I almost couldn’t believe it when I saw the news that finally, after all these years, the stars are finally right to create an expansion to my favourite ever board game: Betrayal at the House on the Hill. This has me utterly overjoyed for a number of reasons, but mostly because I’ve had so many great and just plain hilarious memories from this game in the past. For those of you who have never played it before, Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a procedural generated board game involving assembling a house from different room tiles (at random). As you go around exploring, you encounter various items, events, secret things and eventually omens.
Pros and Cons of using a “Hidden Traitor” mechanic
Recently I have been asked about my Trail of Cthulhu game, where I have introduced some mechanics to increase the tension, horror and atmosphere by implying to the players one of them might be a traitor. Generally speaking, roleplaying games are nearly always inherently cooperative with the players all having their characters work together for a common goal. The idea of adding a traitor into the mix can actually be quite anathema to the way these games are designed. After all, players more worried about their fellows than your NPCs or antagonists can grind the game to a halt.
So when should you decide to add this to the mix and most importantly: When you shouldn’t.