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How to Host a Murder: The Watersdown Affair» Forums » General

Subject: What's it like? rss

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Filipe Cunha
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Since this is the highest ranked game of the series, and got me intrigued, can someone care to explain how does the "How to Host a Murder" series work? There's no explanation whatsoever on the description, it only describes the case being played...
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Randy Cox
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First, don't pay much attention to the rankings and ratings of this series. Almost every one is good and because this was the first one released, more people have rated it, thus pushing its "Geek Average" (bayesian average) up.

As to how the game plays, and this applies to most of the other series like Murder a la Carte and Mysteries by Vincent and Life of the Party as well, it's sort of a four act play where the players are the participants. Each person has their own info booklet with background about their character--some of which is known to all and some of which is secret. Each person introduces themselves in character so that everyone knows a little about one another.

(Note: these games can be played with a meal, and each step is associated with a different course.)

The main part of the game are the scenes or acts or chapters (depends on what series you're playing as to what they're called). Each player reads a short list of things they know about others (usually three facts) and a few things about themself that they don't want to divulge but must if directly asked (e.g. "I was upstairs at 8:00 because I was in fact looking through the deceased's dresser, but I did not kill him.").

These rounds play out until everyone has divulged the three (or so) facts and a little discussion ensues. Then it's time for everyone to read the next section in their book. Same thing, then on to the third (and usually final) round. After that, everyone sits around accusing and discussing who the culprit(s) is/are and eventually everyone makes a guess.

The final scene is played out in sequence (each person's booklet has a number on that page). They read out what they were doing, their motives, and what actually happened from their perspective. Finally, the last to speak was the criminal.

When playing the games, there is often a rule that the murderer can lie (no one else can). However, in some episodes, the murderer doesn't even know they are the murderer until the end, so no one can lie. But you can always evade and tell only as much as you were asked.

It's a really good game, though many people think of it as more role playing than gaming.
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Filipe Cunha
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Randy Cox wrote:
First, don't pay much attention to the rankings and ratings of this series. Almost every one is good and because this was the first one released, more people have rated it, thus pushing its "Geek Average" (bayesian average) up.

As to how the game plays, and this applies to most of the other series like Murder a la Carte and Mysteries by Vincent and Life of the Party as well, it's sort of a four act play where the players are the participants. Each person has their own info booklet with background about their character--some of which is known to all and some of which is secret. Each person introduces themselves in character so that everyone knows a little about one another.

(Note: these games can be played with a meal, and each step is associated with a different course.)

The main part of the game are the scenes or acts or chapters (depends on what series you're playing as to what they're called). Each player reads a short list of things they know about others (usually three facts) and a few things about themself that they don't want to divulge but must if directly asked (e.g. "I was upstairs at 8:00 because I was in fact looking through the deceased's dresser, but I did not kill him.").

These rounds play out until everyone has divulged the three (or so) facts and a little discussion ensues. Then it's time for everyone to read the next section in their book. Same thing, then on to the third (and usually final) round. After that, everyone sits around accusing and discussing who the culprit(s) is/are and eventually everyone makes a guess.

The final scene is played out in sequence (each person's booklet has a number on that page). They read out what they were doing, their motives, and what actually happened from their perspective. Finally, the last to speak was the criminal.

When playing the games, there is often a rule that the murderer can lie (no one else can). However, in some episodes, the murderer doesn't even know they are the murderer until the end, so no one can lie. But you can always evade and tell only as much as you were asked.

It's a really good game, though many people think of it as more role playing than gaming.


Yea, I knew it was more role playing-oriented, and actually, that's what drew me.
 
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Julius Waller
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I havent played this version but have done several others with quite large groups of friends. People really got into it and it was actually a lot of fun. As ever preparation helps so circulating the rules and the character briefs before you have your actual event certainly helps. Its not a game to be won really - even if the point is to unmask the murderer. The point of the game is to play it - its not for everyone in that it requires a bit of improvisation acting but the Host a Murder series is an easy intro to be sure.
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