Non-standard tourney activities
I've been thinking about alternatives to tournaments in areas without a knightly tradition - the Iron Islands and the North in particular. I've created a list of competitions for a moot in the Iron Islands (specifically Harlaw, for my story). I'll put mine below. Who has other ideas? Who has ideas for better mechanics for these?
The Finger Dance- a 2 man competition. One man throws an axe, the other catches it, then throws it back. The winning team is the last to drop the axe. The thrower makes a Marksmanship (Thrown, Axes) test against 21 - (catcher’s base CD). The catcher must make an Agility (Quickness, Sleight of Hand) test against the a difficulty of 18. For every level of success past the first that the thrower achieved, this difficulty is reduced by 3. Failing the throw means the catcher must make an Agility (Dodge) test vs the thrower’s test, or suffer the thrower’s base damage. This also eliminates the pair from the competition. Failing the catch eliminates the pair from the competition, and a critical fail on the catch results in an Injury. If the catcher rolls all 1s, he must take the Maimed Drawback. The winning team earns a point of Glory for their house.
Running the oars- In this competition, each competitor must run across the oars of a moving longship. To successfully complete the contest, a contestant must make 20 Agility (Balance) tests of 15. If a test is failed, the contestant must make an Agility (Dodge) test of 12 to avoid taking a Wound from the churning oars. Failure results in being knocked unconscious, and Drowning begins. A PC in the following rescue boat may dive in and attempt to rescue the contestant. If the contestant remains conscious, he must make an Athletics (Swim) test of 9 to get to the rescue boat. Succeeding at all 20 tests earns a point of Glory. If no one makes all 20 tests, the contestant with the most successes is the champion, and earns a point of Glory for his house. If more than one contestant succeeds at all 20 tests, they must make another run. Each completed run earns a point of Glory, and the final winner earns another point.
Boasting- Each contestant tells of their exploits (real or imagined), making a Persuasion (Convince, Charm, or Incite) or Deception (Act or Bluff) test. The 4 contestants with the highest results advance to the next round, where they try to discredit their opponents. All four contestants must make Persuade (Incite or Taunt) tests. The 2 contestants who score highest must then compete against each other in a Standard Intrigue for the win and the Glory point.
Riddling- Contestants must take turns solving riddles pulled randomly from a jar. Contestants must make Cunning (Logic) tests. The first round starts at difficulty 9, increasing by 3 every round until everyone is eliminated, or the difficulty has increased to 21. If multiple contestants make it to this round, they continue testing against 21 until only one contestant remains. Solving a riddle at difficulty 21 earns the contestant’s house a point of Glory, as does winning the competition.
Tug of War- Each team is made up of 20 men. Each team makes an opposed Athletics (Coordinate) test. The PCs team can get a 1 point bonus for every 2B of Strength they have on the team, and a 1 point bonus for every 2 points of Athletics they have exceeding the team’s average. The winning team gets a 1 point lead, +1 point for every level of success. The points first remove the opposing team’s points before becoming positive points. The first team to 5 points wins. There are 4 rounds, and the winning team gets a point of Glory.
Arm Wrestling- Opponents make opposed Athletics (Strength) tests. If a contestant scores 2+ levels of success in the first test, they win. Otherwise, the winner gets a point, and another test is made. The winner gets 1 point, plus another for each additional level of success, but points first remove those of the opponent's. The first contestant to 2 points wins. If at any time a contestant defeats his opponent by 15+, the loser takes an Injury. If a contestant rolls all 1s on their test, they take a Wound. The winner gains a point of Glory for his house.
Foot Race (Short)- The contestants must cover 100 yards. Each round, they move their sprint distance, and may test Athletics (Run) against a difficulty of 12 to add a yard to their movement per degree of success. The winner gets a Glory point. If multiple contestants make the 100 yard mark in the same round, the winner is the contestant who went the farthest in that round. If there’s still a tie, the contestant with the most B in Quickness is the winner.
Foot Race (Long)- If someone competes in this competition, he may not compete in any other competitions on the first day, due to the length of the competition. All competitors are required to maintain a certain pace (enforced by men following on horseback), and the course is around the island of Harlaw, lasting until only 1 man remains standing. Contestants make Endurance (Stamina + Run) tests. The first test is 9, increasing by 3 each test until a difficulty of 21 is reached. Failing a test results in an Injury. A critical failure means the contestant has been eliminated. The winner receives a point of Glory.
Swimming Race (Short)- The contestants must cover 100 yards. Each round, they test Athletics (Swim) against a difficulty of 6, and move 1 yard per level of success. The winner gets a Glory point. If multiple contestants make the 100 yard mark in the same round, the winner is the contestant who went the farthest in that round. If there’s still a tie, the contestant with the most B in Quickness is the winner. Obviously, all contestants must have at least 1B in Swim.
Swimming Race (Long)- If someone competes in this competition, he may not compete in any other competitions on the first day, due to the length of the competition. All competitors are required to maintain a certain pace (enforced by men following in a rescue boat), and the course is around the island of Harlaw, lasting until only 1 man remains. Contestants make Endurance (Stamina + Swim) tests. The first test is 9, increasing by 3 each test until a difficulty of 21 is reached. The winner receives a point of Glory. Obviously, all contestants must have at least 1B in Swim.
Greased Pig Chase- Each round, a competitor makes an Athletics (Run) test against 12 to get close enough to the pig to make an attempt to grab it. Every level of success past the first grants a bonus die on the next test - an Agility (Quickness) test. In the first round, the target is 27, but the difficulty drops by 3 each round until it reaches 15, as the pig tires. The winner gets the pig, and a test die they can use in either the rowing contest or the tournament.
Climb- Only the boldest athletes attempt this feat - climbing a sheer cliff on a nearby islet. Success requires the competitor to climb 34 yards with an Athletics (Climb) difficulty of 15. If someone makes it to the top, they get a point of Glory. There is rope at the top, long enough to get back down.
Rowing Contest- Each team has a longboat, 20 oarsmen, and a captain. The captain steers and adjusts the sail. Each round, the captain makes a Survival (Orientation) test against a difficulty of 3. For every level of success, the crew will get a bonus die for their Athletics test. Next, the captain makes an Athletics test against 3 based on his crew’s Athletics. The PCs team can get a 1 point bonus for every 2B of Strength they have on the team, and a 1 point bonus for every 2 points of Athletics they have exceeding the team’s average. The team gets a point for every level of success. The first team to 100 points (to Orkmont and back) gains 2 points of Glory for their house.
Re: Non-standard tourney activities
While I think that a lot of this are good ideas and it is impressive how much you have thought about that, I think many of that is not really fit for that kind of fame and glory tournaments have. Races, Pig Chases, Wrestling etc. may be part of a tournament or other celebrations, but just for the lowborn, the common people (and nobles and even Hedge Knight in most cases did not participate).
Singing/poems may also be a part of celebration, but I think your idea aboit boasting fit very well with that, too.
There may also be fights with weapons on foot, riding and hit targets with your lance or a javelin...
I would also not so sure that there are no tournaments in the North. First, even the Starks have houses directly sworn to them which have men with the title Ser (and in the "southern north" like the huge part which is sworn to the Manderly the Faith and with that also knighted men may be much more common).
Re: Non-standard tourney activities
True, true, I'm being too generous with Glory. I also agree that there are knights in the North, but I'd be surprised if there were too many jousts outside of the Whiteharbor area (Right now I'm working on stuff set just after the Conquest, so the North wouldn't be as integrated with the rest of Westeros as it later becomes).