The gang gets together to explore the ins and outs of running a mystery or investigative game in Savage Worlds.
We start by discussing how each one of us goes about building a mystery (aka ‘the story’). JiB starts us off with a classic murder mystery session. The general consensus among the hosts is to build the plot backwards with extreme attention to details, and let the player characters create their own red herrings. Make sure you answer the Who, What, Why, Where and How of the perpetrator of the crime.
David suggests using a previous adventure with your gaming group, taking their dead characters as the victims of a crime as inspiration for your session or game.
We also discuss clues such as NPC witnesses, making them incredibly obvious and multiple ways the players can get the information. High production value props like matchbooks, shredded papers, and downloadable phone messages (audio files from Dropbox via a QR code) for immersion. I also suggest reinforcing the validity of a clue by threatening the player characters dramatically. And finally, don’t leave the clues up to chance by rolling dice.
We briefly discuss the value of establishing trust with your players, so they share their thoughts and plans with you so you can help them succeed.