Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A party game of deduction and manipulation, Moriarty's Machinations pits Sherlock and Moriarty into a final battle of wits.
A party game of deduction and manipulation, Moriarty's Machinations pits Sherlock and Moriarty into a final battle of wits.
Created by
403 backers pledged $10,684 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Moriarty's Machinations project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$10,684

403

A party game has three things: 1. There aren't tons of tiny pieces to keep track of, 2. The rules are simple enough to pick up in a few minutes (but that doesn't mean the game is easy!), and 3. Social interaction is an essential element of the game.

Moriarty's Machinations is a party deduction game of hidden roles, and can be played with total strangers, your closest friends, or just at home with your family. Outwit your friends as you puzzle out each player's motivations. Each player takes on a unique role, ensuring long lasting strategy exploration. 5-10 players. 30 min to play.

You can check out the rules in their entirety (along with pre-recordings of the script).

Phase 1: Information Exchange

At the start of the game, a script is read to inform each player of their privileged knowledge about some of the other players.

Phase 2: Heists

Players take turns selecting crew members to go on Heists. If the majority of the table approves, then that crew goes on a Heist. Each crew member is given a set of Heist Cards. Cops can choose to Foil the Heist, and it only takes one cop to successfully do so. If no Cops Foil the Heist, then the points are awarded to the Robbers. Otherwise the Cops get the points.

Phase 3: Accusation

Once one team has reached the required point total, the Accusation phase begins. Jack the Ripper and Inspector Lestrade reveal their roles publicly and try to guess who the leader of the opposing team is. If they guess correctly, their team wins. If they tie, then the win is based on Heist points.

Gameplay video @ Knight Moves Cafe!

From left to right: Moran, Moriarty, Jack, Lestrade, Sherlock, Brutus, Watson. We also had to keep the heists tame for the public; normally they are much seedier. We only played to 4 points instead of the normal 5, but you can see the crew selection mechanic at work as crew options dwindle over the course of the game.

Boston Festival of Indie Games - "Indie Ideals: Best game 2014"

Ethan Gilsdorf of The Boston Globe: A "game to watch for"

GameAndACurry filmed this video:

The first half is me explaining the rules, and the second half is impromptu reviews from a few random gamers who just walked in and played the with us.

Game Maker's Guild Seal of Approval - "It is beautiful, elegant and most importantly fun to play." 

BostonBastardBrigade - "A great start to bfig... I'm definitely going to back it."

And here's what a few boardgamegeek users have said!

David McMillan - "The sounds of laughter and dialogue are common elements at the table in every game that I have played… and I love it. My gaming group likes to describe what they’re trying to steal and what they plan to do with it once they’ve got it and I have come to realize that I have been playing games with some very creative (and twisted!) people. I have played several other games of this type and none of them have ever induced the kind of social interaction that this game has."

Emily L - "Every game of Moriarty's Machinations that I've played has been different and I always feel inspired to try new approaches to the roles. That makes it way more fun for me and also makes the game easy to jump into as a new player."

I have spent a year bringing this game to life; countless hours testing and balancing it to bring you the best experience I can. However, I need YOUR help to transform this game from an (all consuming) hobby into a real product. So what are you paying for?

The chart on the left shows what it takes to cross the finish line, whereas the chart on the right shows what I've already invested into this game to get this far.

Shipping and fulfillment is going to be the biggest challenge for this project, so I'll be going with the best in the world: Amazon. They are so efficient that's it's cheaper to go with them than doing it myself personally, and the savings are passed onto you. If there is enough interest from Europe I may set up a European distribution network as well (see Risks below). Keep in mind that international backers will have delayed shipment; I expect no more than a month after US backers.

Timeline:

  • October 13th: Kickstarter ends at 10PM EST.
  • Mid October: Final adjustments (such as adding thank yous to backers to the game rules) are made. Final design and funds sent to AdMagic.
  • Mid December: Holiday cryptograms sent out to backers who chose that option.
  • Late January: Final production run arrives at Amazon in the US.
  • February: US backers receive their games.
  • March-May: Premium rewards scheduled.

AdMagic is a high quality Manufacturer, and amazing to work with. If you want to see a sample of their quality, checkout their other products, including Cards Against Humanity.

CANADA!!!! Canadians only have to add $15 for shipping, rather than the listed $20 for international. Still ridiculous, but better.

10 Role cards, 20 Voting cards, and 21 Heist cards, plus a 2 sheet rulebook.

If you like what you see, I hope that will inspire you to want a physical copy with all the beautiful art and high quality card stock.

