The Mysterious Case of the 30th Birthday Party
September 22, 2005 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I want to write my own "How To Host A Murder"-type interactive party game. Any suggestions or resources?

I'm going to have it around Halloween, so I was thinking of doing a 1920s/30s spiritualist theme, e.g. communicating with the Beyond, turban-wearing medium, etc.
All the pre-written ones I can find are super-cheesy, for the wrong number of people (there will be around 12, I think), or not the right theme.
Rather than solving a murder, I think it would be more fun to find some kind of treasure as the ultimate goal.
So. How to organize it? What kind of clues? I want people to have to mill around and talk to each other in order to find things out.
I'd like to give everyone a character to play, and it might be best if they didn't all need to be there for it to work, in case someone has to cancel or go take care of their baby for a while.
posted by exceptinsects to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
Have you ever played a Role Playing Game?

Perhap's Call of Cthulhu based on the works of HP Lovecraft might be a good starting point. Much of the scenarios are set in 1890's or the 1920's (with some set in the 1990's).

Horror on the Orient Express comes to mind and this resource might come in handy.

Depending on your intended target group, you might want to under-emphasize the "RPG" aspect and focus on the "murder myster" aspect.

I used to play a *lot* of RPGs in my youth (both as a plyer as well as a referee) but I've been on the wagon for three years or so after a small lapse after being clean for about three years. If you want, my email is in my profile.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:30 PM on September 22, 2005

Purple porpoise, best answer!

Yes, what you want is a LARP.
Foam rubber swords are optional, you know.
posted by Methylviolet at 1:51 PM on September 22, 2005

The method for those cheesy host a murder games is what you want even if it's not the content you want. The rules are simpler than any RPG so your guests won't be put off by learning to play the game. I'd suggest buying one of the games and using it as a template to write your own story.

I'm making an assumption here but roleplaying games are loaded with rules to handle situations like simulated combat/magic/monsters and such that you won't need for a treasure hunt style of party game.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:59 PM on September 22, 2005

cmfletcher - I agree, RPGs can be rules-heavy (one of my all time favourite systems was [lovingly] called RULESmonster [instead of Rolemaster]) but CoC is pretty rules light and can be easily adapted to be even lighter. I've played CoC games without character shees nor dice.

Besides, if its a murder-mystery, people probably won't have to fight each other or pretend to hide from one another and stuff.

posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:55 PM on September 22, 2005

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