Guide to Events in Betrayal at House on the Hill

In Betrayal at House on the Hill, the primary focus of each session is on outing and beating the traitor… or killing all the heroes, depending on your standpoint. The game doesn’t begin with a traitor, however, and to fill the space between a certain number of Omens being drawn, players primarily have to deal with Events.

Events are depicted in rooms as swirling lines, and they represent the most common obstacles in the House on the Hill. More rooms have Events than Omens or items put together, in all likelihood, and consequently players will run into them a lot.

Is this good? Is this bad? That depends on the Event. Typically when a player draws an Event card they’re faced with some supernatural trial that they need to overcome by making an attribute roll. If they make it they increase in that attribute; if they don’t, they go down… and sometimes suffer worse consequences as well. Events are equal parts kind and cruel.

That said, however, there are various other types of Events, as well:

– Ones that open up passageways to other parts of the house

– Ones that grant the character an item – or strip them away

– Ones that relocate the character, substantially or not

– Ones that create atmospheric phenomenon for their room, which usually remain in place for the rest of the game

There is, unless you’ve stacked the Event deck, no telling what one will do, or what will happen – and the chances are pretty good that you’ll be facing something luckless rather than getting lucky. So should you avoid Events?

Absolutely not, unfortunately. Events represent, by far, the best way to increase your character’s stats and equipment prior to the Haunt. For the players, it’s ideal to get more Events than it is Omens, as Omens bring you ever closer to the Haunt that will kill you. By successfully overcoming a series of Events, a player can become so powerful that the traitor has virtually no chance of winning – or at least not in a straight up fight.

Don’t avoid Events. Embrace them – so long as the Haunt isn’t underway. Once it is, Events can actually kill your character, which is the last thing your team needs. Only undertake Events if you’re certain you won’t hamper your chances of defeating the traitor, or if you have nothing else to do on a turn anyway. You may get yourself in deep trouble, but you may also find the key to winning an entire game, all because you stepped into just one more room.