Write your own murder mystery game - Part 5 - The Character packs

So by now, you should have an “Ideas” file set up which has all your characters listed with all their secrets, their personality profile, costume suggestions, secret tasks and 5 to 6 conversation starters each.  In this part of our guide, we are going to talk you through creating the individual character packs where you combine this information.  To help you, you may find it useful to look at the character packs for some of my games to get more of an idea of the format.  

If you follow this link: http www.murdermysterypartygame.co.uk/sneak-previews you will be able to view one of the character packs from each of my games.  Click on and open the preview for “Halloween Horror”.

 You can see here that my character packs follow this layout:

  • Page 1

    • A front cover image for the game

  • Page 2

    • An introduction to the game for the players

  • Page 3

    • The Scene

    • Hints and Tips

    • Character introduction

  • Page 4

    • Characters Secrets

    • Characters Personality

    • Costume Suggestion

    • Secret Task

  • Page 5

    • Conversation Starters

    • Question and Answer round information

  • Page 6

    • Character relationship chart


To begin creating your character packs, I suggest starting with a base template.  So open a Microsoft Word (or equivalent) file and begin on page 1 with a picture or title which represents your murder mystery game.  You can create your own or select one from the Internet (you must be careful about using copyright pictures from the Internet). 

On page 2, copy and paste the introduction provided on page 2 of the Halloween Horror character pack.  The only part you will need to change is in the second paragraph where it says “12 pieces of folded paper”.  Change this number to however many characters are in your game. 

 On page 3, write the scene (which you did in Part 4 of this guide) and then copy across the hints and tips from the Halloween Horror character pack.  Leave the rest of page 3 blank for now.

Finally, go to page 6 and insert a diagram which shows how all the characters are related.  I would suggest drawing this diagram in Microsoft Powerpoint, paint or publisher and then copying it across / inserting it onto page 6 of the character pack.

Save this template and then make copies of it which you then rename as your characters.  E.g. if you have 10 characters, make 10 copies of the template and rename each copy with that character’s name.

Open up the first character pack and on page 3, as per the preview character pack provided, write the character’s name and insert a picture that best describes them.  Ignore the secret number for now as we will come back to those later.  From the example sheet provided, copy across the writing in blue and then insert you character introduction which you wrote in part 3 of this guide. 

On Page 4, again, copy across the blue writing from the example character pack and then paste in the characters Secrets.  Underneath this, paste in the characters personality profile, costume suggestions and secret task, ensuring to copy across any writing in blue from the example character pack.

On Page 5, once again copy across the blue writing and then insert that characters conversation starters.  Finally, copy across the “Question and Answer round” paragraph from the example character pack.  You will need to personalise this paragraph for each character with details such as how they go about asking questions (depending on their personality), what they do to stop their secrets being spread around, etc.  The only part you can’t personalise at the moment is where they were around the time of the murder, as we haven’t got to that bit yet!

Your first character pack is now almost complete, with the final finishing touches needed happening later on, after we have decided who is going to murder who and why.  Go back over your first character pack and compare it to the Halloween Horror sample character pack provided.  Ensure that all writing in blue is identical on your character pack and that all information relating to the character introduction, secrets, personality, costumes, secret tasks and conversation starters have all been inserted accordingly. 

Now all you have to do is exactly the same for all your other character packs!  By the time you are done, you should have character packs created for all your players.  In the next section, we will begin looking at the Hosts Information pack where we begin to think about who murders who and why.