Hosted a Murder

Well, my weekend is over and I am dead tired on a Monday morning.  However, what a good weekend it was.  The house that we stayed at was fantastic and completely unexpected.  It was huge and easily fit in the five couples on Saturday night for the Murder Mystery that I hosted and we had a choice of three different areas to hold the Murder night itself.  If you are ever in Tasmania and want a brilliant, affordable B&B then you can check out where we stayed here.

Friday night just ended up being my wife and I and another couple that we know and our daughter.  We broke out the board games for the night.  Unfortunately the first one we broke out, on the suggestion of our daughter, was Awful and yes that capital A was put there for a reason.  It took us a good two hours to play about half a game of Cranium which is a mix of Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Rapidough and a number of other horrible games.  We could not stand it anymore and instead dragged out another old classic.

hosted murder
Rocker and co-founder of the “Falling Rocks” pictured here with Personal Trainer “Wendy Legsache”

Operation was really fun, quick and got us back on track a little for the night (though it was the last game we played for the evening).  It lead us to a discussion about how board games develop over time.  The copy of Operation we played had to be purchased from England because the versions here in Australia have larger holes for easy access.  Now if you are familiar with Operation you would know the whole point is that the holes are nice and tight to make it hard to pull the parts out of the body orifices.  So, they are dumbing it down.  I have had a look at the new version now and the holes are insanely huge on it.  It just goes to show the differences over time.  They are trying to remove the frustration from all games and apparently to do that they have to all become horrendously easy.  I pity the youth of today.

The next day we broke out Robo Rally.  I love this game.  One of my all time favourite games for beer and pretzel style games.  If you are unfamiliar with this game it is one where you are in a race (hence a rally) and you get dealt a bunch of programming cards and you have to program the way the robot moves to the checkpoints by filling out the registers.  There are things on the board that move and shoot and twist so it becomes quite hectic if you are not on your game (not to mention the interaction with the other players robots).  None of the other players had played it before but they all got into it and it was fantastic.  I did win of course, but it was close.  Too close.

We then went out for the rest of the day and came back to meet and greet the other guests for the Murder Mystery party.  I have to say that although the game was heavily scripted and I thought it was going to fall flat but we all had a ball with it.  The company that I went to to do this rather than buying a boxed product was internet based.  It was brilliant and they had full support on the web and each player

Well, my weekend is over and I am dead tired on a Monday morning.  However, what a good weekend it was.  The house that we stayed at was fantastic and completely unexpected.  It was huge and easily fit in the five couples on Saturday night for the Murder Mystery and we had a choice of three different areas to hold the Murder night itself.  If you are ever in Tasmania and want a brilliant, affordable B&B then you can check out where we stayed here.

Friday night just ended up being my wife and I and another couple that we know and our daughter.  We broke out the board games for the night.  Unfortunately the first one we broke out, on the suggestion of our daughter, was Awful and yes that capital A was put there for a reason.  It took us a good two hours to play about half a game of Cranium which is a mix of Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Rapidough and a number of other horrible games.  We could not stand it anymore and instead dragged out another old classic.

hosted murder
Rocker and co-founder of the “Falling Rocks” pictured here with Personal Trainer “Wendy Legsache”

Operation was really fun, quick and got us back on track a little for the night (though it was the last game we played for the evening).  It lead us to a discussion about how board games develop over time.  The copy of Operation we played had to be purchased from England because the versions here in Australia have larger holes for easy access.  Now if you are familiar with Operation you would know the whole point is that the holes are nice and tight to make it hard to pull the parts out of the body orifices.  So, they are dumbing it down.  I have had a look at the new version now and the holes are insanely huge on it.  It just goes to show the differences over time.  They are trying to remove the frustration from all games and apparently to do that they have to all become horrendously easy.  I pity the youth of today.

