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We were playing a game of Betrayal at House on the Hill when one of us triggered the Dracula Haunt and turned into a Vampire. He picked up the Holy Symbol before so surely he would have to either toss it or roll every turn if he's able to move at all.

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There are no rules dealing with this specific interaction, so we have to make conclusions based on the specifics of the rules that are there. By a literal reading of the rules, the traitor would be unaffected by the Holy Symbol in this case.

The rule states:

Each time any Vampire tries to enter the Chapel or any room with an explorer who has the Holy Symbol, it must attempt a Sanity roll of 6+ to enter that room. A Vampire who fails that roll can't enter that room.

In general, to "enter any room with an explorer who has the Holy Symbol" would mean that the room you are trying to enter already contains an explorer who has the Holy Symbol. Especially given that it is talking about "trying to enter" a room. Meaning, before you have entered the room, you check what's in that room. If it is the Chapel, or if it contains an explorer who has the Holy Symbol, you must roll.

In this case, the Holy Symbol is not in that room, because it is with you in the room you are currently in. So you are not trying to enter a room that contains an explorer with the Holy Symbol.

Thematically you can think of the Holy Symbol as needing to be "activated" by an explorer to have the negative effect on the vampire. This would explain why it doesn't effect the vampire if it isn't just sitting on the floor of a room; it had to be with an explorer. So while it's simply sitting there in the vampire's pocket; it would have no effect.

You can also see it as thematically, it should effect the vampire, because it is a Holy Symbol. If you prefer this interpretation, then I recommend the house rule that the vampire automatically drops it when he becomes a vampire. As Betrayal at House on the Hill is a very theme-driven game, sometimes coming up with rules that make sense thematically is fine. And I don't see that rule as causing much of an imbalance.

  • Even if the Rules state that, they don't imply the case of the Holy Symbol being in the possession of the Vampire. As there IS a rule restricting the Vampire due to the Holy Symbol it's only logical that there should be something about it being in their possession. It doesn't make sense that a vampire has a hard time entering a room with a holy symbol in it but they can happily carry it around and also benefit from it's stat bonus. – Sam Shi Jul 23 '17 at 11:01
  • I would see it as just that an explorer holding the Holy Symbol could choose to use it against the vampire; perhaps by holding it out in front of him or whatever. It doesn't necessarily have an effect just sitting around in the vampire's bag or pocket. – GendoIkari Jul 23 '17 at 12:30
  • Also, if the Holy Symbol had an automatic effect, it would care about entering a room where the Holy Symbol were laying on the ground; instead of specifically being in someone's possession. – GendoIkari Jul 23 '17 at 12:32
  • So you don't see a problem with a vampire getting SANITY from having a Holy Symbol?... I can see your reasoning with the rules that are there but this is a special case that should be clarified with additional rules. – Sam Shi Jul 23 '17 at 13:37
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    @GendoIkari you were right on my attempted answer, I did misunderstand. And your explanation makes sense - to "enter a room where an explorer has the holy symbol" implies that said explorer is already in that room, which is explicitly not the scenario here. +1 – MirrorImage Jul 24 '17 at 1:38

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