Who else loves a good mystery? I have a friend who’s a huge fan of Agatha Christie! Growing up, she’d always had this secret desire to play a role playing mystery game with a group of friends. The problem was that at the time, all the popular role-playing (RPG) games were things like Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering or computer games. Recently, she met a friend who loves unique games the way she does and finally got to play a mystery game!
The way it works is that you’re given a basic story line and cast of characters. Each player chooses their role in advance and arrives to the event dressed appropriately. For the Death by Chocolate game they played, the scene was 1900 at a posh hotel in Paris where the cast of characters had gathered to witness the unveiling of a chocolate egg.
They knew in advance that the murdered person was the creator of this fabulous chocolate egg and that he was killed when a giant chocolate egg exploded in his hotel room. The cast of characters included Fritz and his ventriloquist dummy, Dr. Sigmund Fraud, a boxer named Mike Bison and an eccentric archaeologist Dr. Doris Johnson, to name a few. As you can imagine, the costumes were quite inventive!
The Game Play
The game begins with the guests watching a brief DVD introduction by M. Hercule McClue (haha). It then proceeds for three rounds with the guests acting out their roles based on the scripts and information they’re given. They ask each other questions and provide answers that deceive without outright lying. After each round, McClue revisits the group via DVD to recap and provide additional information by way of exhibits.
At the end of three rounds, each person makes their guess as to who the murderer is and if he/she acted alone. Only the person playing the murderer knows the true answer. Once everyone has made their guess, Hercule McClue reveals the true answer. Despite my friend’s affinity for mystery novels, she didn’t get this one. In fact, she thought her character was the murderer!
Regardless of the outcome, on all accounts, it was a fabulous evening. Even her boyfriend who was a bit skeptical about the whole thing got into it and had a great time! So, I’m going to try a mystery role playing night with my friends. If you do too, I’d love to hear how it goes!