I’m currently tinkering with an idea for a modern NZ-set whodunnit for NaLaWriMo 2021. I’ve roughly decided on my victim, thought a little about the dirty secrets everyone has (and which should be revealed) to provide drama, and a little about what else there might be to do besides solve the murder (because monoplots suck). But I’m wondering how the characters should actually solve things. There are basicly two approaches:
- Mechanical: every character has some ability to detect lies, force the revelation of a secret, or block one or other of these. Eventually, the murderer runs out of blocks, and is exposed (this technique is used in a lot of early Freeform Games products).
- Pure deduction: the characters just decide for themselves whose story doesn’t add up.
If there is an Investigator, then they traditionally decide who the murderer is (possibly with a ritualistic phrase “you’re nicked”). If not, then it seems normal for the cast to just vote on who will be turned over to the police.
So, which style do people prefer?
(Note: I am not committed to this concept yet, and there are at least two other game ideas running around in my head. But my initial week to decide on an idea is almost up, so I need to commit soon).