Goals and objectives
The usual measure of success in a murder mystery party game is whether you solve the murder or not. Interactive murder mystery games are slightly different, as you will have a number of goals and your success can be measured by how well you achieve those. (Of course, the main indicator of the party's success is the amount of fun you had playing. If you failed all your goals but still had a fabulous time, then you shouldn’t think of the party as anything other than a success.)
You will usually have several different goals. These might include things like: "Find out who the murderer is - after all, you might be next!", "Find out who has the diamonds and try to buy them.", "Find your missing passport."
To achieve your goals you will normally need to get other people to help you. And that usually means negotiating with them because they will often want something in return. It’s often useful to find allies as soon as possible as they will help you. Of course, they will expect you to help them back, and provided that their goals don’t conflict with yours, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
Should you keep your goals secret? Well, it depends on the goal. Some goals can easily be shared: "I’ve lost my passport – can you help me recover it?" Goals that might reveal one of your terrible secrets are perhaps best left hidden: "I’ve lost my secret agent transmitter codes – oops, perhaps I shouldn’t have said that."I often find that part way through a game I’ve forgotten at least one of my goals. I’ve been too busy concentrating on something else that it’s completely slipped my mind. So I find somewhere quiet to re-read my character sheet and discover what I’ve forgotten.
It’s unlikely that you’ll complete all your goals. But that doesn’t matter – as long as you try, there’s nothing wrong with failing. (Failing can sometimes be more fun than succeeding.)
P.S. Here’s something I probably shouldn’t say. If you need something from someone, and they ask you to pay for it, there’s a good chance that the price will only rise as the game proceeds. In the early stages of the murder mystery game, people won’t necessarily have figured out how much money is in circulation, and often underestimate the worth of some items. This doesn’t always work, but it often seems to be true.
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Article by Steve Hatherley. Find out more about hosting interactive murder mystery games for your friends and family at http://www.great-murder-mystery-games.com.