Forest Houses Mechanic
Zhuai's briefing on how Forest Houses work:
"It's not as complicated as the Arcade Game of Houses; this is really more like the Rules of Engagement for House Squabbling for the Forest of Chin."
Every week, more or less, each house can do something. That 'something' can be one of the following somewhat free-form gambits (you will have to specify what the action is ("pretend to be bandits in their territory" is the currently popular attack-an-enemy gambit), but you won't have to play it out in great detail.
- Attack an enemy. You can get away with some amount of dirty tricks attacking an enemy, if you're successful. If you're unsuccessful, then you can suffer some legal penalties, if your enemy can call you on it and has proof. "Attack" can vary wildly - "pretend to be bandits" is really popular right now, but it could be a magical plan or a social plan to embarass them at all the right parties, or something more convoluted.
- Aid one or more of your allies (up to all of them).
- Attack a non-enemy (treacherous!). You will (probably) get a bonus for surprise, but this is poor form and will affect your House's reputation in the longer term.
- Aid yourself. (Zhuai thinks that the House should do this for a while at first, until it gets more stable). This is the defensive maneuver that protects somewhat against attacks.
- Do a Different Thing. (House Xing is the one that does this most, though often the High Warlord's big pronouncements fall in this category).
There are some extra bits like how to destroy a house (a lot of successful attacks, usually with aid) or how to overthrow the High Warlord (multiple successful concurrent attacks from multiple houses), but they aren't necessarily on the immediate to-do list.