Thursday, June 14, 2012

Discussion - Mystery Games

Not going to lie, this is a quick post because I somehow forgot to make a proper one for today. That's ok though because it just means we can have our discussion today.

Today I want to know what you think about Mystery Games? Have you played in any RPGs where solving mysteries was the primary conflict (as opposed to say killing kobolds.) What system was used? How did it handle the mystery? To the best of my knowledge Gumshoe is the only system dedicated to having players solve crimes/mysteries instead of punching people in the face, but I'd love to hear about more.

As usual, sound off in the comments with your thoughts on this not as defined as it probably should be genre of RPGs.


  1. The best Cthuhlu adventures I have played were almost pure mysteries. This is a system that works very well with very little supernatural stuff or completely without it. There's a reason why detective or reporter are common jobs for Cthulhu characters.

    I also played a murder mystery once using the new World of Darkness. We all were normal humans and the GM based the story on Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun. That didn't work out so well. The problem was that there's only a very small window that leads to the solution and we didn't find it. The GM wasn't creative enough to give us hints, he wanted it to resolve just the way it did in the story. Not a good way to play a murder mystery - I actually let myself talk into doing it twice with different groups and it sucked both times.
    Yes, I did forget who did it by the time we played it again. I never remember how Christie's stories turn out, with the exception of the Orient Express murder. That one is kinda hard to forget.

  2. Yeah, one of the common problems I've seen with GMs trying to run mysteries is they either don't provide enough hints to find the path through, or they don't allow for alternative paths to be taken to get to the solution. When writing a story, the story teller has complete control and can have characters remember key facts and inconsequential details when needed. In RP, the player is likely to have simply mentally dismissed those details because, well, they're not a trained detective with a super memory.