How to run a murder mystery quest, Part 1: Five Ws and One H

Hello, welcome back to the Apprentice’s Guide. Today, I will be starting a small series on running mystery quests or campaigns. Now, mysteries are great if you want to have an element in your campaign that isn’t mostly based on combat. It can also be little bit tricky to run a good mystery as smart players will find out who did it very quickly. Anyway, let’s get into it!

This part of the series will be about the five Ws and one H. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. These will help you to make a concept for your mystery. So, let’s look in more detail.


This is pretty straight forward. Who was involved in the crime? Who killed the victim and who was the victim? Who helped the killer, if anyone? Who was the mastermind, if not the guy who did it? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself concerning who was involved. This can also apply to people you know the victim best, possible suspects, other investigators, or witnesses.


What was used to kill the victim, if anything? What was stolen, if anything? What was used to enter the building, if the crime happened in a building? What did the criminal(s) leave behind, if anything? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself concerning what. This can also apply to broken items (possibly because of the crime), trails like footprints or blood, or items found in the crime scene (may have something to do with the crime).


When did the murderer enter the building, if it happened in a building? When was the victim murdered? When did the killer escape? When was the body discovered? These are the questions you need to ask yourself in terms of when.


Where did the murder take place? Where did the killer go after the murder? Where is the murderer now? Place is very important because it helps sit where the victim was murdered and where to find evidence.


Why did murderer kill the victim in the first place? I will explain this in more detail next week in part two. This is super important if you want the murder to make sense.


How did the killer murder the victim? Was the victim killed with poison? Was he killed with magic? Was she killed with a weapon? How did the killer escape without getting arrested? Did he dive throw a window? Did she sneak out by blending into the crowd? Determining how will help you add clues more easily.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this first part. If you did, hit the like button and follow if you haven’t already. Until next time, happy gaming!

Mr Wizard, Lord of Dungeons


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