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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » Variants

Subject: Fanmade Betrayal Expansion in progress rss

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Star Lite
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The past few days or so, I've been working on making 50 custom haunts for Betrayal since at my Games' Club here, we've already played almost all of the original haunts. I'm not too far in the specific haunts yet, but I was hoping to get some suggestions and feedback on what I have.

Haunt List (Subject to change)

Haunt 1: The Dead Can Dance
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 2: Untouchable
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 3: Collared
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 4: It's Hatching...
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 5: The Trance
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 6: Claustrophobia
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 7: Jack in the Box
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 8: Deal With the Devil
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 9: Robot Takeover
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 10: The Crew of Davy Jones
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 11: Little Italy
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 12: Blastoff!
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 13: Breath of Life
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 14: Eternal Life
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 15: Traitor's Twin
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 16: Come to Me
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 17: I Can See You
Survivors' Guide
Traitor's Tome
Haunt 18: Belief in Belief
Currently in progress
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Josh C
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good stuff man... have you considered making new omens to trigger your haunts instead of replacing old ones?
 
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Star Lite
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I considered it, but I think there's already a good balance of omens, and it'd be a bit difficult to make the cards and everything. I think it's better just to try to work around what we already have.

EDIT: Last night I was able to convince 6 of my friends to try Custom Haunt 3 in a game, and as I watched them play I was able to notice some shocking balancing issues. I've written them below for the curious, as well as for people who want to design their own Haunts to keep in mind.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
For reference, they had discovered 6 omens by the time the Haunt began, and about half of the room tiles were discovered. It took two more rounds for the heroes to find the Medallion. The Ring was one of the 5 omens discovered before Bite.
The first thing I noticed was that the traitor was severely outmatched. The heroes had only one notably strong character (Heather at Might 4 with an Axe, everyone else was at Might 3 or one was at Might 4). But everyone had been lucky enough to have high Sanity traits. I had purposely underpowered the Aliens, reasoning that having the Pet in the room with them giving them an extra 3 to their attack and defense rolls was too much. But Pets are so slow that unless there was an explorer somewhere nearby, he just couldn't keep up with the Aliens. More often than not, the traitor had to choose between sending his Alien off to attack someone or barely moving it at all so the Pet could waddle over to it.
I also thought that the heroes would be killing at least one, possibly two Pets. But the Aliens' starting traits were so low that they just never found a use for wasting their turn by attacking the Pet instead of the Alien.
The traitor was outnumbered 5-2 (since the Pet was barely a player) by opponents who were naturally as strong as his Aliens and could kill them at long range. The only reason the traitor won was that everyone playing was still rather new to Betrayal, and the hero to find the Medallion had never played before, so he just kept exploring the basement instead of grabbing the Ring and killing the Aliens.
The one best part about this Haunt though was that most of the players in it are actually pets in real life, *except* for the traitor who always calls them weird about it. Reading the victory text to him in my best cutesy voice was the best thing that could have ever happened.
In order to try to balance it better, I boosted the Aliens' Speed from 5 to 6 and their Might from 4 to 6. Killing a pet now reduces their Speed by 1 and Might by 2 instead of all stats by 1. The Alien can now carry a Pet with them at the cost of reduced movement. The Pet can now steal items if he rolls a 3-4 when doing a trick, while before he'd roll over and get to move the second Alien one space closer to any hero.


tl;dr I was worried about making another Alien Haunt with an overpowered traitor and overcompensated.
 
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Ryan Wilson
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Just read #3 and your spoiler.

Most haunts beef the traitor up and raise any stats to starting values. I see what you're trying to do with the increased master stats with pet in tow but the speed reduction sounds killer. An organized group could prove too much for anyone in the traitors shoes.

On the other hand though obtaining the ring and medallion is no laughing matter either if they haven't been revealed. Usually haunts handle items by letting you search specific rooms for them with a roll. Basing it on omens puts you at the mercy of both the tile deck giving an omen room and also at the mercy of the omen deck as well!
 
