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  • Can the Host Participate?
    Yes! I highly suggest that they do so. Why should the host have to sit out on all the fun? Our games are so easy to host that this is not a problem. To participate, the host can assign characters based on the Guests List instead of reading characters. Do not read the Character Backgrounds, Confidentials, or the Solution to participate in the game. Reading everything will in no way help the game, as the guests themselves drive our games. Just follow the step-by-step instructions in the Host Guide and use your Organizing Labels to have everything ready to hand out when the step-by-step tells you to. That is ALL the host has to do. Also, I do not force the Party Hosts to play the roles of the game character hosts. It is always best to assign characters by personality, not force someone into a specific role. The character you decide to play should depend significantly on how heavy your hosting duties will be. Light Duties = a primary character / Heavy Duties = a secondary character. Outside of the murder mystery party, will your hosting duties be heavy or light? Dinner, clean up, drinks, etc... can all keep a host busy and interfere with playing a character. If this is the case, a secondary character will allow the host to take care of these duties without interference. If you have help at your party, or you are pretty much letting things go until afterward, feel free to play a main character that matches your personality. The only two characters off the table for you are the original murder victim and the Inspector unless you are backed into a corner.
  • All About Murder!
    Here are some questions I have received about handling murders or about the host and murders. Q: Does the killer know they are the killer? A: Absolutely! It boggles the mind how some of these games are configured. Ours is as close to real-life circumstances as possible. If someone killed someone else, they would know they did and do all in their power to protect themselves. _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: When I send the murderer victim(s) their Character Background Booklet before the party, should I also send their 2ND Character Background Booklet along? So they know they're going to be murdered ahead of time? A: I would send them their second characters also. I would tell them why they have two characters, although their background tells them they are being murdered and how to handle it. They need to know which characters they will be playing first. _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: Does the victim know who murders them ahead of time? A: No. The only person who knows the identity of the murderer is the murderer. The victim does not know. The first murder is planned out before the party, and the actual murderer will not be seen to be involved in this murder so as not to give their identity away. The victim and possibly the host stage it. This does not apply to additional murders... AFTER the originally staged murder: They will know who their murderer is after their murder. That character is now "dead," so they cannot share that information. Ghosts tell no tales! _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: Is it the murderer or the murder victim who tells me (the host) that there has been a murder in the Additional Murders done with Weapon Cards? A: It will be the murderer who comes to tell the host whom they killed to ensure the body is found, and the host has this information for the further murders guessed by guests at the end of the night. This does not apply to the actual murder, which is the one that everyone is trying to solve. NO ONE will know the identity of this person except the murderer. _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: I thought I read that the murderer tells me, the host......but then I know who did it, and I can't play anymore? A: The Host will know only the identity of 'other' murderers, but not the original one. This will in no way affect your ability to play. Just play your character and in no way use any information you acquire while carrying out your hosting duties. Only use the information your character has discovered. There is just so much more to our games than solving any murder. So even if you accidentally discovered the murderer, it would in no way affect your ability to play. I write these so I know much more than just the identity of the murderer & I still love playing them. Everyone handles information differently, so while I may know the identity of a murderer, I will not have a clue about all the schemes developing all around me by my devious guests. Everyone has their own plots and schemes. Everyone has to watch their backs while they plot against their enemies, of which there are many! _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: I would like to know how the additional murders occur; I understand the victims get murdered by other guests; what are the victims supposed to do once they are murdered??. Do they quietly tell me or announce to the rest of the guests that they have been murdered? Is there a time when this should take place? is it at this point when you take their money?.. I'm confused about how the murdered guests continue with the game. A: Every background booklet has instructions for committing murder. They will come to you and quietly tell you, at which time you ensure the "body" is discovered. This is when people will grieve over the body or try to pick them clean. Afterward, you can give them another character that has not been used, or you can have them play an Inspector. If you have unassigned characters, this is the preferable method. _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: Any advice on how to get the bodies 'discovered'? What have you/others done that worked well? A: The "murderer" will come up to you and tell you they committed murder and where to find the body. Then it is up to you as the host to 'happen' upon it. Hint... practice your terrified scream. Now, this is not the case in the first staged murder. You will not know who committed that murder. _____________________________________________________________________________ Q: What happens if the murderer gets murdered by somebody using a weapon card? A: This is part of why the weapon cards are not given out until about 1/2 through the night, and certain things have already happened. I have never heard of it happening, but it could. The murder can be solved just from the evidence alone, and there is a lot of info in people's confidential information that could give clues to the murderer's identity. Since the murderer is free to lie, it won't make any difference if they get killed off later in the night.
  • Can Multiple People Host Togther?
