Murder Mystery Party Kit Details
Your guests are going to be playing the roles of the largely dysfunctional members of the Stout family, who have gathered at their ancestral home for a family reunion, hosted by the elderly Malachai Stout. None of the Stouts have ever gotten along particularly well with each other, but the promise of a substantial inheritance has encouraged them to at least put on their friendly faces and attend Malachai Stout's occasional gatherings.
Now, however, something awful has happened. This morning, when you came downstairs for breakfast, the door to Malachai's bedroom was ajar, and Malachai's lifeless body was crumpled upon the bed, his contorted purple features a mute testament to the fact that he had been smothered in his sleep. Further, the wall safe in Malachai's study has been opened, and the precious Stout family jewels are missing!
Solving the Mystery
The obvious course of action would be to phone the police or travel to the nearest town, but last night's storm has knocked out the phone lines, and the tremendous rain has washed out the mountain road to town. It appears that it will be up to the guests to solve the mystery of Malachai Stout's murder!
There are 8 primary characters in this game. Read the "How to Play" section for instructions on how to play this game with more than 8 people.
- Grandma Winifred Stout: Stately and stern, Winifred Stout, Malachai's wife, isn't the sort of grandmother who bakes cookies for the little ones; she's more the sort to scream at them to stay off the furniture.
- Penelope Clarington: Icy cold and snobbish, Penelope Clarington, Malachai's daughter, is far more concerned with maintaining proper appearances than anything else.
- Harrison Clarington: Penelope's husband Harrison is a drunkard and a cad. He never got along with either Malachai or Winifred, and he's only here because Penelope insisted.
- Mortimer Stout: Malachai's son and eldest child, Mortimer is stuffy, conservative, and driven primarily by his own financial interests.
- Monica Stout: Mortimer's trophy wife, Monica is a bubbly, talkative, sweet-as-saccharine woman who has always done her best to stay on good terms with all of her in-laws.
- Sabrina Stout: Mortimer and Monica's only daughter, Sabrina is a spoiled-rotten college student who is more interested in partying than in anything to do with her father's side of the family.
- Uncle Edwin Stout: Malachai's brother and the black sheep of the family, Crazy Uncle Eddie was never quite right after the war. He has lived on the Stout estate with Malachai and Winifred for years, keeping almost entirely to himself.
- Sebastian Seward: Malachai's long-suffering and much-maligned butler, Mr. Seward is responsible for keeping the Stout household running smoothly and putting up with nearly endless mistreatment from Malachai and Winifred.
- Investigator: If you have more than 8 players, additional players have the option of playing the role of "Investigators". In this role the players are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players.
Our line of 30 Minute Mysteries is specially designed for fast setup and easy play. All you need to do to get started is:
- Print out the party guide
- Gather a group of players
- Hand out character sheets and name tags
- Follow the party guide 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
While this mystery has 8 primary characters, it is designed to accommodate any number of additional players. See the "Expanded Game for Large Groups" section below if you have more than 8 players.
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 party's 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.
Round Two begins with the host 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.
Round Three, the final round, begins with the host 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 host will then read the final page of the mystery aloud, revealing the culprit. Any player or couple 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 this 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 (minimum 8 people)
- a printed copy of this 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!
Expanded Game For Large Groups
If you have more than 8 players, there are three ways that you can accommodate everyone:
- Investigator Role - Using this method, eight guests play the primary characters while the remainder of the guests each play the Investigator role. Players in this role are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players.
- Teams - Each primary character can be played by 2 or more people that work together as a team. This works well if you've invited several couples to your event, but also works if you break up your guests into eight larger teams of 3 or more guests.
- Multiple Groups - If you have 16 or more guests, you can break them up into groups of 8 players and run multiple instances of the game on their own. This method is best for large events (e.g. fundraisers) where each table of people can play through the game independently. This method goes well with the Investigator method, which allows you the flexibility to add more than 8 people to any group.
You can choose whether you'd like the Standard or Expanded version of a game when you add it to your cart.
Malachai Stout's Family Reunion is a 26-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:
- An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a 30-Minute Mystery
- A detailed party guidebook that will walk you through the event in a simple, easy-to-understand format
- Nametags and character sheets for each player - the character sheets include special goals and information unique to each character
- Step-by-step printing instructions
- And much more!
- This was our first "young adult" fellowship for your church so we really didn't know how well this idea would go, but it was a huge success
We had 28 people and we selected the 8 main characters by placing envelopes around the tables with the word "man or lady".
We set up the area like a banquet room and played each round asdinner was served. We had one person play the part of a "cousin" that found the body.
It was great - actually it was hard to end it because everyone kept asking questions.
Thanks for a great Party
- We had an appetizer table set up as people came in. This helped set the mood before everyone sat down.
We also had our teenagers serve as waitresses which added to the fun.
- The room was decorated like a banquet room. We had candlelight so it made the room feel so different than just dinner in our fellowship hall.
We also greeted everyone as they came in and tried to get them into the theme of the reunion.
