How to plan a murder mystery header

Host a Murder Mystery Party for 20 Players: A Step-by-Step Guide

Make My Murder Mystery Game

Planning a Zoom party needn't be murder

Our personalized murder mystery game generator makes it easy plan a party your guests will never forget.


Personalize your murder mystery game

Get creative and have fun with the script


Play together

Play virtually or in real life


Simple to set up. Easy to play

Fun and safe for all murderers aged 11+

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in real life
Build My Personalized Murder Mystery Game

Are you looking for an exciting way to entertain a crowd of 20 people? Are you hoping for something better than a few rounds of mindless party games? Look no further – hosting a Murder Mystery Party is the key to an unforgettable night of mystery and mayhem!

In this step-by-step blog post, you’ll discover how to plan, host and throw a one of a kind Murder Mystery Party. Already, your imagination is picturing the possibilities – you’re preparing fun characters and crafting a mysterious plot! So, put on your detective hat and let’s get to it.

Quick Summary

You can find a variety of murder mystery games intended for up to 20 players online. Check out websites like Mystery Party Kit and Party Game Universe to find one that fits your needs and budget.

Steps for Planning Your Murder Mystery

Planning a murder mystery party is essential to ensure the participants have an exciting and enjoyable experience. With careful planning, it can be easy and fun to create a mysterious atmosphere full of secrets, suspects, and potential murderers.

When organizing your murder mystery game, there are several steps you need to consider:

1. Choose your theme: Decide on a scenario that fits the occasion and provides opportunities for everyone participating. The theme can be as simple or as extravagant as you like with different props and costumes to enhance the desired effect.

2. Choose your game mechanics: Depending on how many players will be involved, select an appropriate game mechanic allowing each participant to interact with each other in a meaningful way. Considerations should include whether you’ll have one-on-one conversations or larger groups, who will speak to whom and what type of clues will the players have access to during the game.

3. Create characters: Each player is assigned a role within the story such as detective, victim, perpetrator or witness; ensure all roles provide challenges for everyone involved by creating difficult clues, puzzles and challenges which require some degree of thought to resolve. Give each character information sheets so they can play effectively without additional help from others; this will prevent cheating.

4. Outline the sequence of events and script interactions: Draft an outline which sets out the sequence of events for the mystery which includes questions or tasks for each character which leads logically to the resolution of the mystery. Make sure there are enough plot twists and unsatisfactory outcomes that don’t lead directly to one character being determined as guilty too quickly; draw out moments of pause so players can review their facts up until that point before proceeding further.

After considering these important steps for planning your murder mystery party, it’s time to figure out your story next! With an intriguing plot line and carefully devised characters, your guests are sure to be engaged in solving the mystery!

  • A survey conducted in 2019 found that 73% of adults aged 18 and over had participated in at least one murder mystery game.
  • 97% of adults surveyed stated that playing a murder mystery game was an enjoyable experience.
  • Popular genres among murder mystery games include drama, comedy, and horror, with 59%, 17%, and 15% respectively.

Figure Out Your Story

Once you have your players ready to go, the next step is to figure out your story. This is probably one of the most important aspects of hosting a successful murder mystery party. There are two main options when it comes to choosing a story for your game: creating an original story or using a pre-written script.

Creating an original story can be a great way to make your game unique and get everyone inspired. You can write your own characters and clues, allowing you to create intricate plotlines that can really draw in your players. On the other hand, creating an original story can take a lot of time, energy, and creativity that some people just don't have.

Using a pre-written script can take the pressure off from constructing a story from scratch. There are many different scripts available online and in stores that will provide you with character sheets, detailed plotlines, and dialogue that make for an entertaining evening for all involved. However, some people might find these scripts formulaic and unoriginal, leading to a less exciting experience.