    People can work together to host parties. You can agree on how to split those duties.
  • WIll the host know who the murderer is?
    You can use any version of our games without finding out the identity of the killer. Do not read your guests' Character Background and Confidential Booklets, the Evidence, or the Solution. We create our PDF solution, backgrounds, etc., where you will not see the information on the screen. Please don't read the pages as they come off the printer. In the Box version, the solution is in an envelope marked Solution, and background and confidential information is contained within booklets.
  • How do your games work?
    Our games are downloaded and printed or shipped pre-printed in the box. They include everything you need to host your own murder mystery party. This includes the Host Guide, Character Background and Confidential Booklets, Evidence, Solution, Whodunit Cards, Certificates, Name tags, Game Money, and any other items the game may need. The Host Guide will tell you how to use each file or object. The PDF files in the download version also have comment notes to help guide the host. I repeat information several times to be sure nothing is missed. My main criterion in writing our games is that they are easy to host and play. Other kits out there can have difficult and very involved hosting instructions. With our games, the host has most of the evening free to play and take care of their guests. The host's duties for the murder mystery party portion should only take about 15 minutes! Guests will rely on their wits and be immersed in an evening of treachery, murder, blackmail, and backstabbing. You will see how cunning your friends are! No need to learn complicated information or memorize lines. Your guests will get detailed character backgrounds, allowing them to slip into their character's role. Every guest will have secrets and schemes going on. If there is a planned murder, it usually occurs early in the party, after which everyone receives a Confidential Booklet, which tells Secrets they have, Secrets they know about others, and Things to Do. This booklet gets your guests hopping. Some people still have difficulty understanding and think they need to lead their guests along to get things going, so here is a basic breakdown of how the evening works. It might differ slightly between games; if it does, this will be noted in the Host Guide Step-by-Step. Your guests will know what to do when the party starts. They all get background information, and many will have instructions to confront the soon-to-be murder victim about something from their shared background. After all of these are completed, the planned victim will die. They might have to indicate that their death is about to happen to you if you have to do something to bring about the murder. If this is the case, you should talk with the victim before the party to discuss this and arrange a signal. When the murder occurs, the Inspector will run to the victim/s, make a pronouncement, and clear the room for investigation purposes. Then you serve food and give everyone their Confidential Booklets. During the meal, people will read over their Confidentials and feel out about people mentioned in their background. After dinner, the Inspector presents the Evidence, and you then do the Weapon and Action cards. This is either a Scavenger Hunt or drawing them from a hat or bowl. Hosts choice. Then people start mingling and doing the things stated in their Confidentials. When things start winding down (and you will be able to feel this), tell everyone you are wrapping things up in 15 minutes so they have time to make the mad dash to review the evidence. Then you will call everyone together, hand out Whodunits then fill in Certificates as the Inspector presents the Solution. The main thing is to follow the Host Guide Step-By-Step Instructions and everything else will happen on its own. You need to do nothing to lead people along or get them going. It happens the way it is supposed to in a natural way, led by people being able to let go of their inhibitions typically held in check by morals. In our games, they get to be bad without guilt. It is quite heady, and people really do take to it like fish to water; no need to lead them there:-)
  • What if I don't want to do the Weapon Card Scavenger Hunt?
    Then don't. It's pretty simple, and instructions for the two methods of distributing these are in the Weapon and Action Card Instructions. I'm also providing that here: You need to add the action cards and the weapon cards to a bowl or hat, along with enough blank cards to make it, so every person there gets to draw 1 card. So if you have 13 guests (including yourself, if you are playing), you would add the four action cards, four weapon cards, and five of the provided blank cards into a hat or bowl and pass it around to let each guest make one draw.
  • What do I do with a negative personality guest?
    This topic recently surfaced when a group had an unpleasant friend of a friend attend a party. Murder mystery parties are great for groups of generally nice people, or if not nice, at least have a sense of humor. I have a few friends that aren't all that nice or even considerate, but they are a lot of fun & fabulous to have at a murder mystery party! One negative person can be upsetting in any party situation. It is too easy for these people to take things personally (which you should NEVER do at a murder mystery party). It is all about having fun. Scheming to take down (or out!) the competition is what normal people find fun about it. So if you have a negative person that will be offended if you do not invite them to your party, the best thing you can do for everyone is give them a very secondary or even better an extra character or a Create your own Inspector or Detective Background. This can help limit their required interaction. Most people won't be gunning for them unless they start getting nasty. Any guest who gets nasty outside of their character will experience one of two things depending on their group. They will either be completely ignored and avoided, or people will conspire against them and take them out (in character, of course). Extra characters can participate as much or as little as they want. This is why we suggest them for extremely shy or negative people. I hope this helps you. I have never personally experienced this (knock on wood), and I am very thankful for that.