  • The Lookout - For those who don't have the means to get the full game at this time, but still want to chip in. Every little bit helps. You'll be memorialized in the rulebook for helping this game make it past the finish line. This level is included with all other reward levels for no extra cost.
  • The Analyst - I'll send you (or a friend) a holiday cryptogram. This reward can be added to any other reward by adding $8 for each cryptogram, and will be unique to each individual recipient.
  • The Coiner -  Not everyone can afford the shipping costs that come with a physical product. This option allows you to print out your own copy of the game. This is also good for international backers on a budget. Included in all higher reward levels for no extra cost.
  • Baker Street Irregular - This is a single copy of the game mailed to you. Standard Stuff.
  • The Correspondent - In order to sign your copy, I will have to mail it to myself, and then mail it to you. Hence, the extra cost is pretty much shipping.
  • The Detective - You will get to partake in hours of deduction and manipulation with me and your fellow backers! Snacks and good times are guaranteed! At the end of the evening, I will write up a personal summary about how the games went, and hand you your very own signed copy.
  • The Proprietor - 10 copies of the game. Intended mostly for international and store owner backers.
  • The Spiritualist - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle devoted himself to spiritualism during the last decades of his life. In honor of the creator of such wonderful characters, I will delve into the mysteries of those long dead. You will receive a fictional account of a real mystery from Sherlock's active period that includes you in a pivotal role. 
  • The Mastermind - Wow. Just wow. You have pledged some serious cash to help this project succeed. Thank you. In exchange, I will construct a personal adventure quest for you and your friends. Be prepared to search for clues all over town in pursuit of your copy of the game! Note: everyone involved will have to sign waivers.

If you would like extra copies of the game, add $14 for each additional copy. If you want a holiday cryptogram, then add $8. International shipping is $20 more, except Canada which is $15 (still ridiculous, but better).

I wouldn't have been able to get this far without help from many people. Here are just a few of them:

  • Gosia - Made all the art for the game, as well as helping me with costuming for the video. Check out more of her art and sewing!
  • Oliver - Made the voice recordings of the Information Exchange scripts on the website. Listen to them here, and check out his youtube channel!
  • Devon - Proprietor of Knight Moves Cafe in Boston, for going the extra mile for the filming at his place!
  • Valerie - Salvaged my jumble of video recordings into the awesome kickstarter video above! Check out her other work!

Risks and challenges

Unlike countless other kickstarters, I'm not doing this in order to fund development. Moriarty's Machinations was developed over six months, and the final form of the game has been tested for another six months with only minor tweaks. The final rulebook has been blind playtested by over 50 people. The wonderful artwork has been completed and checked. The manufacturer and distributor are selected. In short, this game is ready to go. All that's left is final manufacturing, and for that I need YOU.

The biggest risk is the shipping date. It should arrive in February, but there could be unforeseen delays.

I'll be going with Amazon for fulfillment and warehousing in the US and Canada. While I would LOVE to reduce the shipping costs and fees for European backers, doing so is no small matter (as documented by Jamey Stegmaier http://stonemaiergames.com/how-to-provide-free-shipping-worldwide-on-kickstarter-a-comprehensive-guide/). Depending on how many European backers there are, I may set up distribution within Europe with Amazon.de in order to minimize the cost and hassle of customs to European backers, but I cannot commit to such an undertaking yet.

If you've read this far, I deduce that you have the powers of observation necessary to master Moriarty's Machinations. Pledge now to bring this game to life!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    The Lookout - Your name and backer title will decorate the rulebook in appreciation for you support. This reward is added to every other reward tier for no additional cost. You will also be privy to the communiques.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    The Analyst - I will send you (or a friend) a unique holiday cryptogram with an interesting thematic solution. Can be added to any other reward level by adding $8 to it.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Coiner - You will receive a print-and-play pdf of the cards in your email. Rather than wait for me to get it professionally manufactured, you can lovingly hand craft it yourself!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    37 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    Baker Street Irregular - A copy of the game, delivered to you. Includes shipping and handling, so only add $14 for each additional copy.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    317 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    The Correspondent - I will sign a copy of the game and mail it to you. Includes shipping and handling, so only add $14 for each additional copy.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    The Detective - (Boston, NYC, or San Francisco Only) An exclusive evening of Moriarty's Machinations with the designer and fellow kickstarter backers. I will write a personal note based on your experience playing the game, and include it with your copy as I sign it and hand it to you. I will send out a survey to determine a viable date well in advance (most likely March/April). If you can't make it I will still deliver your game (by hand if possible), along with a personal note. Add $14 for each additional copy of the game, but only one seat at the table per backer.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Proprietor - 10 copies of Moriarty's Machinations! If you're a shop owner, this is a great deal. It can also make up for the heavy international shipping costs if you can get some friends together.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Spiritualist - I will research a real life mystery from the Sherlock Holmes time period and write a faux news article chronicling how you personally helped Sherlock Holmes solve the case. Also includes a copy of the game.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    The Mastermind - (Boston, NYC, or San Francisco Only) Instead of receiving a copy of the game in the mail, you will have to earn it by solving a mystery. I will create a personal adventure quest for you and your friends, at the end of which will be your copy of the game.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (38 days)