Minigame Idea: Murder Mystery

Another idea, this time for a scenario in a larger game (not enough to base a full game on).

Premise: Your character comes to a temple maintained by four monks, where two rival groups of treasure hunters are camped out. Both groups want to take the same relic from a shrine in the temple, to which the monks are opposed. Upon your arrival, you are informed that one of the monks was murdered in the temple, and asked to find the guilty party. Okay, it’s a small-scale version of Clue, pretty much.

Setup: Each group of treasure hunters has four members of different classes, and the group each has its own color scheme; overall there are three different clues to find by questioning the monks, which should allow you to identify the culprit.

Clues:

  • Noise: One of the monks was near the scene, and will remark that he either heard loud footsteps (heavy/booted character), or didn’t hear anything (stealthy/light-footed character).
  • Wound: One of the monks examined the body, and will tell whether the killing blow was struck with an edged or blunt weapon.
  • Color: One of the monks found a small scrap of cloth near the body, matching the primary color of one of the two groups.

Treasure hunters:

  • Knight/Paladin (heavy boots, sword)
  • Barbarian/Gladiator (heavy boots, club)
  • Ninja/Thief (light-footed, knife or sword)
  • Cleric/Mage (light-footed, mace or staff)

..Depending on the game and how the sprites are visually presented, you may need to allow the player to interrogate each treasure hunter to determine their characteristics. The third clue, color, should be fairly obvious (although one could be really devious and make it a red herring, which can be teased out through further questioning).

Resolution: There are several ways to wrap up the mystery, which could result in different rewards.

  • Accuse the wrong person, via any method (worst): Another of the monks is found dead, and the guilty party has escaped with the relic. No reward.
  • Inform the opposite group of hunters which party is guilty: The rival group will kill the suspect (street justice, yo). Gain a reward from the monks, but the suspect’s group will dislike you.
  • Accuse the guilty person directly: You must defeat them in combat. Gain a reward from the monks (plus loot/XP for the kill), but the suspect’s group will dislike you.
  • Inform the suspect’s own group: The suspect’s group will take them into custody, and grant a reward for letting them handle it. The monks will give the standard reward as well.
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