While this is the least likely group to have any interest in the subject, I got a copy of Death Wears White yesterday.
It is AMAZING. It is a murder mystery in the style of the How To Host a Murder. 8 players, stuff happens.
This one is actually structured more like a tiny Role-playing game. Characters have goals, they know everything they are supposed to know, there are bizarre events, a hostage situation with a blind gunman in a hospital, and just enough structure around obtaining the numerous documents, photos, and things, to make a game out of it.
It really feels more like a LARP with a bare minimum of rules attached. I desperately want to find the players who could actually do this.
Characters have goals, they know everything they are supposed to know...
HA! You clearly have attempted one of those other murder mystery games. We used to host those murder mystery parties. I worked for a costume rental place that made a fair amount of money selling those games and renting out the costumes. They'd give me copies of the games to check out so that I could pull together rental packages.
Those games were so bad! 3/4s of the way through the game you would find out something about your character that you really should have know from the start, or the solution would require knowing something that was never mentioned in anyone's character information booklets. We still had some good dinners and a lot of laughs but they were all so predictably bad.
Uba WANTS a lot of shitty opinions and HAS a tray of Maker’s Mark
Ha, yeah, I've dont a few of those "how to host a murder" things, too. I never had any goals or anything to do in them, except tell people what my blurb for that part of dinner said. I kept learning new things about myself that I really should have known before, stuff that kind of would have changed what I said to the last person. Not that it mattered to me, because I wasn't guessing who was the murderer, anyway.
Long Live the King is a similiar type of game. Add more diplomacy and take out some or the LARP-iness and you have it. It needs a little tweaking though. Each role vies for prestige,status, favor and money. Every round you break into groups for a few minutes making deals then are summoned before the dying king. In status order, everyone proposes one law and people vote for or against it, then the king rules. Each role has slightly different victory conditons but it will almost always be opposite some one else's victory conditions.
I'm interested in trying Long Live the King sometime, but most of the good thespians from the local vampire larp scene have disappeared, only to be replaced by lame D&D tabletop powergamer monkeys. From what I've read about Long Live the King, there are only eight roles for players who are actively trying to win the game, and the other 20 or so roles are more like supporting cast. That is actually just about the right ratio for larp types, with two or three wallflowers and followers for every player with a serious agenda.
Uba: I've found precious few murder mystery games that break the 4 round, reveal this, find out you are the murderer on the fourth round crap.
David Landau's Murder To Go - Ideal 1980's. Contains three mysteries. Avery played one of them. Murderer knows he is the killer at the start, and is the only player allowed to lie.
Knave of Hearts - TSR 1980's. Actually this is a mini-larp without a murder. Players have goals and do the LARP intrigue thing--but with 0 rules.
Death Wears White is suprisingly LARPy. Players have goals. Murderer knows at the start and is the only one who may lie. Each player has a budget of 10 action points that they can use to search various places or pull personnel files and patient charts.