Signs and portents
Murder mystery resources
I enjoy running mysteries. Murder mysteries in particular.
I discovered this during my last Harn campaign (Pax Tharda AKA Schylla and Charibdis) when I ran several mysteries for my party to solve. Unfortunately, not all the party was as enamoured with the adventures as I was.
My primary source for running any kind of mystery is the GURPS Mysteries resource book. A close secondary resource would be the bibliography from GURPS Mysteries (which is conveniently located on the SJGames website in Warehouse 13).
I draw on murder mystery books; such as, The Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, the works of Michael Jecks, Bernard Knight, and PD James to name a few.
I draw on murder TV series such as, Cadfael (BBC1 collection) and Longmire (AETV).
I draw on murder films (too many to mention, but Name of the Rose is a good example of pacing).
These secondary sources are as much as what I find when I’m contemplating a crime adventure as what I have read/watched in the past. Transforming these secondary sources into a crime adventure is difficult because if you leave the serial numbers on the plot, some players will recognize it (case in point: I relied a bit too heavily on Cadfael plots early on in this campaign). So for secondary sources, I strongly suggest you get out there and read. A lot.
References & notes
The following is a list of references I always recommend when writing a mystery.
- Gurps Mysteries My primary source for running any kind of mystery is the GURPS Mysteries resource book.
- Gurps Mysteries Bibilography (free)
- The butler did it
- Advice on running mysteries in RPGS solving a mystery or a puzzle in tabletop can be an exercise in frustration for all involved. The article proposes other ways to get around this issue.
- Write a gripping mystery adventure in four steps by Alric offers a straight-line plot method (the opposite of what Mr. Domelen suggests).
- Writing a mystery A string of interlinked forum posts about writing mysteries for rpgs.
- Help the simple minded… is a string of posts on RPG.NET helping a first-time GM run a mystery.
- Murder mystery and high fantasy – how to make it work Examines the technical aspects of murder mysteries in a high-fantasy rpg (magic, psionics, etc).
- Designing puzzle based mysteries Looking into riddles and puzzles in game.
- The Cadfael chronicles by Ellis Peters
- The works of Michael Jecks
- Bernard Knight’s Crowner John Mysteries)
- The works of PD James
- The Medival Murderers (a series of short stories by several authors)
- Buffy, The Vampire Slayer
- Criminal Minds
- Midsomer Murders
- Foyles War
- Boardwalk Empire,
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