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Friday
Nov112011

The View from the Dark Side

"This place - this so-called house - it is for us. It is not for the living, for the warm-blooded. It is not for the loving, for the kind. It is a place of truth where comfortable human lies about hope and salvation are flayed to ribbons and cast aside." - Spectre of Scheherazade

When you take on the role of the evil entities in Haunts, your single goal is to destroy the explorers who have invaded your domain. Kill them, drive them mad, or drag then down into hell with you - the choice is yours, but there is one certainty: they must go.

What isn’t so certain is the other big question: what do they want? Humans find all sorts of reasons to risk their souls in the Tyree Manse, from recovering relics and tomes of forbidden knowledge to hunting heads of entities like you. Every time a group passes through those gates, you must be on guard against any possibility. Observe their behavior and note how they react to your tricks, traps, and attacks by your minions - they will inevitably reveal their true intentions.


"This house....this house is the mirror’s tain, the source that flashes back the darkness within human aspirations. It is as mercurial and deceptive as a dream, as cutting and confounding as a nightmare."  - Verger of the Morphic Mass


The shape of the Tyree Manse changes with every game, and the Explorers have no idea what the floor-plan will be when they enter. But as the haunter, you have access to the entire map when the game begins. That does not mean you know everything that happens within its many rooms. You only know what your minions and spies can tell you, and they can’t be everywhere. Even as you guard possible goals from the explorers, you must track their movements at all times. Should they slip from your sight, some terrible good will come of it.


IA! IA! Cly’ghi fhtagn nib Sul-Otholec! IA! IA! - Hymn of the Elder Gods

The Tyree Manse is a crossroads between different sources of horror. As the haunter, you get to pick which of the different groups of evil entities you want to play. There are the classic ghosts and spirits, which specialize in hidden movement and ambushes. Cultists are mostly humans and madmen but can summon the most powerful and terrifying enemies in the game. The undead are walking corpses that serve a vampire, mummy, or necromancer leader and are the most well-rounded threat. The phantasmagorians are dream creatures who specialize in illusion and madness. Other groups will reveal their existence in the fullness of time.

Each group has a powerful leader, a creature that poses a serious threat to the explorers. But be careful - one of the possible goals for the humans is exorcising your leader, so you must find a balance between using its powers against the interlopers and protecting it from destruction. There are some minions that are shared across different groups, such as spying rat-things, haunted paintings, and shambling zombies. Using these monsters wisely can throw the explorers off, making them think they’re fighting one kind of foe while your true threat rises up behind them.

Over the course of many games you will be able to upgrade and personalize you haunt group, unlocking new powers, abilities, and minions. The explorers are learning as well, and they always seem to have some new trick up their sleeves. In the end though, their baubles and desperate devices can only forestall the inevitable doom that stalks them.

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