Hi there. I've started few days ago an indiegogo crowdfunding to support the translation of Bloody Mary
, a "murder cocktail party" originally published in Italian by Delos Books
I've used an original format from Remo Chiosso and Antonello Lotronto of murderparty.it fame (the fathers of murder mystery party in Italy): it is called "Serata in Giallo" (i.e. "mystery evening") and since it's quite good I'm gonna give here a little preview of it.
The scenarios provide five roles as suspects. Therefore, the minimum number of participants required is five; each person will take the role of one of the possible guilty characters, while the organiser will play a detective in order to keep the game going and encourage everyone to talk.
However, the game is much more entertaining if there are more than five players. In this case some players – preferably the ones who are most comfortable acting – will play the suspects, while the others will form a “detective team” which will have the tasks of asking questions and investigating. The detective team can also be split into two or more groups of detective who will compete, so that the game will benefit from an element of competition. The two teams might be, for example, the police and a private detective agency, engaged in a race to find out who will solve the crime.
On a historical note, I should add that this format actually originated because in Italy (dunno in other parts of the world) if you are inviting 6 friends, usually much more can show up. :-) So, while in your usual larp you have that number of roles and you must have that number of players, here you are comfortable knowing that you can accomodate a variable number of people.
Structure of the game
Each of the scenarios in this series follows the same simple pattern:
the organiser invites everyone to sit down, placing the five suspect next to each other, and introduces their characters by reading out the “General Introduction”; then he/she hands each suspect a copy of their own character sheet (however, it makes things easier if this was sent to them in advance so that they had time to read it before the game); the detective team is handed one or more copies of the detective sheet. Both suspects and investigators also get the clues marked “A”.
the investigating team tries to shed some light on the suspects’ secrets by asking them questions, making accusations and daring conjectures. We must point out that only the murderer is allowed to lie
. All the other characters can try delaying tactics, ambiguous answers or avoiding answering altogether, but of course this will increase suspicions about them. The first part of the game focuses on the events in the days and months before the crime
. Act 1 ends when there are no more questions and the suspects have said everything they had to say: each of their character sheets includes several statements and pieces of evidence that must be made public. Usually these statements are "triggers" to ignite the discussion and also depict some of the other characters as potential cuplrit.
a brief pause, and an new set of clues, marked “B”, are handed out.
questions and answers about the day of the murder
. Act 2 proceeds in the same way as Act 1.
hand out the clues marked “C”, after which no more questions may be asked. The investigating team gathers to compare their hypotheses and make an accusation; the suspects may do the same, separately of course.
the investigators make their accusations and, at the end, the organiser invites the guilty party to reveal themselves. The winner is whoever guessed correctly; if nobody goes, the guilty party wins; but everyone wins if they spent an enjoable evening.
If you have questions I'll be glad to answer.