Writing your own Murder Mystery Game - Part 6 - The Hosts Information Pack

So by now, most of your character packs should be complete.  What is missing is any information about the murder which is where the host’s information pack comes in.  As its name suggests, the host’s information pack is used by whoever is hosting the game to give the details surrounding the murder.

By following this link, you can download an example Host’s information pack for my game “Halloween Horror”.  The first page has a picture / title on it the same as the character packs and then there is the game setting / theme paragraph followed by two pages of information for the host on how to set up and play the game.  In your Host’s Information Pack, put in your own picture / title page and game setting / theme paragraph and then copy and paste everything else up to the end of the “Character Behaviours” paragraph.  You then need to go back and amend several parts depending on your game specifics.

In the “Introduction for the host” paragraph, change the number of minimum and maximum players to reflect your game.  The maximum players is however many characters your game has, however you can choose the minimum number.  Usually it is best to go for 4 to 5 players less than your maximum amount (unless you have a low number to start with such as 6 players, in which case you may go for 1 or 2 less than your maximum amount). 

If someone wanted to play your game with the minimum number of characters, decide which characters they would need to leave out (try to make it some of the lesser characters, never one of the central ones), and then write their names at the bottom of the second paragraph of the “Introduction for the Host” section. 

Go through the rest of the “Introduction for the Host” section and amend any reference to player numbers to match the player numbers in your game. 

Finally, go through the “Order of the Party” section.  On the 3rd point down, change the name “Ralph Mendez” to the main character name in your game. 

On page 4 on the Hosts Information Pack template provided, you will see a template for “If 1 is the Murderer” followed on page 5 by “1’s confession”.  All the writing in blue on these pages is information only for the host (so not read out to the players).  The actual details of the crime and confession will be inserted in black writing at a later point.  For now though, you need to copy and paste these pages to make enough for however many characters you have in the game.  Put them in numerical order so the all the “If ? is the Murderer” goes first followed by all the “?’s Confession” after. 

E.g. if you have 10 characters, you want “If 1 is the murderer” followed immediately by “If 2 is the murderer” then “If 3 is the murderer” all the way up to “If 10 is the murderer”.  That would then be followed by “1’s Confession”, “2’s Confession”, 3’s Confession” all the way up to “10’s Confession”.

Finally, go down to the “Extra Character Statements” on the final page before the diagrams start.  Amend the names here to the character names you want left out of the game should the host only have the minimum amount of players available (as we looked at in paragraph 3 above). 

You then need to write the extra character statements for each of these characters so that they can be read out to the players at the appropriate time.  The aim of this is so that any important information that a character is holding can still be heard by the rest of the players, even if that character is not taking part in the game.  So in my example pack, Daniel Umpire may have a vital clue somewhere which could lead to the murderers identity, but as he may not be in the game due to lack of numbers, his information would be lost if it weren’t for these extra character statements. 

The Extra Character Statements should be made up primarily of the characters conversation starters, but some of the secret information can be included as well if that character is the only one who knows something about it.  Writing the extra character statements is quite a balancing act.  You want to be able to give enough information without giving too much away and making it too easy for the other players.  Play around with it for a while and see what works for you!

Below the “extra character statements”, you will see 6 pages of diagrams (3 maps, scenario slips, fake money and suspect sheets).  Ignore these for now and we will come onto them more in the next part.

So, now you should have your Hosts Information template set up waiting for the details of each murder, the confessions and the diagrams to go with it.  In the next part of our guide, we will be looking at deciding who murders who and the diagrams.