No matter which route you decide to go with your story, it's important to think carefully about the dynamic between characters and how the mystery can unfold in suspenseful and captivating ways. Once you have come up with your plotline – either out of thin air or with the help of a tried-and-true script – you'll be ready to move on to the next step: writing a murder script!

Write a Murder Script

Writing the murder script for a murder mystery party is an essential step in preparation. It’s possible to purchase premade murder mystery scripts from various sources, however it may be more worthwhile to take the time to develop your own unique story and characters. Writing your own script can make the game more personal, memorable and tailored to your group of players.

When writing a custom murder script, consider clues that could lead players to solve the mystery and craft interesting characters with backstories and motives as well as opportunities for improvisation. These should all be in line with the theme of your game. Make sure to provide details such as setting and atmosphere so that players can understand what kind of environment they’re immersing in. Additionally, include a range of character roles with varying personalities so that all types of guests can find a role that best suits them.

Having said that, a successful murder mystery party doesn’t always have to have an amazing plot or complicated whodunits. Keep things simple without overwhelming guests with too much complexity; after all, the primary goal is for everyone to have fun during the game!

Once you finish writing your murder script, it’s important that you read through it multiple times to ensure its accuracy and proofread for unclear parts. You should also plan out what kind of props or materials are needed for the scenes and carefully consider how you will assign character roles to each player.

Now that you have written a murder script for your party, you can move on to the next step: dividing up players into characters!

Must-Know Highlights

Writing your own script is beneficial for creating a personal and memorable murder mystery experience. Ensure the mystery is tailored to your guests with interesting characters, motives and clues that align with the game's theme. Keep the plot simple for manageable fun, then read through and edit the script thoroughly and assign roles to each player. After that you can move on to dividing up players into their character roles for the party.

Divide the Players Into Characters

When it comes to hosting a murder mystery party for a large group of players, it's essential to make sure that each player has a character to play. This is when the players step into their roles and it helps create a more immersive environment for them, one that encourages creativity and problem solving. But the key is to ensure that everyone is evenly assigned across the groups of characters.

Before you assign the guests to characters, it's important to consider how many players you have and how many characters will be needed to adequately portray all of the suspects, witnesses, and detectives in your mystery. You also need to think about if any special or specified roles are needed: Does each team need a detective or lead?

It’s best to give each guest their own character so no one has to share; however, depending on your ratio of guests-to-characters, this may not be feasible. In such cases, you can pivot and choose to assign two people as one character, but they need to stay together while they move through the story. If there’s an odd number or someone who can’t attend at the last minute, you can adjust by simply changing a single person character into either two people instead or having them take on two simple tasks together without changing anything else.

Once all of the characters' roles are assigned, it’s important that everyone sticks with their respective parts so as not to spoil the mystery for everyone else playing. It’s also important to provide clear boundaries between each player’s role so no one’s purpose becomes muddled; again, this aids immersion and clarity when playing through your mystery evening.

Having divided your players into their respective characters, you are now ready to gather your props and clues for your evening of mystery fun!

Gather Your Props and Clues

When it comes to hosts setting up a successful murder mystery, the props and clues they use can be just as crucial to the success of their party as setting the scene. For starters, these props will be a major factor in helping to set the mood and atmosphere for everyone attending. Additionally, the props can serve as helpful (yet subtle) reminders to players about who the different characters are, giving them support with staying in character when needed. However, props should never be the only point of focus during your party! A wise host should give their players enough clues to help them connect all the pieces of the puzzle together—so they can truly get in on the “murder mystery” part of this event.

What kind of clues you choose to provide will ultimately depend on the type of mystery you come up with. If you’ve gone down the “whodunnit” route and there is suspicion that revolves around connected evidence– physical clues such as journals, mysterious letters/photographs or detective tools/gadgets might work best for your game. Alternatively, if you’re running a “who-are-they” murder mystery narrative, then you could look at collecting identity materials for each character such as clothing items or name tags. No matter the route you decide to go down – making sure that everyone involved gets value from any props or clues provided is important.

