Household Designer Diaries 3 – Pets and Beasts

Hello! I’m Simone Formicola and I am a designer for Household, along with Rico Sirignano. Rico has talked to you about the different littlings that live in the House and their stories (read all about it here!). Today, we will talk about an equally important subject: the animals that live with them!

I think I started working on this game together with Rico roughly 4 years ago, but I’ve known about the story and the lore of Household for even longer.

I’ve always been fascinated by the unique balance between big and small that lives in every aspect of Household.

The huge, abandoned House, which is the “world” of the game, appears extremely familiar on one hand, with its empty rooms and quiet hallways. But on the other hand, it is totally fantastic as it’s seen through very small eyes. The eyes of a littling.

So the stairs become a tall mountain, a chandelier becomes a crystal city, and, last but not least, a rat-sized animal becomes a very big problem. They may be just small creatures to us, but every millimeter in height counts when you don’t have that many to spare!

The small critters that usually live inside an abandoned mansion are enormous beasts compared to the littlings. Only the bravest, the valiant Hunters, dare to fight them in order to keep them away from the cities.

The Household bestiary is full of insects and other animals ready to be used as Opponents in any Adventure.

There are Cockroaches moving in packs on the carpets, Earwigs and Lizards wandering through the mushroom forests, fearsome Rats and armored Scarabs defending their territories near the walls, Wasps and Hornets lurking near the beehives, and gigantic Centipedes hunting in the darkness of the Inbetweens.

But out of all the horrible creatures of the House, the most terrifying of all are, without a doubt, the Spiders. Spiders are smart and strong, and they usually set clever traps to hunt down inexperienced travelers. They’re one of the most dangerous Opponents an unlucky group of littlings can find inside the House.

Each beast has their own Opponent Sheet, with Traits, Moves, and a series of Actions to help the Narrator make every Conflict against them unique and exciting.

When the Characters need to fight some of those beasts, they always face a big risk. Sometimes, the only way of prevail is to collaborate, find their Opponent’s Weak Spot, and take advantage of it. Weak Spots are opponent’s flaws, scenario elements or information that can give the Characters a huge advantage in a Conflict.

Hidden in the House, in the most remote and dangerous places, there are some very exceptional beasts. They’re legendary creatures so powerful that their names are stuff of stories and myths. It seems that by taking a legendary beasts down, or by making a deal with them, a littling can have access to unique Contracts: incredible powers that always come at a great cost.

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