We just played Haunt 69 last night. It sure seems like a cool idea for a haunt, but we ran into some issues.
1. First of all, the Haunt rules, in either book, do not specify if the traitor character can be killed... So while the obvious intended goal for the heroes is to solve the Gallows Game, the first strategic decision they made was to try to kill me, and not guess any letters until after I was dead.
So we ran around for 3 hours, me trying to noose them or chip away at their might using an attack with a spear which was stolen from me using a pickpocket item, (only successfully noosed one player, and managed to kill them earlier on), and them chasing me down and killing me. After I was dead, they simply solved the puzzle.
2. Also, I understand my win condition is to kill them all. But do I lose if even one of them solves the puzzle, or do they all have to solve the puzzles while making sure to stay alive? That's probably it, I assume. Traitor's win condition is when "... all the heroes are dead". It mentions in the secrets of survival that if they solve the Gallows Game, they are safe from the Gallows.. I assume then the traitor just needs to kill them traditionally, and needs to kill them in the order so that a hero protected from the gallows is not the last one to be standing.
3. Next, concerning the Noose Special attacks.
I understand that you can either do the Might Attack, or the Speed Attack from a floor above.(I finally understand. Not just floor above.. Must be a landing). The speed attack I was fully unsuccessful because of the cost of loss of speed between rooms. Because my speed was the same or less than most characters, this tactic was virtually useless. I rather like the idea that the noose can be lowered from a hole in the floor instead of having to count rooms and loose that matter dice. But rereading it now, I'm not even sure I did it correctly. Seems like what it's written as is a compromise between two ideas.. Being able to Lower a Noose from a Floor Above, and the idea of using a Lasso as a distance attacks.
The rooms you are counting, between you and the hero. These are individual rooms, and not landings, right? So it's not like I'm drooping a noose down, and for every floor away, I lose one die, right? It's a string of rooms with unlocked doors between landings... but if that's what it is, why the requirement to have to be on a floor above?
4. About the Noose attacks... When using a noose attack, I'm essentially using the Rope, right? So I can't use another weapon, in conjunction, to add to my might or speed, right? Just the ol' rope? I found if very hard to make successful noose attacks. The other players out itemed me by a landslide, and used the laundry room to hoard even more items to out do my noose attacks. This also made it easy for them to kill me in the end. So I figure so, but can the heroes use their items and weapons to defend against my noose attacks, even though my noose attacks don't do any extra might?
Can the Rope as an item, be stolen from me, and if stolen, can I no longer perform the special attacks? I wouldn't think so, as this goes completely against the theme, which is, I'm running around with noose, and noose related puzzles, but the question came up. (Thinking about it now, the rope was an omen, right? And you can't steal omens, right?)
5. On being Noosed... It says a Noosed Hero can't guess letters and rolls two fewer dice against attacks until they break free. My question here is, Can the hero still move while noosed? At first I just imagined them wound up in a rope.. but then I thought, well, they're hanging there by a noose right? I'm not sure about this one. If they could move, you'd think it'd effect their speed too. Not sure.
6. When playing the Gallows Game, are the heroes able to make guesses for the entire word/phrase, or do they need to guess a letter one by one? At first I thought, oh, they can make a guess for the entire word, but if it were letter by letter, even if they knew the answer, they would still have to survive enough turns to guess it.
Another... When the Heroes guess a letter correctly, do I need to show ALL the players the progress on THAT specific puzzle, or all puzzles? And does this imply that they puzzles are not simply given to the corresponding player from the start?
7. And finally, the Error between the two books. In the Traitor's Tome, in regard to guessing a letter incorrectly in the Gallows Game, it says "the hero takes one die of physical damage" .. In the Secrets of Survival Book, it says "you take 1 point of physical damage". Which one is it?
After going through all of this again, it really does seem apparent that the Gallows Game is the gist of the haunt, and with all the wording used, it doesn't seem to imply at all that the heroes can simply kill the traitor and avoid the game all together... What do you guys think? Should the Possessed Cowboy character be able to be killed? If so, that encourages the heroes to avoid the game and gang up on the Traitor. Should they be forced to make a guess each turn instead of having to use movement to do it? Or should the Traitor be unable to be attacked? Should he be able to be attacked, but his traits are permaboosted? Should the rope increase his dice rolls? Should he be able to die, but can still play as a ghost, with reduced abilities? I love the theme, but this really needs clarification. If the traitor can be killed, and the heroes don't have to guess on their letters, isn't the smart play to always attempt to kill the traitor? We played the Haunt 'Monster Mash' 54, the other night, and in that one, it actually seemed that the traitor should be able to be killed, but was inexplicably unable to be attacked, and here it feels the opposite almost.
