen or so requests are simply sitting in my queue of unanswered emails (about six hundred and fifty of those at present—I had down to five hundred, but then I went away to Prague).”
Should there remain any doubts about Mr. Martin being aware of and approving of the MUSH, please note that he provides a link to it on his official site.
The MUSH is based (with the author’s permission) on the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. The series consists of A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. At this point, two more books called The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are planned as well as a companion book (which the Admin, Nymeria and Balerion, are co-authoring with GRRM) called The World of Ice and Fire. GRRM has also written three novella in this setting, called "The Hedge Knight", "The Sworn Sword" and "The Mystery Knight". If you are unfamiliar with the books, we recommend reading our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
A Song of Ice and Fire is a gritty, medieval-inspired fantasy set in the world of Westeros. It is a world of strange seasons—summers that last for years and winters that can last a lifetime—as well as of both chivalrous knights and ruthless politics. Magic was once common, and the Targaryen kings possessed dragons that could wreak havoc to their enemies, but now magic has faded and the dragons have all died. Though the game is not set at the time of the books, but rather some 140 years prior to them, most of this holds true for this time period too. The main difference is that House Targaryen still rules the Seven Kingdoms and that, as a result of this, the political situation is less chaotic, less ruthless and less dangerous than in the books. However, the game of thrones is still very much a high-stakes game.
When the game opened the IC year was 158 after Aegon’s Landing (Aegon the Conqueror was the first Targaryen king and the one who established the Seven Kingdoms) and King Daeron I—called the Young Dragon—had just conquered Dorne and made this previously independent realm a part of the Seven Kingdoms. Our aim is to stay as canon as possible, both in terms of theme and in terms of storyline. This means that since the opening King Daeron I has died in Dorne (as the Dornish rebelled and became independent once again) and been succeed by his brother, King Baelor. It also means that House Targaryen cannot be overthrown by, for example, House Lannister. But there is a lot we do not know about this period, so the fates of most individuals is not pre-determined.
The preference of the Admin is for the players to have read at least A Game of Thrones. However, Open characters are available to players with no familiarity with the theme, provided that they have prior MUSHing experience as the game is not setup to cater to players who lack both thematic knowledge and MUSHing experience.
Furthermore, the preference of the Admin is that players have read at least A Storm of Swords and preferably also A Feast for Crows to apply for Dornish characters.
The best way is, of course, to read the books. We prefer all players to have read at least A Game of Thrones.
But even if you have read all the books, keeping all the information about the series fresh in your mind is easier said than done. The Citadel is the section of Westeros where we have collected setting-related resources, such as the Concordance, which is a compilation of just about every little piece of setting information from the series made specifically with this MUSH in mind.
You can also find a lot of information about the setting in our wiki and at our forum. However, keep in mind that those sections contain a lot of spoilers and that not all that information there has been checked for accuracy by the Admin.
Watching Game of Thrones will give a general sense of the world of Westeros; it’s medieval, it’s quite brutal and gritty and the politics can get rather ugly. However, the show does not give you a good sense of the culture and history of the Seven Kingdoms. Furthermore, visually it is often quite inaccurate, especially in terms of the clothing in King’s Landing.
Blood of Dragons MUSH is based solely on the book canon. Given this, players whose only experience of the setting is watching Game of Thrones are strongly encouraged to either read at least A Game of Thrones or research extensively, for example using the Concordance. The wiki can also be used but it does contain spoilers.
It is also important to note that the MUSH is set around 140 years before the start of the first book (and the start of the TV-show). The Targaryens are still in power and will remain so until Robert’s Rebellion
Our aim is to stay true to the known canon for this period of time. For example, since the game opened, King Daeron has died in Dorne and the Dornish Conquest has failed, just as in the know history for the period. It also means that House Targaryen cannot be overthrown by another House.
However, though the truly major events of the period are known, the fate of all non-Feature individuals is entirely open save for actions that would alter known events or spark events that are so major that if they had happened, they would have been mentioned.
If/when more details relating to this period become known, we will incorporate those that we are able to incorporate without altering past roleplay. A list of purposeful and unavoidable differences between book canon and mush canon can be found here.
The time period that the MUSH is set in is not as chaotic and dangerous as the time period of the books. Given this, the risks of someone dying a violent death are smaller than they are in the books, especially now that the war with Dorne is concluded. Our primary focus is on the political and social aspects of the Game of Thrones rather than the full-on battles and the primary struggles between characters are about influence and renown at the two courts. Of course, political feuds can and will occasionally spill over into actual fighting and this is something we aim to stay true to.
We certainly welcome characters that fall anywhere on the spectrum in terms of morality, whether that be mostly white, mostly black or any shade of grey. Bearing in mind that we are focused on the nobility of the Seven Kingdoms, we hope that within that sphere people will try to portray the wide variety of character types we see in the books, including some that are quite far from the shining knights of songs and stories. We are a game for adult players and we do not censor what kind of language is in roleplay or what sort of scenarios that play out, as long as they are appropriate for the setting.
Finally, our policy is that this is a full consent game, albeit with certain caveats for actions that act as consent-limiters. For further information, see info roleplay consent.
The open areas are King’s Landing, the royal capital of the Seven Kingdoms, and Sunspear in Dorne. This means that all characters need to be able to reside in King’s Landing or Sunspear for the foreseeable future. This is one of the most important things to consider when selecting a character and considering a concept.
Players wishing to play in King’s Landing should choose characters from the King’s Landing region, the Stormlands, the Riverlands, the Reach, the Vale, the Westerlands and to a lesser degree the North. Characters from the Iron Isles can only rarely be in King’s Landing and currently no Dornish characters can be based in King’s Landing.
Players wishing to play in Sunspear in Dorne should choose characters from Dorne. Currently no non-Dornish characters can be based in Sunspear.
Probably not. We may add additional areas if the player base grows large enough to be able to easily support more than two areas, but this seems unlikely.
If it were to happen, we would probably look at suitable locations in the areas bordering on the King’s Landing region, such as Storm’s End. We may also consider another city, in that case Oldtown.
The North (including the Wall) and the Iron Isles will never be featured on the game.
The IC to RL time ratio is 1:1. This is the personal preference of the Admin for their own roleplay as well as for the fact that certain aspects of the game makes it relatively maintenance-intensive.
The MUSH is not suitable for children. ICly violence is not uncommon and neither is some sexual content. We also allow players to speak quite freely and frankly on the game’s OOC channels. A good guideline for the expected level of violence and sexual content is the books themselves.
Thus, due to the adult nature of the setting, players who have not reached the age of majority for their place of residence will only be approved to join the game on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, permission of their legal guardian (and the ability to produce proof of such permission) will be required.
Effectively, this generally means that 18 is the minimum age to play at Blood of Dragons.
We strongly feel that there is nothing in this setting that makes it necessary for the game to be either full consent or non-consent. Good roleplayers can make either work. Our choice of full consent is largely a personal preference but also a part of the kind of atmosphere we want to foster on the game. We want the competitive, cutthroat elements to stay IC and we want players to feel that they are a part of a co-operative gaming experience OOC. Our experience is that this is more easily accomplished in a full consent environment.
That said, full consent as we interpret it—please see
info roleplay consent for the full policy—does not mean players will get away with whatever they feel like. Nor does it mean players can run around being invulnerable super heroes. For example, a +warn command exists to notify another player if their behaviour is likely to lead to serious consequences and if the other player persists in his or her actions, they are consenting to more serious consequences.