Betrayal At House On The Hill Rooms – A Strategy in 9 Graphs
I am going to make a wild guess here, dear reader, and guess that if you are reading this you are probably interested in the goings on of the game Betrayal at House on the Hill. I know I am.
A couple of months ago, we took a look at the Betrayal at House on the Hill characters and what it was that made each one tick. Was one better than the others? Would one offer a higher chance of survival? You can read that article here; however, today we are going to look at another aspect of Betrayal at House on the Hill – the rooms.
You see, Betrayal is a game about exploration. There are 5 rooms present at the start of the game – each is plain and simple, and none are all that special. It turns out though, there are a grand total of 47 different rooms, including those 5, resulting in what can be a fairly extensive mansion by the time they have been fully explored.
As players of the game we know, by the chart in the Traitor’s Tome, that there are 13 rooms with Omens on them. What is less clear is how many there are with Events? What about rooms that help or hinder movement? Finally, what about the items? How many rooms will actually grant items?
So – today we are going to pull the rooms apart and ransack what is left. Today, dear reader, we are going to analyse the Betrayal at House on the Hill room tiles and everything that is unique about them.
What are the Betrayal at House on the Hill rooms?
So, first thing’s first, and simply because we had to reference these for data entry purposes in one big Excel sheet – let’s look at the rooms themselves. What are they?
This is a list of the rooms in alphabetical order. We’ve put a (s) against the starting rooms for reference. Remember, three of the ground floor rooms are stuck together in the hallway at the end.
- Abandoned Room
- Basement Landing (s)
- Bloody Room
- Charred Room
- Coal Chute
- Collapsed Room
- Creaky Hallway
- Dining Room
- Dusty Hallway
- Entrance Hall (s)
- Foyer (s)
- Furnace Room
- Game Room
- Grand Staircase (s)
- Junk Room
- Master Bedroom
- Mystic Elevator
- Operating Laboratory
- Organ Room
- Pentagram Chamber
- Research Laboratory
- Servants’ Quarters
- Stairs from Bedroom
- Statuary Corridor
- Underground Lake
- Upper Landing (s)
- Wine Cellar
So far so good. Of course, this does leave us asking – what kind of house has one bedroom but at least two types of laboratory – or a ballroom, but no guest quarters – that is somewhat besides the point though.
Analysing the Betrayal at House on the Hill Rooms
So, that leaves a stack of Betrayal at House on the Hill rooms to look at. If there are 47 rooms, of which 5 are starting rooms, there are 42 rooms in the stack. Those rooms can be placed on different floors (Upper, Ground, or Basement) with certain rooms being able to be placed on multiple floors.
This means that across those 47 rooms, there are 75 different room placements. Removing the starting rooms there are 70 different placements. We can explore both graphically below.
As you can see, the distribution across the three is fairly even, although not quite. There are slightly fewer ground rooms than there are lower rooms (also known as basement rooms). When we look at the rooms in the stack however, taking out the starting rooms, we actually get a more drastic picture.
Due to there being three ground rooms out at the start of the game, there are actually fewer ground rooms in the stack than the other ones. This means that there are fewer ground rooms to explore. I can’t think of a haunt where this could be relevant, but it may be for one or two.
Omens, Events, and Items
Omens are needed in Betrayal to trigger the haunt. Events add flavour to the game, and Items are unequivocally handy. Once again, we can count how many there are. Out of the 47 rooms, 34 have either an item, omen, or event on them.
There are; however, 36 icons in the game, and this is because the Vault actually has three icons on it – one event and two items.
As you can see, this is not balanced. There are only 6 item icons in the game, where there are 13 omens and 17 events. Since two of the item icons are on one room, this means there really aren’t that many in the game.
Now this is telling. If you need an item or if you want to go item hunting in Betrayal at House on the Hill then you are best off in the Basement, followed by the Upper floor. There is no point in searching around the ground floor.
In fact, ditto with Omens. The Ground floor is rubbish for them. Only when we look at Events do we see a slightly closer split, but even then it isn’t balanced. Instead, you are most likely to get flavour text upstairs, and least likely to get it in the Basement.
