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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » General

Subject: Disappointed with the haunt conclusions rss

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Robert Grant
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Perhaps we're doing it wrong but pretty much every time the haunt happens the players and the traitor seem to do their own random things until one of them says "I won".

Spoiler Alert!

Case in point we just had the "Buried Alive" haunt. The traitor is basically killing the person who's been buried alive but the players have no idea how close to death the person is. In other words there's no sense of threat. Perhaps the traitor should have called out the result of their rolls and perhaps said - the person has only 8 life points remaining.

Is there a better way to play this game that results in a more exciting conclusion? It seems the stakes should be communicated clearly when the haunt begins rather than have the two opponents working in obscurity?

 
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Michael Z
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Not sure this specific haunt, but generally when we play:

*Both sides see how many and what kind of markers the other side has set up
*People should announce what they are rolling for (e.g. "I'm reading the book", "I'm going to try and start the plane")
*Rolls are declared success or failures.
*All players should know what any tokens on the board represent (e.g. "these are bats", "This represents a vine")
*The turn marker is open for all to see (but not necessarily what it is counting or how much time is left).

But however if you don't like the premise of "the traitor and player do their own thing and then win" - this is not the game for you. This is pretty much how I describe how the game works.

There is some information in the respective tomes as to "What you know about the [other guys]". But you need to associate that with the mechanics they are using.
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Will Martin
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robus wrote:
Perhaps we're doing it wrong but pretty much every time the haunt happens the players and the traitor seem to do their own random things until one of them says "I won".

Spoiler Alert!

Case in point we just had the "Buried Alive" haunt. The traitor is basically killing the person who's been buried alive but the players have no idea how close to death the person is. In other words there's no sense of threat. Perhaps the traitor should have called out the result of their rolls and perhaps said - the person has only 8 life points remaining.

Is there a better way to play this game that results in a more exciting conclusion? It seems the stakes should be communicated clearly when the haunt begins rather than have the two opponents working in obscurity?



I'm unsure how that is that no sense of threat? You could have 8 turns.... or 2. That's not only a clock that you know of, but a clock that's ticking at a speed you're unaware of. I would think that's the epitome of sense of threat.

Rolls should be made publicly unless the books says otherwise though. Unless you mean announcing the results of rolls such as success or failure.

I find the lack of information exciting. One time I played a haunt as an invisible character. It annoyed the crap out of people, but I always wrote down where I was, as per the rules.
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Robert Grant
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Rimewisp wrote:

I'm unsure how that is that no sense of threat? You could have 8 turns.... or 2. That's not only a clock that you know of, but a clock that's ticking at a speed you're unaware of. I would think that's the epitome of sense of threat.


Actually I would absolutely disagree - an invisible or random clock/finish line is the same as no finish line and equivalent to those annoying times when as a kind a friend would say "I won" because they decided the finish line was someplace other than you thought. There's no tension just frustration.

Rimewisp wrote:

Rolls should be made publicly unless the books says otherwise though. Unless you mean announcing the results of rolls such as success or failure.


I agree with this and the traitor did not announce the result of the rolls - though without knowing how many life points the buried victim had to start with it's still meaningless. If the traitor had cackled (once they returned to the table) "I've buried your friend, but you'll never find them in time as they've only got 12 life points left ha ha ha!" and then tracked the life points on the turn marker (rather than the round counts that actually mean nothing to the investigators) perhaps it would have been more exciting as we could all see the diminishing life points compared to the might rolls needed to rescue the victim.

Rimewisp wrote:

I find the lack of information exciting. One time I played a haunt as an invisible character. It annoyed the crap out of people, but I always wrote down where I was, as per the rules.


I guess we're different people then - I don't see Betrayal as a bluffing game and those are the only games IMHO that benefit from hidden information. In Betrayal, the haunt is a race to two separate finish lines, so those lines better be bloody well defined for all the players!
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Robert Grant
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zayzayem wrote:

But however if you don't like the premise of "the traitor and player do their own thing and then win" - this is not the game for you. This is pretty much how I describe how the game works.


I've got no problem with there being two separate objectives - I just don't enjoy the pursuit of hidden objectives. Imagine an action movie where the grand plan is never revealed to the hero - they just flail around randomly with some side objective without knowing what the villain is up to. Instead what we get is some exposition where the villain says "ha ha - I'm going to destroy the world and there's nothing you can do stop me... The missiles will launch in 5 minutes!" Then the hero knows he has 5 minutes to stop it.

With the "buried alive" haunt the heroes have no idea how much time they have meaning that when the traitor randomly says "I won" everyone else goes "meh - that was lame".

 
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Michael Z
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robus wrote:
I just don't enjoy the pursuit of hidden objectives.


Exactly the reason this is not the game for you.

Hidden objectives is at the core of Betrayal.
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Michael Z
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I'd also ask for my money back on your action movie.

Yurk! Big bad guy decides to reveal dastardly plot through verbal exposition just in time to be foiled... No. Thank You.

Every Haunt has a "What you know now" section.
I suggest you read them and make no assumptions.

Or take my better suggestion and realise this is not the game you desire.
 
