Have you dreamed of being a professional game designer? Have you always wanted to be a published RPG writer? Wanted to see your art in a book in stores? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Sixpence Games wants you!
In preparation for our first RPG, I’ve decided to do a contest. Two contests, really: one for art, and one for writing. I will select up to four winners in each category. Winners will get $50 and their written piece or artwork will be used in Murder Most Foul, the infinitely replayable murder mystery dinner party game! (and you’ll get free copies of the game, of course)
To enter the art contest, simply send a link to your portfolio to Thomas@SixpenceGames.com, with “Art Contest” in the subject line. If you are selected as a winner, you will be paired with one of the winning pieces of writing and tasked to illustrate it.
To enter the writing contest is a bit more involved. You must submit a completed written scenario, emailed to Thomas@SixpenceGames.com with “Writing Contest” in the subject line. Below you can find the structure that scenarios follow as well as an example scenario.
You will probably want to read the rough draft of the rules here.
Here is the template that your scenario should follow:
Background and Host: Who the host is, why they’re all gathered here. Ends with three adjectives describing the Host’s personality.
Detective: A description of his methods and demeanor and how he knows the Host. Include whether they actually mind if the Host is killed or not (their incentive is always for him to get murdered, but the way that is roleplayed can vary, so be creative). Three adjectives describing his personality.
Guests: A list of 8 guests. Description of their personality and why they want to kill the Host. Again, three personal adjectives.
Treasure: What the Diamonds cards represent. (see the rulebook, pages 4-5)
Drink: A thematically appropriate cocktail recipe.
Food: A thematically appropriate recipe to serve as dinner.
Weapons: A suggestion for appropriate items to use as in-game weapons for this scenario. Ideally, these should not be actually dangerous: a butter knife is better than a chef’s knife, a nerf gun is better than a real gun.
About yourself: Who are you? How did you find out about this contest? Have you played any of my previous games?
And here is an example scenario.
A Dark and Stormy Night
Background & Host: Mr. Bawdy. A scumbag of the highest order, Mr. Bawdy is blackmailing each and every one of his guests. Bawdy has made millions, perhaps even billions, through blackmailing and extortion, and until now it’s never caught up to him. He is hosting this dinner to gloat over some of his victims and to force each of them to do him a favor – making his demands of someone will require him to be alone in the same room as them. Mr. Bawdy values his privacy very much, nearly as much as he values taking it away from other people. Slimy, slick, and overly friendly.
You have all braved the wet weather to arrive at Mr. Bawdy’s mansion. Taking off your soaking wet jacket, you make up your mind: tonight is the night. This can’t go on any longer. You can’t let Bawdy continue to wield this sort of power over you. You won’t allow yourself to be blackmailed anymore, but you also can’t risk him going public, which leaves only one option: Bawdy has to die. Tonight.
You look around the room at the other guests. You recognize a few of the faces there, though most are unfamiliar to you.
Detective: Inspector Black. A private consulting detective and old friend of Mr. Boddy’s. As close as can be called a friend, anyway. Truth be told, he wouldn’t mind seeing the last of the host, but he can’t stand not solving a mystery, and there’s got to be some story to tell the cops at the end. Unprofessional, curious, and an alcoholic.
Guests: Ms. Weisse. Mr. Bawdy’s maid and personal assistant. She’s overheard far more than she should, and if she weren’t an illegal immigrant in danger of being deported, she would have reported her loathsome boss years ago. As it is, she may have to take justice into her own hands… Tidy, polite, and prone to eavesdropping.
Madame Rouge. A prominent socialite and wife of a Senator, and closeted lesbian (her husband is closeted as well; they make a good team). Her traditional Southern friends and family would disown her if the truth came out.
Lady Orange. A descendant of Dutch royalty, and the product of inbreeding. Proud, haughty, and manipulative, when she isn’t being manipulated.
