How To Play
The Murder Mystery Ball is a role playing game that takes place in a forum. The goal of the game is to discover the Villain's true identity before he/she takes the entire prize pot.
The Villain character will be randomly selected from those players who indicate they would like their character to be The Villain. The Villain will then have to play two roles, the role of his/her character as a guest at the party and the role of The Villain. As The Villain he/she will have access to a special villain account to post all of his/her messages.
He/she will also have the opportunity to anonymously "cyber stalk" his/her next victims using the villain account.
The guests are selected from the highest bidders of the costume action. They will be expected to mingle with other guests and try to amass any clues as to which of them may be The Villain. The guests must remain in character at all times in the Ball forum.
Ghosts are characters who have been murdered by the Villain. Even though they are dead, they are not excluded from playing or from winning the game. However, they are limited as to how they can communicate and must be creative with their interactions. Ghosts can not talk or have in-depth conversations and are limited to haunting and spooking the other guests.
The Hostess will direct the Ball. Before the first murder the Hostess will assign rooms to each guest once the guest has been formally announced. The guest must remain in that room and mingle until the first murder has taken place. (with exception of The Villain). After the first murder, the guests are free to move around between the four rooms (The Ballroom, The Conservatory, The Garden and The Game Room) .
How To Score
An allotment of gift points will be set aside for the guest who correctly guesses the identity of The Villain. However, each time the Villain murders a guest gift points are deducted from that pot and sent to the Villain's account. Also, gift points will be deducted from the pot and sent to The Villain's account each time a guest guesses incorrectly. The Villain then, is free to transfer the gift points from The Villain's account to his/her own Stories.com account or to anyone on Stories.com he/she wishes.
How To Post
It is imperative that all the guests remain in character throughout the duration of the ball. Therefore they must post as if they are writing for their character, for example, if your character is Lady Jane your post would read like this:
Lady Jane ran her finger across her dress and straightened her hair. Then, after taking a long draft from her glass of chardonnay, she walked across the room to the tall stranger looming in the corner.
"Hello" she greeted him, gracefully extending her hand.
It is also very important NOT
to write for any other character and you must wait for the other character(s) reply before you proceed with your interaction with them. If you do not get a reply, then you may write yourself out of that engagement and peruse others.
In order for other guests to know who you are addressing and where you are, there is a set format as to how you should address the subject line of your post, for example, if Lady Jane were in the Ball Room and addressing Sir Lliam, the subject line should look like this:
(BR-Ball Room, C-Conservatory, GR-Game Room, G-Garden)
That way the person playing Sir Llaim's character will know to open that message and respond. Also, you may only engage a guest in the same room as you, so if you are not in the room of the individual you wish to engage, you must write yourself into the correct room before engaging that person. (This may all be done within the same post)
If you are addressing more than one individual, then you must put all addressees in the subject line of your message:
BR:Sir Llaim, Lord Windsor
No other information should appear in the subject line of your post other than where you are and to whom you are addressing.
It is also important that you sign your post with your character's costume image and name. Although it is not required, changing your Stories.com handle to your character's name for the duration of the game would be very helpful to the other players as well.
There will be 15 cards that the hostess will use at her discretion to award players that have made significant contributions to the quality of the game play. The cards are split into three sets, Wealth, Power, and Resurrection,
with five cards per set. Wealth grants the player, in some way, access to gift points. Power grants the player temporary power over other players and Resurrection restores a murdered player's life, but as with all power, there are consequences. Wealth may cause other players to resent you and put you into the sights of the Villain. Power will give you control over other players, which may not bode well with them and Resurrection, although may restore life, it will not be the same life you were once use to. Also, although each card grants access to either wealth, power or resurrection, they are not all the same. The game will start with three cards exposed, by clicking on the card a player will open the particular instructions that go with that card. If the hostess awards a player a card, she will summons that player to a special room, The Card Room and the player may answer his/her summons at any time throughout the duration of the game. When a card is used, a new will be exposed.
To play a card, the player will have to go to the Card Room (CR) and select a card:
Answering the hostess' summons, Sir Lliam stepped lightly into the dark room. There, on a table, were three cards set out. The hostess had given him instructions to select one, and doing so picked up the Wealth card, slipped it into the inside of his jacket pocket and left the room.
Once the player has left the Card Room, he/she must follow the instructions for the use of the card in his/her next post. Because the use of his card may effect others and possibly all players, it is important that when an player posts a card play, he/she indicates that in the subject line:
BR:CARD:(and whatever players are involved with the use of your card)
However, not all cards will require a special CARD post to use and the player will only need to take the card from the Card Room to activate it. It will be clear with each card if a CARD post is required.
If a player is summoned to the Card Room, he/she is not required to use the card and may pass it on to another player if so desired. To pass the card to another player, that player must summons the player to which he/she wishes to pass the card to the card room:
Slipping a note to the butler, Lady Jane waited patiently for Sir Lliam to join her in the Card Room
Again, once a card has been taken from the Card Room, it must be played in the player's next post. If a card is passed to a player, that player MUST keep the card and play it.
Ghosts are also allowed to play any card, but if a Resurrection card is not selected, then a ghost must play by the instructions of the other cards within the confines of being a ghost.
How to Address the Hostess
The only occasion you will need to address the Hostess is to submit a guess as to which character The Villian might be. Remember, if you are wrong, a significant amount of gift points will be deducted from the total winnings and sent to The Villian. To address the Hostess, just indicate in which room you currently are in the subject line and "Hostesss" to summon the Hostess (The Hostess will always come to you) then write your guess:
Slipping a note to the Butler to summon the Hostess, Lady Jane waited behind the fountain. Upon the Hostess' arrival, Lady Jane cautiously walked up to her and whispered in her ear,
"I believe the murder amongst us is Lord Huntington"
You may choose to have your character make an announcement or discreetly tell the Hostess, however you choose, just make sure you summon the Hostess first and be sure to address the Hostess in your subject line.
Ghosts are also allowed to summon the Hostess and make a guess, but they must be more creative:
The heavy velvet drapes began to osculate and whip around catching one of the chandeliers and causing such a cacophony of sound, as the crystals clanged together, that the Hostess ran in the room to find it's source. Then, just as the Hostess' attention was drawn, one crystal from the chandelier slipped off of it's hook and shot to the floor with such force that it was embedded right into the wood at the very tip of Sir Ivan's toe.
The Villain may kill for any number of reasons, however, each time he/she does he/she risks exposure. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the player to pay attention to all the party guests and interactions. The more parallels that are drawn between each murder, the closer one may come to the murderer's identity.
Paying attention may also give players hints for survival. If The Villain tends to kill off uninteresting or inactive characters it may be in a player's best interest to liven things up with his/her character. The important thing, however, is to just pay attention.
Also, if you feel you may know who the killer is and other players seem to be keen as well, you might want to have your character act suspiciously just to throw off the other players until you are more sure about your guess.
Most important, though, is to have loads of fun and remember, the more active you are the more you just may improve your writing and creative writing skills.
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