Frequently Used Terms

Character: A fictitious persona adopted by a player in order to participate in a role-playing game. Each character is controlled by one character. Characters under the control of the GM are known as Non-Player Characters or NPCs.

Player: A real person who adopts the persona of a character. Each player controls one character at a time and decides what that character does.

Gamemaster (GM) (aka Storyteller or Referee): The person who referees the game and controls the non-player characters. The GM must arbitrate rules and engage the players as best he or she can. Ideally, a person gets to be a player at least once between running Games. House Games is designed to make it easy to take turns like this.

Ringer: A player-controlled NPC. The player of the ringer generally works with the GM to fulfil a certain role within the game (often by dying).

Gifts: Offered powers, effects, or tools that might be sufficient to motivate a High Roller to participate in the Games. The GM decides what Gift is offered by a Harbinger, though if they are incautious or show poor judgement, a Gift may go on the block to be Voided. Likewise, the Gift must be in keeping with a character's style and ambition.

Introduction: Everything that happens to a character up to the point where he joins the other characters for a Game. This usually includes the Harbinger's (or representative's) pitch to the High Roller before the Game commences.

Side Game: Events outside a Game, illustrating what one or more characters are doing during "down time." Side Games can be used to eliminate enemies, acquire resources and allies, investigate leads, or anything else. They often become necessary or beneficial for High Seasoned Chosen.

High Roller: Characters who accept the challenge of participating in the Games. Characters have been known to adopt their own terms such as Imbued, Chosen, Contractors, Doornails, and many more.

Novice: A Chosen with fewer than 10 Gifts.

Seasoned: A Chosen with 10 to 20 Gifts is considered Seasoned.

High Seasoned: A High Roller with at least 20 Gifts is considered High-Seasoned.

Veteran: A High Roller who occasionally attempts Games without the aid of other High Rollers. Veterans typically have more than 30 Gifts.

Secret Masters (aka The Powers That Be): The mysterious powers behind the Games. Their powers seem infinite and their interests obfuscated. Perhaps the Games are merely an amusement, or perhaps they are part of a grander scheme.

Harbinger: Representative of the Secret Masters sent to coax, lure, or intimidate characters into participating in the Games. They typically offer the Gifts available to characters. Harbingers need not appear in person, often working through third parties, writing, or other methods. Whether or not the Harbinger chooses to present it in this way, the characters usually have a choice and may "opt out" if the challenge involves something they won't do. Harbingers are always controlled by the GM.

Meta-Gaming: Using out of character knowledge. Players should strive to avoid meta-gaming at all times.

Cells: A group of House Games players that frequently play together is called a Cell.

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