...is a hidden identity card game with a murder mystery theme. Each player takes on the Persona of a famous detective who has been invited to a party, only to discover their host has been murdered, and one of them is responsible. It is up to the Partygoers to identify and arrest the Killer, or determine if there are multiple Killers, before they get murdered as well.
UPDATE: We have reached our first stretch goal! The game will now come with the printed lanyards like the ones you see in our promotional set, and a bigger, sturdier box than the one that's shown. We initially set this stretch goal to $10,000, but as the campaign has been going, the financial math has slowly changed, to the point where we can now afford the print run we want.
At the start of the game, there is the hidden identity ritual of having all Killers open their eyes and identify one another. One Killer must decide to make the first murder and then leave a Cause Of Death and a Clue, tied to their Persona, on the host's BODY. Regular play begins and everyone goes to the room in which they want to take their turn. Each player, upon entering, takes a Drink, that determines the order of questioning, and opens a Drawer to see if they can find something useful:
When everyone has finished at the table, each player can ask a question of one other, attempting to tie them to the murder, or to uncover the progress of their investigation. Afterwards, the players will disperse to find new players to question. This process of hunting suspects from room to room continues until there is another murder.
At any time during gameplay, one player can attempt to kill another player by giving them a Weapon (with a Cause Of Death), and a Clue. But be careful, if the intended victim has a Weapon, they may try to defend themselves. And be sneaky, if the victim sees the attack coming they are allowed a single scream that could be heard by potential witnesses. The wise Killer will sneak up on the other player, and touch the victim on the back. The victim will not get a chance to scream nor defend themselves.
When a murder is discovered, all the surviving players gather and each is allowed one question to "examine the body." Based on what everyone has learned over their investigations, an Accusation may be made. All the free and living players vote on whether or not to put the player accused of being a Killer under House Arrest.
Play continues until someone makes a Final Accusation, declaring that they know who all the Killers are. Arguments are made, then a vote is taken. Any accused Killers who are still free and alive are placed under House Arrest, and the game ends. Identities are revealed, and the players discover who won: the Partygoers or the Killers.
The game includes a number of traits and mechanics which are unusual, or even completely new (at least to us). Gameplay is spread over multiple rooms, and after each round of play, everyone gets to decide in which room they want to continue with the next round. Other hidden identity games take a vote to determine who gets killed, but Death of the Party has rules for how to murder the other players, and try to get away with it. Rather than have a moderator such as in Werewolf, the Staff gets to play as well, with the clear possibility that after all is said and done, the Butler did it. The play style is free-form, with just enough rules to keep the action moving. With Persona and Identity cards kept on a lanyard, the players can sit or stand, with gameplay that feels more like mingling at a party. All in all, Death of the Party is a game that is unlike anything we've seen before, and everyone who plays it agrees.
- For $5 (shipping included), you can get a copy of our 11" x 17" promotional poster.
- For $35 (plus shipping, unless you want to pick it up at our launch party), you get a copy of Death of the Party.
- For $40 (plus shipping), you get a copy of Death of the Party and our 11" x 17" promotional poster, and your name on our website and Facebook page in the Contributors section.
- For $70 (plus shipping), you get 2 copies of Death of the Party, our 11" x 17" promotional poster, and your name on our website and Facebook page and printed in the rulebook, in the Contributors section.
- For $100 (plus shipping), you get 3 copies of Death of the Party (save $5), our 11" x 17" promotional poster, and your name on our website and Facebook page and printed in the rulebook, in the Contributors section.
- For $300 (plus shipping), you get 10 copies of Death of the Party (save $5 each, $50 total), our 11" x 17" promotional poster, and your name on our website and Facebook page and printed in the rulebook, in the Contributors section.
