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House System

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A set of rules used by a game development company for almost every game they publish. It is much cheaper to create the system once, and then tweak it for a specific game, than to develop a unique system for each game. It also helps with sales because players will already know the basics, and won't have to learn a whole new set of rules. If your system requires something unusual, such as particular dice or tokens, they can generally be reused between games. However, using a House System can backfire if the system doesn't fit the genre it's being applied to.

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Distinct from a Universal System in that, while a House System may be used for multiple genres, it is not released as an independent cross-genre product and is only used by one company. However, many (even most) Universal Systems began as House Systems, and can still be listed here in that case.

Contrast House Rules, which the local Dungeonmaster sometimes uses to circumvent System Rules that are not agreeable to them and/or their players.

Has nothing to do with the system of dividing Boarding School students into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw etc.


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Examples (by original publisher name):


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