Who Shot the Sheriff is a murder mystery party game for 12 to 15 guests and a host. It is set in a ghost town in the Old West, in 1869. Download the free introductory pdf file.
Who Shot the Sheriff is a bang-up evening of gold-hunting, investigating, six-shooting and double-dealing! Your guests will be in the middle of the action, and it will be up to them to wheel and deal to get what they want. Will they achieve their goals, keep their secrets hidden, and survive Who Shot the Sheriff?
“I must say, I found Who Shot the Sheriff to be a very enjoyable night. The way the plot was written was cleverly twisted, and led many players (including myself) to believe they had found the killer before realizing they had been following a dead end all along. I was particularly entertained by the classic Wild West feel: there was every type of character from cowboys to indians, and from bartenders to bankers. There was also a good mix of classic good guy characters, sneaky bad guys, and of course, the renegade characters who really don’t pick a side and just care about themselves! It was such a great night, and I would definitely participate in another game if I was invited. In fact, I might even just host one myself! ”
Jeff Lange, United States
|See stories and pictures
from Who Shot the Sheriff
Buzzard Creek Buzz
In the summer of 1869, two stagecoaches set out from the small town of Dustville on a three-day trip across the American West to San Francisco. A new source of gold has been discovered 20 miles from San Francisco, attracting miners, prospectors and businesspeople.
After two days, the stagecoaches stop for a break at a ghost town called Buzzard Creek. It’s a chance to water the horses and let everyone stretch their legs. Buzzard Creek is deserted save for a few old-timers, Sheriff Cassidy, Deputy Baxter, Good-For-Nothin’ Ned, and the employees of the Gold Nugget Saloon.
Unfortunately, before the horses are ready, a dust storm approaches. Then, gunshots ring out. In the stables, the Bartender finds Sheriff Cassidy sprawled face-down with gunshot wounds in his back, his gun lying beside him. With the passengers and townsfolk gathered in the Gold Nugget Saloon, the full force of the ferocious dust storm arrives, confining everyone inside. Everyone, including Sheriff Cassidy’s killer…
Who Shot the Sheriff lasts for about four hours and is suited to an evening. It is often played over a meal – a finger buffet if possible, to allow guests to circulate and talk in private.
“Who Shot the Sheriff is great for younger players, highly recommended.”
Chris Spetter, United States
Includes rules for the use of poison.
Includes rules for combat.
The free introductory pdf file contains an introduction to the game, a cast list of all the characters, and a copy of the Buzzard Creek Buzz.
Cast of characters
- Willard Preston: a rough and tough-looking traveler hoping to start a new life in San Francisco with his girl, Ruby-Mae.
- Ruby-Mae Marshall: a fun-loving traveler hoping to start a new life in San Francisco with her feller, Willard.
- Runs Like a Deer: a quiet, determined Indian woman.
- Piper Lee: a prospector following the Gold Rush.
- Jessie Calhoun: a sharp-eyed female adventurer traveling alone.
- Fitzhugh Smith: a wealthy, gentlemanly city slicker who owns a chain of banks and savings-and-loan companies.
- Doctor Shiloh Merriwhether: an eccentric doctor notorious for working with the Indians.
- Doctor Riley Bones: a doctor famous for traveling the world and discovering exotic remedies.
- Elijah Entwhistle: a fiery traveling preacher.
- Christy Martin: an enterprising business owner.
Buzzard Creek Locals
- Sam Banks: owner of the Gold Nugget Saloon, and the editor of the local newspaper.
- Blaise Sadler: the saloon’s only waitress, and the “most beautiful girl in town” winner for three years in a row.
- Laughing Owl: a mysterious local Indian.
- Good-For-Nothin’ Ned: a scruffy local ne’er-do-well.
- Deputy Beau Baxter: the new Sheriff Deputy, who only arrived in Buzzard Creek last month.
Who Shot the Sheriff is for 12 to 15 players:
- 12 players (5 male, 4 female, 3 any)
- 13 players (6 male, 4 female, 3 any)
- 14 players (6 male, 4 female, 4 any)
- 15 players (6 male, 4 female, 5 any)
You also need a host – someone to organize the party and ensure everything runs smoothly.
How Freeform Games murder mysteries work
Who Shot the Sheriff is unlike other murder mystery games. Although the game starts with a murder, each character has several goals they must try to accomplish. While they may want to solve the murder, Who Shot the Sheriff contains plenty of other plots and secrets to keep everyone busy. Who Shot the Sheriff isn’t scripted, and lets the players decide how to achieve their goals and thwart their enemies..
All in all I’d say Who Shot the Sheriff was a GREAT game! It was the most well thought out game that I have hosted so far. PERFECT for hosts that have experience because of the intricate plots!”
Rob Newbold, Ohio, United States
On the evening of the game the guests are met by the organizer, the Bartender, and welcomed to the Gold Nugget Saloon.
They then receive their detailed backgrounds – including dark secrets, objectives and money. The fun then begins as they form alliances, blackmail each other, steal items and maybe even try to murder one another! Along the way they may uncover some of the mysteries of Who Shot the Sheriff. What happened to the money stolen from the Bank of Dustville? Is the “Gold Rush Ghost” an evil spirit, or a human being? Who is the mysterious masked Stranger, and who is the notorious gold-smuggler Handlebar Harry?
Finally, the game concludes and everyone finds out how they did, and what secrets everyone else was concealing.
Recommended for ages 12+
We recommend Who Shot the Sheriff for those aged 12+, as it is family-friendly and contains no adult themes.
Sometimes you have too many guests and need more characters. So most games have free extra characters (written by us or previous hosts) included in the download when you purchase the game.
- ‘Ginger’ Roberts – freelance reporter in search of the Big Story. (Any)
(by Freeform Games)
- Doc Faraday – local medical practitioner. (M)
(by Freeform Games)
Please note that we haven’t always tested these – and they may not tie in exactly with our games.
“Thank you for a great site, fantastic games, good service and very quick reply. Keep up the good work.” Ole Martin Brodwall, Norway
Cast Iron Guarantee
We offer a Cast Iron Guarantee on all our murder mystery games. If you’re not completely satisfied with Who Shot the Sheriff then please let us know within 30 days and we will refund you. See our full terms and conditions, and our refund policy.
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