The Basement is, interestingly enough, the only place where you are just as likely to get an Omen as you are an Event.
Additional Text on Rooms
There are, within Betrayal a series of rooms that also have additional text on them and additional effects. The effects on said rooms tend to have one of two different concepts attached to them. Firstly, they may help or hinder movement. Secondly, they may improve stats or damage because of them.
Let’s look at these first. How many rooms have additional text?
So, there are 29 normal rooms in Betrayal at House on the Hill (or as normal as they can be in an ever changing mansion of death). There are 18 rooms, however, that are not what they seem – fitting into one of the two categories above.
Let’s look at the first set – helping or hindering movement.
Cards that help movement are cards that enhance movement or allow for different types of movement. This can be as simple as the Mystic Elevator, which allows for the player to end up at a random floor, or the Coal Chute, which sends players to the Basement landing. Alternatively, those that hinder require extra rolls to pass through, and they include rooms like the Tower and the Chasm.
So, there are 4 rooms that help facilitate movement (also including the Stairs from Basement and Gallery), and 7 that inhibit it. Those are not good odds.
We can even break those down by odds – where are you most likely to find rooms that help and where are you most likely to find rooms that hurt?
What the above graph shows us is that the easiest place to move around is the ground floor. This isn’t because there are more rooms that help movement/speed on the ground floor, but actually because there are fewer rooms that could potentially hinder you instead.
Likewise, we can look at the number of rooms that are either likely to cause damage or likely to increase stats. There are only four rooms that increase stats; however, most can be found on at least two floors. There are more that can potentially cause damage either by failed tests or by ending there at the bad end of a turn.
There are a total of 7 rooms that can cause damage just by being in the wrong place or by rolling badly. There are, on the other hand, 4 rooms that increase stats. There is one for each stat, meaning that before the haunt even begins it is possible to take a surprising amount of damage just through moving through rooms.
We can break these down by floor as well – how many are in the basement, how many are on the ground floor, and how many are on the upper floor?
Interestingly, you are more likely to take damage on the upper floor. You are least likely in the basement. That being said, you are also most likely to increase your stats on the upper floor. Remember with these graphs, that rooms can be placed on more than one floor – so if you are looking at the “Increases Stat” column and thinking “but that adds up to 7” – it does, but rooms are counted multiple times based on the number of floors they can be on.
So, What Does This Betrayal At House On The Hill Room Analysis Tell Us? How Can We Use It?
Okay, so…so far, in this article, we have looked at a load of stats surrounding the rooms in Betrayal at House on the Hill, but we haven’t explored how to use it. Well…consider this article a compass, directing you depending on what you want to do.
A lot of Betrayal at House on the Hill is about trying to find specific things or perform specific actions. Using the graphs in this article it is possible to know how best to increase your odds of doing what you want to do. Nothing is guaranteed as most rooms have two locations, but you can improve your opportunities for finding the effect you need. For instance –
- Need to find an item (or want an item to bolster your character)? Explore the basement. You are most likely to find items there, assuming the rooms that provide items aren’t already on the board elsewhere.
- Need to trigger Omens? Your best bet is to explore the basement again, whereas if you want more story – explore the upstairs.
- Want to boost your stats? Go to the Upper floor and explore around there.
Those are suggestions for the exploration phase of the game – what about after the haunt has triggered?
- Need to keep exploring? Explore upstairs and the basement – they have more tiles.
- Need to get away from something? Actually, you are most likely to find tiles that allow you to manoeuvre on the Ground level.
- Want an escape route that involves taking as little environmental damage as possible? Don’t run around the upstairs but stick to the basement.
And so on and so forth. You get the idea.
So, there we have it. This article has been an exploration of the rooms in Betrayal at House on the Hill. They are more complex than they appear, but by looking at the graphs in this article it may be possible to enhance your game. Alternatively, for a more realistic game, forget about the meta and just run around like a maniac.
What are your thoughts? How do you like to play the game? Do you tend to improvise or plan? Let me know in the comments below.
Other Articles Analysing Betrayal at House on the Hill:
Betrayal at House on the Hill Characters: A Closer Inspection