The next day we broke out Robo Rally.  I love this game.  One of my all time favourite games for beer and pretzel style games.  If you are unfamiliar with this game it is one where you are in a race (hence a rally) and you get dealt a bunch of programming cards and you have to program the way the robot moves to the checkpoints by filling out the registers.  There are things on the board that move and shoot and twist so it becomes quite hectic if you are not on your game (not to mention the interaction with the other players robots).  None of the other players had played it before but they all got into it and it was fantastic.  I did win of course, but it was close.  Too close.

We then went out for the rest of the day and came back to meet and greet the other guests for the Murder Mystery party.  I have to say that although the game was heavily scripted and I thought it was going to fall flat but we all had a ball with it.  The company that I went to to do this rather than buying a boxed product was internet based.  It was brilliant and they had full support on the web and each player got pre-game clues and a site for their character.  It was cheap and really well handled so if you are after something like this I strongly recommend you look at host-party.com because they have a lot of different themes for their games and they are great fun.  We had ten people in a game that could have handled up to 12 people.  As the host I had no idea who the murderer was until the first round.  And I only found out then because I was the murderer!  Well, one of two actually, I was a Lawyer of a famous Rock Star (Migger Jagger like) and I hatched a plan with the Accountant to off him and have all of his money and goods put into a holding company with us as the major share holders.  It ran really well and at reveal time a couple of people picked the Accountant but only one picked me and nobody picked us both.

host a murder
Lady Effingham (left) pictured here with Shakespearean actress Ophelia Bottom and renowned director Orson Cart

Afterward we all uncostumed (wearing a full suit in Australian summer is not fun) and sat down for a super game of Cards Against Humanity.  I know a lot of people get their noses out of joint with this game because it is a game that relies on stereotypes and ridiculing minorities.  But the fact is it actually spends its time laughing at everyone.  Many more of the winning cards were those where we were forced to laugh at our own foibles and honestly I think this game does it well.  So no apologies here, if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?

The next day we had an awesome breakfast and wind down before heading off.  I got home with an hour or two to spare before a game of Eclipse Phase that I had signed up for.  I had never played it previous to this game but I have always been interested.  The game was the Glory module and to be honest, I was not overly impressed with the start of the module as a lot of it was reliant on bottleneck die rolls gaining research on the mesh.  If we did not make the rolls we did not get the information that we needed to move forward in the adventure.  Ken (the GM) did well in sneaking the information into the game regardless of the rolls but the module seemed a bit flawed in two aspects.

  1. That you had to make those rolls; and
  2. There was just research galore at the start to do and no real action

Eventually we managed to work out that we needed to infiltrate a ship/habitat to find a missing Professor (or her cortical stack if she were dead) and we managed to get onto the ship.  We managed to get in some fun action and a fair bit of interaction.  It was this section (about a two hour section of the 5 hours we played) that got me really interested in Eclipse Phase.  I also learnt something about myself with this too.  I think I did gravitate to the Classic Traveller (CT) side of Sci-Fi because the technology is atypical science-fiction.  I mean I love the Commonwealth saga of Peter F. Hamilton which is a little more Eclipse Phase than CT but I did find myself lost in the terminology of Eclipse Phase.  Forking, Ego travelling,  hardly any ships in space, scum, Titans, neo-anarchists and all the extra learning I had to do to try and get my head around this setting was daunting.

The Effinghams played by Emma and Wayne Mason
Lord and Lady Effingham arrive at the Murder Scene

That added on top of the fact that I was learning the system from scratch too.  This was a neat game to get into it though as the GM was also learning the rules so we spent a lot of time as a group looking at the rules as we went.  While I am not a huge fan of stopping a game to read rules it worked well here on the most part.  It felt like a tutorial section of a video game where the action slowed down, we came together, read the rules and then come to a consensus and moved on.  In most cases it worked perfectly though I am still not a hundred percent sure how the social networking and reputation rules really work.