- I planned a surprise party for my boyfriends birthday. We are both into card games, board games all sorts of games. I had all the guests/characters waiting and he had no idea, he was really surprised. I set the mood for the game in an old family house. The murder scene had Malachai's lifeless body crumpled upon the bed and the empty safe. It was a lot of fun. Our friends still talk about it. I made the game more interactive. As the host I was able to slow the game down and have the characters mingle and check out the murder scene and clues. I would recommend a murder mystery game to anyone who like games.
- Drinks and finger foods worked great.
- set up the murder scene to get the charters in the mood. As the host its always good to control the pace of eth game and allow adequate time for each character to speak OR to cut them off if they are talking too much.
- The Pinochle Club at our DelWebb community sponsored a community dinner. We all brought casseroles and salads; afterwards each of the eight tables with eight characters each played the game. I tweaked the dialogs by changing the murderer's paper so that he/she did not know his/her guilt. After Round Three, the members had to discuss "who did it," and the first table to bring me the correct answer won the $10.00 per person prize. Everyone loved the activity and can't wait for us to do it again.
- Assorted casseroles, salads, and desserts.
- The 39ers, a church group of senior citizens, presented this murder mystery as a program for our potluck dinner. Not only the participants but also the audience enjoyed the mystery.The parts were distributed a few days before the dinner, and the characters were well prepared for asking questions and responding to statements about themselves. Some members of the audience occasioally made comments, and there was much laughter. Even though this was a murder mystery, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the funny comments and antics of the participants. I would definitely recommend "Malachai Stout's Family Reunion" for a home dinner party or for a larger group such as ours.
- This was a potluck dinner; we had everything from fried chicken to homemade icecream. At a family reunion, people often have potluck dinners.
- We made signs for the characters to wear. It gave the name of the character and the relationship to Malachai. The man playing the part of the drunkard carried a brown paper sack with a bottle inside; he occasionally took a sip.
- This was my sisters 30th birthday partyand she really wanted to go to a murder mystery show in the city but limites funds would not allow it. I decided to try to find one we could do at home with little to no props. This game was awesome! The party guests really got in to character and we laughed so much. It was tons of fun. Whem my sister reflected on the party she said this was her favorite part. As if that wasnt great enough several of my guests said they had a ball playing and they want to do it again!!
- We had a cocktail party with bite sized finger style foods including finger sanwhiches, wings, spinich dip and broclli bites. We also served shrimp pasta im martini glasses and non alcoholic cocktails.
- Our theme was Mardi Gras masquerade. The guests were asked to wear masks and dress up in their finest cocktail attire.
- Half way thru the Mystery the 80 year old asked if someone had died. The 8 year old relished her part as did the others and after some of the questioning we laughed till we cried. We had a new guest at the family gathering so the part of facilitator was perfect for her and made her feel comfortable with easy to follow instructions.
Looking forward to our next party and a new mystery.
- Thank you so much. I run a small senior citizen activities center. Some of my clients have mild cognitive impairment and this murder mystery was easy for them to follow and understand. They had a lot of fun.
I liked that there was no props needed. I was looking for an after lunch activity after a cancellation and this was easy to download and easy to lead.
Thanks so much for saving the afternoon, we'll definitely do another.
- The game instructions were clear and the kit had just about everything we needed. We ended up buying props for folks so that they could really get into character. My experience as host was excellent. I did not play a character but instead had fun revealing clues and setting up rounds.
One piece of feedback I got a few times was that the killer was so obvious that folks didn't pick that person (they thought it was too easy to be true, so a lot of folks picked someone else). It didn't stop everyone from having a good time.
- We had 75 people at the Reunion. We made “each table” a character” . For the 2 extra tables. We made them detectives. Everyone got really into it. It just so happens everyone got a GREAT laugh…because when I read the characters…the “drunk uncle”. The REAL LIFE “Drunk Uncle” was a that table! It was hilarious!
I really liked your packet, it was simple and easy to use. Our people ad libbed and really made it fun. Everyone commented on how nice it was.
We played in a hotel banquet room. It was an ALL AGE event. After we played, we had each person at each table introduce themselves and who exactly they “belonged” to in the family.
What I found interesting is that people REALLY WERE trying to figure it out… They got real serious at one point. It was comical.
I would definitely recommend this one for other families.
- We bought “Malachai Stout’s Family Reunion” for our daughter’s 13th birthday party. It worked really well and everyone had a lot of fun!
We dressed up as the servants and ran the game. The girls did a champion job of getting dressed up, and although the boys didn’t (of course!) everyone got into character and had a great time!
We took our time with the game: going through a clue while they were snacking initially, then another clue during dinner, and one during dessert. And in-between there was a lot of random madness on the kid’s part (elsewhere in the house!) but that just added to the fun.
The kids had a blast and it was a really nice way to have boys and girls at a party and have enough cool things to do, and bring everyone together often as a group. And as it was a game, it meant no-one was left out, everyone had their part to play. Our younger child even got to play the part of the dead body! Which of course meant he got to have lots of fun as well (and he got dressed up in a suit for the part, which he enjoyed).
It was a real blast, and it was so convenient to be able to buy the script and instructions!
- We covered the dining room table with a white tablecloth and bought a collection of candlestick holders from the op shop (second hand shop). It looked fabulous! We also downloaded some storm music (thunder, lightning and heavy rain) to add a bit of atmosphere. That worked really well too.