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Ryan Wilson
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Untouchable...

The curing rolls are different numbers in the hero and traitor tomes.

Also it seems devious to not explicitly state to the heroes in their tome that they may auto lose if they fail the cure roll.

Then furthermore it sounds as though you can have the traitor try and cure himself. What is to stop him from making the roll over and over intending to lose it and contaminate the lake?
 
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Star Lite
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Quote:
Untouchable...

The curing rolls are different numbers in the hero and traitor tomes.

Also it seems devious to not explicitly state to the heroes in their tome that they may auto lose if they fail the cure roll.

Then furthermore it sounds as though you can have the traitor try and cure himself. What is to stop him from making the roll over and over intending to lose it and contaminate the lake?


Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I had changed the roll to 2 to make it harder for a loss to happen that way, and I should probably be more explicit in the heroes book.

The traitor easily could try to do that cure, but as usual, only once per turn. And while the traitor tries to fail a low roll each turn, he can't chase the heroes down, and only one hero needs to leave the house to win. Not to mention, if the traitor is cured he can't pollute the lake unless he gets another low roll and gets infected by proximity to the dog.

I thought it seemed pretty balanced, but I could be completely off. I'm hoping to convince my friends to test this one so I can see if it has any clear balancing issues in practice.

Quote:
Just read #3 and your spoiler.

Most haunts beef the traitor up and raise any stats to starting values. I see what you're trying to do with the increased master stats with pet in tow but the speed reduction sounds killer. An organized group could prove too much for anyone in the traitors shoes.

On the other hand though obtaining the ring and medallion is no laughing matter either if they haven't been revealed. Usually haunts handle items by letting you search specific rooms for them with a roll. Basing it on omens puts you at the mercy of both the tile deck giving an omen room and also at the mercy of the omen deck as well!


Yeah, this haunt clearly has some severe balance issues that I still need to work on. I raised all of the Aliens' traits to try to make up for the weakness, but I'm still uncertain about not dropping their Sanity as well with each Pet's death. Originally, the Medallion was a line of sight attack, so with only two good rolls needed to kill the Aliens (and the potential to make it even easier with the Ring), I figured the first obstacle would be trying to search the house for it, so I didn't want to give it to anyone offhand. I was hoping this way, the heroes might actually try killing a Pet or two as the Aliens chase them down while they search... But now that I've made the Medallion attack adjacent rooms only *and* gave the Pet a potential way of stealing it, I'm not sure if I went too far back to traitor-favoring unbalance.
 
