Houses of the Blooded

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Houses of the Blooded is the new RPG by John Wick, (co)author of legendary games Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea.

Wick designed Houses as a response to a D&D dominated industry, even marketing it as an anti-D&D. Wick proceeded by subverting many stereotypes of the game and the fantasy genre it belongs to. Instead of Conan he was inspired by Elric, characters aren't wandering adventurers making their fortune, but established nobles, playing the 'game of thrones'. Dungeons, combat and heroism are all largely replaced by romance, revenge and tragedy (although duels and monster killing are still very much part of the game). The game also sports simple abstract rules for things often ignored in roleplaying games such as land management, marriage, long term goals and massive scale battles.

The setting of the game is a fictional antediluvian civilization called Ven, which Wick describes as real, supported by fictional archaeological evidence and literature (not unlike Lovecraft for example). The setting, with its noble houses and the style of play the rules encourage is very reminiscent of works like Dune, A Song of Ice and Fire and Amber.