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Choose Your Own Adventure: Whodunnit

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I suppose you’re all wondering why I called you here tonight. After the successes of last week’s NOIR choose your own adventure, here is a choose your own adventure story about WHODUNNITS. And remember, the way we do it, it’s part game, part quiz, part mad-libs.

The Rules:

You’re going to need a six-sided die or a random number generator that goes from 1-6. Like this one (which you can use):

We’re going to follow standard board game rules. Roll a number from 1-6, but instead of counting the number of spaces on a board, you’re going to take that number’s corresponding narrative element and add it to your story. Then you’ll roll again and add the next element, and so on and so forth.

Whenever you see a pair of brackets like this [ ] , that means I’m asking you to fill in the details based on personal information, or the first thing that pops into your head, or a synonym for something. Kind of like mad libs.

Got it? Okay, here we go.

Paratextual Matter

Your title is…

1 = The Strange Affair in [your neighborhood]

2 = The Mystery of the [color] Automobile

3 = Murder in the [pick a room from the “Clue” board]

4 = The Body on the [variety of landform]

5 = The [season]+time Murder

6 = Death at the [type of shop]


1 = Dame [name of a woman in your family, a generation older than you] Church

2 = Agnes [first four letters of your last name]+en

3 = Betty [kind of weather]+well

4 = G. P. [variety of bread]

5 = Evelyn [variety of cheese]

6 = [Your first name] Peabody


Preliminary Research: What Kind of Detective Are you?

You are…

1 = Miss Dorothy [your favorite one-word breakfast item], a nosy spinster

2 = Ms. Julia [common male first name], an indefatigable flapper

3 = Lord Rodger [city in Australia], a hard-drinking gentleman

4 = Mr. Romain [seltzer brand], a jolly foreigner

5 = Reverend James [type of body of water],  an observant clergyman

6 = Sidney [common vegetable], a snooping crime writer

…and your’re currently…

1 = Taking a placid vacation.

2 = Visiting your rambunctious niece.

3 = Trying to enjoy a peaceful Sunday afternoon.

4 = Helping to set up for the annual village fair.

5 = Tending to your prizewinning turnips.

6 = Asleep.

And who is narrating this story?

1 = Your codependent flatmate.

2 = Your overeager nephew.

3 = Your loyal butler.

4 = Your skirt-chasing assistant.

5 = Your friend who is also “the author.”

6 = An omniscient entity with a droll sense of humor.


Part One: The Case

You are notified via a…

1 = Loud scream

2 = Newspaper headline

3 = Hysterical housekeeper

4 = Mysterious summons

5 = Nervous young police officer

6 = Large crowd in the town square

…that a body has been found at the…

1 = Vicarage

2 = Hedge maze

3 = Quarry

4 = Abbey

5 = Heath

6 = Ancient Druidic megalith

…dressed in…

1 = Riding clothes

2 = A beekeeping suit

3 = Shakespearean garb

4 = Livery

5 = Wellies and gardening gloves

6 = A tuxedo

…but missing his…

1 = Signet ring.

2 = Spectacles.

3 = Toupee.

4 = Handkerchief.

5 = Mustache.

6 = Wallet.


Part Two: The Investigation

The cause of death appears to be…

1 = A blow to the back of the head.

2 = A blow to the back of the head.

3 = A blow to the back of the head.

4 = A blow to the back of the head.

5 = A blow to the back of the head.

6 = Poison.

You head out and bring along your…

1 = Faithful hunting dog

2 = Favorite walking stick

3 = A small flask of brandy

4 = Large binoculars

5 = Bicycle

6 = Hook-handled umbrella

…to the..

1 = The marsh.

2 = A pub.

3 = The village green.

4 = The polo field.

5 = A nearby casino.

6 = The docks.

There, you encounter…

1 = A friendly lepidopterist

2 = An elderly Egyptologist

3 = A shy vicar

4 = The officious constable

5 = A surly stablehand

6 = A precocious youngster

…who says they might have…

1 = Seen a mysterious figure head to where the body was found.

2 = Information about a longstanding local feud involving the dead man.

3 = Extra tea cakes back at their cottage.

4 = Heard rumors of a curse on the dead man’s family.

5 = An idea who the killer is.

6 = Mistaken you for someone else.

You go back to investigate at night, and that’s when you see…

1 = A rival detective.

2 = A crumpled handwritten note a few meters from where the body was.

3 = A lantern flashing Morse code in the distance.

4 = Footsteps leading to the manor.

5 = A giant phosphorescent hound.

6 = The dead man, himself, walking around.

The next morning, you learn that…

1 = An escaped convict has been hiding out on the moors.

2 = The dead man was neck-deep in gambling deaths.

3 = Something seems to be buried underneath the dead man’s woodshed.

4 = The dead man had an illegitimate daughter.

5 = A precocious child in the town has been hiding an essential clue she found while on a bike ride.

6 = The dead man was a whistleblower who wanted to report the town’s illegally-imported, endangered rosebushes.

…confirming your suspicion that the killer is…

1 = A lovesick librarian, spurned and angry.

2 = The uptight mayor, trying to cover up a scandal.

3 = The church organist, who is a serial killer.

4 = A neighbor who killed the man by accident and then panicked into disguising the crime scene.

5 = A tourist who killed the man by accident and then panicked into disguising the crime scene.

6 = The dead man, himself.

View the full article

Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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