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Subject: How to host a murder - alternative rss

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Anders Nielsen
Denmark
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Are there any good alternatives to "How to Host a Murder"?

We are 8 players and have almost been through all the games.

It's a MUST that the game have suggestions to dress-ups.

kind regards

Anders - Denmark
 
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Meng Tan
Australia
Bridgeman Downs
Queensland
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I've heard good things about Engle Matrix Games.
 
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Knizia's "Hollywood Lives" is an alternative to the party Murder-mystery game, but still involves roleplaying, dress-up, and acting. It even has paths-to-victory for the less active roleplayers, and has a significant "gamer" mechanic at its core to entertain the hardcore gamers who need to be enticed to play dress-up.

The idea is that you play Hollywood movie-people from the golden era of Cinema (there is an alternative where you play modern-era people and use modern-era movies, if you wish). You show up, pick up your character packet, and proceed to schmooze each other in character for a bit. Everybody gets a pre-set amount of money in their character packet.

Then the movie-making starts. Specific scripts are auctioned off to players, who then take on the role of "producer" for that script. You have slots for "actors", which you can make deals for, or exchange favours for, etc. Certain key roles have more "stars" (worth more points), so you might make a deal like "Lend me half of the capital for this film in exchange for the lead role", or somesuch.

There are more acting roles than there are actors, which means that actors will wind up being the lead in one movie, but might play a bit-part in another person's movie.

You spend some time putting together the 2-minute movie trailer (which is really just the whole movie, done for laughs) and then you show it off to the audience (the rest of the crowd). Everybody shows their movie trailer at the same time (you act our each movie in turn) and then you have the Awards. Everybody secretly votes for Best Movie, Best Actor, and Best Actress. The actors in the top movies get bonus stars to their portfolio, as do the winners of the Best Actor and Best Actress (and I believe there is a second-place prize as well). There is a monetary bonus for having your movie win the award, so those people in it to play Producers as opposed to Actors also benefit from having their movies come out on top.

After the first round of movie, everybody fills out their new Star value on their nametag ("Hi there, you know me, I'm Dash Handsome, the Award Winning Actor from "Lost Weekend", and I'm willing to star in *your* movie if the price is right!)

Then you bid on a second set of scripts, and do the whole thing over again.

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The game comes in a booklet with all of the materials you need ready to photocopy/cut-out, etc. It includes base scripts for the core game, as well as Knizia's balanced versions for more/fewer players, alternative styles, alternative time-lines (some players are more comfortable with modern movies, so instead of doing musicals you do Sci-Fi with special effects, etc.)

The nifty thing is that instead of being a purely roleplaying exercise, there is actually a real game at the core of it, with paths to victory highly dependant upon your choice of script, how you manage your Star Power, whether you win the awards, how many movies you star in, the deals you cut to get there, etc.

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Admittedly I haven't actually played it, but I've read my copy a few times, and think it sounds like a really cool way to spend an evening. They map out the timeline (including altenative timelines for afternoon play, or for longer 3-movie sessions, etc.)

It really is a flexible little book, showcasing an entire engine for the game system, and the entire thing seems possible to replay over and over if the crowd gets into it.
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Dwsparks
United States
Huntsville
Alabama
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When the bullet hits the bone!
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Have you looked at less-scripted games, such as Long Live the King?
 
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M Hellyer
United States
Aurora
Illinois
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The Jamie Swise (Milton Bradley) games are the best. We've played at least 8 murder mystery games and "Who Killed Roger Ellington?" is the best because the characters are good (1940s U.S. post-war) and the solution is very logical. "Who Stole the Stars" and "The Twelfth Night Murder" are also excellent and allow for fun costuming. All 3 are better than any of th "How to Host A Murder Mystery" games we've played.
 
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