  • What's so great about Interactive Murder Mystery Parties?
    Murder mystery party games come in several different styles. There are those where information is released in stages or rounds, and you discover more about the mystery as the party progresses. Then there are those where a set number of actors play the suspects, and everyone else has to guess who the murderer is. The games I prefer by far are interactive murder mystery games where each guest has a unique role with detailed background and objectives. Here are ten reasons why I enjoy these games so much. #1 - It's not just about solving the murder: While solving the murder is obviously a large part of an interactive murder mystery game, there's always much more to the game than just that. Each character has a detailed background and has their own goals and problems to deal with - and those might include not getting arrested for a murder you didn't commit, needing to pay off your gambling debts, or wanting to be the wealthiest person at the end of the game. #2 - It's a great way to meet people: The only way you will achieve your goals in an interactive murder mystery game is to go up to the other guests and talk to them. It would be best if you spoke to everyone to ensure you've not missed anyone in your search to find the murderer or achieve your goals. So by the end of the game, you should have met everyone else - even if you didn't meet them as "yourself" but only as the character you were playing. Best of all, if you find it hard to talk to people you don't know, an interactive murder mystery provides you with a ready-made topic of conversation (which was always my problem when I was younger and shyer) both during the game and afterward. #3 - Let's pretend: Anyone can play an interactive murder mystery game because, taken at its most superficial level, it's just a magnificent game of "let's pretend." Kids play "let's pretend" all the time, and I've yet to find a grown-up who has forgotten how to play. (If you want a more adult or cerebral approach to interactive murder mysteries, each guest takes on the role of a character much the way an actor takes on a role in a play. But there, the similarity ends because, in an interactive murder mystery game, there's no predetermined script and no audience.) #4 - No predetermined script: Talking about scripts brings me to my next reason. There's no predetermined script that everyone reads out - unlike some other murder mystery games. Instead, each guest decides how to solve the murder and achieve their goals - in whatever order they desire. The games have a structure and some timetabled events (such as clues or announcements), but generally, how the game plays is in the hands of the guests. #5 - Flexibility: Interactive murder mystery games can cater to a wide range of guests. If you are familiar with the boxed sets in the shops (which are usually for eight people - four men and four women), interactive murder mystery games have a minimum and a maximum number of guests. For example, one game might need at least 12 people but can cope with up to 26. This makes it very easy to add last-minute guests or cater to someone who drops out at the last minute. Interactive murder mystery games are also flexible when it comes to gender. Usually, several characters are written so that either men or women can play them - they typically have names like "Chris," "Alex," "CJ," or "Ghana." #6 - You know that you're the murderer: In some murder mystery parties, you only find out that you're the murderer at the end of the party. Until then, you have no idea. You are also only drip-fed your background, which I find very frustrating. In an interactive murder mystery game, you're told everything up front. If you're the murderer, you know it from the start. If you did something dubious in your past, you know it from the start. (Sometimes, information is held back. For example, if a clue is announced partway through a game, you might then be given a bit more information to explain why that clue is significant to you.) #7 - Blackmailing friends is so much fun: I don't know of any other game where you can blackmail your friends. It's so much fun - I'm always amazed at how my generous, honest friends can become so sneaky, underhand, conniving, and just plain crafty when they play an interactive murder mystery. And they have such a good time doing it! #8 Cooperation is also fun: While being sneaky can get you so far, I sometimes have to trust and cooperate with other characters in an interactive murder mystery game. And often, cooperation - sharing objectives and helping someone to achieve their goals can be much more rewarding than being sneaky and devious all the time. #9 A night to remember: Your friends will talk about your murder mystery party for weeks afterward. I can remember every murder mystery party game I've ever played (or hosted) - and some of my friends still talk about them even now. There aren't many things that you can say that of. This helpful article was based on an article originally written by Steve Hatherley
  • Are your games scripted? If not, how do they work? Have you had problems or complaints about your method?"
