The innocent bystander didn’t do it. Well, at least not yet.
As I’ve mentioned previously, in creating murder mystery evenings, I’ve had to anticipate the number of attendees. There’s always the chance someone (or two) can’t make it. Thus, the Innocent Bystander.
I’d say the average attendance at my murder mystery events is about 20. So I generally come up with between 10 and 13 characters, including the suspects, victim, and detective. Anyone who isn’t a character then becomes an innocent bystander. This has actually worked out well. For those who haven’t attended a mystery event before, being an innocent bystander eases them into the game.
Essentially everyone starts out as an innocent bystander until characters are assigned. Both innocent bystanders and characters are tasked with solving the murder, and they can all take advantage of the suggested questions and tasks given on the innocent bystander sheet.
Here’s a look at the Innocent Bystander info for my upcoming murder mystery, The Ides of March, next Friday:
As I mentioned before, this handout is given to everyone. It gives characters an idea of what questions they’ll be asked so they can ready their responses based on the clues they are given. And this gives non-characters some idea of what they should do to solve the mystery.