With careful planning and strategy, gathering your props and clues ahead of time can not only make hosting easier but also equip your players with vital information they need in order to solve your ‘mystery’. The next section will outline some basic rules of the game so that hosts know how best to get their players started.

Basic Rules of the Game

Having an organized game plan and a set of rules are essential for hosting a successful murder mystery party. Before starting, provide your guests with the rules to ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of what is expected from them.

The basic rules of the game should include:

• All players should come dressed in their assigned character's costume.

• Everyone playing should have read & studied their suspect information packet.

• Everyone should stay true to their character’s personality and back-story, even if it means falsely accusing innocent people.

• As the host, you can intervene at any time when necessary but try not to disrupt the flow of gameplay too often.

• Clues must be shared rather than withheld; falsely accusing players of the crime will lead nowhere.

• Have fun and remember that losing or winning are not the main objective. The goal is to keep participants involved and motivated throughout the entire storytelling experience.

This set of rules should help guide your guests while they interact with one another and attempt to solve the case by discussing evidence and theories amongst themselves. Debate brings life to a murder mystery and encourages players to engage in problem solving, making it one of the most important elements during gameplay. Ultimately, debating helps participants reach an agreement with each other creating a compelling atmosphere for all involved.

Now that we have established the basic rules of the game, let's take a look at how to assign a host guide who can assist in aiding our players with finding clues and gathering evidence to solve the case.

Assign a Host Guide

When hosting a murder mystery party, it is important to appoint a host guide to help manage the game and keep the guests on track. A host guide is responsible for briefing the players before the game begins, guiding them through during the course of play, and ensuring everyone gets an opportunity to participate. Depending on the complexity of the game and size of your group, you may need multiple host guides to ensure that all players are properly informed and able to understand the game instructions.

There are varied opinions about who should be selected as the host guide. Some people argue that it should be either an experienced friend or family member–someone who is comfortable facilitating large groups—or a hired professional entertainment consultant. This ensures that the rules of the game are followed correctly and all elements come together seamlessly. On the other hand, some people believe that selecting an enthusiastic guest as a host guide may add to energy of the night. This can also give one guest in particular an opportunity to be part of something special and create memorable experiences.

Regardless of who you choose as your host guide, providing him/her with detailed information about how to run each mystery scenario will be helpful in leading each game. After assigning a host guide, gather evidence by identifying potential suspects and collecting relevant clues throughout your investigation.

Investigate and Gather Evidence

Investigating and gathering evidence is an essential part of any murder mystery party. It encourages the guests to collaborate and work together to solve a challenging problem, can reveal interesting information about each character, and builds excitement throughout the evening.

When providing evidence to your guests, consider both tangible and intangible objects they can use to make connections between characters, motives and titles. For example, tangible evidence might come in the form of physical objects or documents while intangible evidence could include overheard conversations or mysterious notes that shed light on the case. Consider also including false leads or debunked evidence so players have to analyze each item carefully and form their own conclusions.

Depending on the complexity of your particular story, you may want to establish specific rules for how evidence can be used during the investigation. Adding restrictions can add more tension (and fun) to the game as it gets more difficult for players to identify the true culprits. Additionally, providing additional puzzles or other materials related to a case’s conclusion can keep everyone motivated and engaged throughout the night.

Once all the pieces are collected, it’s time forplayers to debate and discuss what clues were revealed before finally solving the case. It’s best to give them plenty of time for this process but be sure not to extend it too long as you don't want players start losing interest.

With all the necessary evidence obtained and analyzed, it's time to move onto successfully hosting your murder mystery night.

Successfully Hosting the Murder Mystery Night

Hosting a murder mystery night can be a complicated task. It is important to do everything you can to ensure the success of this event in order to make sure that everyone has a great time and enjoys themselves.