    I have not once in 22 years (as of 2022) of selling these had a complaint that they need to be scripted. All feedback I have received from people who have done scripted games is that they will never return to scripted games after doing ours. With a scripted game, people take turns reading from cards, or they read info in rounds and then try to figure out who committed a murder. Now let's take a look at ours. First, each guest gets a character background, which gives them the information they need to play a character. They will be able to get into their character's head. They will know their past, whom they are related to at the party, and who their friends and enemies are. All are described in an easily readable way. Not facts just thrown out. It's like a good book where the writer gives you the info about the book's main character and setting. Later you will get a Confidential Booklet that gives you the juicy stuff! There are many shady plots in our kits. Everyone will be involved in at least one and up to three of these with other characters. We want to give them plenty to do without overwhelming them. They will want to work on these plots and keep their secrets hidden. They will also have knowledge or clues to plots others may be involved in. It will make perfect sense that they have this knowledge. We don't just pull things out of the air as some do! This knowledge will give them ammunition to get what they want or need. They can use this info to accomplish something they need to be done that involves one of their plots. We then give your character a list of Things To Do. We do not script these; they can say what they want, how they want, and when they want! This allows things to flow freely without being stilted (or scripted sounding!). These Things To Do could have many different effects. It will depend on the people involved and how they react. For example, your actions might: Start a fight between two characters. Unknowingly or maybe even knowingly reveal someone's secret. Reveal things.. a lie someone has told, what someone is up to. Get someone to do something. Move along a situation. Plain aggravate another character because your character does not like them:) The list can go on and on, but rest assured, every character's "Things to Do" has a purpose. Now to really explain the difference in our method of play! Let's say Mac is a friend of Mary's, or so everyone thinks. Maybe Mac has been secretly coveting Mary's treasured Ming Vase. Mac knows where Mary keeps a spare key and plots to take the vase for his own. One day when Mary is at work, Mac decides to use the spare key and take the vase. In the process, Jennifer (another character), who lives next door to Mary, is at her kitchen table and sees Mac leaving with the Vase. That night Mary is distraught and reports the Vase missing, while her friend Mac consoles her for its loss. Now the question is: How is Jennifer going to handle this situation? In our games, she can handle it in ANY way she wants. Does she tell the police what she saw? Does she tell Mary that it was her best friend Mac that took it? Does she blackmail Mac about it? Either for money or to accomplish a goal. And many things can go from there: Say Jennifer blackmails Mac; maybe he digs up something on her or finds a way to mess up something she is involved in. Or perhaps even decides to kill her! Maybe Jennifer tells Mary, and Mary does not believe her and instead thinks that maybe Jennifer stole it. It seems funny that she just happened to be home from work when it came up missing. Maybe Mary will tell the police what she thinks. Maybe Jennifer tells Mary, and Mary believes her. Then Mary decides to reveal some secrets Mac had confided in her. Secrets that might get him into serious trouble with other characters. Are you starting to get the picture? ANYTHING can happen at our parties. This is absolutely not true at a scripted party. There is no room for people to scheme and plot in any way. You just read aloud what they have given you. Period. By their nature, scripted games are much easier to write, while interactive games are much more difficult. One wrong tidbit or not putting some piece of information in correctly will confuse and mess things up. This is why so many people create scripted games. They can control and force things to go how they want. You have to be able to really see the long view of actions and reactions and all possible scenarios to create an interactive game. So how did I accomplish the above in the character sheets anyway? Mac and Mary's information tells them they have been best friends since childhood, plus: Mac's info says that he has always wanted that Ming Vase and decides to take it. He knew where her spare key was and when she would be at work, so it was simple. Mary's sheet tells her that her treasured vase was stolen, and she reported it to the police. She is distraught about it. She also knows that there is a new girl who just moved in next door, whom she thinks is named Jennifer. Jennifer's info tells her that she just moved in and saw Mac carrying out the Ming Vase. She had seen Mac there many times and got the impression that Mac and Mary were good friends. Now let's add that In Tara's sheet, her best friend Jennifer told her what had happened. So now, can you see how one small paragraph in a few characters' information can create a plot that can result in many different scenarios? All of them are sneaky and fun to play! Of course, you can also see how not putting something in someone's sheet could mess things up. What if I had not put anything about this in Mary's sheet? You cannot get that feeling and fun by reading a line that tells you what you did and what happened when you did it!
  • What is a Murder Mystery Party Game?
    There are two types of murder mystery party games. The first are those where the mystery takes place in rounds and is usually played over a meal (the rounds taking place between courses). These usually include scripts to read from. This is the form that the popular boxed sets available in the stores take. Many online retailers also sell these, so be sure that this is what you want before buying as these games tend to be stilted. Personally, I would ask whether they are scripted or inteactive before making any purchase, if the info isn't available on the website. Dinner and a Murder Mystery Games provide the second type of murder mystery game that are quite different from the scripted games. In addition to needing to solve the murder, each guest has other goals and objectives. There are no scripts to read, with the exception of the Inspectors Evidence Presentation and the Solution. We feel that reading scripts takes away from the spontaneity of the game, therefore we create highly developed plots and characters, that allow the evening to progress in a fun and natural way. Every mystery is filled with plenty of opportunities for blackmail, bribery and other nefarious schemes for all the guests. All characters gets game money to help them in these areas. The mingle format allows more intimacy between guests and lets them become a part of the mystery instead of feeling like they are just playing a game. While there is a set solution to the original murder, how your guests achieve their other goals is entirely up to them. You could play the same game with the same players and each time the game would be different.