- REWARD GONE! ~~For $600, you will have the opportunity to leave your mark on Death of the Party. You will work with our team to decide the look and name of the Server Persona. Some restrictions apply: currently the Server has clues including lipstick and earings - while we don't see this as a gender limitation, changes are certainly possible. In addition, You will receive: a copy of the game, the promotional poster, and a specially printed poster of the Server card (signed by the artist) shipped to you. We will list you as the Server on our website, Facebook page and printed in the rulebook, in the Contributors section.~~
- For $750, you will have the opportunity to leave your mark on Death of the Party. You will work with our team to decide the look and name of the Butler Persona. Some restrictions apply: currently the Butler has clues including gloves, a monocle and ash from smoking, but changes are certainly possible. In addition, You will receive: a copy of the game, the promotional poster, and a specially printed poster of the Butler card (signed by the artist) shipped to you. We will list you as the Butler on our website, Facebook page and printed in the rulebook, in the Contributors section.
We want to get Death of the Party made, and give people a chance to play it. As such, we have set our base goal to equal the smallest print run that we can afford: 120 games for $4000. However, at that level we have only managed an artistic success, not a financial one. We will have to use standard black tube lanyards, not the printed lanyards we want. However, we will have published this amazing game, and gotten it to people who want to play it, and ultimately, if that's what happens, it will still feel like a success for us.
(Now that we've reached our basic goal, we have added shipping options for Canada, Mexico, UK and the EU to the Partygoer reward level. If you need shipping to another part of the world, or need international shipping on another reward level, just message us and we'll figure out the charges to update the reward.)
That said, we certainly want Death of the Party to be more successful than that, and with each significant increase in the size of our print run, we can make a few improvements:
The $10,000 estimate was made at the start of the campaign, and it was intentionally a little high in case we needed a financial cushion. However, not only have we gotten the costs down on this print run, some generous pledges have changed the math for affording this goal. The practical upshot is that Death of the Party will now have the printed lanyards like we made for the promotional set, plus a bigger, sturdier box that will better hold our game components.
At this level, we can improve the quality of Death of the Party further, using better materials and printing methods.
While we certainly think Death of the Party is a distinctly different kind of game, it's great to see that game reviewers agree with us...
Bearded Meeple said:
"There are quite a few social deduction games out there, but pretty much every aspect of this game and how it presents itself and plays through, it's definitely going to stand out amongst the crowd. We really enjoyed playing it."
Board Game Capital said:
"We were a little skeptical about moving around and thought it would be a useless filler mechanic to the game. Oh were we wrong!"
Board Game Authority said:
"I love the fact that we’re seeing games that are trying something new, and this does that in a pretty daring fashion."
The Going Last Podcast said:
"I think it's a clever version of this style of game ... and it looks fantastic."
(The review for Death of the Party starts about 33:40.)
Rain City Respawn has also provided an overview of how to play the game; with full disclosure, our artist Robert Maynard is part of the group giving the review:
Death of the Party was born of a collaborative effort between Selvårv Stigård (Ragnarökr Games) and Geoffrey Globus (Cave Banana Games). Art is by Robert Maynard. You can find our respective sites at:
Risks and challenges
Working on Death of the Party has been full of challenges for us, most notably that we can't effectively demonstrate the game at conventions or game shops. Playing the game can be done with two separate rooms (no, setting up dividers doesn't work well), but in order to get the full experience, it's best played in three rooms. We've had game demos at Selv's house many times, and we've had friends playtest a print-and-play version, but it's been difficult to give people an opportunity to try it out.
However, we have taken our risks and there really isn't much left for our backers to experience. We have playtested Death of the Party for a year and a half, streamlined the mechanics, and clarified the rules. The art is done and we have printed demo copies that are close to what the final product will be. We just need to know how big of a print run to order, and to have the money to afford production.
That's where you come in: the more pledges we get to pre-order our game, the larger of a print run we can afford, and the higher quality it gets to be. However, as long as we succeed, we can afford to print Death of the Party, and our backers will get their rewards within a few months after the end of the campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)