First, make sure all of the players have their costumes and character roles ready early enough so that they have time to get into them before the event starts. Inform each player with their character cards including some clues about their identity and objectives, as well as instructions on how to best play the game. Additionally, make sure you have enough props such as magnifying glasses and notepads for the players.

Second, during the actual game, keep an eye on timing - set a timer or use a stopwatch make sure things don't get stuck at one point. If needed, always be ready to provide hints during the course of the game or remind someone who hasn't followed up with his/her task in due time. Finally, provide physical spaces for players for scenes where two or more people need to talk face-to-face without being interrupted by others - if possible set up actual rooms with doors.

Take time to consider if providing food or drinks is appropriate for the theme of your game. While some hosts might find it easier to not deal with bringing food, it can help keep everyone energized while they work together on solving their mystery. There are plenty of easy-to-prepare recipes that can fit into any murder mystery theme, such as chocolate-covered strawberry syringes or doughnut surveillance cameras – that’s also part of making your guests feel immersed in solving the crime!

Successfully hosting a murder mystery night requires planning, scheduling and creativity. With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to creating a fantastic experience for all your participants! Now we turn our attention towards coordinating the investigation; let’s take a look at how to plan out the sleuthing aspect of your party in our next section.

Coordinate the Investigation

Organizing the investigation is paramount to ensuring that a murder mystery party goes off without a hitch. The main component of this task will involve assembling as much evidence as possible for the players to make deductions about the murderer. This may call for creating clue cards, pre-recording audio or video files, or writing down notes that are crucial to the case.

To make sure everyone has the materials they need for their exploration, it is beneficial to both print and digital copies of the clues. With printed copies, each player can have a tangible record on hand - but with digital copies they can follow along more easily with an electronic device. Some evidence will be used immediately while others must remain hidden until later. It is up to you to decide how best to organize the resources and whether all objects should be discovered right away or held back until after an appropriate interval has passed.

It is also important to consider the type of detective work required by your players. Should they search physical items, interrogate suspects, or merely take in verbal clues? While some people may prefer more hands-on methods, others might not be comfortable with handling evidence or making direct inquiries. Working out these personal preferences in advance will save time and help everyone remain engaged in the experience throughout its duration.

When coordinating the investigation, it is helpful to keep track of all activities using a checklist and timeline so that nothing gets overlooked during the setup process. Free templates are available on many websites and can save you from having to start from scratch when putting together the elements of your murder mystery party’s investigation phase.

With careful planning and organization in place, let the players gather together and start exploring all their options for finding justice!

Let the Players Gather Together

When hosting a Murder Mystery Party, the gathering of players is critical. Gatherings provide an opportunity to make sure that your guests are aware of the night’s planned activities as well as providing time to mingle and socialize.

Hosting structure is important when it comes to having any type of party, particularly murder mystery parties. Therefore, when having events like these, it is vital that you plan for your guests’ arrival times. Depending upon the size of the group, you may wish to have them all arrive at once or in increments to keep conversation from feeling overcrowded and hectic. Consider the size of your home or venue when determining what arrival strategy works best for your gathering.

Having a dress code or theme also provides a united front and creates additional suspense for all participants. Weekly gatherings can be hosted in private groups, such as at someone’s residence or local venues such as restaurants and clubs. However, hosting with a centralized locations makes providing props and décor more practical because there is less risk of losing items between location changes. Additionally, controlled space allows hosts greater authority and control over the dynamics of the evening.

As much fun as they are, planning one requires attention to detail and thoughtful preparation on the part of the host. Overlooking simple details can create confusion or chaos during game proceedings; be sure to take extra precaution and check off critical points on your list ahead of time so no information falls through the cracks! With these considerations in mind, hosting these unique parties should become easier for all involved.

To wrap up this section, remember that gathering players together offers not only a chance to socialize but also an opportunity to formally introduce them to the plan for the evening's festivities and get everyone excited about participating in the Murder Mystery Party! With that understanding in place, let's move onto our final section: concluding and reflecting on our murder mystery experience!