  • What if I have shy or reluctant guests?
    Believe it or not, I am an introvert. I have a tough time talking to people I don't know well, and I find it difficult to strike up a conversation with a stranger. I wrote these games so that even people like me could have fun with them. When I am playing a part, and I have objectives laid out and things to do, I am no longer introverted. These games allow me to be what I am not in my everyday life. I am acting and can now step outside my normal inhibitions to take on the traits of this new character. I have held many of these parties and have NEVER had a participant sitting back in a corner doing nothing. Every introvert wishes that they could be an extrovert. This whole format allows them to be that without fighting to overcome their shyness. To help accommodate the shy ones, assign more outgoing guests to the primary roles and have your more shy guests as secondary characters. Let me tell you the story of my last party to give you an example of a reluctant guest. My senior mother had never been to one of my parties. I decided it was time for her to go to one. I had logical reasons. If something happened to me, how could she help my customers if she had never even been to one of my parties? Let's face it if I wasn't around; it would take everyone in my family to do my job! ;) My mother was VERY reluctant to participate. She said something like that just held no interest, and she would probably ruin the whole party. It took me weeks of threatening, badgering, and pleading before she finally agreed to come, on the condition that I invite her three best friends so she would not feel out of place among all of us young people (mostly 30s - 40s:-) So we struck a deal, and I gave her the part of the Baroness Ravioli in Murder at the Four Deuces. When the party started, it took her about 30 seconds to get into her part. She lorded it over everyone; she grieved loudly for her murdered son and offered to take out someone my character needed to be removed. (I was playing her granddaughter Rebecca) Of course, she didn't do this out of the goodness of her heart because "Grandma has a lifestyle to maintain!" The list goes on and on. At the night's end, she was unanimously voted the Best Actor by all! She also told me that she would never miss another of my parties again. She now brags about her daughter and what I do to everyone. Before, she didn't understand what a murder mystery game was or how much joy my creations could bring to people. Her three friends, who were also not terribly excited by the idea, had a ball; seven months later, they still talked about it! So if you have reluctant guests, send them a copy of this answer. They are also welcome to call or email me with any questions. Most people attending these parties are first-timers, and some will be unsure whether they will enjoy themselves. This is natural, but when you throw your second party, you will have no problem getting your previous guests to attend!
  • How do you host large parties?
    The great thing about our games is that you can make them work for any size group over the group's minimum requirements! We have several methods of hosting large parties, and one of these will fit your group better than the others. Here are the different methods below: #1: Extra Character Packets. Suppose you want to increase your party size over what is available in the game you purchase. In that case, you can add Extra Character Packets of 10 characters each. There are some great characters, and they would get everything the other characters receive (game money, background booklets, Confidentials, etc..). Each Extra Character Packet comes with a Confidential Booklet with game-specific secrets. While these characters are not written into the game and have limited information, no one will know they are extra characters. We make them more interesting to make up for this. They get game-specific secrets and can participate as much or as little as they wish. Each packet has everything they need to integrate perfectly with the main characters. They all get the same items. #2: Multiple Party Groups Method. This method is excellent if you have 2 or 3 times the number of guests attending than you have characters. Please don't be scared; this is much easier than it sounds. Our games are created to be VERY easy to host, and this makes this format easy to pull off. In our games, the host duties are as follows: Do what needs to be done to set up the murder. This can be nothing or turning out the lights and popping a balloon. Something along these lines. Nothing drastic. If another murder happens, the person who commits the murder will come to inform the host that they did the dirty deed and where the 'body' can be found. This ensures a guest doesn't have to lie 'dead' for hours. You only need a single Inspector to handle evidence presentation and solution reading. Although, I would have an Inspector for each team/group to facilitate those murders and plots. So you or they decide who is better at public speaking and drama for the presentation and solution. This is the extent of your hosting duties as entailed by the game. This makes it easy to run multiple games at one time. For example, say you have 40 people attending and a game sized for 12-20 guests. You would print out 2 Guest Lists and then assign your Guests using these. You can label them Group 1 and Group 2 or red and blue or any colors you want, and you would print 2 of everything else. The way to tell the difference between the two groups would be to use different color name tags or mark one of the group's name tags with a highlighter. This way, people will know whom they have to interact with within their group. At the beginning of the evening, it is best to separate the two groups. Tell them that these will be the people they need to interact with. Also, let them know they can talk to people from the other group. Suitable for plotting, trying to buy information, etc... The groups are not actually separated during gameplay. Then you turn them loose! Pulling off the murder, if there is one that happens, takes