{Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

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{Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Articuno on Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:06 pm

Have you ever sat through a Murder Mystery and wonder, "Why the hell is the host making us do this?" or "Why are they telling us the moves they're using? That just ruins the fun!"? Well you're not alone. If I'm going to be honest, I rarely participate in Murder Mysteries, mainly for two reasons: 1. I usually get killed or voted off at the beginning for various reasons, or 2. I don't really like the ridiculousness and redundancy of the plot I'm forced to participate in. 

However, thanks to the new mechanics of choosing Murder Mystery hosts, everyone now has a fairly equal chance of being chosen, because you have to put your idea down! Of course, your idea itself isn't what makes an RP succeed. So, do you want to learn how to be a good (or fairly decent) MM host? Just keep reading!

1. The Idea


The first thing people will look at before choosing a host is the idea that's presented on the poll. Do your best not to reuse an idea that's been played over multiple times. Examples of this would include some kind of party, a vacation, or, the most overused setting/introduction I've seen, being randomly invited to a random place and then being forced to go there for no reason. 

Try to keep setting ideas fresh! You're only limited by your imagination in terms of setting. Here are a few tips when you submit your idea for the host poll:

  • Choose something exciting! No one's going to want to join in on an MM in an elderly care center or a regular park. Look for something that hasn't been done before, like a safari tour gone wrong or exploration of an old tomb where the killers are possessed by evil spirits. See, isn't that more appealing?
  • Keep the rest of the roleplay in mind. Does your idea explain why a multitude of Pokemon would be gathered somewhere at the same time, and detail why several of them are deranged killers looking to massacre the entire group? And again, please for the love of Arceus don't use the 'they received invitations' thing. 
  • Make your submission short and sweet... with just a bit of detail. Just giving the setting itself isn't going to do you any favors, even if it's something original. Try to add in some tidbits about what might actually happen during the RP itself!

Here's an example of something I might PM to the host poll creator if I were running for host: 
+Blue Kitteh: Your group of Pokemon were out on an excursion in the Safari Zone, but several of the Pokemon you're with are controlled by humans and looking to kill you off for profit! 

2. Hosting Etiquette


If you've been chosen to host, congratulations! Now here are some things to keep in mind. 

  • Always follow the rules. You don't want to be embarrassed by getting a warn for caps or a reminder not to bold for something not related to the RP. 
  • Do your best to speak with proper grammar/punctuation. Your English may not be perfect, but it actually does a lot of good to show others that you know how to type. 
  • Try to be efficient. It might be hard to manage a document and keep track of everything in the RP, but if you ever need help, don't hesitate to ask your cohosts or even a staff member to take care of some things for you. People don't like waiting.
  • Choose co-hosts you trust. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you choose to have cohosts, make sure you actually know them as roleplayers. An RP can be made or broken by the actions taken by co-hosts. Remember that they're not just there to keep track of the document or to do polls. They contribute to the plot as well, so being on good terms with your co-hosts is crucial.
  • Delegate with your co-host(s). Make it clear that one co-host will manage the document and the other will do the polls if you have two, and that they can alternate with killing off the ones who are voted off. It's best to be as organized as possible.

3. Stepping Stones


No host is going to be perfect. As someone who hosts alone, I can tell you that it really is difficult to keep track of both what the people in the RP are actually doing and the document and the polls at the same time. However, what most people join MM for is the story rather than the excitement of finding out who's actually the killer. As the host, you are essentially the story-weaver, and here's how to make your story succeed.

  • Detail, detail, detail. Out of these two posts, which one would you rather see from your host: 1. "It was stormy", or 2. "Dark grey clouds shrouded the sky overhead. A deep rumble ran across the sky, and after an almost serene pause, thunder boomed out from the heavens. As if the sound was an announcement, drops of rain pattered down, drenching everyone to their core." The second one, right? Imagery and detail are probably the two most important things to keeping people interested.
  • Describe the deaths. It is the most utterly boring thing when hosts say, "Wow, it must have been a Thunder!" or something along those lines. The MM derails into people spamming /learn or /ds, and all the fun is taken out. This kind of goes with detail, but it's important enough to get its own section. As the host, you should ask your killers what their movesets are, and have general knowledge enough to describe that move when they use it. Some moves might be a bit difficult to describe, such as Attract, so you might want to ask your killers for attacking only moves... but remember, don't just outright say it!
  • Keep things as realistic as possible in terms of your setting. You don't want to be stuck in a snowstorm when all of a sudden, someone dies from being smothered in cookies. Like, what? Leaver deaths or AFK deaths might be an exception to this rule (I use leaver deaths as an excuse to add a bit of humor in my MMs), but otherwise, don't add in random nonsensical events. This includes adding in characters from other fandoms who don't fit into the setting at all, as well as killing off the people who were voted as a killer in extremely unoriginal or random ways.

