How to Participate in a Murder Mystery Game

If you have never participated in a murder mystery party game before, the concept can seem a bit strange or a little intimidating. Not to worry though, it really is not difficult to play - they are little more than evenings of really fun "let's pretend" games for adults.

Planning for the Event

Before you arrive at the murder mystery party, you should have enough details to provide yourself with some kind of costume if needed. Your host may or may not require you to wear a costume.

You should never, and I cannot stress this highly enough, use weapons for props. It is just too dangerous; anyone passing may not realize that you're only playing a game. Other than weapons, props are fine.

Before you arrive you will be given your detailed character background and anything else you need. Your character background will explain why you are here and some basic rules.

It is very important not to discuss your character details with anyone else before the party starts. You may only tell your character's name and basic info which is already known to the public at large. If you reveal anything else, then you are likely to give away certain secrets and spoil the game - mainly for yourself and the person you told!

During the party you will receive a Confidential Booklet that details any secrets that you need to keep hidden and information your character may know about others. It will also provide you with some tasks you will need to accomplish. 

It is best if you can arrive about 15 minutes early. Give yourself plenty of time and you'll have a much more enjoyable evening. Depending on the group, the mystery may run over the time stated. Most murder mystery parties last 2.5 - 3 hours, which usually includes a meal or appetizers. When planning your schedule, it is best to allow an extra hour in case the event runs over.

Talking To People

The trick to doing well at a murder mystery party, whether you are trying to solve the murder or just achieve your other objectives, is to talk to people. You need to talk to players to find out who can help you and who may hinder you.

It is best to start with the people mentioned in your character background. If your character knows them, it is likely that their character knows you too. You will also have something to talk about, as they will be mentioned for a reason. This will give you a topic to start a conversation with.

Do not be afraid of giving away your general background information. You will find that some people hoard information, but I have found that if I am free with my information, then other players will reveal something in return. Be circumspect about giving out secrets, however. You would not want to reveal that you are the murderer now, would you?

Ideally, you want to talk to everyone in the game. While it might be tempting to focus on those players that appear most relevant to you, you may miss out meeting someone who can help you.

Do not be above eavesdropping. You can gain valuable information this way. You may even be able to acquire information that could allow you to blackmail someone!

Safety First

Please remember that murder mystery games are just that... a game. People will not necessarily be behaving in ways you expect. They will be playing characters with their own secret backgrounds, personalities and agendas. Somebody will probably be working against you, others may have been told to snub you or have been told lies about your character. Someone may seem to be really obnoxious and rude. Most likely that is the character they are playing and not at all their real personality. Please keep this in mind at all times and do not take anything personally - it is only a game! Be careful at all times. Do not do anything that could injure or harm yourself or anyone else.

Your Goals

The main indicator of success is the amount of fun you had playing. If you do not solve the murder, but still have a great time, then the night will obviously be a success.

It is often useful in the game to find your allies as soon as possible. Normally, to achieve your goals you need to get other people to help you. And that usually means negotiating with them, because they will most likely want something in return. Provided that their goals do not conflict with yours, there is no reason why you should not go for it.

Should you keep your goals secret? It depends on the goal. Some goals can easily be shared: "I have lost my watch - can you help me find it?" Goals that might reveal one of your terrible secrets are perhaps best left hidden.

If you need something from someone, and they ask you to pay for it, there is a good chance that the price will only rise as the game proceeds.

 

In Dinner and a Murder Mystery Games, you will have several goals and there are certificates given out for the following accomplishments:

Super Sleuth for those that solve the murder.
Wealthiest Player goes to the one with the most 'money' at the end of the party.
Best Costume goes to the most creative costume.
Best Performer goes to the person who plays their part the best.

The last two accomplishments will be voted on by every guest at the party.