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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » Rules

Subject: Question about getting a haunt too soon rss

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Justin Bossert
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I've been doing some reading and watching, getting ready to play the game. It looks rare, but on the off chance that a haunt were to take place really early (like within 1-3 omens) would it be reasonable to have a house rule that it can't happen until at least 4 omen cards are on the table?

Just seems like it would be more fun to let thing play out a little longer, explore, and collect some items. I haven't actually played yet, so maybe someone out there can point out pros/cons to this house rule idea.

Thanks,

Justin
 
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Dan Regs
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Pennsylvania
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You may play 30 times and it may never happen in a real game.

The way I see it is this: Betrayal has a high amount of variance built into the game design. Dice Rolls, Room tile reveals, and Card Draws all effect exactly how many resources (vs bad things) the players find before the haunt is triggered.

Yes, it it is theoretically possible, though not probable to trigger the haunt with omen #1-3. Statistically some upper range of omens (#10-13?) is equally possible.

(for statistical reference in the 16 plays that I've recorded, we've encountered the haunt once at #3, but the rest of them triggered in the 6-9 range).

But, in my plays, I don't think I've ever had a 'bad' game of house. When I sit down with this game I accept that the game is a thematic experience, and I look forward to our journey through it and the story we can tell afterwards.
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Steve Paltrineri
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I once had a game where the haunt was revealed very early, maybe around turn 4-5. It seemed too early to me, so we just decided to keep going as if it never happened. It didn't mess up the game at all, and the new haunt wasn't revealed for another 5-6 turns. I think it made for a better experience, although i would have been curious to see what happened if we had let it go.
 
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Paul Zagieboylo
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Austin
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In general, having a more fully explored house will benefit the heroes in dealing with the haunt; conversely, having the haunt start very early will often benefit the traitor. This is not a hard rule; there are a few haunts that are easier for the heroes if not much of the house is explored. Haunts that require particular rooms other than the haunt room during setup will order the traitor to find and place them when the haunt begins.

According to anydice, there is a 4.89% chance that the haunt starts on the 3rd omen or before. I think I've seen the haunt start on the 3rd omen once, and true to form the heroes lost very fast. If you don't like this, it's not going to hurt the game very much to skip the haunt roll for the first three omens; just be aware that it will probably make life slightly tougher for the traitor. To be fair, you should also mandate that the haunt automatically starts when the 10th omen is resolved, if it hasn't started already (although this is actually a much smaller chance).
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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Grand Rapids
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Play it first. If you play a few times and feel the need to change it, it's easily changed.

There's a reason this game is still so highly regarded years after its release. It didn't get that way because the rules were bad*.






*It got that way DESPITE some of the rules being bad... but the haunt roll isn't one of them.
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Justin Bossert
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Thanks for the quick and thoughtful replies. I will probably give it a try first and then tweak, if necessary. Though I do like the compromise rule of no omen prior to the 4th omen, but conversely the traitor is announced no later than the 10th. That still gives it plenty of variability without allowing for one side to typically have a lopsided advantage. Anyway, you guys have given me some things to think about. Looking forward to finally getting to play this weekend. Thanks again.

Justin
 
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Geoff Berman
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We had a game where the haunt was revealed on the first omen card.

all blanks on first die roll lol
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J Smitty
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California
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One of the best, and most memorable games I've played was when the haunt came out on the second omen. The specific haunt left no way for a victory among the survivors, but we all had a great time at the rare experience. Especially the traitor, picking us off with ease one by one. It may not come across as a good time, but my group hasn't laughed so much since.
My advice; play it out, and you probably have time for another game.
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Justin Gartner
United States
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We just had the haunt revealed on the 2nd Omen (3rd player's 1st turn) and our 4th player hadn't even had a turn yet.

This was only really bad for us because A.) The two people my wife and I were playing with had never played before so it kind of ruined their first experience and B.) The haunt itself (#4) is poorly written and was missing some key information which we could not figure out.

Since we weren't far into the game, we just decided to start a new game. Otherwise, early haunts can make for some interesting and fast games where you could just simply play a 2nd game afterward if it was too quick for you.
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Pete D
United Kingdom
Wolverhampton
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We have a house rule of a + 2 to Omen / haunt rolls. It negates anything happening until the heroes have explored a little and stops massively OP traitors.
 
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Semicharm
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We've had it happen once, on the very first round I believe. Luckily, the haunt was one with a sort of time limit before traitor could actually win, giving the heroes a chance to explore a bit. I was able to find the thief's gloves and steal a crucial item from the traitor, tipping the odds in our favor. He wasn't amused. LOL

It's quite improbable for that to happen, but we generally prefer having the haunt start later nonetheless. We ended up adopting the "Baldur's Gate" haunt rules.
 
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Brent Gerig
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Upland
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My wife just got Betrayal for her birthday, and on our first play (with 5 of us) the haunt happened on our 2nd omen, before I even got a turn. I ended up as the traitor, and had a pretty easy victory. I don't think it was a great experience for the other players, but thankfully most of them had played before, and are all willing to play again.
 
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