Lately, I've been running Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for my friendly local game store here in New Orleans (Go 4 Games). Part of what I've done is design custom components to make the game easier to explain and understand for both new and veteran players. When I chose to run "An Eye for an Eye" I decided to apply a few of my own techniques on how to handle investigative mysteries to that adventure. One of these techniques involved creating a deck of 39 "clue cards" that are unique to "An Eye for an Eye". Since I thought you might be interested I thought I'd share one of them here.
Here is the back of one card. The letter "A" denotes which series of clues this card belongs to. There are currently nine such series (A through I). These cards are left in stacks right in front of me and in plain view of the players. This lets them see how extensive the mystery is and how well they're progressing.
This is the front of the same card. This one tells the player the details of the clue that was found. It also tells them how many clues are left in the series. This is extremely important as it tells them when they've found all there is to find (at least in that series). This gives them a real feeling of accomplishment. They feel as though they're making real progress. It also keeps the game focused since players won't suffer through long periods of looking for things that aren't there.
So you might be asking yourself, "Why have the clues on cards? I'll just tell them what they find". That's fine if it works for your players, but the clue cards provide two things that verbal-only clues do not. First, thanks to the fact that it's on a printed card that says CLUE, the player knows that they have indeed found a solid lead and what exactly that lead is. Second, the players can look through the clues to try and see what's really going on. This is critical because I promise you, after an hour and a half (much less a session and a half) your players will not be thinking about the vague footprint they found on the moors that looked like a size 12 boot with an oddly shaped heel.
Seriously, a lot of GMs feel that ambiguity and smokescreens are the best way to handle a mystery. It's not. For the player, it's usually just frustrating and that's not much fun. Investigative mysteries are honestly one of the toughest types of adventures to run well simply because the GM rarely realizes that the players are hovering somewhere between mostly and entirely lost. It's hard to see things from the other side of the table. After all, to the GM everything seems so obvious, but your players probably don't feel this way. Having my mysteries set up in this fashion generally avoids any such issue.
I've also made other material for An Eye for an Eye as well as a super-quick character creation tool pack. If anyone is interested, or if you want to know more about how these clue cards are used, let me know.
--Steve, Both The Savior And Destroyer of all Martians, Which Has Admittedly Caused A Great Deal Of Confusion Amongst The Martian People--
Edited by Steve (of the Red Fez), 09 January 2014 - 04:04 PM.