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Murder Mystery

Party goers attempt to solve a murder mystery.

Murder mystery games are generally party games wherein one of the partygoers is secretly playing a murderer, and the other attendees must determine who among them is the criminal. This may involve the actual 'murders' of guests throughout the game, or may open with a 'death' and have the rest of the time devoted to investigation.

The setup can be simple or extremely elaborate. The Village Murder Mystery, for example, requires no setup beyond a way to randomly select the roles; however, if a party is to be built entirely around the mystery, a more elaborate setup is common.

Often a theme for the party, based around a historical era or fictional context, is used to tie things together. If the organizer of the mystery is up to the challenge, they can select roles and characters based on their knowledge of the guests; however, commercial products are available to provide the setting and roles. These include and Murder A'la Carte, among others; these are, however, set up for a particular number of players and can limit the party by that.

Murder mystery games come in several different versions:

* Turn-based games work by releasing information over the course of the game. As the game progresses, each character learns something new about the plot and their involvement. Each turn players are prompted to ask specific questions, or perhaps read from a script. These are popularly played around a dinner party.

* Interactive murder mystery games provide players with details of their character at the start, but it is up to the character how they solve the murder. Often players have other objectives – such as to be the richest player at the end of the game. These games are better suited to buffets or finger food as generally everyone needs to be able to mingle and also to talk to others without being overheard. These games are closely related to freeform role-playing games.

* Another variant has 8 to 10 detailed characters as suspects, each with a detailed background and story. Everyone else plays detectives trying to solve the murder. These games require the detectives to interrogate the suspects to determine the holes in their story, and are clearly focussed on solving the murder.

Yet another implementation of the game concept is Murder Mystery Theatre, where guests pay to attend a type of live show with active audience participation; the actors play a cast of characters, one of whom is the murderer, and the audience must collaborate to work out clues from the performance, props and setting to solve the crime.

Variants may involve changing the nature of the crime (especially if younger players are involved), allowing some participants to know certain facts in advance (even the identity of the murderer), or having 'plot twists' of unexpected events to occur, to help or hinder the investigation, as needed.

Source: Wikipedia

Flags: Short (1-3 hours), Medium (3-6 hours), Long (6-24 hours), With a Group, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Indoors, Outdoors, At Home, Morning, Day, Night, Sunny, Snowy, Rainy
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