December Game of the Month – Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

The Game of the Month series highlights one of the many games in our libraries at Ravenwood Castle and the Malted Meeple. We will briefly describe the game, how to play it, and why we like it. The Game of the Month is written by the Meeple’s Head Game Master – and former Ravenwood Innkeeper – Karington Hess.

Welcome to the city of Baldur’s Gate, traveler! But beware, for the shadow of Bhaal has covered this once proud city. The nefarious god of murder has begun whispering to those who would carve a bloody path of mayhem and destruction in his name.  Monstrous creatures and horrors beyond comprehension have answered the call of Bhaal, crawling from the deep dark places of the world to search for prey amongst the streets and alleyways of Baldur’s Gate.

I know why you have come, traveler… The Harpers have called upon you to cleanse the rot that dwells within our beloved city. Will you succeed in banishing Bhaal and his minions? Or will you succumb to his madness and betray your newfound allies? Are you strong enough to resist Bhaal?

I do not envy your task traveler… not in the slightest…

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is a game in which each player takes on the role of an adventurer investigating the city of Baldur’s Gate. You will spend your turns investigating the seedy corners of the once proud city of Baldur’s Gate and discover new rooms, locations, and possibly threats. Each time you pass through a doorway and enter a new tile you may find something helpful to your investigation. Or something may find you! At a random point in the game, the players will trigger a scenario known as the haunt. When the haunt begins, one of the players becomes a Traitor bent on slaying their former comrades. The remaining players become Heroes, who are locked in a desperate struggle to survive. From this point forward, the game becomes a fight between the traitor, his minions (if any), and the heroes. Often this battle is one to the death! The game contains 50 of these haunts and each of them tells a different tale. You and your companions will live – and die – as you explore the cursed city of Baldur’s Gate!

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is based on the award-winning title Betrayal at House on the Hill, and is set in Baldur’s Gate, an iconic city in the popular Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. There are several major differences from the original title however. First of all, each adventurer has their own unique power that helps bring their character to life. The cleric can heal, the barbarian can rage, the wizard can cast magic missile. Secondly, there is an easier way to build the city. When you move from one location to the next, you just check the color of the doorway you moved through and draw from the appropriate colored stack. Finally, many of the rules have been clarified and simplified for ease of play.

We hope you will enjoy this unique twist on one of our favorite games (Betrayal at House on the Hill) and one of the most beloved fantasy genres of all time (Dungeons & Dragons). On your next visit to the Malted Meeple, be sure to ask your Game Master to teach your group how to play this unique game.

Grab a pint of your beverage of choice from the barkeep and begin your exploration of Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate! Do you and your party have what it takes to survive the city and your traitorous friends? Or will you fall victim to the machinations of Bhaal?

Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.