Set Sail for Disaster
Your players have been invited on a pleasure cruise by Captain Michael Von Ammon. The guest list includes a number of the Captain's friends, family members, and business associates, as well as the crew of the Captain's sixty-foot yacht, the Elizabeth May. Everyone is expecting an evening cruise replete with dinner, drinks, and dancing - they aren't expecting foul weather, the murder of the Captain, or a sudden shipwreck on a deserted island in the uncharted Caribbean.
This mystery is divided into two primary segments. During the first portion of the evening, Act One, the events take place on the Elizabeth May, Captain Von Ammon's ship, a sixty-foot pleasure cruiser manned by the Captain, the Ship's Engineer (played by the Host/Hostess), and a handful of wait staff. As the evening progresses, a tropical storm rolls in, casting a somewhat ominous pall over the festivities. As the hour grows late, lightning strikes the ship, the lights go out in the cabin, and the partygoers hear a thud and a scream. When the players light candles they will find that someone has taken advantage of the momentary darkness to kill the Captain, bludgeoning him in the head with a candlestick. The mystery is afoot!
The Perfect Crime?
Unfortunately, the partygoers will have no immediate opportunity to determine the identity of the killer; the ship has been struck by lightning, blowing most of the mechanical systems. Worse yet, she is taking on water, and the storm is intensifying. Amidst the crash of the waves and the roar of thunder there can be heard a rending shriek as the hull splinters. The partygoers are tossed about and lose consciousness.
Solving the Mystery
Act Two opens with the characters regaining consciousness on the shore of a small island, amid the wreckage of the ship. Miraculously, everyone has survived (except, of course, the Captain, whose body has been lost at sea). It looks like there is enough left of the ship to put together a makeshift raft, and there are enough resources on the island to feed the group for quite a while 'but everyone is nervous at the knowledge that there is undoubtedly a murderer in their midst. Now the players must work together to collect sufficient food and water, build an escape boat from the wreckage of the Elizabeth May and try to identify the murderer of Captain Von Ammon!
Set Sail for Disaster is suitable for 10 to 22 guests, including the host or hostess (who will play the role of Drew Henson, the Ship's Engineer). The available guests include:
- Michael Von Ammon (The Captain): The well-to-do owner of the Elizabeth May, Captain Von Ammon is wealthy, successful, and well respected by all.
- Elizabeth Von Ammon (The Captain's Wife): A society lady of excellent breeding, Mrs. Elizabeth Von Ammon is highly cultured, beautiful, and well mannered. She is happily married to Captain Von Ammon and lives a lifestyle that is envied by many.
- Dr. Jessie Parker (The Doctor): Dr. Jessie Parker is a highly regarded plastic surgeon who caters to the wealthy and famous. Why Dr. Parker was invited on this cruise is something of a mystery to the other guests.
- Mortimer Stout (The Banker): Mortimer Stout is a financial genius who has a better understanding of accounting than he does of people. He is a longtime business associate of Captain Von Ammon.
- Shelly Summers (The Actress): Ms. Shelly Summers is a popular B-movie actress whose keen mind belies her somewhat ditzy demeanor.
- Kris Laramie (The Author): Kris Laramie is a best-selling author and critic, known both for a sharp tongue and a love of the bottle.
- Jonathon Whipple (The Philanthropist): Jonathon Whipple was once a feared and respected businessman, known for his cutthroat approach. In recent years, he has devoted himself wholeheartedly to charity, leading many to believe that he is seeking to atone for some dark secret.
- Miss Alexandra Crane (The Debutante): Miss Alexandra Crane has only recently become part of the local social scene. Hailing from an old and powerful East Coast family, she is an impulsive young lady who enjoys horseback riding, dancing, and theater.
- Ashley Jones (Boat Staff): Ashley Jones is one of Captain Von Ammon's hired hands, there to make certain that the ship (and the party) run smoothly.
- Jake Morrison (The Gambler): A close friend of the Captain, Mr. Jake Morrison is something of a loveable scoundrel; his greatest pleasures in life are fine wine, fine women, fine cigars, and the lure of the poker table (in no particular order).
- Bridget Belle (The Model): Equal parts sugar and spice, Bridget Belle is elegant, trendy, and sharp-tongued. A very successful swimsuit model, Ms. Belle is quite used to men doing whatever she requests.
- Kelly McCorvin (Boat Staff): Kelly McCorvin is one of Captain Von Ammon's hired hands, there to make certain that the ship (and the party) run smoothly.
