A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Houses of the Blooded

Houses of the Blooded is a new indie RPG that pimps itself as "anti-D&D". It goes on to say that while D&D is a game about bad asses that roam the land without any real bond or connection or tie, and often with little regard for law, Houses of the Blooded is a game about people who are bound to and connected to the land, and for whom laws are everything.

Oh - you can get the PDF for five bucks here.

Here's my brief rundown on it, with my thoughts.

The players take the role of "Blooded Ven". Blooded = nobles, ven = the race of people that populate this corner of the world. The game is part Role Playing Game, and part Domain and Resource Management game. And while you could almost call them two separate games, they're totally linked together.

On the role playing side of things, its a heavily narrativist system that uses pools of d6's, and wagers in order to get to narrate facts about the events at hand. It uses Aspects, which may be familiar to you if you've read Spirit of the Century or FATE. The characters are all land owning nobles, and there are definite rules to live by, or in some cases, flaunt. Think rules like the rules in Vampire the Masquerade/Requiem. The players can expect to go to social events and practice their charm and subterfuge and intrigue on other NPCs and players. I happen to be currently reading George RR Martin's Game of Thrones series, and I cannot help but make comparisons. Words are dangerous, and Insults can quickly get you involved in Duels.

The domain management side of things plays in a way that reminds me of Birthright - an old school D&D game about nobles. You start with some land, and some details about that land, and you can select some vassals. Each Season, you have a number of Domain Actions that you can perform, depending on your lands and your vassals. Also, vassals can perform some domain actions for you. You can improve your lands and infrastructure, explore new areas, deal with troublesome bandits in your lands, produce goods, trade those goods, create fantastic works of art, hire new vassals, etc. I have a weak spot for domain management games, and so I've already been hungrily eyeing this portion of the game.

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