How To Use The Items Included In Your Package
How to Use the Suspect List and Character Complexity Ratings
Your Host Materials folder contains a file called “Suspect List”. Below each Suspect is a “Character Complexity Rating”, which gives each character a 3, 4 or 5 rating. These are designed to help you assign characters to your guests based on how “complex” the role is, with 5 being more complicated and three being less complicated. You might assign a 3 role to someone who is shy, apprehensive or worried they might do something to jeopardize the mystery (which is impossible, so don’t worry about that). A 5 rated role could go to someone who loves the spotlight, is outgoing or is really excited about your mystery party. Use the 4 roles for everyone in between. Remember, these are only guidelines. A “5” role is not difficult, there is just more information than a 4 or a 3 character.
Many guests and hosts often think that because a character is a 5, they are probably the killer. I assure you, this is rarely the case. A “3” role is just as likely to be the killer as a 4 or 5 role.
How to Use the Suspect Guides
Suspect Guides are provided in your mystery materials in a separate file for each role. These guides describe the character, their hidden motives, what information they know that can be shared with everyone else and instructions for how to play. The Guides are formatted in individual files so you can easily send the .pdf file to each guest playing a character. Even better, if you, as the host, would like to participate, you don’t have to worry about handling the clues and potentially spoiling the mystery for yourself.
Each person playing a Suspect will receive a Suspect Guide. These guides tell each Suspect how to play and what to expect… so that you don’t have to!
We strongly recommend emailing each Suspect (guest playing a role) their Suspect Guide to cut down on printing. Sending them their information ahead of time allows them to get familiar with their information. Some Suspects have a complicated back story, and most guests find it helpful to have time to let all of the information sink in, but ultimately, what you do for your party is entirely up to you. Some hosts like to email the Suspect Guides and then print the vital information (found in the last few pages of the Suspect Guide) for their guests to refer to at the party. Others allow their Suspects to print their own information, and still others print everything to give to the Suspects at the party. Find the option that fits your party, your guests and your hosting style and go with it!
How to Email Suspect Guides to Your Guests
It’s easy to email the Suspect Guides to your guests. Simply attach the Suspect Guides to an email to each guest and click “send”. We use a .pdf format because most computers already have a .pdf reader program, like Adobe Acrobat, making it easier for your guests to use their Suspect guides.
How to Use the Clues (found inside the Suspect Guides)
There are two types of information the Suspects will receive. The first is “Hide” information. This type of information is to be kept secret as much as possible, and not offered freely. If the Suspect is asked directly about the hide information however, they must answer truthfully.
The other type of information is called “Share” information. Share information MUST be shared with others, and includes things like alibis and suspicious things they saw others doing around the time of the murder. The Share information is what the Suspects will use to direct suspicion away from themselves and toward the other Suspects.
All clues are directed at the player (for example, “you saw the culprit running down a dark hallway”). For the sake of getting everyone into the mystery, share clues should be transferred into the first person (for example, “I saw the culprit running down a dark hallway”) and into the player’s own words.
How To Use The Name Tags
Your mystery package includes Name Tags. They are standard name tag size and will fit inside plastic name tag holders and most name tag stationary. This way you can print the name tags and use them as-is, with standard name tag holders or print them on sticker name tags that can be purchased at any stationary store. Each Suspect has a name tag with their Suspect name. You are also provided an extra sheet of name tags for additional guests with eight name tags per page. Simply print off as many copies of the blank name tags page in the “Name tags” file as you need for your guests.
How to Use the Audio Files
Your mystery may have come with audio files. These audio files are optional, and we have also provided the transcripts of these audio files (one at the end of the Host Guide and the other in a file marked “The Big Reveal”), which can be used in the case where you don’t have access to an audio system.
How To Use The Notes Pages
Before you begin, distribute a “Notes” page to each participant.
You may have noticed that you have two versions of the Notes pages in your Host Materials. Both versions provide participants the sample questions from the Announcement of Murder to get them started with their investigations, but the first version provides a “Motive-Means-Opportunity” chart to allow sleuths to write the names of each Suspect in the appropriate box as they investigate. So, which one should you provide your guests? That depends on whether you want your mystery to be “Beginner” (The “Beginner Notes Pages” ) or “Intermediate” (The “Intermediate Notes Pages”). Pick the one you want and then print off one for each participant.
Be sure to provide enough pens as you will have guests, and that your pens are working so that your guests can focus on chasing down the clues to solve the mystery instead of searching for a writing instrument!
How To Use The Floor Plan
Your mystery kit contains a Floor Plan. This is designed to help each investigator determine where the Suspects were around the time of the murder as they investigate. Each Suspect receives a copy of the Floor Plan in their Suspect Guide, but some hosts choose to print one for them to ensure they have one for reference at the time of the mystery. If you are having additional guests who aren’t playing a Suspect though, your Host Materials file contains a copy of the Floor Plans. Simply print off as many copies as you need to accommodate those guests not playing a Suspect to get them engaged in their investigation in a unique and unforgettable way!
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