There's an article about this type of game here
Freeform Games. Invite your guests to an evening of food, drink, and investigation of a murder. One guest did it -- but who? With no predetermined script, these party games put you and six to 32 friends in the heart of the action. Before the party, every player gets a detailed character background with goals, contacts, secrets, and costume tips. At the gathering, you all decide who to talk to, trust, or betray. In four hours or so, will the murderer be discovered? You won't know until the party's over.
With settings from Hawaii to Golden Age Hollywood to the Wild West, these .PDF kits include step-by-step instructions for the host, quick-start hints for guests, illustrated item cards, reference sheets, and much more. Many games provide versions for kids, extra "emergency characters" in case someone brings a friend, and other thoughtful touches. Check out Freeform's free introductory ten-guest Way Out West game, and then investigate this bargain-priced collection for groups of six to 30+ guests.We provide each party kit complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Notes: Many Freeform Games party games have Standard and Extended versions; Extended versions support more guests. The games in this offer are all the Standard versions. And be aware, you print out all the guest handouts before the party. For the larger games you'll be printing a lot of pages.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the games in this offer is US$270 -- by far the richest offer in the site's history. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all four party games in our Smaller Groups Collection (6-14 players, total retail value $120) as DRM-free .PDFs:
- A Will to Murder (6-9 players, retail $30): In 1930s Britain, a wealthy family feuds over the last will of their murdered patriarch.
- Lei'd to Rest (6-12 players, retail $30): A luau gone bad at a Hawaiian beach resort.
- A Heroic Death (8-12 players, retail $30): The Superheroic Justice Doom Squad has to save the world, but first they must escape their volcano headquarters.
- Way Out West (10-14 players, retail $30): The party's on at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Cactus Gulch, 1884.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bigger Groups Collection with four more complete games (retail value $150) for soirees of up to 30+ players:
- Davy Jones' Locker (10-15 players, retail $30): In Tortuga, 1785, Caribbean pirates aim for the big haul -- or the keelhaul.
- Spellbound (13-17 players, retail $30): At the Tremaine School of Magic, students must investigate a memory-loss mystery while also taking final exams.
- Arabian Nights (18-24 players, retail $40): An hour after the Sultan announces his daughter's betrothal to handsome Prince Ala 'ad-Din, the young prince is found dead in the marketplace.
- Hollywood Lies (16-32 players, retail $50): At the post-award party for Dazzled to Death, film stars and producers wheel and deal despite the sad death of the award-winning star.
I've looked at Hollywood Lies and everything seems to be very nicely presented, with 25 pages of instructions for the host, an eight-page briefing for each character, and various handouts etc. If you ran it for the maximum number of people you'd get through a LOT of paper, and if you're doing this a duplexing printer is possibly worth having - or get everything run off at a repo shop if you can afford it. The others are smaller in having fewer maximum players but you get the same number of pages per player, nearly as large a briefing, etc. Assimilating it all is going to be daunting if you haven't done something like this before, and I'd strongly recommend playing in someone else's game before running your own.
I'm not sure these are really my cup of tea - I generally feel happier running with smaller groups of players and a tabletop system - but as I said earlier, I've enjoyed this type of game enormously when I've played them. Given that these games often last an evening - say four to six hours - and sometimes longer they represent a LOT of entertainment, say 1000+ man-hours of fun for the host and players. The snag is that you can't really run them more than once unless you have more than one circle of friends. My interest is more from the point of looking for interesting ideas etc., and there ought to be plenty here. I think they're pretty good value for money, and I recommend them, but as usual I have to point out that I get them free if I want them. If you don't your mileage may vary.
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