Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Game Idea: Mystery Novel

This is a sketch of an idea: if anyone knows of an already existing game like this then please let me know, I want to play it!

A Microscope/Cluedo hybrid game. Together the players work to simultaneously create and uncover an Agatha Christie style murder. I'm really thinking of the way that information is presented, uncovered and connections made, a little like a Poirot story.

Perhaps the following elements could be used in some way:
  • Every turn a player draws a card and Oracle-style this gives a provocation as to a clue or to the investigation. Or random tables could help populate a setting with 1920s/1930s upper class characters with murder in mind, and also introduce other plot elements, objects or artifacts.
  • Microscope-style event placing leads to finding out what happened - or what people think they saw happening - with the timeline being populated by only scenes (no events or periods).
    • There could be a rough positioning of scenes in to three periods perhaps, "Before the Murder", "During the Murder", "The Investigation."
  • One feature of Poirot novels is the fact that he is the only detective (save for Chief Inspector Japp, who invariably has the wrong end of the stick). Perhaps the GM could be the detective - in that sense determining the focus at times to allow the other players reign to be characters, bring to light evidence or lay red herrings.
  • Each player could have their own little playbook of random tables that is distinct from the others.
  • Rotating GMship could occur between games to allow players to take turns being "the Detective" and being "the Suspects."
I think there is some scope here; my "little grey cells" are working away trying to draw some attention to possibilities, and to make connections between others.

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