My Blog List

My Blog List

Monday 5 February 2018

Murder By Death The Rules

Before we go on let me say that this is my first time trying anything like this & no it is not a new game its rules for a one off scenario that I want to use to do a movie : )

Right got that so how does this work & what do I need I hear you ask.
You'll need 1-4 players (yes you can play solo)
A playing area roughly 2X2 but use what suit you, same goes for terrain, a cluedo board would work well.
Some models, the number will depend on the number of players but no more then 16.
Pencil & paper for each player.
2 decks of playing cards
Some way of generating the challenge when interviewing the suspects, for this I'll use the deck for playing Pulp Alley but feel free to come up with any other way to do this.
3 of each of the folling dice d6 d8 d10

The set up
After you set up the gaming area, place the the 8 suspects around the gaming area, to do this role off with the highest roller placing the first second highest placing the next & so on until all the suspects have been placed, don't worry there is no real advantage in this as all players have to interview all the suspects unless heaven forbid there should be a murder :)
Then starting with the player who won the role off, deploy your team in one of the corners of the gaming area, only one team can deploy in each corner, again don't worry as there is no shooting or brawling so there is no coffin corner if 3 players.

The rules
 Each player has two models (Holmes & Watson) & they stay together through out the game, the reason they have to will be explained later & each team will have to have a suit of cards assigned to them, either spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs.
At the start of each turn roll off to see who goes first & go clockwise after him.

Before you start the game remove a card from the suspect deck & without anyone seen it place it face down on the table this is identity of the killer.

Each team moves up to 6" a turn, & models can move through another teams model or suspect, to interview a suspect move into base contact  with it & attempt the challenge, if you pass the challenge take the top card off the suspect deck look at it & place it face down in front of you, if you fail the challenge take the top card without looking at it & place it face down to one side, note the deck of playing cards is used for the murder most foul deck, more on this below.
As I said above I'll be using the Pulp Alley deck for challenges, but you could just roll a d3 for it.

Each team starts with a skill level of d6, rising to d8 if you hold two of a pair in your hand & d10 if you hold 3 of a kind in your hand, so how does this work ? when in base contact with a suspect work out the challenge & roll that amount of dice, each 4+ is a success, eg the challenge is  2 roll two dice type equal to your skill level if both are a 4+ you pass if one or more is less then 4 you failed.

You can not re-interview a suspect whether you have passed or failed the challenge until you have interviewed all the other suspects, so players will need to keep note of who they have already interviewed, like wise the same rule applies when interviewing suspects the second time round.

Murder most foul, if when you complete a suspect challenge you draw the joker then someone has been murdered, this is where your second deck of playing cards come in, this deck is made up of the following cards, take one card of any suit starting from the 2 for each of the suspects on the table, eg if their are 8 suspects this deck will have a  2,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 9 note you will need to assign a number to each suspect, add to this the king & queen of each suit.

After the joker has been drawn from the suspect deck, draw a card from the murder most foul deck, this will indicate who has been murdered, eg 2/9  the suspect of that number drawn, if the card is a king or queen then a member of that team has been murdered eg Holmes & Watson have been assigned clubs if the king of clubs is drawn then Holmes would be dead if the queen was drawn then Watson would die,
In the example giving above Holmes was to die then that teams skill level would drop by 2d to a minimum of d6 if Watson then it would drop by 1d to a minimum of d6, if however the player was to have more then one set of any kind then this would be off set eg team Holmes & Watson had 3 4's & 3 7's in their hand now on d10 & Holmes was to die they Watson would remain on d10 like wise if they had 2 4s & 2 8s & Holmes was to die then Watson would remain on d8, the same would apply if Watson was to die but remember the team would only drop by one level.
If you are unlucky enough to lose both your team members then your out of the game sorry, your cards however remain unseen to the other players & are not returned to the deck, you take your knowledge to the grave : )

Swap information, players can swap information to do so move into base contact with a member of another team & ask them if they want to swap a card from their hand with one of yours, they however do not have to, also remember neither player knows what cards the other player has.

How do I win you ask, oh you power gamer you : ) winning is simple be the first to get a poker eg four of the same number of cards say 4 6's, but what if that doesn't happen ? well then each player makes a guess based off the cards they have in their hand or that they've swapped, if they can guess which card was removed at the start they win, if neither then your all bad detectives now go hang your heads in shame : )

Games end, the game ends in one of two ways, either when someone gets a poker or when  all the challenge cards run out which in a deck of Pulp Alley cards is 50,  if you using another way generate the challenge you'll need to keep track of the amount of challenges that have been made, but there should never be more then 50 challenges.

If playing solo play as above using all 4 teams & pick one to be your team but you never look at the other teams cards & then never go up in skill levels.

If you ever want to try this game find none competitive players have a few beers, roll a few dice & have a few laughs, but remember murder is a very serious matter : ) buy the time you read this I'll have played out the game solo & who knows might even have been murdered : ) so keep an eye on this blog for the movie.

That's a rap for this post as always my thanks for dropping in & if you'd care to leave a comment it would be welcomed.


  1. Instead of everyone having a Holmes & Watson, how about different teams of detectives (as in the movie "Murder by Death")? I just watched the Pulp Alley videos where they did a murder investigation in Vice Alley. It looked like fun (like all of their play-throughs).

    1. Thanks Fitz, I only took Holmes as an example mate did mean for everyone teams to be call that : )

      Yep I seen the videos & it looked fun I was just looking for something a bit different for this, I take you you've seen the movie I hope you liked it as you'll be seen a remake soon : )

  2. Cery interesting version of the archetypical "Cluedo" (or "Clue" if American) nd can't help but think you could turn this into a very viable boardgame

    1. Thanks Zabadak, like I said it would need very none competitive & beer but if you don't mind running the chance of no murder happen could be fun : )