To assist you both before and after you have purchased one of our games, here is a list of commonly asked questions. The questions are grouped in two categories, pre-purchase and post-purchase, in order to help you first determine if this game is right for you, and then to help you make the most of your party once you have purchased the game.
If you have any questions that are not covered here, please contact us and we will help you on your way!
What makes Murders R Us different from other mystery games?
Murders R Us’s strength is the unique and diverse characters in each of the games. Every game has several highly detailed characters, whose intricate lives and motives are explained to your guests. This provides the person playing that character with a lot of guidance as to how to portray that character while allowing wide latitude for independent action.
While most Murder Mystery party games and dinner parties give you set scripts, the Murders R Us games allow your imagination to take charge of the game. The only thing set in stone is the identity of the murderer and who the victim will be. Everything else, including dialogue, the way the murder is carried out, and whether the killer will get away with it, is all up to the players.
How do you play?
Murders R Us is a Murder Mystery role-playing game (RPG). As such, you and all the guests who join you in the fun will take on the role of a character during the party. Think of the night as a play in which you and your guests are the actors and your home is the stage.
Each guest will take on the role of a different character. Among these characters are one killer and one victim. During the party, the killer will murder the victim. For the rest of the night the other players will attempt to figure out who the killer is while the murderer does everything, they can to evade justice.
Every character has a detailed background that explains their history and motivations. These character sheets will also give clues about some of the other characters. Each character knows a little bit more of the story. Some information is quite valuable while others are red herrings. Armed with this information, your guests will begin to mingle on the night of the party, learning what they can as they talk to the other guests.
Eventually, one of the partygoers will murder another character and then the mystery begins! All the characters will have to get together and try to figure out who the killer is. The evening ends when one of the characters is arrested and the identity of the killer is announced. If the killer is in custody, then the investigators have won the day, but if the killer is still on the loose then he or she has won.
How do I buy the game?
Once you decide which of our games you would like to play, you simply add it to your shopping cart or click on the “buy now” icon. You will be asked to become a member. After you join, you will be sent a password to enter the secured portion of the web site where you can complete your transaction. Your credit card will be processed immediately and upon acceptance, you will be able to download your game from the “My Account” portion of the web site.
What do you need to play?
Everything you need to play is included in the PDF download available from our products page. Each PDF contains instructions for gameplay and a complete set of character information, as well as clues, player instruction sheets, and an investigator worksheet for each player. This information can be printed and given to your players. You can also request that we e-mail the information to your players.
Your guests will be required to bring any costumes or props.
The only other element you need is your imagination and the capacity to let go of reality and allow yourself to be carried off by the evening’s drama!
How long does it take?
The game can be as long or as short as you would like. Most games tend to last around 3 to 4 hours. Allow at least an hour or so before the murder is committed and then the next couple of hours after that for everyone to make their accusations and finally to arrest a suspect. See the Frequently Asked Questions (post-purchase) page for tips on how to slow down or speed up a party to meet your time frame.
How many people can play?
Most of these games are set up with an ideal of about a dozen “primary” characters. The exact number of people recommended for each game is listed in the detailed information on our products page. Some of these characters can be taken out if you don’t have enough guests. A special list of “secondary” characters is included if you find you need more than the primary characters. Some characters can even be changed from male to female, or vice versa, as your situation requires. The entire Murders R Us series is highly adaptable and can easily fit into whatever situation would best suit you and your guests.
What is the difference between Primary and Secondary Characters?
Each Murders R Us game has about a dozen primary characters and six secondary characters. Primary characters are better developed, have a more complete history, and no more clues than secondary characters. They are the main characters in the game. All the roles for the primary characters should be assigned before moving on to the secondary characters.
The main purpose of the secondary characters is to provide additional characters if your party will have more players than there are primary characters. While not integral parts of the plot, secondary characters do have access to certain clues. Those playing secondary characters, however, have the same ability to make accusations and investigate the murder as primary characters.
Upon request, additional secondary characters can be made available if you have a particularly large group.
If I'm the murderer, what do I do if I'm caught in the act?
This is a difficult question that doesn’t have a simple answer. If you are caught in the act, there are several things you can do, but it really depends on how obvious your actions were to the person who found you. Talking your way out of it is often the easiest method. Make sure the person who caught you doesn’t believe that he caught you. Sometimes, however, this will simply not work, and you will have to resort to another strategy. Depending on the character you are playing, and which character has caught you, you may want to kill that character. After all, what’s one more body when you have already committed murder? If the person who finds you is friendly to your cause, you may have an ally who can help you get away with the murder.
What do I do if nobody participates?
Normally, this problem can be nipped in the bud by careful player selection. Simply inviting several individuals who enjoy dramatics or have flamboyant personalities will start the game on the right foot. Even games that have stagnated due to poor participation can be turned around if one player is into the game and is able to involve the others. Once one or two players begin to act out their parts, the rest of the players will soon join in.
Though there is no way to control every character, there are other measures you can take to ensure participation:
Turn off the television – there is nothing more distracting and mind-numbing than television to kill any party, not to mention one that demands interaction between the players.
Provide a selection of refreshments. They always put people in a better mood and will make players more willing to get into the flow of the game.
Set an example for the other players. Once they see somebody else acting out a role, they will be more willing to follow suit.
What do I do if one of the main characters doesn't show up?
There are several interesting characters that have a great deal of information and insight about the murder. Even so, there are only two characters that are essential to the game: the killer and the victim. You decide which player will portray which character so you can greatly reduce the chances of one of these characters not showing up by selecting reliable people. To ensure that at least one of the characters will arrive, you can even select yourself to play either role.
Despite these preparations, however, things do come up and there is a possibility that one or both players will not be able to show up. If you have not already taken a role as a major character, you can step into the vacant role yourself. Moving a newly arrived character from a less important role to one of the main roles is also an option. The only real problem with either of these options is that the other players may become suspicious when one character is traded for another. This is especially true for the murderer. Simply by dropping one role to fill an apparently more important role can make the cast wonder why that character is more important and therefore discern who the murderer is.
What if the game is taking too long?
The key parts where the game can sometimes slow down are just before the murder, and during the time between the murder and the formal accusations. If it is the murder itself that is taking too long, simply approach the killer and let them know that they need to commit the act soon. Similarly, approach the victim and let them know that their death is immanent. Be careful, however, that you do this without being seen by other players or they may prematurely guess who the killer is.
You can do several things if the game seems to have stagnated and/or nobody is using their formal accusations. One common practice is to set an artificial time limit on the game. For example, you can say that if nobody is caught by midnight the killer wins the game. You can also try to convince people to use their formal accusations either while remaining in character, or by temporarily stepping out of character for a moment. In general, once one person makes an accusation, others will quickly follow.
What if the game is moving too fast?
Sometimes players are in such a rush to be the one to solve the case that they make formal accusations before there has even been any discussion. In these cases, you can remind them that they can use any number of informal accusations and that they might want to save their formal accusations for a later date.
You can also step out of character for a moment and set an artificial time before any formal accusations can be made. For example, if the murder occurred at 8:00, you can say that no formal accusations can be made until 8:30 or 9:00. This will ensure some discussion and will prolong what some people consider the best part of the game.