Conclusion and Reflection

Hosting a murder mystery party for 20 players is an exciting way to add some fun and excitement to any event. By following the step-by-step guide on choosing a theme, gathering supplies, creating roles, facilitating the game, and concluding the evening, it’s possible to have a successful mystery night that all of your guests will enjoy.

When planning out a murder mystery party for 20 players, it can be difficult to decide on the best approach for managing such a large group. While it may be difficult to disagree with fun being had throughout the evening, it is important to consider the challenges of having too many guests attending your event. On one hand, having more than 20 players means that the storyline can become fragmented and complex due to multiple plot lines running concurrently in different groups at the same time. On the other hand, having the maximum amount of twenty players ensures that everyone has adequate space and ample opportunity to freely move around in their environment which can help them be more immersed in the story as they investigate and develop their role-playing characters.

At the end of the day, hosting a murder mystery party requires careful consideration and planning regardless of how many people are attending. Whether you have fewer than or exactly twenty participants, hosting a successful game night depends primarily on finding sources of inspiration for creating interesting roles and intriguing plot lines for everyone involved. With thoughtful planning and plenty of preparation, your event should run smoothly and successfully regardless of size.

Finally, reflecting on this experience provides valuable insight into what would make for an enjoyable evening for future murder mysteries. Considering all aspects from game choice to roles handed out can make all the difference between an engaging night or one that falls flat—so take some time after every game night to brainstorm new ideas that could be incorporated into future events.

With all that discussion aside, let's move onto exploring the benefits of playing murder mysteries - specifically when hosting parties filled with 20+ players.

Benefits of Playing Murder Mysteries

Playing murder mystery parties provide numerous benefits. Firstly, they provide a unique entertainment opportunity. A well-crafted story and dramatic resolution can keep players engaged and entertained for several hours, especially if there are multiple endings to the story or unexpected twists. Players can enjoy themselves without necessarily having to interact with each other, as the focus is more on the game itself than having conversations. Furthermore, teaming up with other players as opposed to going it alone can promote social interaction and team skills such as communication and problem-solving, allowing participants to be creative together and foster better relationships.

Another benefit of playing murder mysteries is that they are relatively easy to organize. All you need is a printer or computer with an internet connection, some paper (for printing out scripts), and around 20 players. It is not necessary to buy any special props, although they may help add to the experience. Furthermore, many companies offer personalized game packages that allow groups to customize their game play in various ways. The creation of your own custom game environment is a great way for the group to express their collective creativity.

Finally, hosting a murder mystery party allows players an opportunity for fun without breaking their budget. Since all materials are relatively inexpensive and accessible through online outlets or printable via home printers, players don't have to spend too much money – either individually or collectively – to enjoy this form of entertainment.

Still, playing murder mysteries does come with some drawbacks. For example, there can be some confusion when beginning a new game due to the complexity of rules and mechanics involved in the gameplay process. Though not necessarily difficult to understand, they require patience on the part of the host(s) or facilitator(s) to explain them during pre-game setup so that everyone is confident in understanding how play progresses; any confusion right away could lead participants feeling disinterested in continuing play or lacking engagement throughout the duration of the game itself. Additionally, with larger groups or table setups it can sometimes become difficult or slow down gameplay as players must wait for one another in order to read clues or discuss ideas.

Overall, however, murder mystery parties offer up a unique form of entertainment that has been highly popular for many years. With its ability for customizability when scripting stories or setting up game environments combined with relatively low overhead costs associated with hosting such an event, there is much enjoyment and satisfaction to be gained from both hosting a murder mystery party and playing it alongside others.

Common Questions and Responses

Are there any pre-made murder mystery scenarios for 20 players that I can use?

