Hosting A Murder Mystery Or Grand Theft Game: What You Need To Know

There has been a boom of team-building games lately, many of which are centered on a set of objectives central to the theme of the game. For example, a team murder mystery game invites people to wear costumes and show up to a location to participate in an event where one person sits out as the murder victim, fully decked out in the chosen method of murder (e.g. stabbing, poisoning, gunshot), and everyone else has to figure out who the murderer is and why he or she committed the murder. Other versions circle around other major crimes, such as the theft of jewels and priceless artwork, or an open safe with unknown missing objects. If you would like to host such a game, here is what you need to know.

Host Offline, Online, or a Mix

These games can be hosted online, where everyone enters a room and is given information about the scenario and clues are handed off to individual players without other players seeing those clues. Everyone in the virtual room, however, has to work together to solve the mystery. Offline, the play takes place in a physical space and players are often encouraged to come in costume. Each may be required to bring a specific prop, too. Gameplay can also be a mix of both of these things; clues are sent by text, but playing the game occurs in a physical space.

Objectives and Rules Are Already Provided

You do not have to be the one to come up with the rules or any of the objectives in the game. Most of these games are prescripted with just the exception of how each person portrays their role. You can buy a game or enter into one that happens frequently, and the best part is that the game could change if a decision by any one character causes the flow of the game to change directions. Objectives and rules remain the same, but how everyone arrives at the solution may not. 

Only the Thief, the Murder Victim, and/or the Murderer Know Who They Are (and Even They Do Not Know Why)

In the theft version, only the thief may know who he/she is, and he/she may be instructed to redirect the group at any one time, which forces the team to rethink what is happening. In the murder version, only the murdered and the murderer know who they are. Since the murder victim is not allowed to speak and the murderer cannot reveal him/herself, everyone else must work alongside the murderer to figure things out. The people in these roles also do not know the motivation behind their character roles until the very end.