Lord and Lady Westing’s Will is one of our more challenging murder mystery games to run online. The game is set in an English country house with numerous private bedrooms to sneak into.
Our rules for searching the rooms involve talking to the host (because you probably don’t have an English country house of your own to run the game in).
Online this can become complicated.
One problem we have had in creating locations using Zoom or Discord is that when players want to do something in that location (such as hide an item), they move themselves to that location to do that. After all, that’s what they’d do in real life.
But we want them to interact with the host, so that the host knows what’s going on. And the host may be somewhere else.
Ryan, one of our customers, ran Lord and Lady Westing’s Will using Discord and here’s his story about he set up and used locations.
Ryan discussed with us his ideas, and one that caught our attention was this:
“I realized that in Discord, I can make certain channels visible and accessible only to certain roles in the channel, so I was planning to have all the upstairs private rooms hidden to everyone except to me, and then create a small channel called “Stairs”.
“If I saw anyone go into the “Stairs” room, I’d go in and ask them which room they’d want to access, and then move them myself into the channel corresponding to that room (which again they normally can’t see, but once I move them into it they can see it). That way no one else could see them in the channel, it would just seem like they had disappeared for the time being.”
He then reported back after his party:
“The party turned out great! I had a voice channel for each of the rooms on the ground floor, and then a Quiet Corner that only two people could go into for more secretive discussion.
“I also had the Stairs, which only 1 person could fit into at a time, leading to hidden upstairs rooms (which I would drag the guests into after they told me where to go).
“I was the only host, so it got a bit hectic towards the end of the game and adding someone else to help out with items or moving people around would have been be nice. Besides that, I feel like the private rooms had their ups and downs. It gave a sense of privacy to what you were doing. If lots of people were upstairs, the ones downstairs would notice because half of the people were missing from the voice channels.
“That led to some curious individuals going upstairs to specifically find out who was in what room. At first I was apprehensive because just easily letting a guest find someone who took the time to hide in a bedroom sounded lame for the Guest #1 searching the room, but in the end I winged it and told the Guest #2 that they had to spend some time “looking” for Guest #1 (usually like 3 minutes). That felt fairer, but I feel like there’s a better way I could’ve handled it.
“I’m definitely going to run another game soon. Thanks again for all the advice!”
We like creating small spaces in Discord – it’s something we’ll try in future as well.
If you’ve run a game online, we would love to hear about it.