I was reading the Eclipse Phase rules for a while (well the history before the rules) and it had slipped off the reading list because the history and setting is so dense.  The game has piqued my interest again so it will be the game I read after I finish Dungeon Crawl Classics.  It is no wonder that I am so tired after that weekend though but there was some serious gaming that I ran through.  Then to think that Monday 26 January is my birthday and it looks like it is game-a-palooza for me then too I am having a great week.  Keep an ear out to, I may do a pop-up game of Numenera or FATE Core this week because I am a sucker for punishment.  Keep rolling!

got pre-game clues and a site for their character.  It was cheap and really well handled so if you are after something like this I strongly recommend you look at host-party.com because they have a lot of different themes for their games and they are great fun.  We had ten people in a game that could have handled up to 12 people.  As the host I had no idea who the murderer was until the first round.  And I only found out then because I was the murderer!  Well, one of two actually, I was a Lawyer of a famous Rock Star (Migger Jagger like) and I hatched a plan with the Accountant to off him and have all of his money and goods put into a holding company with us as the major share holders.  It ran really well and at reveal time a couple of people picked the Accountant but only one picked me and nobody picked us both.

host a murder
Lady Effingham (left) pictured here with Shakespearean actress Ophelia Bottom and renowned director Orson Cart

Afterward we all uncostumed (wearing a full suit in Australian summer is not fun) and sat down for a super game of Cards Against Humanity.  I know a lot of people get their noses out of joint with this game because it is a game that relies on stereotypes and ridiculing minorities.  But the fact is it actually spends its time laughing at everyone.  Many more of the winning cards were those where we were forced to laugh at our own foibles and honestly I think this game does it well.  So no apologies here, if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?

The next day we had an awesome breakfast and wind down before heading off.  I got home with an hour or two to spare before a game of Eclipse Phase that I had signed up for.  I had never played it previous to this game but I have always been interested.  The game was the Glory module and to be honest, I was not overly impressed with the start of the module as a lot of it was reliant on bottleneck die rolls gaining research on the mesh.  If we did not make the rolls we did not get the information that we needed to move forward in the adventure.  Ken (the GM) did well in sneaking the information into the game regardless of the rolls but the module seemed a bit flawed in two aspects.

  1. That you had to make those rolls or really not be able to move on to the rest of the module; and
  2. There was just research galore at the start to do and no real action

Eventually we managed to work out that we needed to infiltrate a ship/habitat to find a missing Professor (or her cortical stack if she were dead) and we managed to get onto the ship.  We managed to get in some fun action and a fair bit of interaction.  It was this section (about a two hour section of the 5 hours we played) that got me really interested in Eclipse Phase.  I also learnt something about myself with this too.  I think I did gravitate to the Classic Traveller (CT) side of Sci-Fi because the technology is atypical science-fiction.  I mean I love the Commonwealth saga of Peter F. Hamilton which is a little more Eclipse Phase than CT but I did find myself lost in the terminology of Eclipse Phase.  Forking, Ego travelling,  hardly any ships in space, scum, Titans, neo-anarchists and all the extra learning I had to do to try and get my head around this setting was daunting.

The Effinghams played by Emma and Wayne Mason
Lord and Lady Effingham arrive at the Murder Scene

That added on top of the fact that I was learning the system from scratch too.  This was a neat game to get into it though as the GM was also learning the rules so we spent a lot of time as a group looking at the rules as we went.  While I am not a huge fan of stopping a game to read rules it worked well here on the most part.  It felt like a tutorial section of a video game where the action slowed down, we came together, read the rules and then come to a consensus and moved on.  In most cases it worked perfectly though I am still not a hundred percent sure how the social networking and reputation rules really work.

I was reading the Eclipse Phase rules for a while (well the history before the rules) and it had slipped off the reading list because the history and setting is so dense.  The game has piqued my interest again so it will be the game I read after I finish Dungeon Crawl Classics.  It is no wonder that I am so tired after that weekend though but there was some serious gaming that I ran through.  Then to think that Monday 26 January is my birthday and it looks like it is game-a-palooza for me then too I am having a great week.  Keep an ear out to, I may do a pop-up game of Numenera or FATE Core this week because I am a sucker for punishment.  Keep rolling!

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