a little coordinating. You will need to talk to the people playing the characters that will be murdered before the party and work this out. When they have accomplished everything they need to do, each one needs to come up to you. When both soon-to-be murder victims are ready, they will return to their group and do what they need to do when they 'die.' If you have to turn out lights and pop a balloon or whatever it is you need to do, you will do so now. In other words, you need to work with the victims to ensure the murders occur simultaneously. This is all you have to do to run multiple groups. #3. Very Large Parties. When you have 40+ guests attending, I suggest this method, which can be used with smaller groups. At parties this size, people usually sit at tables of 4-10 people a table. You will need 'Actors' to play the main characters in this method. It is a good idea to have outgoing people playing these parts as there will be much necessary interaction. People who love drama are really good in these roles. No script memorization needs to happen, so these are not typical actors, just some outgoing people hamming it up and having fun. These 'Actors' will play the game just like it would be played at a regular party, so follow the instructions in the kit. When interacting with other Actors, they will act like the crowd isn't there. However, they will want to speak louder than usual so observers nearby can 'eavesdrop.' Between actor interactions, the actors can move around and interact with the observers. Some suggestions for the 'actors': - Offer to sell the observers secrets you know about other characters. - Spread gossip about other characters. - Answer questions observers may have, and honesty is not required! - Try to buy secrets the observers may have come across. Each table of guests needs to receive some items. If you purchased the box, please see the links to the files you need below. You will print pdfs of the following items: Evidence (1 copy in a large sealed envelope to open when the Inspector starts presenting). A Create your own (Inspector, Detective, or Inquisitor) Background Booklet that will give each guest a copy of the Guest List, News Item, and How to Play instructions. Enough Whodunit sheets for each guest to fill out at the end of the evening. There are 2 per sheet. Each guest should get game money. I suggest buying a bag of play money to save on printing and cutting, which will match that that comes in the box. The download money differs from what comes in our boxes or store game money packages, which come in packs of 25 for $5. These will provide money for 25 observers already separated, so you give a single package to each guest. You can get these here: Buy Game Money When things start winding down, have your guests fill out their Whodunit sheets, after which the Inspector will read the Solution. If time permits, having a Question and Answer session with the actors is always fun. The audience can ask questions, which the actors will now answer honestly. Many times this involves their schemes and secrets. I hope this helps you throw a bigger and better party!
  • How long does a typlical murder mystery game take?
    Our games usually last 2.5-3 hours, including food. This is not to say you cannot wrap it up sooner if you are under time constraints. I've seen them done in 1.5 hours. On the other end of that spectrum, if you let them run out on their own, I've seen them go up to 6 hours! But neither is a typical party. As host, you have control of your party timeline.
  • Can characters lie?
    I have heard of and once played one of those games where the only person allowed to lie is the killer. Catch them in a lie, and you've solved the murder. Bleh! I have made our games realistic. ALL your guests are allowed to lie, just like in real life, and they will too. Trust no one! You can be sure your friends are busy scheming to take you down and dig up all your skeletons while smiling to your face and telling you how wonderful you are!
  • Why don't we give out the Confidentials until after the murder?
    I do have games that allow earlier distribution of the Confidential Booklets if the murder happens before the party. There are several reasons that they don't usually get the Confidentials beforehand. 1. Some people's confidentials talk about the murder and who was killed. This would surely spoil the party. 2. We don't want certain things being said and done before the murder. Before the murder, everyone needs to concentrate on the confrontations the murder victim has and their murder. 3. We don't want the guests overloaded with too much information before the party. Otherwise you may get more last-minute cancellations than you like. We release the information in bite-size increments for an excellent reason. 4. The Confidentials are supposed to be handed out as people sit down to eat. This gives them the time to read the SINGLE sheet of information while they eat, then, using that information, they start to feel out others based on that information while they are relaxed and not required to do anything. 5. Waiting until the meal gives them time to start getting comfortable with the information they already have, how things work, and their character before they are hit with all the things they need to say and do and secrets they know. I have hosted over a dozen of these and over 22 (as of 2022) years of selling them using this method, and I have never heard a complaint that they don't have time to read their confidentials. A core group of experienced role players tested our games using different methods. The process, as you see now, results in a murder mystery party that is successful every time, as long as the instructions are followed. In our first version and testing, we tried to give out all the information beforehand, and I got complaints that it was information overload and made people not want to participate. As you can see, there are many reasons NOT to give out the confidentials before the party. Just give your guests time to read and start feeling out others over a meal before moving on to other things.
