Malachai Stout's Family Reunion
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!
Malachai Stout's Family Reunion is suitable for 8 guests (or 8 couples), including the host or hostess. The available guests include:
- 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.
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 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 couples). 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.
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 couple) 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 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 (the minimum is eight; if you have more than eight, multiple guests can work together to play the same character)
- 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)
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!