History Main / FairPlayWhodunnit

16th Sep '16 1:28:24 AM PaulA
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* The stories of Creator/JohnDicksonCarr (as well as his pseudonym Carter Dickson) always showed you all the clues. (Even when the supernatural was involved, as in ''The Devil in Velvet'', he always clearly laid out the [[MagicAIsMagicA rules the magic operated by]].) The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Three Coffins'' when Dr. Fell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler: They're really wrong.]]
** Carr's essay "The Greatest Game in the World" makes a key point about what makes a Fair-Play Whodunnit really fair, and good when done right: the key to the case isn't just one clue - a random word hidden in chapter six - but a system of interlocking clues that allow the reader to open a tapestry of interpretation that gives a larger picture: that of the truth.

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* The stories of Creator/JohnDicksonCarr (as well as his pseudonym Carter Dickson) always showed you all the clues. (Even when the supernatural was involved, as in ''The Devil in Velvet'', he always clearly laid out the [[MagicAIsMagicA rules the magic operated by]].) The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Hollow Man'' (US: ''The Three Coffins'' Coffins'') when Dr. Fell Literature/DrGideonFell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler: They're [[spoiler:They're really wrong.]]
**
]] Carr's essay "The Greatest Game in the World" makes a key point about what makes a Fair-Play Whodunnit really fair, and good when done right: the key to the case isn't just one clue - -- a random word hidden in chapter six - -- but a system of interlocking clues that allow the reader to open a tapestry of interpretation that gives a larger picture: that of the truth.
4th Aug '16 3:34:35 PM eroock
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# Not more than one secret room or [[SecretUndergroundPassage passage]] is allowable, and such a passage may only be in a house or building for which it is appropriate by age or purpose.

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# Not more than one secret room or [[SecretUndergroundPassage passage]] is allowable, and such a passage may only be in a house or building for which it is appropriate by age [[OldDarkHouse age]] or purpose.
4th Aug '16 3:18:03 PM eroock
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-->-- '''Creator/GKChesterton''''s oath for membership for the British Detective Club.

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-->-- '''Creator/GKChesterton''''s oath for membership for the British Detective Club.
Club
21st Jul '16 9:03:47 PM KamenRiderOokalf
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** Asubversion is ''Have His Carcase'', where the solution requires on a very elaborate [[spoiler:(and accidental on the part of the murderer)]] trick involving the time of death. [[spoiler:The victim has a rare condition known as hemophilia, which prevents the blood from clotting, obscuring the ''real'' time of death.]] If the reader is knowledgeable enough in minor trivia, there are enough clues for a [[ViewersAreGeniuses genius]] to figure out what the trick is - but it requires a very specialized knowledge base that most people simply do not have. For those without the prerequisite knowledge, Lord Peter's [[TheReveal revelation]] seems a bit like an AssPull or DeusExMachina, though the astute and GenreSavvy reader can generally figure out that ''something'' is hinky, because everyone's alibi is too solid, which is what tips Wimsey off that something is hinky. [[spoiler:One of the things that tips him off to the ''identity'' of the murderer is that that suspect also has a (manufactured) alibi for the ''real'' time of death, once he realizes what that is.]]
* Most ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' mysteries are not really fair, if only because Dr. Watson (the narrator) is not as observant as his colleague, but "The Lion's Mane" gives the reader enough information to draw a conclusion even before Holmes does (although this may not have been Conan Doyle's intention).

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** Asubversion A subversion is ''Have His Carcase'', where the solution requires on a very elaborate [[spoiler:(and accidental on the part of the murderer)]] trick involving the time of death. [[spoiler:The victim has a rare condition known as hemophilia, which prevents the blood from clotting, obscuring the ''real'' time of death.]] If the reader is knowledgeable enough in minor trivia, there are enough clues for a [[ViewersAreGeniuses genius]] to figure out what the trick is - but it requires a very specialized knowledge base that most people simply do not have. For those without the prerequisite knowledge, Lord Peter's [[TheReveal revelation]] seems a bit like an AssPull or DeusExMachina, though the astute and GenreSavvy reader can generally figure out that ''something'' is hinky, because everyone's alibi is too solid, which is what tips Wimsey off that something is hinky. [[spoiler:One of the things that tips him off to the ''identity'' of the murderer is that that suspect also has a (manufactured) alibi for the ''real'' time of death, once he realizes what that is.]]
* Most ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' mysteries are not really fair, if only because Dr. Watson (the narrator) is not as observant as his colleague, but "The Lion's Mane" gives the reader enough information to draw a conclusion even before Holmes does (although (given that "The Lion's Mane" was one of the few stories narrated by Holmes himself, this may or may not have been Conan Doyle's intention).be intentional).