8. I don't like to houserule when it's not necessary, but because the haunt is so reliant on the interesting gallows game, if it already wasn't intended, I think I would houserule the traitor to either be unkillable, or given stat increases based on his cowboy possession, or after death, continue to be able to do attacks, perhaps in a diminished state, or some such thing. The idea of having to complete the hangman game is exciting, but falls flat when the heroes have no incentive to even participate in it, since they'll be taking damage from it. Alternatively, I would leave him killable as is, but give the traitor more rope attack options.
I think the Speed Noose Attacks are a bit fiddly. I might split this power into two and add new attacks. Giving the Traitor the ability to Hang a Hero on the Floor Below his Landing as is, but maybe also the ability to lower a noose to a floor directly below.. this would be decided if the hero was on the next floor lower, and the room that mirrors the layout of the traitor's room corresponding to his landing. Let's say both the hero and traitor are in rooms connected to their landings. If they are in the room that is in the same oriented direction from the landing, it would then be considered directly above, and a noose could be lowered through a crack in the floor, for a Speed attack. It would have a flat effect of 2 reduced Dice for the Speed Attack. Alternatively, it might be interesting to make this specific Special Attack a Sanity Attack instead (imagine a noose slowly being lowered behind you in a creepy haunted house.. too spooky!), and maybe not even have a reduced cost since it could be difficult special to pull off.
How about another Special Attack.. A Lasso Special that uses Speed, Line of Sight, and has one reduced Dice for each room distance away. So if the traitor is in the next room, it's minus one die. If he's two rooms away, it's minus three dice, and so on.
This is still all a little fiddly, but I'm thinking the Traitor should have many options, to keep the heroes on the run, and extra careful, considering their goal is to complete the Gallows Game before they are killed.
Here are the questions again in short:
1. Can the Traitor be killed or is he immune to attack in some way?
2. Please clarify the win/lose conditions regarding some of the characters dying, or completing their gallows game
3. The Speed Related Noose Special Attack.. Clarifications on how it works would be great.
4. Are the Noose attacks based on the rope item, and are these attacks affected by other items, weapons? The rope can't be stolen, because the rope is an omen, and omens can't be stolen, right?
5. Can a Noosed Hero move between rooms?
6. Please clarify the Gallows Game regarding who gets to see the puzzles, and when they get to see the puzzles. Only with a successful guess, or are each in front of their respective hero the entire time? So on..
7. Error Regarding Damage taken when incorrectly guessing a letter. Is it 1 Die of Damage as the Traitor's Tome says, or 1 Pint of Damage, as the Secrets of Survival say?
8. If you were going to houserule any of the above, what would you do, personally?
Thanks for reading all that if you did!
My friends and I played one round of the new Betrayal and got this haunt as well.
I'd also like the answers to the following question.
In our game, I attacked the traitor and stole the rope from him. I figured he couldn't hang people without the rope...learned this wasn't correct after we finished since it doesn't mention it specifically in the books. After stealing the rope, I then killed the traitor, but never left the room after killing him because my physical stats were both almost maxed out due to lucky rolls on the Dark Dice. After we killed him, we decided we still had to figure out our words, so we took turns playing hangman. I guessed incorrectly too many time and was told I died even though I still had quite a bit of points left in physical. After we finished the game, the traitor said I died because I got hung and was in his line of sight.
1. If you kill the traitor, is it possible to still be in his line of sight since the body the spirit possessed is dead?
2. If you steal the rope, can you still be hung/have noose based attacks used on you?
Answers for house rules:
1. Read Above.
2. We played that the traitor had to kill everyone to win. If anyone succeeded, he lost.
3. Not sure.
4. I believe omens can be stolen unless they specifically say on the card that they cannot be stolen.
5. You'd think the answer to this would be no given how hanging works, but I don't know for sure. I'd consult with everyone who's playing and see what the majority votes then stick with it until an official rule is made for it.
6. We played where the puzzles were all shown to everyone who wanted to see them when a success was made.
7. We played it was 1 physical damage, but the traitor didn't tell us about it saying it to be 1 die in their book. Again discuss with your group and go with the majority ruling. I'd personally vote 1 die.
Anyone more experienced in rules able to answer any of these questions?