Poirot Murder Mystery - The Oriental Express
EDIT: Since I've decided to hold this game in this thread, the credits are here:
Freshmeat for inventing the game. Yeah, that's it.
The rules of the game:
You have been invited as a guest to Count Pjotr Mitoslev's private mansion along with a few other people. You've all first gathered together in Moscow, from where you've boarded a train with the good Count to the destination. The journey would take ten days all together, but worry not! The train is luxurious and each of you have your own rooms with anything you could ever want.
But disaster strikes: The count is murdered on the second night, and one of the guests, the famous Hercule Poirot, is also poisoned. He lives, but feels too ill to play an active part on the investigation. For this reason, he calls upon the assistance of the guests, one of whom must be a murderer. Everyone agrees to help...
The following seven people are the guests and potential murderers:
•Duke James Woodworth (62 years old): a retired army general who served in the Boer War.
•Tom Lorraine (28 years old): an adventurous explorer
•Jack Snyder (24 years old): an arrogant gambler and playboy
•George Edwards (41 years old): the obligatory butler
•Patrick Morris (35 years old): an aloof scientist skilled in the field of chemistry
•Carrie Jones (42 years old): an actress of mild renown
•Elisabeth Forsyth (51 years old): a reserved lady and successful novelist
They all have a potential reason to want the Count dead. You can choose which character you want to be. Those who don't will be randomly assigned one. The murderer will be determined randomly. Every character has his or her own set of certain characteristics (shoe size, pipe or cigarette smoker, etc.). These are also entirely randomized and are key to figuring out who the murderer is.
The game is divided in two phases, day and night phase.
During the day, players can search a murder site for clues. They must publicly specify which murder site they’re investigating (there may be multiple ones) and for what kind of clues they’re looking.
•look for footprints (small-sized, medium-sized, large-sized or bigfoot-sized)
•look for fingerprints (small-sized, medium-sized, large-sized or bigfoot-sized)
•look for hair strands (brown, black, blonde or red)
•look for minor clues (cigarette ashes, pipe ashes, coat buttons or shoelaces)
•determine the cause of death (stabbed, shot, strangled or poisoned)
•determine the motive (greed, revenge, passion or fear (silencing someone))
The trick obviously lies in figuring out the characteristics of the other passengers and comparing it to the evidence you've gathered (without being fooled by the murderer's efforts in either instance, of course!)
An example of what the characteristics of a person might be is detailed below. None of these necessarily mean anything until you compare it to the evidence of the murder site.
You are Patrick Morris and are innocent of the crime committed. You must try to find out who the murderer amongst the other passengers is.
Your feet are bigfoot-sized.
Your fingerprints are medium-sized.
You have brown hair.
Your shoes are missing shoelaces.
You have a gun in your room.
You wanted the Count dead because you were in dire need of money.
-- On murdering people --
Keep in mind that for some clue types there may be no clues to be found at all. Whenever a murder is committed, the murderer will usually (and unintentionally) leave a few clues behind. Which clues he or she will leave behind are determined randomly, but will always correspond with the murderer’s persona (someone with brown hair can’t leave a blonde strand of hair behind. The murderer can plant fake evidence afterwards, however.
Whenever the murderer commits a murder, he can choose to pay specific attention not to leave one specific type of clue behind. If the murderer commits a murder yet chooses to be careful not to leave any footprints behind, then there won’t be any footprints, even if one of the random clues he’ll leave behind comes up as ‘footprints’.
Before the game starts, the murderer can choose to leave behind one false clue. Once the game is underway, he'll be informed which clues he has left behind (unlike the other passengers, he will recognize these immediately when he revisits the murder site, as they are his own).
After killing the Count with a garrote to silence him, you immediately see the mistakes you've made when you return to the crime scene. You've left behind a small-sized footprint, the cause of death is obviously strangulation and the missing coat button the Count tore off when you killed him is lying in a corner of the room. You must now try to hamper the passenger's investigations to make sure that they don't find these clues and thus get on your trail.
During the day the murderer can, rather than look for clues, remove or plant any type of evidence on a murder site by messaging the narrator (i.e. ‘I plant a small pile of cigar ashes on the murder site of the Count’ or ‘I wipe away my own small-sized footprints on the murder site of Tom Lorraine and make new bigfoot-sized footprints instead’. These changes are permanent. The murderer must be physically present at the location to do so.
That is to say, he can’t mask the real cause of death unless he’s ‘investigating’ the cause of death. By the same token, he also can’t plant a blonde hair strand if he’s supposed to be 'looking for fingerprints'. He must be 'looking for hair strands' to plant a fake hair strand or remove the real hair strand. Other passengers won't notice if you plant fake evidence or remove real evidence, even if they're investigating the exact same thing since it's assumed the murderer will make use of minor distractions to find an opportunity.
At any time during the day, a player can accuse someone of being the murderer. If they are wrong however, the accused and accuser will both be locked up and will thus lose. Therefore, it’s important not to make an accusation until you’re sure you know who the murderer is.
During the night, every passenger can investigate the room of another passenger to find out two characteristics of their choosing about one person. (i.e. ‘I try to find out what kind of fingerprints Bob’s character has and what kind of motive he had for killing Count Mitoslev’).
They can not investigate the rooms of two people to find out one characteristic about each of them.
The murderer has the following options at his disposal:
•He can choose to kill someone who might pose a threat to him. This will open up a second murder site however, and might thus provide the remaining detectives with more clues. Although a second murder can be committed during the first night, at least one full night must pass before the murderer can strike again afterwards.
•He can try to mask one aspect about him, fooling anyone who will investigate his room that night (i.e. plant a red hair or pipe ashes in his own room, rather than his his original blonde hair or cigarette ashes).
•He can try to mask one aspect about someone else, fooling anyone who will investigate his victim’s room that night (i.e. plant a bottle of poison in someone else’s room). These changes are temporary and only last one night.
•Follow a passenger to try and determine who they are investigating and what clues they are looking for.
Both day and night phases last around 48 hours, to give everyone involved the chance to send in their their actions and share information (whether publicly or through private messaging).
Winning the game:
There are three win conditions in the game.
The primary win goes to the innocent who accuses the murderer first and thus catches him.
Secondary win goes to the innocents who survive to the end of the game and join in on the accusation on the murderer.
If you accuse someone but are proven wrong at the end of the day, you will be removed from the game (even if you are the murderer). So be careful who you point at! If you join in on an accusation and are wrong, you will also be removed. If you are accused, wrongly or not, you will be removed from the game unless the accusation is withdrawn before the end of day. Only the accusation with the most votes, or, if it's a tie, the first one to reach the tie, counts.
Passengers can join in on accusations if they so desire. If the person accused is the murderer, then they will earn an victory for both surviving the game and finding the murderer. If whoever is voted to be arrested is later proven to be innocent by the police, both the accusator and whoever joined the bandwagon will lose.
The murderer wins by eluding capture for seven game days. He can also win by eluding capture until only one other passenger remains.
EDIT: MURDERER will not be removed from the game if he accuses someone in the end and the result would lead to his victory.