I can't make it clear enough that you are not going to be able to incorporate every single one of these things right off the bat. It's difficult to write descriptively, and frankly, it can be hard to manage co-hosts along with the roleplayers. However, with time and practice, you can develop your skills as a writer, a host, and in an offhand way, a leader. 

Hope this helped! Smile

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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Galom on Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:12 pm

Excellent guide. I don't often host MM, but I found myself trying to instinctively follow these guidelines anyway.

You should probably advertise this in the Roleplaying chatroom. I feel like it could honestly help a lot of people. MM is a RP where the fun of the participants varies heavily on the skill of the host, so having good hosts is very important.

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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Divine Aerial-Noivern on Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:19 pm

Good Advice! Show it to the modern hosts.
They'll love it Wink
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Emperor of Birds on Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:46 pm

Blue Kitteh wrote:- Choose something exciting! No one's going to want to join in on an MM in an elderly care center or a regular park. Look for something that hasn't been done before, like a safari tour gone wrong or exploration of an old tomb where the killers are possessed by evil spirits. See, isn't that more appealing?

- Keep the rest of the roleplay in mind. Does your idea explain why a multitude of Pokemon would be gathered somewhere at the same time, and detail why several of them are deranged killers looking to massacre the entire group? And again, please for the love of Arceus don't use the 'they received invitations' thing.

This, this, so much this. I hate it when I have to deal with the generic insane host or I'm forced into gathering with 20 other people and suddenly I can't do anything about a group of people killing us all for no reason. Yeah, I'm probably sounding salty here, but PLEASE consider the usual cliches in MM so you can prevent yourself from making the RP rather uninteresting to the audience.

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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Devon (Aegislash) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:36 pm

It'd be a cool plot idea if everyone was in fact a former murderer or criminal, and they were all sent to a rehabilitation center to have their memory erased. However some of the procedures went wrong, so just most of them forgot their past, while the remaining few still remember, and need to satisfy their killing thirst. Even better, the players won't know anything until later in the rp, where the host explains their origins, and everyone is shocked
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Articuno on Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:05 pm

Devon (Aegislash) wrote:It'd be a cool plot idea if everyone was in fact a former murderer or criminal, and they were all sent to a rehabilitation center to have their memory erased. However some of the procedures went wrong, so just most of them forgot their past, while the remaining few still remember, and need to satisfy their killing thirst. Even better, the players won't know anything until later in the rp, where the host explains their origins, and everyone is shocked

Yeah, that really would be interesting. ^^ I think the problem with hosts at the moment is that they think of a general idea and just wing it rather than having a plan in mind for how their RP will move. Even if it's just an outline of a plot, having some guidelines to follow throughout the RP will make it seem more organized. 

But I went off on a tangent xD Yeah, that's an awesome idea. It's creative, I like it. Smile

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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Kismesis 413 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:11 pm

I agree. Because who's going to a creepy factory for no reason?
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by The Penguinari of Sweg on Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:54 pm

Well, hopefully now people won't do mundane intros.  I'm actually getting sick of 'You get a letter.'

And I 100% agree on the co-host trusting thing. I've had very bad experiences with picking random cos. Mostly saying very irrelevant things and messing up the story.
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Chris Greenfield on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:52 pm

Actually, the thing that I wanted to see here was: New ideas actually attracts people and not mainstream things. Although with that aside, It's a great idea.
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by LinkTheLeafeon on Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:48 pm

I Once Hosted a MM(Nyan Shinx) And I Was Terrible, Got millions of 2/10's, But ill keep this guide in hand. I might need it one day...
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Re: {Roleplaying Guide} How To Host Murder Mystery

Post by Articuno on Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:11 am

LinkTheLeafeon wrote:I Once Hosted a MM(Nyan Shinx) And I Was Terrible, Got millions of 2/10's, But ill keep this guide in hand. I might need it one day...
Hey man, don't worry too much about it. Not everyone is an excellent story-teller right off the bat and to get better, you should just keep trying. ^^

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