the song of ice and fire RPG* is based on the hit books by George R.R. Martin. most casual fans will know this series better by the name of Game of thrones which is the name of the hit HBO series. Game of thrones is actually just the name of the first book of the series, but thanks to the HBO series most people know the series by that name and not the official A song of Ice and Fire. using either name is in my opinion fine so long as everyone knows what you are talking about.
the RPG is based upon the books with very little if anything from the TV series included into it. for example the white walkers are called the others as they are in the books and the ages of the Characters are those from the novels and not the T.V series. for example sensa is only about 13 or 14 as opposed to the 17-18 in the series.
the game itself uses the D6 as its main dice. it is also a dice pool system as opposed to a level based system. the game does include a section about picking a kinda role that a character can pick such as leader, schemer, and expert, but these roles have no actual game mechanic and serve more as a guide. there are no actual stats and skills instead there is only one set of abilities which cover what would be those two aspects in other games.
two awesome features of this game are the addition of House generating rules and a social combat system. the house rules are for generating your groups own noble house. these rules are good enough that I have used a converted version in my other Games. the house rules allow a person to generate the houses, land, power, wealth, influence and other factors that are needed to determine how well the house is doing. the more players that are in a house the better the house is as each player can add to the initial house score in each of the above areas. you also roll on how old the house is and how its history has affected its fortunes and thus starting stats. you will also create the houses motto and its heraldry.
the games social combat system is nice as politics and well social combat is a huge thing in the books. you have a composure rating which is the social version of defense and a willpower score (iirc) that is the social version of Hit points. as you use social attacks such as deception and seduction you roll verses your targets composure and once your reduce their will enough you succeed in your social action. note that unlike physical combat social combat can take many hours or days in game to accomplish as opposed tot he minutes that physical combat takes. this is a nice system as you can make a PC that is deadly in the halls of the nobility yet who can not take up a sword to save their lives.
the book itself has some nice art work and gives a lot of good background on the world of the novels. for example it actually has a list of how advance the tech of the land is. there is also information on what little magic that has been seen in the books such as worging and greensight.
the book also has information on how to handle the less friendly parts of the books such as murder and rape. basically use what your group is comfortable with. if your group does not want to include Rape the leave it in the background or just totally our of the game.
overall this is a nice decent RPG the system is actually generic enough that if you want you can use it in your own homebrewed world if westoros is not to your liking. i would recommend getting the game if your are a fan of the show or books, or if you want a more down to earth fantasy RPG system that is easy to learn.
*note their are two versions of the game I only own the original version as pictured above. the game of thrones edition has several updates, none of which should affect this review.