House of Cards at Metatopia

The Metatopia event schedule is up, and I'm pleased to announce the open session on Saturday night (10pm to midnight) as well as a designer-only session Friday from 8 to 10. Anyone who wants to talk about the game, get a sneak preview, or even try it out, feel free to register now; I'm also… Continue reading House of Cards at Metatopia

Sketching, Not Painting: Taking a Light Hand with Setting

I like tossing in little throw-away details to illustrate ideas in House of Cards, but I'm of the mindset that too much information stifles the reader's own imagination. To take just one example from the text, while discussing the strangely alien and capricious nature of the courts of the Comtes, I added the flourish, "In… Continue reading Sketching, Not Painting: Taking a Light Hand with Setting

The Three R’s of Hand Management

In House of Cards, there are three important terms that define different ways in which cards cycle: renew, replenish, and refresh. To renew a hand is simply discard your hand and draw back up to your current hand maximum. This occurs in situations which represent a dramatic change that throws everyone off-kilter: when a Shuffle… Continue reading The Three R’s of Hand Management

House of Cards at Gen Con Indy 2011

As mentioned over at, we'll be running sessions at Games On Demand in the Crowne Plaza hotel, Pennsylvania Station C, on Friday and Saturday. Stop by to give the current playtest version of House of Cards a try, and even participate in the playtest process and contribute your feedback. Check out the teasers (on… Continue reading House of Cards at Gen Con Indy 2011

“Layers” of character creation

Generating characters for House of Cards is a matter of knowing two things: the ability they have to directly impact the plot, and how powerful they need to be. Different layers of the character generation process apply at different levels: at the lowest level, for minor characters with no powers, one only needs to generate… Continue reading “Layers” of character creation

Replenishing cards and “right action”

As has been mentioned before, managing cards in hand is one of the crucial resource-allocation decisions players face when playing House of Cards. They literally represent your ability to act or resist being acted upon. Given this situation, how does one keep from being overwhelmed at the first sign of opposition? The game adopts the… Continue reading Replenishing cards and “right action”