  • Why doesn't the victim or Inspector/Inquisitor have a Confidential Booklet?
    First, many hosts don't realize that the murder victim won't be there when you hand out the Confidentials. By this point, they will be playing another character and getting that character confidential. As for the Detective - Inspector - Inquisitor, we include confidential info in their background. If they play the role like they should, whether good or bad, they will stay so busy it makes no difference. If they play a bad cop, they will more than have their hands full with their own schemes. That was the point of no confidential for these characters. We want to avoid forcing their character in a specific direction. They also have the power to question anyone and pry info out of them, thus getting more power than anyone else in the game. I have seen these characters shine and be involved in many schemes.
  • What if my game requires the lights to be turned off for a murder and I can't do this?
    As you know, the lights are supposed to go out and plunge everyone into darkness. It is straightforward to accomplish this when you can't control the lighting. When it is time to turn off the lights, get everyone's attention and tell them to close their eyes and imagine that the lights just went off. Pop your balloon, play your sound effect, and then ask them to open their eyes. And there you have it. Everyone knows it is a game, so you can suspend some aspects without the game suffering.
  • Immortal Murders Hostess Idea
    This idea was given to me by a previous customer who hosted this party and used this idea and wanted to share it with others. It would require reading everyone's backgrounds and confidentials, but it sounds fun, so here you go: CUSTOMER: I'll be distracted the entire night as I play barmaid and hostess, so playing a character could be rough. Participating in my first murder mystery party took a lot of attention, but I want to be more than just a barmaid. So, any ball will have a bar and someone tending it--what if the barkeep at this party happened to be a diviner? Not necessarily a good one, but occasionally she gets something right (a la Harry Potter's Professor Trelawny). The first time a person puts a tip in my jar, they get a 'true' but vague fortune. I'll have one specifically for each character. For example (totally off the top of my head): A is married to B but cheating with C, and D knows about it. B suspects but thinks A is cheating with D because they're such close friends and is just waiting for a sign to murder D. A's fortune would say: "Someone knows more than you think they do." B's fortune would say, "You're barking up the wrong tree." C's fortune would say: "Your actions could hurt more than one person." D's fortune would say, "Someone wants your head on a platter." This establishes me as being credible even if they make the wrong assumptions. After that, all future fortunes are randomly selected from a pool. 50% of them are junk (lottery numbers, etc.), 35% are true or false depending on who picks them up or how they are interpreted ("Death wants to dance with you this evening.", "E knows.", "You won't get away with it.", "You are going to die tonight."), 10% are statements that are flat-out false or might be half-true ("A is cheating with F."), and 5% are entirely true ("C is seeing a married person."). With a good mixture of riddles and direct statements, no one knows what is true and what isn't (though I bet the first few fortunes pulled will be assumed true!). I'm thinking 100 total 'fortunes,' at least; I won't reuse them. If C gets the fortune that says they are seeing a married person, hopefully, they'll think I'm credible since I certainly wouldn't know the names of guests as a barmaid, and that fortune could have been told to someone else! This way, I'm participating, sowing some chaos, and hopefully, they'll come back with more tips for more 'fortunes,' so I'm stealing some of their money and can auction later that night, too, haha. Since I'm the barkeep, if I get killed there are no more drinks for the night (maybe I'll make that a PSA before the murder weapons hunt begins).
  • Does Carrie Crooner in Murder at the Four Deuces HAVE to sing?
    Absolutely not. Some people have someone that can sing wonderfully and assign them this character to play. In that case, let them shine during the evening. No one at our parties can carry a tune which is why we have Carrie get up to sing just before the murder interrupts her "song," then, if asked, we tell people that Carrie could not possibly go on after the dreadful incident... I mean, really, her new husband was just murdered! But I've seen videos of a great Carrie Crooner singing! Here are a few Carrie Crooner performances!
  • So what are the minimum or maximum number of people needed to host your games?
    Let's use an example of how our games are described: If a game description says a game is 10-20 with up to 50 with extra character packets. This means you need 10 as a minimum. Although we have been able to make every game work with a single less character, and you should contact us to help you determine how best to handle this for your party The 20 means there are a total of 20 characters in this game. Well, it's usually 21 or 22 if there are 1 or 2 planned murders. This ensures you have enough characters for 20 guests regardless of the original murder. Extra Characters Packets each have 10+ additional characters for your game that you can purchase. Each packet is different. These characters do NOT know they are extras. If you want to host larger parties, we have developed methods for doing this! Check out our Host Large Parties topics. Customers have successfully hosted our game with over 300 people! So no party is too big. You just have to determine the proper method for your event.
