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As players journey to new parts of the mansion, room tiles are chosen at random and placed on the game board; this means that the game is different each session. Eventually the "haunt" begins, with the nature and plot of this session's ghost story revealed; one player usually "betrays" the others and takes the side of the ghosts, monsters, or other enemies, while the remaining players collaborate to defeat them. Betrayal consists of a deck of room tiles upper floor, ground floor, and basement ; three sets of cards for Items, Events, and Omens; six different character plates, and a number of tokens to represent the players and various monsters or items.
Each character plate has two possible characters that can be played though represented by the same token on the board; the characters have 4 attributes that are used to track the character's current Might, Speed, Knowledge, and Sanity values with marked starting positions for each. These are not linear; losing a point of Might, for example, may not alter the actual value of Might but still brings the player one step closer to death.
The game also includes special dice which only have 0, 1, or 2 pips on each side. The game consists of two phases, the initial Exploration phase and the Haunt phase. At the start of the game, each player selects a character and sets the meters at the starting values. The "house" starts with a ground, upper, and basement floors placed on separate areas of the game table; the ground and upper floors are immediately connected by a staircase, whereas the basement remains unconnected until certain room tiles, event cards or other actions allow a connection.
On each turn, the player can move through a number of rooms equivalent to their current Speed. If the player moves through a door where no room has been placed, they draw a room tile from the stack until they draw one that matches the current floor they are on.
The tile is placed as best to match the current door layout of adjacent rooms. If there is an Event, Item, or Omen icon on the newly placed tile, the player draws the respective card and follows its instructions. Event cards often require the player to make a roll against one of their skills to avoid damage or gain benefits. Item cards provide equipment the player can use, drop, and trade with other players.
Omen cards also generally provide items, but come at a price - after drawing an Omen card, the player must roll six dice, and if this roll is lower than the number of Omen cards that have been drawn, the Haunt phase starts. Unless otherwise specified, drawing a card and performing that action ends the player's turn. Otherwise, the player can continue to move through other rooms; icons for cards on existing rooms are ignored.
Some room tiles have specific instructions that must be followed when moving through the room such as making a skill check to exit the room without taking damage. Once a player has triggered the Haunt phase, special tables in the game's rulebooks are used to determine which Haunt is used based on what room and Omen triggered the Haunt, and who the "traitor" is; though often the traitor is the one who triggered the Haunt, it may be another player.
At this point, the player who is the traitor leaves the room; they read through their specific Haunt goals and rules from one book, while the other players read their victory rules and conditions from a second book and discuss plans to deal with the traitor. Haunts are based on numerous horror tropes, such as zombies , cannibals , dragons , vampires , ghosts, etc. Some goals allow for the traitor to convert other players to traitors as well such as turning players into fellow werewolves.
The exact goals for both the other players and the traitor differ for each possible Haunt; neither side is forced to reveal any new abilities or victory goals, but they must explicitly state what moves they are doing in the game to the other players. After the traitor rejoins the players, gameplay proceeds similar to the Exploration phase, except that all traitors play after the other players have moved. In addition to Exploration, players may now attack the traitor or any other creatures they might control, and vice versa.
Damage here generally requires the players to move their stat meters down a number of steps depending on the combat results. Death generally occurs when any one of the player's character meters drops to the lowest position, but the Haunt may alter the rules on this. The game is over when either the players or the traitors achieve their victory goal.
The game features 50 possible haunts, which provides for a great deal of replayability. Extensive errata, to address unclear or indeterminate rules, are freely available. On November 17, , a " legacy " version of the game, titled Betrayal Legacy , was announced for a Q4 release, featuring a prologue and a thirteen-chapter story taking place over multiple decades.
It was released on November 9, On April 20, , it was announced that Betrayal at House on the Hill would receive its first expansion, entitled Widow's Walk , on October 14, David M. Ewalt comments on the version: "A horror-themed board game that's different every time you play. Players explore a haunted house until one goes crazy and tries to kill their friends. Randomized, secret scenarios provide surprising story lines and different rules for the killer each game.
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Betrayal at House on the Hill and yes, that's the actual title is a unique Adventure Board Game published in by Avalon Hill , with a second edition released in Three to six players take the roles of various character archetypes, such as a Jock , a Final Girl , a Professor , a Fortune Teller , a seemingly sweet little girl or a curious young boy Each miniature has two different 'characters' attached to it, such as the Scientist doubling as a Preacher Man.
Whatever their role, the cast find themselves trapped inside a haunted mansion and set out to explore. Gameplay involves a procedurally-generated mansion, which is created by drawing and placing random rooms.
Rooms can contain items, shortcuts, and Omens. Omens can be items, new partners, or special events, but force the player to roll six dice.
If the roll is lower than the total number of Omens, the Haunt begins: the Mansion's terrible secret is revealed — and one of the heroes turns on the rest. This too is procedurally generated, depending on the Omen which led to the die roll and the room in which it occurred. A wide variety of scenarios are included with the game — players can end up facing Giant Spiders , Vampires , Werewolves and other monsters, or find themselves playing Chess with Death , suddenly shrinking , or dealing with the house flooding or collapsing into a Black Hole.
And since the house is built anew every time you play, every game is a different adventure. An expansion titled Widow's Walk was released in October Additionally, spin-offs have been released, such as a Baldur's Gate -branded version entitled Betrayal at Baldur's Gate released in , a Legacy version called Betrayal Legacy released in and a Lighter and Softer Scooby-Doo version called Betrayal at Mystery Mansion to be released in Community Showcase More.
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