** "The Lion's Mane" was one of the few stories narrated by Holmes himself, which could mean the difference was intentional after all.
19th Jul '16 9:46:41 AM Luc
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# All [[OurGhostsAreDifferent supernatural]] or [[AWizardDidIt preternatural agencies]] are ruled out as a matter of course.[note]Most modern interpretations are willing to allow this rule to be flouted, but only if [[MagicAIsMagicA said agencies are clearly explained beforehand and follow consistent rules.]][/note]

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# All [[OurGhostsAreDifferent supernatural]] or [[AWizardDidIt preternatural agencies]] are ruled out as a matter of course.[note]Most [[note]]Most modern interpretations are willing to allow this rule to be flouted, but only if [[MagicAIsMagicA said agencies are clearly explained beforehand and follow consistent rules.]][/note]]][[/note]]
19th Jul '16 9:42:45 AM Luc
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# All [[OurGhostsAreDifferent supernatural]] or [[AWizardDidIt preternatural agencies]] are ruled out as a matter of course.

to:

# All [[OurGhostsAreDifferent supernatural]] or [[AWizardDidIt preternatural agencies]] are ruled out as a matter of course.[note]Most modern interpretations are willing to allow this rule to be flouted, but only if [[MagicAIsMagicA said agencies are clearly explained beforehand and follow consistent rules.]][/note]
12th Jul '16 6:10:02 PM immblueversion
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* The ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' mysteries have Fair Play ''solutions'', but apparent violations are [[MindScrew used to misdirect]] the viewer, and either come from [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable]] [[UnreliableExpositor sources]], or they're [[RedHerring irrelevant to whodunnit and how]].
** ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Umineko no Naku Koro ni]]'' starts out rather questionably if it's a mystery or a fantasy, and it's the main conflict of the first four arcs - as in ''the characters actually argue'' over the genre: Beatrice insists that she killed everyone with magic while Battler refuses to believe that magic exists at all, though he also handicaps himself by refusing to admit that this means someone he knows committed the murders. As the story progresses, we're first shown Beatrice killing everyone with magic, which makes Battler despair until it's explained that anything not seen from the personal perspective of his piece on the 'game board' is unreliable information. In the fifth arc, the reader is presented with the Knox's Decalogue as a hint to solving the mysteries presented with a further hint being that if it's possible for Battler to be right, then the story must by definition be a FairPlayWhodunnit. The only question is whether he can figure out how it was actually done or, more importantly, the real meaning of the game and what magic actually is.
** ''[[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Higurashi no Naku Koro ni]]'', Umineko's predecessor, also has the same theme running much more quietly in the background. It is possible to figure out how things are occurring by the end end of the first half of the story, though perhaps not ''why.'' Of course, the crime may not be exactly what you've been led to believe, which may trick you into believing there has been a rules violation [[spoiler:when Keiichi goes crazy and kills his friends.]]

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* The ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' mysteries have Fair Play ''solutions'', but apparent violations are [[MindScrew used to misdirect]] the viewer, and either come from [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable]] [[UnreliableExpositor sources]], or they're [[RedHerring irrelevant to whodunnit the who- and how]].
howdunnit]].
** ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Umineko no Naku Koro ni]]'' ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' starts out rather questionably if it's a mystery or a fantasy, and it's the main conflict of the first four arcs - as arcs--as in ''the characters actually argue'' over the genre: Beatrice insists that she killed everyone with magic while Battler refuses to believe that magic exists at all, though he also handicaps himself by refusing to admit that this means someone he knows committed the murders. As the story progresses, we're first shown Beatrice killing everyone with magic, which makes Battler despair until it's explained that anything not seen from the personal perspective of his piece on the 'game board' "game board" is unreliable information. In the fifth arc, the reader is presented with the Knox's Decalogue as a hint to solving the mysteries presented presented, with a further hint being that if it's possible for Battler to be right, then the story must by definition be a FairPlayWhodunnit. The only question is whether he can figure out how it was actually done or, more importantly, the real meaning of the game and what magic actually is.
** ''[[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Higurashi no Naku Koro ni]]'', ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', Umineko's predecessor, also has the same theme running much more quietly in the background. It is possible to figure out how things are occurring by the end end of the first half of the story, though perhaps not ''why.'' Of course, the crime may not be exactly what you've been led to believe, which may trick you into believing there has been a rules violation [[spoiler:when Keiichi goes crazy and kills his friends.]]friends]].
24th Feb '16 3:53:53 PM Galle
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Added DiffLines:

** The final case of ''Trials and Tribulations'' does break rule 2, but by that point the player is already familiar with the supernatural power in question and its efficacy.
15th Jan '16 8:33:51 AM Anddrix
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* The first season of ''Series/RemingtonSteele'' aimed for fair-play mysteries, with varying degrees of success. [[ExecutiveMeddling Then the network made them dumb down the scripts]], so as [[ViewersAreMorons not to alienate viewers]].

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* The first season of ''Series/RemingtonSteele'' aimed for fair-play mysteries, with varying degrees of success. [[ExecutiveMeddling Then the network made them dumb down the scripts]], so as [[ViewersAreMorons not to alienate viewers]].viewers.
29th Dec '15 8:54:40 AM freesefan
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* Creator/MichaelConnelly's mystery novels are often these; ''The Poet'' actually won an award for Fair Play. Make sure you read this before reading its sequel ''The Narrows'', which itself has a fair play TwistEnding.

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* Creator/MichaelConnelly's mystery novels are often these; ''The Poet'' ''Literature/ThePoet'' actually won an award for Fair Play. Make sure you read this before reading its sequel ''The Narrows'', which itself has a fair play TwistEnding.
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