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Star Lite
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Six more friends of mine tested out Custom Haunt 7. Half of them had played >20 games of Betrayal, two of them (including the traitor) had played it maybe two or three times before and one of them had never played before.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
For reference, the 6th omen started the Haunt. The players had some really bad rolls and everyone had taken a bit of a beating, but mostly in Sanity and Knowledge (though Flash especially wasn't as fast or as strong as he should have been). The ground floor was almost entirely explored and the basement was about halfway done, but the upper floor only had two rooms found (the Collapsed Room, which put Flash in the Organ Room, and the Junk Room). The explorers were all rather spread out.
As expected, the heroes were a bit panicked when they saw Jack's Might of 7. They tried attacking the Girl once and even though Jack only rolled 5 dice then, they didn't seem to realize this weakness until much later when they couldn't take advantage of it. The traitor on the other hand didn't understand the concept of monsters being immortal, so he kept the Girl far away from the heroes to protect her instead of using her to get extra attacks with Jack. Because neither side tried to exploit the benefits of the Girl, if the heroes hadn't found the Revolver one turn into the Haunt, they would have had no chance. I'm planning on adding a rule for carrying the Girl so the heroes can force Jack to appear in the Vault, and it might make the game more fair. Overall, the Haunt is still somewhat Traitor-imbalanced, but if the heroes find the Revolver and hole up in the Vault, it all depends on whether Jack can beat a high-Speed attack with his low Speed, or the heroes can beat his high-Might attack with their likely low Might.
So while the Haunt favors the traitor slightly, I think I'd call this one complete for now.
Changes made to the Haunt: I gave the heroes the power to carry the girl with them, and I made it explicit that Jack couldn't hurt the heroes normally if he was attacked while not holding the Axe.
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Star Lite
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Six more friends of mine tested out Custom Haunt 5 for me this time. One of them had played >30 games of Betrayal (including my earlier Custom Haunt 7), one of them (the traitor) had played it a handful of times before, and four of them had never played before.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
For reference, the 9th omen started the Haunt. Madame Zostra had already taken a bit of a beating by this point. The ground floor and upper floor were almost entirely explored at this point, but the basement only had the Pentagram Chamber, Mystic Elevator, Gymnasium, and the Stairs out. The explorers were all rather spread out, with Zostra in the Foyer.
I knew even before the Haunt began that this was a weak and boring Haunt, and I was really disappointed to see four new players open with this one. It lasted three rounds before the traitor lost, only because Zostra's low speed made her lag behind by a few tiles. He immediately had Zostra go down to the Mystic Elevator to take her upstairs, entered the Junk Room, and just spent every turn making her enter and exit it in the hopes of damaging her. Even with only 3 speed, she only failed 1 of the six rolls for leaving, keeping her just barely alive. One more failed roll would have been the end of her.
The players discussed it with me, and reasoned that if the Stairs hadn't been discovered yet, the Traitor would have had a better chance of winning, but even so the Haunt was rather bland. It was short and disappointing (The new players had found a Revolver and Blood Dagger that they would never get to use), and this seems to be inherent in the Haunt.
I really don't know what changes to make to this Haunt, the problems are entirely based on the design of it. Right now I'm torn between scrapping it and redoing it from the ground up, or just accepting the existence of a lackluster Haunt in my 50.
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Tommy Rayburn
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Is this still going on?

I have no problem helping make this into a quality looking book if you need the help.
 
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Jono Naito
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I too am interested in how this is going; my friend and I are working on a super Tome, with a single haunt for every combination of omen and room you can get (total of 169 haunts). We are at 132, which includes the originals, fixed versions of 1st edition haunts, and some of the fan made ones on BGG. I haven't looked through these yet, and I will take a peek and see if they can be incorporated.
 
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Paul Liolio
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atsuuuuuu wrote:
I too am interested in how this is going; my friend and I are working on a super Tome, with a single haunt for every combination of omen and room you can get (total of 169 haunts). We are at 132, which includes the originals, fixed versions of 1st edition haunts, and some of the fan made ones on BGG. I haven't looked through these yet, and I will take a peek and see if they can be incorporated.


Make sure you post the completed tome!
I just got the game, but I like to be prepared, and that sounds pretty sweet.
 
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Jono Naito
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Yes of course! We just hit 169 different haunt "ideas", but still need to finish writing many of them (we have the original 50, +35 we found online that we appreciate, +13 we made and tested, so we are making progress at 98/169.)

I was planning on making it available through a google doc with errata/FAQ in-line comments. Even if a bunch are not tested, we will still post it rather than get bogged down and let it die, and keep ourselves (me and three others) available to respond and update the document with corrections, notes, etc. (and hand over the document admin controls if necessary).

It is summer and I am more bored than usual with work, so I will start up a separate thread soon, and send messages out hoping to have permission to post things.
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Robert Beachler
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I'll keep my eye on this thread. Would enjoy seeing a nice table of haunts listed and their cause like in the books. Much easier to reference.
 
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Jono Naito
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I have started a separate thread concerning the mega-tome project.

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19926565#19926565
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Star Lite
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So I'm still alive, fortunately! On the upside, I do have a table of haunts, rooms, and omens available in my files! On the downside, my old laptop died on me a while back, so it'll be a while until I can get all of my files off of its hard drive before I can continue this 'expansion'.

But thank you all for the kind words and feedback I've received!
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Paul Liolio
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Curious as to how Widow's Walk would affect this project if at all.
Glad to hear you're not dead!
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