Playing a Hero in Betrayal at House on the Hill

Any game featuring any sort of combat needs heroes and villains, and in the case of Betrayal at House on the Hill the players will, more often, wind up as the heroes. Now, you just need to do something about that pesky traitor…

Heroes are, well, the heroes. The good guys who need to put an end to the potential tyranny of the traitor, a person – or sometimes creature – that wants, with every fiber of its being, to kill or otherwise incapacitate every other character in the House on the Hill. Since that means losing the game, you don’t want that to happen, and must take cautious steps in order to bring the traitor down.

Becoming a hero is pretty simple: just don’t be labeled as the traitor at the beginning of a Haunt. There are few ways to control this, really, as the Haunts are entirely random – though, typically, the heroes will wind up being those characters who managed to garner high traits while exploring. Event rolls can go either way, of course, so making a concerted effort to become a hero can just as easily cast you as the villain.

Once the Haunt begins and you learn the specifics of your side of the Haunt from the Survival Guide, you need to make a beeline for your objectives immediately. This requires thorough reading of the rules, as you can’t afford to miss any details – the traitor has his or her own conditions for victory, and are frantically moving to trounce your heroes. Don’t let that happen.

To this end, you shouldn’t normally bother with entering new rooms unless a) you have no choice – you need to find a particular room, or b) you have absolutely nothing else to do, or really want to raise one of your traits. The remaining rooms in a Betrayal game can kill you if you’re not careful, which won’t endear you to the rest of the heroes. Focus on the Haunt, and only the Haunt, whenever possible.

As a hero, you also need to be something of an opportunist. Many Haunts require you to go up against monsters that are stronger than you. To this end, you’ll want to pick up any items that have been left behind… especially if they’re combat items. This applies to the traitor as well as any dead heroes. Don’t let their sacrifices go to waste. You also need to make the most of each turn, so think each one through carefully rather than capriciously moving. Even if you think you can’t do anything to support your side of the Haunt, you’re probably wrong.

Playing the hero in a Betrayal game isn’t easy. You’re being hounded by supernatural forces that are typically stronger than you, and you may or may not be strong enough to overcome them. Don’t panic – there’s always something you can do to help stop the bad guys, even if it means dying to buy your team a few extra turns.