Goals and objectives

This page contains advice on getting the best from your character's goals and objectives when playing an interactive murder mystery game.

How do you measure success in a murder mystery game?

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.)

Two players comparing notes in Hollywood LiesTwo players compare notes whilst trying to achieve their goals

What is a goal?

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."

"Help your friend achieve their goals."

"Make sure that tonight's auction is a success."

How do I achieve my goals?

To achieve your goals you will normally need to get other people to help you.

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 goals secret?

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."

(On the other hand, I find that my game can be more interesting once my secrets are no longer secrets. If others know that I am a secret agent, then they are likely to come to me with things that they think a secret agent needs to know.)

Read your character sheet. Again!

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.

Don't worry if you don't complete all your goals

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.)

In some of the games here, your character might even die. If that happens, grab the opportunity for a really spectacular death scene - be dramatic and blurt out your secrets!

PS - top secret advice

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.

Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Don't know where to start?

Here's my suggested quick route through the site:

Step 1 - Go to Choosing a Game to choose the game that suits your party best.

Step 2 - Review the Tips for Hosts for helpful advice.

Step 3 - If you want to keep up to date with the latest murder mystery game news, click on my What's New page.

Step 4 - Once you've had your party - tell me how it went! Click here to tell me your murder mystery party story.

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