Yes, there are plenty of pre-made murder mystery scenarios for 20 players that you can use. Whether you're looking for a classic game such as Clue or a more elaborate interactive experience tailored to the interests of your group, there is something perfect for everyone. Many game publishers offer free downloadable PDFs with pre-made scripts, character descriptions, and marketing materials while others offer professionally designed boxed sets with everything needed already included. Making sure you choose a game best suited to your group's size, interests and skill level will help ensure maximum engagement and an enjoyable evening.

What materials do I need to run a murder mystery game for 20 players?

To run a murder mystery game for 20 players, you will need the following materials:

1. A script with mystery elements and information about the roles of each character - This is essential in order to set up the game, as it contains all the clues and tasks that the players must complete in order to solve the case.

2. Invitations - You'll need to create or buy invitations that can be used to invite people to your game. Be sure to include the necessary information such as the time, place and theme of the game.

3. Character cards - Each player should have their own individual character card that outlines their role within the story. These cards contain information about their goals, secrets and any special abilities they might have in order to help them solve the case.

4. Props – Props are an important part of creating a believable atmosphere for your game. Consider using items like fake weapons, mysterious documents or objects related to the mystery.

5. Prizes – It’s always nice to reward participants for deducing who-dunnit correctly so consider providing a few prizes for those who do!

6. Puzzles and Riddles – Riddles and puzzles are classic murder mystery elements so make sure you provide some for your players to solve throughout the evening.

What are some tips and strategies for running a murder mystery game for 20 players?

Running a murder mystery game for 20 players can be tricky, but with the right tips and strategies you can create an amazing experience. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Plan ahead: Before the party, make sure to plan out your game carefully. Take time to plan out all of the characteristics of the characters and events in your murder mystery game, so that everything will go smoothly on the day of.

2. Engage your players: Ensure that all 20 of your players have something interesting to do throughout the game. Consider assigning specific roles to each player, and encourage them to interact with other players in order to uncover clues or hints about the murderer’s identity.

3. Provide plenty of clues: It’s important for your players to have enough information about the crime and its perpetrators in order to progress through the game. Provide your players with plenty of informative material and background as well as physical evidence that they can examine as part of their investigation.

4. Keep it organized: With so many people involved, it’s essential for you as the host to be able to keep track of what’s going on during the game. Make sure that all of the rooms where the game is taking place are clearly labeled so that everyone knows what’s happening at any point in time and it’s easier for you to direct people when needed.

5. Create an immersive atmosphere: Put some thought into creating a mysterious and thrilling setting for your murder mystery party in order to add ambiance and energy to your event. This could include things like dim lighting, spooky music, or props that supplement different elements of your game.

Related Content

Checkout our other guides for murder mystery games for large groups:

Play online or in real life murder mystery game

Play at a whodunnit dinner party with friends – or on Zoom, Facetime or Hangouts.


Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Host a murder mystery party your friends will love


Family Get-together

Nothing unites a family like murder!


Play over video

Play online or in real life

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in-person
Make My Murder Mystery Game

“It was so much fun and easy for people to get involved. A really brilliant murder mystery story!”

Nick T

“Everyone was engaged from the start and threw themselves into solving the murder. The event was great fun – and brilliant value for money.”

Bryn J

“Hilarious! Played over Zoom, in 6 locations, including 2 countries. Even our 78 year old mother managed it!”

Joseph H

“A great night with friends! Will definitely be going with these guys again!”

Tori K

Play online or in-person

Play on Zoom or get together in real life

Create your own murder mystery

Customize your game script

Quick and simple to build

Only takes 15 mins to create

Add your own characters

Use real names or make them up

Play on your phone

Or print out the PDF script

Fun for everyone

Detectives aged 11+

Whodunnit game night

A murder mystery game to play with friends

Crime solving game

Use your detective skills

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create a customised murder mystery script in less than 15 mins
  • Perfect for dinner parties and virtual team building
  • Play on screens or print out the PDF scripts
Make My Murder Mystery Game

Create a personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in real life
Build My Personalized Murder Mystery Game