I greatly enjoy deduction games. The standard rules for Spooks were not giving me much in the way of deduction, so I experimented with some other ways to play.
It's worth noting, first of all, that if you remove one copy of every card you can play using the exact questioning rules from Clue and you'll have a nice game of deduction with a Halloween theme. It's also a nice change that you don't have to roll such high numbers to move from room to room in Spooks (as is often the case in Clue).
However, I also wrote up the following rules. My goal was to use as many of the components from Spooks as possible, provide some interesting deduction and options, but also not make the game exactly like Clue.
We've only played with these rules once and I made some untested changes to the written draft below. I liked the deduction and the fact that you often have to give information to get information. However, I'm not suggesting it's a great, problem-free variant. I thought they may be a good starting place for someone who has the game and would like to try something new with it. Any comments or suggestions are encouraged.
Advanced Rules for Spooks
Follow the rules from the standard game except as noted.
First, remove both cards for the Parlor, Cellar and Observatory. Those rooms may not be entered during the game. This is meant only to shorten the game.
After dealing out the cards, all players must reveal and discard any pairs they were dealt. All players should note these pairs were removed from the game.
Move as described in the rulebooklet, then take one of these actions: Whisper, Search for Clues or Guess the Haunting Mystery
1. Ask one of the other people whose pawn is in the same room as yours (if there is anyone) to show you a specific card.
2. Then pass two of your cards facedown to the player you addressed. If you are holding a copy of the card you asked about then that card must be one of the two you pass to him.
3. Finally, that player must pass you one facedown card. If possible it must be the one you asked for.
After both players are finished examining the cards and taking notes, the cards are returned to their original owners.
To Search for Clues:
Make a two-part statement that names two cards. (Example: “I felt a chill in the hall.”) One of the two cards you name must be the room you’re in unless you choose to (and are able to) reveal that card from your hand and discard it.
Now each player (starting at your left and moving clockwise around the table) must pass you a single facedown card that was part of your statement if possible. If he or she has no such card, the player will pass nothing. This continues until you’ve either seen two cards or until all players have had a chance to show you a card, whichever comes first. Cards passed in this way are returned to their owners after you look at them and take notes.
To Guess the Haunting Mystery:
From any room, simply state the three cards that you think are part of the Haunting Mystery. Check your guess in the Book of Spells. If you’re right, you win! If you’re not right, you cannot win the game. You will no longer take turns in the game, but keep your pawn where it is. You still must pass cards to other players as described above if they Whisper to you or Search for Clues.
When someone Whispers to you, you must pass that player a card whether you hold what was asked for or not. When a player Searches for Clues, however, you only pass a card to him or her if you have one that was included in the statement. Players need to understand this so they don’t pass an unrelated card during a Search for Cues action and needlessly give up very useful information!
When you take notes during the game, it will be important to track which cards you’ve seen and who is holding them. You'll probably want to use a full sheet of paper rather than the notesheets that come with the game.