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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » General

Subject: Any haunt suggestions for a group of casual gamers? rss

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Simon Dominic
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I bought this game recently and I'm about to play it for the first time this weekend. I love how easy the rules are to grasp (before the haunt begins) and I think it's a great gateway game for us newbies.

However, the rules for the haunts seem a bit of overwhelming for us. To compensate, I decided that I'm going to choose a very simple haunt beforehand that everybody can understand easily. I know I'm not supposed to do this but I briefly went through the traitor's rule book and found Haunt 21 pretty straightforward. Everyone knows what a zombie is and there's not many weird hidden knowledge so I feel like players can help out each other.

Any other suggestions?
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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So now you spoilt the surprise of haunt 21 for yourselfshake

Haunts are based on the room/haunt combination. How are you sure those will come into play so it fits with haunt 21?

I can only advocate playing the game as intended.
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Sam Hillier
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You can't really pick one at random. Haunts are triggered by certain rooms or items or other situations in the house. If you don't have those, the haunt may not work.
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Simon Dominic
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l-hansen wrote:
So now you spoilt the surprise of haunt 21 for yourselfshake

No kidding, that's the point. I'm the host for a group of very casual/new gamers (myself included). I'm the one who has to research and pick the most fitting game. I'm the one who has to study and explain the rules. A lot of the time, I have to sacrifice my own enjoyment of the game so that the rest of the group has fun. Sometimes I might even sit out of a game for various reasons. Perhaps the game would be more fun with one less player, or maybe it would be best for me guide the rest of the players as an outsider.
l-hansen wrote:
Haunts are based on the room/haunt combination. How are you sure those will come into play so it fits with haunt 21?

Minor haunt 21 spoilers:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
By reading it beforehand and realizing that it doesn't really matter!

In this case, yes I've spoiled the surprise for certain haunts for myself because I want the game to go much more smoothly for all the other players. I've gone through some trial runs with just my girlfriend (playing multiple characters) and some of the haunts just took too much time to understand. Constantly having to refer back to the manual just sucked out all the fun and atmosphere that the starting half of the game created. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the haunt and I want it to be included our game, but adjustments have to be made in consideration of my group.

Predetermining my own haunt before the start of the game would have a couple of potential problems.

1. Thematically, it may be unfitting. Like if the spirit board summoned aliens or something. But honestly, I don't find it all that important. This game is inspired by b-movies after all and something silly like that wouldn't be the most unfitting thing in the world.

2. The required omen, item, room, etc... does not fit the haunt I chose.

Quote:
Haunts are triggered by certain rooms or items or other situations in the house. If you don't have those, the haunt may not work.

But this is quite an easy fix. I can simply choose a haunt that has no specific item requirements. Or perhaps I could search the deck and replace the drawn item with the required item. I don't see this as a very big deal.

This is why I come to you guys. As I don't want to go around spoiling every haunt for myself, I'd like you guys to recommend me a haunt that falls into some of these criteria:
1. Easy to understand for newbies. Not rule heavy.
2. No hidden information. Traitors and heroes can freely discuss the rules of play with each other.
3. No haunts that require a very specific set of tiles/card to be drawn.
4. Thematically relevant to casual gamers. Zombies. Ghosts. Aliens. Nothing too obscure although it's not a big deal.

edit: Oh yes, to add I don't mind imbalances. We're a pretty easy going group.
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anevil giraffe
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I think you're doing your group a disservice - you're killing the game and implying that your friends are a bit thick.

The first game I ever played, the haunt was triggered by someone with a major reading disorder and she still killed everybody else.
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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It seems like you have already made up your mind, and just wanted us to agree.

Sorry, but that's not going to happen.
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Spencer Myers
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Masticate wrote:

Haunts are based on the room/haunt combination. How are you sure those will come into play so it fits with haunt 21?

Minor haunt 21 spoilers:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
By reading it beforehand and realizing that it doesn't really matter!


But this game was created for players to experience building a house as they go, and not knowing what will come next. If a haunt required a specific Omen card to be coupled with a specific Explorer entering a specific room, how are you going to control that?

Do you intend to just let the players wander around for a while building the house and then suddenly say, "Okay everyone, so now we'll just start the haunt with me as the Traitor?"

Honestly, the game really is not that difficult for new players to grasp... why not just give it a try, and have the first game session be the learning experienc, where it's okay to make mistakes and play through it? This way your players will be able to experience the game as it was designed to be.
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John Haas
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spencer_myers wrote:
Do you intend to just let the players wander around for a while building the house and then suddenly say, "Okay everyone, so now we'll just start the haunt with me as the Traitor?"

I mean, presumably, he'll follow the rules as written except that instead of consulting the chart to determine which haunt to use, he'll default to 21 (or whichever other one he decides to use).

I've actually run into the issue where the game-selected traitor is pretty awful at figuring out rules from the traitor book, and more than once. It doesn't destroy the game, but it can definitely harm the fun of at least some players.

My preferred solution to that problem is to share a little more info from the books to sort out rules issues. A couple times we've had a very nervous, very casual gamer playing, and to de-stress them we arranged ahead of time that if that player was picked to be traitor, a specific other player would swap seats with them.

That said, OP's solution is workable, although I'd strongly consider only using it for an initial game. A big part of the fun of this game is the chaos of not knowing where the game will go.
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Simon Dominic
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l-hansen wrote:
It seems like you have already made up your mind, and just wanted us to agree.

Sorry, but that's not going to happen.

I'm not trying to start a circle jerk. I'm not here to spread the gospel of my house rules. You're right, I've already made up my mind to change the rules a bit for the sake of my group but I came here for suggestions. I didn't come here to convince you to do it my way. So regardless of your stance, it's kind of irrelevant. I just wanted to know which haunts from your experience is simpler to understand. If you don't want to be helpful, that is fine.

anevilgiraffe wrote:
I think you're doing your group a disservice - you're killing the game and implying that your friends are a bit thick.

The first game I ever played, the haunt was triggered by someone with a major reading disorder and she still killed everybody else.

Unfortunately, by playing it my way, I'm going to lose a bit of the surprise, which I understand is one of the main draws of this game. That is fine. We still enjoy the exploration aspect and drawing random encounter cards. My group isn't unintelligent but there are other barriers for success. I've tried it once already with a random haunt and it just doesn't work with this particular group. I don't want to go into details honestly, I just want some suggestions.

I'm glad to hear that your friend and the rest of your group had a successful first run despite certain difficulties.
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