A nice dinner preceded what was to be our last Betrayal game for a while, as Leah and I were going to be moving across the country within a week. This particular group, consisting also of Tyler, Alex, and Quan, always had a good time with Betrayal, and I hoped that this would be a good game to end our frequent gaming sessions with. Thankfully, this turned out to be one of our must fun playthroughs of this delightful ridiculous game.
Nothing beyond the usual Betrayal madness happened at first. Alex continuously got stuck in upper-floor dead ends. The Blessing token ended up in the Vault room. The mighty and not-all-that-slow Ox Bellows (played by me) managed to fail the might roll out of the Junk Room and promptly fell through the Collapsed Room, right onto the Stairs from Basement. Just a typical day on the hill.
The excitement began when the Haunt did. Finding the Skull in the Catacombs, it was naturally me who failed the Haunt roll with only five omens on the table. I found the appropriate haunt and passed the Traitor's Tome to Leah, who had the lowest might. We would be playing chess against Death in "Checkmate."
"Surely this won't be too difficult," the rest of us told ourselves as Leah left to read her side of the scenario. "Alex already has the book, Quan has very high knowledge as well as the Mask, and we've got the Idol to boot if things get difficult!" After reading through the Haunt a couple times to make sure we understood everything, we called Leah back in.
Our first inkling that maybe this wouldn't be as simple as we thought was when Death appeared in the Conservatory with Tyler, instead of in the Catacombs with me as we had been expecting. This threw us for a bit of a loop, but that meant the Book was closer to the chess match, so we were still confidant. Two Holy Seals were placed in discovered rooms (including the Vault with the Blessing) and we were off.
It was quickly decided that Quan would make his way to the Conservatory with his superior intellect, where Alex would give him the Book. My job was, with Tyler, to stop Leah's traitor and find and break more Holy Seals. Seemed like a pretty simple quest.
Our first match against Death (with just Tyler in the room) disavailed us of that notion when we realized its dirty cheating ways, which resulted in a Check right away and damaged all of us more than we were expecting. Leah's traitor was also starting to move in a menacing direction.
We stuck to the plan; Alex broke a Holy Seal, Quan got the Book and moved up to Death's room, Tyler went on some more exploring, and I made my slow slow way out of the basement to fight Leah's traitor, inflicting a measly one damage. Then came the chess match. Quan had put on the Mask in order to up his knowledge, but this came at the cost of his sanity. He was rolling quite a few dice; unfortunately, not very well. We all lost one sanity, which was enough for the masked Quan to meet his demise.
This created especial trouble, since Leah had cleverly positioned her traitor in the only path from Tyler and Alex's positions to Death's room; neither of them had enough movement to make it back in time because of the reduced movement the traitor created. The only option was to fight their way through. Tyler went first, doing his best against the traitor. He didn't do quite enough to finish the job, but Leah was knocked down to one might, and Alex was able to swoop in, knock out the traitor once and for all, make it to the Conservatory in time for Death's turn, and pick up the traitor's items to boot.
This gave us a new idea for how to beat Death; Alex now had the Book again, and she had just taken the Candle from Leah. I had the Bell, and if we could get that to her, she would have +2 in every trait! I immediately dropped it, and moved in the opposite direction to try (and fail) to break a Holy Seal. It would be Tyler's job to get the Bell to Alex, if we lasted that long.
We did not; before Tyler could get to the Bell, Alex died from the chess match, leaving Tyler the responsibility of being in Death's room, too far from the Bell. At this point, it was just Tyler and I left, and we were fairly worried about the outcome.
What followed was a couple of turns that looked surprisingly similar. I would continuously fail to break the Holy Seal; Tyler would continue to use the Idol and roll a lot of dice against Death; Leah would roll poorly, but just not poorly enough, resulting in a few ties, giving me and Tyler just a small glimmer of hope.
Until finally, I was able to break the Holy Seal, making everybody so proud. In search of another, I explored another room. Instead of finding a Holy Seal, I found an event that had me pick up a spooky telephone, hear a creepy granny voice, and immediately keel over, killed by fright.
It all rested on Tyler's shoulders now. We had finally broken another Holy Seal, but on the other hand, his sanity was too low to use the Idol for more knowledge dice. It was five dice vs. six. Unfortunately, as we all know, Death cheats, and Tyler, Death's first opponent, was the final one to succumb to his insanity.
I was so happy that we ended on such a high note. The amount of close calls we had, the fighting tooth and nail and getting so close to our goal only to fall short, really made it one of the most exciting games of Betrayal I've ever played.
MN - Minnesota
I'm loving these recaps/stories. Keep it up!