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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » Variants

Subject: Suggestions for Speeding Up Betrayal? rss

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Brian Lacy
United States
Utah
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Anyone have any good house rules they've used to speed up a game of Betrayal somewhat (or at least make the timing slightly more predictable), without sacrificing the fun of exploring the House?

A group of us are wanting to play during the lunch hour at work, but we tried a couple of weeks ago and we had just started the Haunt when we ran out of time.

We may try starting from where we left off (we took tons of photos of everything), but the different phases of the game appeal to different players so I'd like to keep the two phases basically in-tact.

Ideas are welcome! But I'd especially love to hear if anyone's actually had success with a particular variant.
 
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Craig Groff-Folsom
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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I've never tested this, but what about foregoing the haunt roll and instead triggering on the nth omen? You'd still be at the mercy of the room tile stack, though. If you really want to control when the nth omen is found, you could seed the room tile stack so the omen rooms are equally distributed.

Alternately you could stipulate that after a certain amount of time, the next omen automatically triggers the haunt. Still make the haunt rolls before that point, but if you've been playing for 10-15 minutes and are still exploring, make the next omen automatically trigger. It should give you sufficient time to play through the haunt portion.
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Brian Lacy
United States
Utah
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Dave41fan wrote:
I've never tested this, but what about foregoing the haunt roll and instead triggering on the nth omen? You'd still be at the mercy of the room tile stack, though. If you really want to control when the nth omen is found, you could seed the room tile stack so the omen rooms are equally distributed.

Alternately you could stipulate that after a certain amount of time, the next omen automatically triggers the haunt. Still make the haunt rolls before that point, but if you've been playing for 10-15 minutes and are still exploring, make the next omen automatically trigger. It should give you sufficient time to play through the haunt portion.


Great ideas, we might try one of these options tomorrow. If we do I'll try to remember to report on how it goes. Thanks!
 
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Scott Rogers
United States
Thousand Oaks
California
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You can also lay out the first few rooms of the house and flip them when you land on them and tweak the layout as necessary.
 
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The Grouch
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Tucson
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What about using less dice for the Haunt roll? Increases odds of rolling under the current number of Omen cards, trigger Haunt sooner.
 
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Morgan Rose

Cincinnati
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I am about to play Betrayal, and have the desire to speed it up (hence, my checkin in on the geek).

Tonight i will try this: If and when a player draws a card, they resolve the card, and then may choose to have a single extra move.
 
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Morgan Rose

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In normal movement when a player reveals a room with a card draw, they resolve the card and their turn ends (ignoring any remaining movement they may have). Last night we used a tweak: when a player draws and resolves a card, if they have any movement left, they are allowed one more move/reveal. (as in a single room)

This occurred maybe 7 or 8 times in the game, and the concern I had did come up twice. Namely, if a player draws a card, then reveals another room drawing a card would that play strange? In our game, it seemed fine.

In result, we had 7 or 8 more tiles on the table slightly faster (we are not gaining any time on rooms that need to be resolved). Our game took an hour and twenty (5 player game with 3 new players).

Next time I might start by revealing 4 rooms (randomly) off of the foyer (rooms we can "see into") and not resolve effects (nobody has entered them yet). They would resolve if/when entered. If this didn't play too clunky, we could add a similar "start" to the upstairs landing (meaning: when a player goes up there, reveal three tiles, one on each door way, but do not resolve till entered).

To clarify: I like the tension build of revealing tiles and the "oh no!" moments. The above "reveal but don't resolve" will remove a little of this, but I think this an acceptable trade off if we have a useful reveal/search, and enter the haunt 15 minutes faster.
 
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Malc R
United Kingdom
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bill_andel wrote:
What about using less dice for the Haunt roll? Increases odds of rolling under the current number of Omen cards, trigger Haunt sooner.


Or use all dice the first time, remove a die the next time, remove another die the next time and so on. Without checking the calculations, I should think that this would average out with the haunt beginning on around the 5th roll.

EDIT: It would make the freak chance of a really early haunt less likely and reduce the chance of exploration dragging on to the end of your lunch break.

EDIT 2: Please note that I've only played the game once, so my apologies if any of my suggestions completely break the game.

To really ensure that you don't go beyond a certain time limit, you could set an alarm and whoever's turn it is when the alarm goes off plays out their turn but, at the end of it, if they don't end up in a room with the raven symbol, they get transported by some ethereal force to the nearest/last revealed unoccupied room with a raven symbol, draw an omen card and play it out, triggering the haunt without bothering to roll for it.

In the unlikely event that there are no unoccupied omen rooms, then any characters currently in the last revealed omen room are forced out by a gust of wind into the room from which they entered, so that the active character must face the omen alone.

In the (perhaps even more unlikely) event that there are no revealed omen rooms at all, then the active player draws from the deck until he/she finds an omen room, places it at the nearest suitable point to her/his current location and his/her character is transported there immediately to face the omen. Any other drawn but unused rooms get shuffled back into the deck.

I've placed an emphasis on only the active player character being in the room with the omen, as, from what I remember, normally there will only be one character in the room when an omen is drawn and it seems thematically appropriate. However, I'm not sure that it is actually necessary, so you can probably ignore forcing the other characters out and let them watch, transfixed with terror, as their comrade triggers unspeakable horrors.

Edit 3: corrected some grammatical errors
 
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