Alex Cannon
United Kingdom
Hassocks
West Sussex
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I'm trying to figure out a deduction game I'm designing for my wife who loves murder mysteries.

My idea is to have an array of suspect cards, each with a set of traits (light or dark hair, male or female, wear a hat etc.)

Players will (through some mechanism or other) gain clue cards which could either confirm or eliminate a particular trait. The player receiving the clue would flip one of the suspects over to their "eliminated" side: giving a hint to the other players about what they might have just received (or maybe a previous clue.)

The thing I can't really wrap my head around is how to work the character traits. I think I would like at least 8-10 clues throughout the game, but I don't really want more than say 70-80 different characters.

If each character has 3 traits and each trait had 3 options I'd need 27 cards to cover each combination, and if I only did eliminating traits you'd need to find or deduce 6 clues before you would know the answer.

If each trait had 4 options I'd need 64 character cards and you'd need to eliminate 9 traits which seems closest to my goal.

Am I missing something (like basic maths skill?) Are there any games out there that do this kind of thing I could look into?
 
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Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
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Please take a look at Mystery of the Abbey
 
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Michael Brettell
Australia
South Turramurra
NSW
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There's an entry in the latest solo pnp competition Black Sonata that did this quite well. Suspects are divided into 4 categories. You know your suspect's category. Each suspect lists the number of traits they share with a particular category.
 
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Freelance Police
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Palo Alto
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Lessee...

* You don't have to have every permutation in the game expressed equally. Frex, nothing wrong with more men than women, especially if mustaches will be a clue!

* Do the traits have to be defined by the game? Much like Dixit, you could have a deck of characters (made from free public domain pictures), play with only some of the deck, and have the players come up with the clue. A common hint game is to have two teams, with a clue giver and clue receiver. The clue giver gives clues that he hopes the other team won't pick up on. See Password.

* Clue, of course, has more than suspects. There's also location, motive, props, etc. to play with.
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