  • Your games have even numbers of females and males. What if we don't?
    Most of our games are written with even numbers of female and male characters. However, we have an all-female game with 5 optional male characters for hen parties. I want to say that while these characters are assigned a gender, that does not mean your guest playing a character must be the assigned gender. I've had all-female groups and all-male groups do our games. If a guest is comfortable with or prefers playing a character of a different gender, then I say go for it if you are good with it. We are not trying to box anyone into something they are uncomfortable with in one way or another. Make the choices that make your guests happy. After you have assigned the primary required characters, you can skip over the genders you don't have. As long as you have the bare minimum of the required gender, you are good.
  • Box or Download?
    The box and PDF download are basically the same materials. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each. Much also depends on your time frame. I must first make it clear that despite the price difference, the box set will be cheaper in the long run. In the box, we print everything for you. This includes Certificates on parchment paper, Name tags and Organizing labels are printed on peel-and-stick labels; over 40 booklets folded and stapled; and game money pre-packaged for each guest for an easy handout. This cost includes toner ($20), a ream of paper ($10), Certificate Paper, labels, box and label, 1-2 hours of labor, and Priority shipping. The download game will take you about 2 hours printing, (This is true of ANY murder mystery download game on the market, you will use a complete set of printer cartridges and more than 200 sheets of paper. The difference we charge is just our cost of production. We do not make any profit with the box over the download, but we always suggest going with the box, as it will save you time and money. You should also know that even if you purchase the box, you can get started on everything immediately. After purchase, you will receive an email with a link to download a file with the Host Guide, Guest List Worksheet, and straight-format background booklets that you can email to your guests after you assign them a character. The other side of the coin is that materials tend to disappear or get torn during a party. Thus, if you plan to use it more than once, you have two options: 1. Buy the download version and print it at your convenience for any party. 2. We also have added the ability to buy a Box Replacement from the store. It costs $40 for the box replacement plus shipping, which will still be cheaper and more time-saving than printing for another party. You will need to provide us with your Order Id# from your original box order when you order a replacement. 3. Many choose to purchase both the download AND the Box Upgrade, so they get both a download and a Box kit. Then they can print replacement items used up in the box game party and are ready for the next party! I hope this helps you to make the decision that will work best for you.
  • What is the Replay Value of your Games?
    Our games have excellent replay value. My group has played Murder at the Four Deuces 6 times now. We mix up the parts each time, and our group has a blast every time. The games can easily be played more than once as the characters are brought to life by the person playing them. We have found that every person that plays a character will do it differently. They will use the supplied info in different ways. One person will develop a completely different scheme than another using the same secret information. Each scheme will, in turn, affect other players and what they decide to do. It is just amazing to watch. While the first murder and the guilty party will be the same, you will find the game to run very differently each time, and it will be no less fun! Besides, most people will forget who that murderer is within a couple of months. Seriously, in our last game, only four people solved it after they played it half a dozen times! This is just one more great benefit to a non-scripted mingle game!
  • Do you have Multilingual Games?
    Our Murder at the Four Deuces is available in French and Dutch, but we are in the process of translating our games into several languages. We are looking for anyone who wants to help us do this. If you have a preferred language that you are fluent in, we will provide our games free of charge for a complete translation. We would pre-translate using Google translate, so it would only entail corrections of that translation instead of a full translation unless you prefer to translate directly from English. We would provide the games in a .doc or .odt (free, libre office) format. Then we will take your corrections, create PDFs of everything, and provide you a zip file of the completed works. You can do one game or all of them. It's entirely up to you. You receive a copy of anything you translate to host your own parties, and if you have a business website, we will give you translation credit with a link to your site on every character background so that it will be seen by many people every week. It's a great marketing opportunity!
  • Mature vs Tame or Clean
    Q: How graphic are the character profiles? Prohibition stuff is fine - but the prostitution stuff may be a little heavy if it's too graphic. How does game flow compare between tame and regular versions? A: We handle everything in a very tasteful manner. There will never be lewd names or language in our games. For Example: In Murder at the Four Deuces, we have one character, a Madam, but she is not a "working" woman but a businesswoman who treats her girls very well. In the clean version, this character is a matchmaker. One character was a former employee of the madam, but this is a well-kept secret. There are no actual prostitutes in the game; even if there were, we would never call one names. Q: Will there be any "dodgy" acting involved? Such as calling anyone a whore or something like that? A: Absolutely not. Anyone who does or says anything like this is doing it without instruction from us! Q; How does game flow compare between the versions? The flow is the same. The only difference is that a few facts were changed.
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