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D&D 5E shrinks down to a Borrowers and Arrietty-like world in Adventures in the Household RPG

Diminutive & Dangerous.

Promotional art for Adventures in the Household RPG, an adaptation to D&D 5E's rules.
Image credit: Daniela Giubellini/Two Little Mice

Fantasy stories have long been obsessed with the worldbuilding premise of “What if normal-sized things were instead very small?” Gulliver’s Travels, Arrietty, and - closer to the tabletop RPG realm - Mausritter’s world of rodent explorers all portray settings where our normal sense of scale is completely upended Adventures in the Household follows in this tradition by adapting its original system of tiny travails to the popular D&D 5th Edition rules.

Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Adventures in the Household transmutes the Ennie Award-nominated Household RPG into 5E rules but keeps the regency eraed-flavoured world of the House, an abandoned mansion in the woods full of wee people called Littlings. Cities and entire cultures have developed around the crumbling walls and overgrown gardens, and players’ adventures revolve around exploring its borders, interacting with different Littling societies and fending off threats such as rats, spiders and (relatively) huge geese.

Original designers Riccardo Sirignano and Simone Formicola will publish the 5E translation via their Italian studio Two Little Mice, and they’ve brought on Jacob Rodgers as their conversion ringer - he was responsible for adapting Ruins of Symbaroum and The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying for Free League, so he knows his way around Dungeons & Dragons’ modern ruleset.

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Player characters will hail from one of four Littling backgrounds that compose the various communities inhabiting the House and its environs. The Faeries bear both dragonfly wings and a courtly nobility, while the Boggarts represent strong communal ties and strong physiques. The Slaugh hail from the Farbeyond and boast incredible regenerative abilities, while Sprites draw their power from ancestral connections to Fire, Air and Water elements within the House.

Classes are redefined as professions and sub-categorical vocations, and the core book offers six of each: burly Soldiers, academic-minded Scholars, Hunters who protect towns from carnivorous beats, opportunistic Criminals, Duelists who view warfare through a romantic lens and Animal Handlers who specialise in the domestication of helpful fauna. You can see clear parallels to the well known 5E classes here, but there’s a fun and flavourful tie to how the Littlings navigate the House that feels like a high fantasy recasting of Mary Norton’s book, The Borrowers.

Since this is a 5E tabletop RPG, players should expect to encounter no end of traps, challenges and potentially deadly combat as they push through the walls and carpets of the House. The core rulebook details five different rooms of the House - the Living Room, Bedroom, Basement, Bathroom and Dining Hall - each with different cities, characters and storylines to pursue. What’s not included are the previous full-sized residents, as they have vanished and not returned in living memory.

Promotional art for Adventures in the Household RPG, an adaptation to D&D 5E's rules.
Image credit: Daniela Giubellini/Two Little Mice

The 300-page core rulebook will be accompanied by a slightly smaller Household Guide that expands the house, offers more character options and new mysteries that form the foundations of campaign-long questlines. Such Small Matters provides game masters with 24 pregenerated Littlings and six authored adventures, along with quest hooks and other material to support homebrewed material.

The Kickstarter campaign for Adventures in the Household runs through April 4th to crowdfund both a digital and physical edition of the three sourcebooks. There’s also a reprint of the original RPG on offer. The development team includes Two Little Mice and Rodgers, artist Daniela Giubellini. Shipping to backers should begin in September of this year. If you’re interested in peeking at the rules before buying, there’s a free quickstart PDF on DrivethruRPG.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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