Colonel Mustard. A retired military man who served with Mr. Body, who saw (and did) things during the war that he would much rather no one else knew about. Blustery, boastful, and foolhardy.
Father Chartreuse. A good hearted man of the cloth, who sometimes takes it upon himself to enact God’s judgment here on Earth. Mr. Bawdy has confessed terrible sins, and Chartreuse means to see to it that they are mortal sins. Solemn, sincere, and holier than thou.
Miss Peacock. The lady in blue comes from very old money, and has never had to work a day in her life. Her twin habits of driving and drinking don’t go well together, but her wealth has always kept her out of real trouble. Unfortunately for her, her most recent victim was struck down directly in front of Mr. Bawdy’s mansion, and he saw the whole thing. Formerly Mr. Bawdy’s close friend, she now despises him for daring to think he holds any power over her. Prim, proper, and entitled.
Doctor Indigo. The good Doctor isn’t so good – lapses in judgment (and sneaking pills from the pharmacy) have lead to more than one dead patient, and Mr. Bawdy is holding the proof. Brilliant, but with a very addictive and thrill seeking persona, he is prone to taking unnecessary risks.
Professor Plum. “Publish or perish” is the modern academic’s motto, and if you can’t come up with real results fast enough, you’ve got to find another way if you don’t want to get left behind. Plum started faking the results of his experiments, and shot his way to intellectual stardom, and so far Mr. Bawdy is the only one to realize. Pompous yet secretly deeply insecure, the bright but not brilliant Professor is anxious for his future, and feeling a severe case of impostor syndrome.
Treasure: The treasure here is all evidence of someone else’s indiscretions. If someone starts with a piece of treasure, it is evidence against themselves – so if they keep it throughout the evening, no one can use it to blackmail them, and conversely, if someone does steal it, they may wish to take over Mr. Bawdy’s role and start blackmailing the other Guests. Mr. Bawdy’s piece of treasure is a thumb drive containing evidence against each and every one of the Guests.
Drink: The Dark and Stormy is a classic highball. Pour a generous serving of dark rum over ice in a tumblr, squirt in a bit of lime juice, stir, then top with ginger beer (not ginger ale!). Garnish with a twist of lime.
Food: The Least Dangerous Game – Turkey. Rub the turkey in salt a few hours before cooking it. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the turkey in an oven pan, and pour in an inch of broth and a cup of white wine. Pour melted butter over the turkey, and put it in the oven. Put a cup of water and a cup of sugar in a saucepan on low heat. After the sugar has completely dissolved, add cranberries, orange zest, and grated ginger. Continue to heat until it thickens into a sauce. In a frying pan, heat some coconut oil, then fry green beans. Once cooked throughout and browned on all sides, remove the green beans and drizzle with honey and a squirt of lemon juice. Serve the turkey as the main course with the sauce and green beans on the side, with the carving knife (or another, less sharp knife) as a possible weapon. The sauce makes a good place for an enterprising assassin to hide some poison.
Weapons: A length of rope. A section of pipe. A candlestick. A spanner. The carving knife. And, of course, the poison and the Detective’s revolver.
This is a contest of skill, not luck. No purchase necessary to win. Winners are not considered employees of Sixpence Games LLC. If your work is not chosen, you retain all rights to it. If it is selected for inclusion in Murder Most Foul, you will be paid by PayPal or Venmo or some equivalent and Sixpence Games will henceforth be considered the sole owner of the work in question and have all rights, commercial and otherwise. You will be attributed in the game credits. The piece may be edited before publication. By entering this contest you agree to these terms. Also, feel free to ask me any questions you’ve got. Payment for the art contest is $50 for a completed illustration. Payment for the writing contest is $25 for a scenario that is complete save for food and drink, $15 for the food recipe, and $10 for the cocktail recipe, for a total of $50 if all three parts are included. If any part of your submission is used, you get two free copies of the game delivered anywhere in the world that doesn’t have stupid import laws like Brazil.