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Hosting a Murder Mystery Party
Successfully organizing and executing a Murder Mystery Party from Playing With Murder will involve the following steps:
- Decide which party interests you, purchase it and download it. Playing With Murder offers a variety of exciting murder-mystery parties, each with their own particular theme and setting. Once you have decided on a party and purchased it, your party will be available for you to instantly download.
- Read the entire book thoroughly. The party guidebook contains detailed information on every aspect of planning and executing your party, and you will find that a comprehensive understanding of the source material will make each of your responsibilities as Host or Hostess much simpler and more enjoyable.
- Several Weeks Before the Party:
- Decide on the date of your event. The more time you give yourself to prepare, the more successful your event will be. It is recommended that you give yourself a minimum of two weeks to prepare for your party.
- Decide on your location, menu, and decorations. You have numerous options for determining how to decorate your venue and what food to serve. You should decide on these options well in advance of the actual party and create a list of supplies that you will need. Your party guidebook will provide suggestions on menu items and decorations.
- Decide on your guest list and send out invitations. You will need a certain number of confirmed participants in order for your party to run properly. The party guidebook contains detailed information on assigning characters and issuing invitations.
- One Week Before the Party:
- Purchase any necessary supplies. If you require special decorations or ingredients for your menu, purchase them well in advance of your party date. Waiting until the day of or day before the event will be more stressful and difficult than taking the time beforehand.
- Verify attendance. Contact each of your guests beforehand and verify that they will still be able to make it. If there are any last minute cancellations, you may need to bring in alternate players.
- Prepare the paperwork. Print out copies of the character sheets, clues, tokens, voting sheets, and other relevant materials. Your party guidebook will contain specific instructions regarding what needs to be printed.
- One Day Before the Party:
- Decorate your venue. Depending on the complexity of your decorations, you may wish to begin decorating your venue a full day in advance.
- Begin preparing the food. Any food items that can be prepared in advance should be readied before the day of the party. While this will, of course, depend somewhat on your particular menu, ideally you should have everything ready to either go in the oven or be set out on the table.
- The Day of the Party:
- Finish decorating. If there is additional decorating that needs to be done, try to do it several hours in advance of guest arrival; remember that some people may end up arriving earlier than you expect!
- Finish preparing the food. If there are items that need to be cooked or prepared on the day of the party, have them ready to go before your guests arrive. Remember that once the party starts, you will have numerous responsibilities and will not be able to spend too much time in the kitchen.
- Prepare the scavenger hunt (if necessary). Some parties will require a scavenger hunt for clues or other items. Your party guidebook will contain instructions on how to prepare a scavenger hunt.
- Set out folders with character sheets and other prepared materials. Have all of your paperwork prepared and ready for distribution.
- Upon Guest Arrival Use the guidebook to run the party. Each party guidebook contains a section that serves as a step-by-step manual that will walk you through the events that are to occur once the party begins.
Playing a 30 Minute Mystery
Our line of 30 Minute Mysteries are specially designed for fast setup and easy play. All you need to do to get started is:
- Download the mystery booklet (PDF file)
- Print the mystery booklet
- Gather together a group of players
- Hand out character sheets and name tags
- Follow along with the instructions
Best of all, the party facilitator can choose whether they join in the game and solve the mystery along with the other guests!
Playing the Game
30 Minute Mysteries are intended to be played around a table by eight people (or up to eight teams). Each of the players will be assigned a character and given a character sheet that explains who or what their character is, what information their character knows, and how their character should respond to events that occur during the game.
The game will progress in rounds. Round One will start with the host or hostess reading a script that explains the nature of the mystery that is afoot. After the introduction is read, each player at the table will share a piece of information from their character sheet, and all the other players will have an opportunity to respond to that piece of information.
Next Round Two begins with the facilitator sharing a clue that should shed further light on the mystery. After the clue is revealed, the players will once again go around the table, providing another piece of information and then responding.
After the second time around the table, the game will proceed to the Final Round. The Final Round begins with the facilitator sharing the last clue. The players then go around the table a final time, sharing their last piece of information and responding to each other.
By this point, the players should have learned enough information to be able to piece together a theory about who was responsible for the murder. Each player (or team) will say the name of the person who they think is responsible. The facilitator will then read the final page of the mystery aloud, revealing the culprit. Any player or team who correctly guessed the identity of the killer is declared a winner.
From start to finish, the entire game should generally only require half an hour to complete.
Note: As the host or hostess, there are certain times when you will be called upon to read aloud passages from your booklet. Passages that are meant to be read aloud will be clearly labeled and contained in a gray box.
What Do I Need in Order to Play?
Our 30 Minute Mysteries are specifically designed to not require very much in the way of supplies. All you really need is:
- a table to sit around (or a large playing area where the guests can sit in a circle)
- a group of players (the minimum is eight; if you have more than eight, multiple guests can work together to play the same character)
- a printed copy of the booklet
- a pair of scissors (to cut out nametag placards for each character)
- pencils or pens for each player
- Scratch paper (for players to take notes on)
- Folders (to help players conceal their character sheets)
If you wish to do so, you may also choose to provide prizes for the winner or winners (any players who accurately identify the culprit). Some suggested prizes might include candy, bath and body products, homemade treats or any other small, inexpensive gift item; remember that it is possible for multiple players to win, so if you choose to offer prizes, make sure you have enough on hand!