We’ve had a couple of questions about “Information” lately, in particular what do we mean when an ability says something like “After talking briefly with another player, you realize that they revealed more than they intended. They must show you their Information.”
Of course it’s obvious to us – but that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone.
So to be clear, when we say “Information” we mean the small nugget of information on page 6 of the character booklet (or on that character’s information card on our older games).
However, with our new game (Lord and Lady Westing’s Will, due soon) we’re going to try using the word “Clue” instead. If that’s successful, then we’ll slowly move our old games over to the new terminology.
(That means that the ability will say: “After talking briefly with another player, you realize that they revealed more than they intended. They must show you their Clue.”)
As for what Information/Clues actually are, they’re really just a clue to a plot. It’s something that the character knows that, in game terms, we’d like to see deliberately circulated around the game. (Sometimes they pertain directly to the murder, often they don’t. And sometimes they are red herrings. We’ve made that clearer in the new game.)
We created the Information/Clue mechanic because our experience is that some players like to hoard information. This can cause problems because for our games to work best, the players need to share information. That way when a player learns a key piece of information that they need for one of their character’s goals, they can act on it. If everyone hoards their information then plots can fail and our games aren’t as much fun as they should be.
We have found that the more you play our games the more likely you are to share information, so the Information/Clue mechanic becomes less critical the more experienced your group is.