Hi there! I’m Simone Formicola, co-designer of Household along with Rico Sirignano. This is our fourth Designer Diary, and you can read the rest of them below:
I think it is time to talk about what is like to actually play Household, because the game has some very interesting and unique rules, especially when you want to play a longer campaign.
Let’s start by saying that Household not only offers a geographical setting with a detailed House divided into four nations containing lots of locations to freely explore and tons of characters to meet during your Adventures, but also a chronological setting in which some major events are happening is the background and will interfere with the player’s story.
Your adventures will take place inside the House during a specific historical period, the five-year long Fragile Peace.
This period starts with the institution of a High Council of the four Folks, which put a stop to the First Household War and ends when the shadow of a new war appears. All the stories you will experience, all the Adventures you will play in the game, will take place during these five years.
The Fragile Peace is a very troubled period because the frontiers have finally opened and Folks and nations that, up to this point, have only met on the battlefield can finally meet each other as friends, all equal citizens of the great House.
In Household, a campaign is called a Saga and is divided into 5 Chapters. A Chapter roughly corresponds to a year. So, a full campaign will cover all five years of the Fragile Peace.
Each Chapter begins with a unique Historical Event that will change the House and have great repercussions on the lives of the Characters. For example, Chapter III opens with a massive jailbreak in which dozens of criminals escape from the largest prison in the Basement and spread out over the entire House!
Each Chapter is divided into Paragraphs. Each Paragraph is a full Adventure that can take one or more game session to be completed. After finishing all the Paragraphs of a Chapter, you will advance to the next Chapter. At the beginning of a new Chapter, Characters earn Skill points and a new Trait or Move to symbolize the experience gained during their adventures.
In between Chapters, the Players and the Narrator choose how the story will progress. Several months could go by when passing from one Chapter to the next. The Players may choose to leave some of their Characters behind to create another one.
Advancing to a new Chapter can also be the perfect moment to pass the Narrator’s role to another Player!