Tabletop RPG Review: Matrons of Mystery

Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote, Father Brown?  Ever wanted to solve a mystery like those sweet, old ladies (or gentlemen)?  Here’s your chance.  Matrons of Mystery is “a cosy (cozy) mystery roleplaying game,” designed to recreate the feel of all those UK shows that you used to be able to watch on Mystery, but are now apparently all on Britbox.  It would also very easily work to recreate Murder, She Wrote, which is pretty much the American version of the genre.

The rules are pretty darned simple.  For folks in the know, it’s a stripped-down version of Powered by the Apocalypse.  For those who don’t know what that means, rest assured, it’s not complicated and you could easily sit down around a table, learn the rules and play through a mystery in an evening.

Each of you plays a Matron, an older lady who is single (for whatever reason) and enjoys her hobby.  For some reason, you get mixed up in a murder case.  Perhaps you witness it, or perhaps the overwhelmed local policeman asks for a little help.  Whatever the case, you and your other matron friends need to establish suspects, figure out their motives, learn their secrets, talk to witnesses, and find clues, before you can “put it all together.”

One of the things I really like about this is that even the person running the game doesn’t know “whodunit.”  Basically, if the matrons are able to get enough things together and successfully figure it out (through a dice roll), then the suspect is who did it.  If they fail, then either they’ve picked the wrong person or the suspect isn’t the only killer.

In spite of only being forty pages long, author Sue Savage has managed to give you a complete system that can produce hours upon hours of entertainment.  And she’s even fit in three sample mysteries to use.  More RPG creators should take note.  Good stuff. You can get it in PDF on DriveThru or in print on Lulu.

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