- Lane Garrison (Boat Staff): Lane Garrison is one of Captain Von Ammon's hired hands, there to make certain that the ship (and the party) run smoothly.
- Taylor Sattenworth (Boat Staff): Taylor Sattenworth is one of Captain Von Ammon's hired hands, there to make certain that the ship (and the party) run smoothly.
- Drew Henson (The Ship's Engineer): (Played by the Host/Hostess) Drew Henson is the engineer of the Elizabeth May, in charge of keeping the yacht sailing smoothly and the crew at their posts. The Engineer doesn't normally mingle much with the Captain's friends, preferring to stay below decks with the machinery and the security system.
- Claude LeQue (The Cook): Educated at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Claude LeQue is Captain Von Ammon’s personal chef. He rules the ship’s kitchen with an iron hand.
- Milton Sanford (The Gourmet): A gourmet and food critic, Milton Sanford makes a living writing an occasional regular column for Epicure Monthly, a little-known culinary journal.
- Jimmy Grimes (The Janitor): Jimmy Grimes is the caretaker and Janitor aboard The Elizabeth May. It is his responsibility to keep the ship free of dust and dirt and to assist The Engineer in maintaining the yacht’s engine.
- Franklin Smith (The Architect): A well-to-do architect and old friend of the Von Ammon family, Franklin Smith has gained several very lucrative contracts through The Captain’s generous use of his contacts.
- Regina Guissepe (The Bartender): Polite, professional, and very discrete, Regina Guissepe is the bartender aboard The Elizabeth May. She makes a killer Bloody Mary and knows how to keep a secret.
- Phyllis Howe (The Lawyer): Phyllis Howe specializes in corporate law and copyright issues. She became friends with Elizabeth Von Ammon after meeting her at an art show.
- Ophelia Saint (The Artist): Ophelia Saint is an up and coming artist who has earned a degree of fame for her otherworldly sculptures.
Follow these steps to host this mystery:
- Each guest will each assume the role of a particular character
Mystery Parties involve a combination of improvisational acting, storytelling, and creative problem solving. Each guest will play the part of that character throughout the course of the game. Each character has specific personality traits, goals, secrets, and information, all of which are included in the character sheet; a big part of the fun is getting into character and taking on a new, exciting role.
- A mysterious Event will occur
At some point during the party, an Event will occur that will force the players to come together in order to solve a problem or unravel a mystery. Traditionally, the Event in question will be the murder of one of the characters (as played by a guest), but the parties crafted by Playing With Murder often use this basic framework to accommodate different types of Events, thereby ensuring that your guests will be surprised and entertained (even if they are veteran murder mystery party players).
- Solve the mystery!
Your guests will need to use the information that their characters know (as well as additional clues that are provided during the game) to solve the mystery or overcome the problem posed by the Event. Typically this culminates in the guests voting on the identity of the murderer, but again, different parties will have different specific goals. All of our parties also come complete with additional subgames (treasure hunts, unique character goals and special puzzles) that are guaranteed to keep the action intense and your guests motivated and focused.
First time hosting a murder mystery party?
Visit our How to Host a Mystery Party page to get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your murder mystery party.
Set Sail for Disaster is a 113-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:
- An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a mystery-party and provides specific tips on props, menu items, sound effects and special tips to help make your party exciting, memorable and easy to run
- Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your party
- 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 tips on costuming and role-playing, as well special goals and information unique to each character
- Fully customizable invitations, complete with RSVP cards and guest lists
- 6 pages of full color props and clues, including tokens representing the wreckage of the Elizabeth May, salvaged electronics that will help the players solve the mystery and numerous food and water tokens for use during a scavenger hunt
- Voting sheets
- Customizable awards for your guests
- And much more!
With your purchase of Set Sail for Disaster you will also receive the following:
- Step-by-step printing instructions
- A zip file of mp3 audio effects for use with your party
- Instructions on how to use these audio clips to best effect
Playing With Murder offers several audio files for use with each of our Mystery Party Kits. The audio clip below provides a sample montage of the sound effects included with Set Sail for Disaster.
Play audio sample:
The specific audio files for Set Sail for Disaster include:
- The sounds of a thunderstorm at sea, gradually increasing in intensity
- The struggle and murder of the hapless victim
- The sound of the ship, the Elizabeth May, being tossed about and ultimately wrecked
- And more!