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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » Sessions

Subject: In Which Stalking Can Be Good For You! rss

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Casey Alcoser
United States
Idaho
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Ever since I saw this game on TableTop, I've been appropriately dying to play it. The story fascinates me, the art gives me shivers, the variability of the odds is tantalizing. I just really love this game. And I spent weeks obsessing over it.

So one day, while I was in Washington, I happened upon a group of complete strangers playing the game. I did what any fan would do...I sat as close as possible and listened as they experienced horror movie after horror movie. I wanted to join so badly, but the thought of just asking straight out seemed painfully awkward. But then - a miracle.

The guy who owned the game, who was teaching it to the other players, was wrapping up one of the games...I believe this one was the zombie scenario that wasn't prompted by the Mad Man. Watching closely, I suddenly asked if he had been taking into account the movement penalty for being in a room with a foe. He blinked, looked at the rulebook, and said, "OH!" before thanking me. The group finished their game (Traitor still won), and I WAS INVITED TO PLAY!

Allow me to set the scene...

It was a dark and stormy night...the group of six walked into the mysterious mansion on the hill. They eyed each other with some degree of suspicion as they all agreed to split up and search for clues to who was haunting the Old Abandoned Video Arcade...

Although the stars told us differently, the nutty old Professor made the first move, exploring the first room to the right. To his surprise, the room was blackened by soot from top to bottom. He inspected the door frame for evidence of a fire, but it seemed the flames had only licked this room. In the center of the room, however, half-buried by soot, was a Spear. Pulsating with power. And Professors love Pulsating Power.


In all honesty, I do not remember what the first Omen was. It hardly mattered, because...

The Gypsy, feeling saucy and free, went in the opposite direction of the professor and found a barren room, where the air seemed to still in to choke the life from it. She closed her eyes, feeling the presence of the room, before hearing a rolling and then soft thud against her shoe. She looked down and saw a Crystal Ball. How perfect for her - her last one had been broken. She picked it up...

And then the Haunt started.

Two turns, two omens, two rooms, the Haunt starts. Now, everyone knows when the Haunt starts this early, you are screwed. In every possible way, every possible haunt. Except this was particularly bad, because...

The sexy jock was just about to see if he could get snogging with the chick that resembled Laura Croft before he felt a very unpleasant thing wrap around his leg. He looked down and screamed as he saw a huge tentacle pull at his body and drag him through the floor to the depths below.

Being the sexy Laura Croft-esque character I was understandably disappointed. But, que sera sera, as they say.

Reflecting on the Haunt, I believe we messed up - I don't think we ever rolled for the location of Old Tenty's cranium. It was put in the Underground Lake right off the bat. Maybe if it had landed on the ground floor we would have had a better chance, but I doubt it - we even found the collapsed room next for a great shot at the Basement. But there were so many tentacles in such a small space!

My one turn in the game was me rolling damage for falling into the Basement...I was so excited to do that, you have absolutely no idea.

However, like I said, I only had one turn. It wasn't because I died. It was because I was suddenly called away and couldn't come back to the game. Very disappointing, I was finding the entire bleak outcome incredibly hilarious. I even started ribbing Zostra's player about how the Gypsy probably never saw this one coming with her Crystal Ball. I hope I wasn't rude.

In any event, for what was probably the shortest game both in terms of Haunt Roll and actual participation, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm so thankful I got a chance to play, and I hope I get another chance soon.
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Richard Pickman
United States
New York
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Thanks for such a thematic recap!

I like the mechanism that makes the chances of the haunt increase as the game progresses, but the problem is that it is still possible (if unlikely) that the haunt will begin very early on. Perhaps the first couple of omens should be excepted from the roll...
 
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Casey Alcoser
United States
Idaho
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Thank you.

I've seen a couple people mention that they wait until the a certain number of tiles are in play or when the omen count reaches at least five. And that's a good way to keep the Haunt fair. But as it stands, I like to think of a game where the Haunt happens so quickly as the first part to the actual film, where you watch a bunch of complete strangers get killed by something in a total slaughter, but you just don't know what. The idea that the board will screw you over at one point or another, and leave you no way to fight it, is fantastic.
 
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