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Hard-boiled

Hard-boiled

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Hard-boiled
Designer: Nick Howard
Players: 2+ (small teams also work)
Stuff required: As many trilbies; maps and hardboiled eggs as there will be players (or teams of players). Items required for crime scenes depends on the imagination and budget of the individual organiser.
Crew required: 1 organiser to explain the rules, to distribute items and to award winners. 4+ actors - at least one for each crime scene, although multiple actors are supported and encouraged.
Preparation: A lot of time can be spent setting up the scenes and producing the maps.
Time required: 15 minutes to explain the rules and distributing items, 2 hours+ to play the game. 10 minutes for scoring.
Place required: A park or similar large area. Must provide enough space and variety for the various crime scenes.
Activities: Deduction, finding.
Discuss this game
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This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
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This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

An egg-stremely enjoyable detective game. The players must piece together clues to locate the Fat Man.

Preparation

The players are private detectives, armed only with trilby hats and maps. These maps are simple, allowing the players to locate the 'crime scenes'. These can be as simple as an actor waiting for players to arrive, or infinitely elaborate (it is recommended that, to avoid problems, they don't look too much like modern crime scenes). Examples are listed below. Making use of the available scenery is highly encouraged – not only does it allow for more compelling scenes, but it also helps your players to find them. Usually three or four crime scenes should be sufficient, but larger numbers (perhaps corresponding to larger groups of players) are supported.

The maps given to players must be simple and uncluttered but still easy to identify crime scenes with. Each crime scene should be captioned, to allow the recording of clues.

The clues are handed to the players by the actors, and can be spoken or written phrases, simple pictorial clues, something completely different, or any combination therein – the important thing is that they are easy to record (and thus remember) and that only when combined they point to the Fat Man. This is a hidden crime scene, in which an actor (of either gender, despite the name) waits to be discovered. They have a stockpile of numbered, hard boiled eggs to give out to victorious players in the order they finish the game.

Player Instructions

The players, following their maps, visit each of the crime scenes (in any order) to receive clues from the actors. When assembled, these phrases enable them to find the last crime scene – the hideout of the Fat Man. When they discover him (or her), the Fat Man will award them a numbered hardboiled egg (aha!), the first player to find him getting egg 1, and so on.

After the pre-determined time has elapsed, the players assemble to return their eggs and receive possible prizes.

Game Variations

To prevent eggsasperation for players who do not receive egg 1, it is recommended that the winning eggs are chosen at random at the end of the game – thus any player could be a winner. If so, it is important to make this clear at the beginning.

A possible twist in preparation is to split the map into segments, providing players or group of players with different parts at the beginning. The actors at the scenes can then give the players another piece of the map, each with a new crime scene on it. This encourages the players not to follow each other around. Be advised – unless you make sure that the actors have a reserve of different numbered map pieces, it is possible for players to become stuck, or have to double back and beg another piece from an actor – not quite so fun!

Another twist – more useful with larger numbers of people or crime scenes – is to mark one clue as 'vital', without which the Fat Man will not relinquish an egg to a player. This prevents players from guessing ahead, or simply combing the area.

Crime Scene Examples

Inevitably, it's a good idea to mark some of your scenes as being part of a game. It spoils the immersion if a corpse has to keep getting up to reassure passers-by that they just are playing dead.

  • Surly constable guarding a chalk outline
  • Shifty-looking informant
  • Femme fatale in a red dress, waiting at a bar
  • Injured partner, lying at the bottom of a long drop
  • Heavies, sent by the Fat Man
  • etc