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Robert Grant
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zayzayem wrote:
I'd also ask for my money back on your action movie.

Yurk! Big bad guy decides to reveal dastardly plot through verbal exposition just in time to be foiled... No. Thank You.

Every Haunt has a "What you know now" section.
I suggest you read them and make no assumptions.

Or take my better suggestion and realise this is not the game you desire.


So all the action movies you like have the protagonist doing stuff without knowing whether it'll work or not. And then the movie just ends randomly with either a big explosion or the protagonist declaring victory?

I'd want my money back from that movie!

I'm hoping there's potentially a middle path here somewhere. Perhaps someone else will chime in with a fresh point of view?

But don't worry I'm seriously considering ditching this "game".
 
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Robin Reeve
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BaHoH is not a competitive game.
It is about experience a bad horror movie, with laughs and some role playing.
I understand that one would want something more competitive.
Mansions of Madness would then answer such expectations, I think.
 
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Robert Grant
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Robin wrote:
BaHoH is not a competitive game.
It is about experience a bad horror movie, with laughs and some role playing.
I understand that one would want something more competitive.
Mansions of Madness would then answer such expectations, I think.


Yep - I totally get that and the house exploring, card reading stuff is all great. My complaint is only that the haunt has too often been too vague to be "scary" and mostly just been random and then the game is over because someone won for poorly communicated reasons.

I think I probably have to come up with my own haunt tomes so that the haunts are handled in a more satisfying manner at the table.
 
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Matt Simpson
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They generally feel unbalanced imo. Some are basically "the traitor wins if the heroes haven't found these items". All but one time we've played it felt like one side or the other was the obvious winner at the end and the other side had little chance
 
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robus wrote:

Actually I would absolutely disagree - an invisible or random clock/finish line is the same as no finish line and equivalent to those annoying times when as a kind a friend would say "I won" because they decided the finish line was someplace other than you thought. There's no tension just frustration.


Random? Yes. Invisible? No.

Your example is the former, which is problematic. The game is (mostly) the latter, which is better.

It's an inherent problem with many action films/crime shows that you know the problem won't be resolved during the first 15 minutes. Having an invisible clock (like here) makes it a lot more tense than having a timer in the bottom corner of your TV screen telling you when the villain's plot is going off.

"I set something in motion, and on 12/31/2015 at 12:00am EST it will come to fruition" is a lot less tense than, "I set something in motion, and it's going to go off...soon."

If the "soon" is determined randomly, then it's a problem; if the heroes just aren't aware of it, that's a lot more exciting.
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Robert Grant
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Idaho11 wrote:

Random? Yes. Invisible? No.

Your example is the former, which is problematic. The game is (mostly) the latter, which is better.

It's an inherent problem with many action films/crime shows that you know the problem won't be resolved during the first 15 minutes. Having an invisible clock (like here) makes it a lot more tense than having a timer in the bottom corner of your TV screen telling you when the villain's plot is going off.

"I set something in motion, and on 12/31/2015 at 12:00am EST it will come to fruition" is a lot less tense than, "I set something in motion, and it's going to go off...soon."

If the "soon" is determined randomly, then it's a problem; if the heroes just aren't aware of it, that's a lot more exciting.


OK so perhaps my movie example was a bit off. What I should have said was that the audience is aware of what's going on. In a game there is no audience but the players. So if the players aren't aware of what's going on then there's frustration.

With the buried alive plot I would have had some other mechanic than a roll to determine the amount of damage. I would have set the life points say at six which gives the players six rounds to rescue the victim (probably some multiplier of the number of players). And then have the traitors job be to try and interfere with their efforts. If they kill the traitor then they still have to rescue the victim. If the traitor kills one of them then another player has to dig extra. Every time it's the traitors turn the life point marker reduces by 1.

And perhaps there's some special roll they can do to give the victim an extra life point. I'll have to ponder that.

Anyway that seems pretty bloody exciting.
 
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Duncan Idaho
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robus wrote:

Anyway that seems pretty bloody exciting.


Sure. But not as exciting as each turn, handing it over to the traitor, only to wait with bated breath to see if you still have time
 
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Robert Grant
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Idaho11 wrote:
robus wrote:

Anyway that seems pretty bloody exciting.


Sure. But not as exciting as each turn, handing it over to the traitor, only to wait with bated breath to see if you still have time


Well that was a bit of a cockup by our traitor. They didn't keep us informed on the remaining life points. But still I'd prefer a steady tick then a clock that leaps forward a random amount.
 
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Robert Grant
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I've been working through the Secrets of Survival and The Traitor's Tome and adding whatever bits and pieces I think are necessary to make the Haunts more fun and it strikes me that Secrets of Survival really should include some Survival tips as well as the Win conditions.

For example:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In the Carnivorous Ivy Haunt #7 the heroes are not warned that the Plant Spray is essential to victory and if it's destroyed it's game over for them. I don't have to tell them that the traitor is going to go after it. But just warning them that keeping the Plant Spray safe is key to success seems like an important Secret of Survival!

So I'm adding this:

"Note: If it's destroyed, it can't be recreated and you’ll never make it out alive - so protect it all costs!"
 
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