Household Designer Diaries 1 – Welcome to the House!

Hi everybody! I’m Rico Sirignano and I am the author and designer of Household, along with Simone Formicola.

Somewhere in 2018, Simone and I were shooting a pilot for a television series, and since we were both RPG enthusiasts, we started discussing the idea of making a game in our spare time. One thing led to another, and in 2019 Household, was published in Italy. We saw our passion project become a hit among the Italian community, and that very year, to our great honor, it was also awarded Role Playing Game of the Year at Lucca Comics & Games.

Our whole idea behind Household was to use our knowledge of cinema, the theater, acting, and screenwriting to design a system that heavily revolved around interpretation and character development. Of course, it was our first game ever and we made a lot of mistakes, but we also learned a lot from our growing community during the years.

In the end, the first edition of Household became the foundation for our second game, Broken Compass. Broken Compass is now the foundation on which we’re building this amazing, new edition of Household, keeping the elements that made the first edition so appealing and improving where we saw that we had room for growth.

As our long-terms players will know, Household has its unique twists that set it apart from your everyday RPG. To those of you who are new players, we thought we would introduce you to a few of the key mechanics in the game so you can get familiar with them! Let’s start by saying that, in Household, your Character doesn’t have ordinary attributes, but 4 Fields represented by the 4 suits: Hearts for Society, Diamonds for Academia, Clubs for War, and Spades for Street. Whenever you face a problem, you must decide how you want to approach it by choosing a Field. If you want to solve it by speaking, seducing, or deceiving, you are in the Society Field. If you want to solve it relying on your determination or brute force, that’s the War Field. And so forth.

Each Field is linked to 5 five Skills which are more commonly used in that Field, but not exclusive to it. For example, Grace is a Skill linked to the Society Field, and it’s most commonly used to dance or show perfect posture at court. However, you can also use your Grace in the War Field when you have to dodge a sudden strike from a duelist.

The sum of a Field plus a Skill determines the number of D6 you roll to try and Succeed. You don’t need to score high or low numbers. In fact, our custom dice don’t really have numbers on them. What you need is a Combination: a two, three, or four-of-a-kind, just like when you play Poker!

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