A Dinner Game is a forum murder-mystery roleplaying game inspired by the parlor game Mafia and hosted on Jcink. While the setting and cast of characters varies wildly depending on the host of the session, the core premise remains the same; several strangers attend a party, find themselves trapped, and must uncover the killer in their midst before they are murdered one by one.
The main page can be found here. The site closed on September 13, 2017, but old threads may still be read on the site.
This roleplay provides examples of...
- Anyone Can Die: Any roleplayer's character may be killed at any time. While most games limit the causes of player death to murder, inactive players may be killed in other ways during the day.
- Artefact Title: Despite the title, very few games actually begin with a dinner party.
- Bait-and-Switch: The pregame often takes place in a different location to the rest of the game.
- Game 1 starts off in Yasuhiro's mansion, while the remainder of the game takes place in his basement.
- Game 2 begins at a scientific awards ceremony, then changes to a mysterious prison.
- Game 3 was in a mysterious hallway that led to an empty room. The game takes place in a sky castle.
- Game 4's pregame takes place in the parking lot of a nearby Denny's. The game itself is in a cabin.
- Closed Circle: No matter the scenario, something always happens to keep the cast in place and prevent help from arriving.
- "The First Game" features an earthquake that causes a military bunker's entrance to collapse. In addition, Taichi and Neo are monitoring the game to ensure nobody else enters or leaves before Yasuhiro says they can.
- "The Second Game" has all the doors and windows to the building mysteriously lock at once, trapping the cast.
- "The Third Game" is set in a floating castle in the sky.
- "The Fourth Game" has a blizzard trap the guests and knock out their cellphone reception.
- Interface Spoiler: The forum index lists the username of the last person to post in a thread. This feature occasionally gives away who survives until the end, and in the Second Game it also hints at Clarissa's return.
- Once a Season:
- Every game has a character named Kit in the roster, and as of the third game, every single one of them has died.
- As of the third game, every killer has been a woman who specializes in some sort of scientific field.
- Every game as of the fourth game has a major character who isn't entirely human. The Second Game is questionable, though, considering Ni was an AI being controlled by a human.
- As of the third game, every game has someone who is Japanese.
- Ten Little Murder Victims: Much like Mafia, one person is randomly designated to be the killer at the start of a session, and the others must work out who before they themselves are killed.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: The characters of inactive players are killed off by environmental hazards at the end of each day. This often results in characters dying after just one or two sentences.
- Host: Ace
Game Summary: Here.
Nine strangers are invited to the house of a man named Yasuhiro for a party. It's apparently a celebration, but what's being celebrated is unknown. Many think there's going to be some kind of an announcement pertaining to the well-known medicinal research company called "Neo Research", which Yasuhiro owns and is famous for.
After the party, Yasuhiro invites his selected guests down to the military bunker in his basement for a tour. An unfortunately-timed earthquake causes the only entrance to collapse, and soon a killer starts picking off the group one by one. The survivors must try to find a way to escape before everyone winds up dead.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Marine is the only one of the murderer's victims to actually fight back.
- Chairman of the Brawl: Despite the limited number of chairs in the basement, they are more often used as weapons than as seats. Clarissa throws one at a ghost in a fit of rage, and on night five Marine throws one at Clarissa's face in self defense.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Taichi points out on the final day that Sakuragi Research was willing to rehire Clarissa. If she'd taken the job, she wouldn't have felt any need to exact revenge on the person who killed her boss and nobody would have died. Unfortunately, she missed the news due to being out of the country.
- Freak Out!: Yasuhiro doesn't take well to discovering Kenji's body in the infirmary, becoming less talkative and more outright aggressive than usual. It's all a ruse to disguise the fact that he murdered Kenji.
- Fiery Coverup: As per Yasuhiro's instructions, Taichi blows up the mansion after the events of the game. The bunker collapses and every trace of evidence regarding the murders vanishes.
- Hope Spot: The hideout in the dressing room has a clear exit to the outside, but before anyone can escape the whole room gets blown to smithereens.
- Mistaken for Evidence: Miki, the cat found in what is believed to be the killer's hideout on day five, takes an immediate liking to Maribel. Marine and Bill wonder if that means the hideout belongs to her. It doesn't. She's just good with animals.
- Nobody Poops: Although the guests are trapped for nearly a week in game time, things like eating, showering and using the bathroom are glossed over unless directly relevant to the plot. Kit and Farran are the only characters who go to the bathroom, and are promptly murdered.
- Poltergeist: The spirits of the murdered become especially active on day four, throwing ribs at the living and leaving profane messages wherever they can.
- Two Dun It: Or rather, Three Dun It. Kenji and Pan were murdered by Yasuhiro well before the events of the game. Taichi murdered Farran Holt after mistaking him for Clarissa, and Clarissa kills Yasuhiro after he takes the blame. Clarissa carries out the rest of the murders.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Clarissa intentionally goads Marine into attacking her on night five, so she can use her injuries as evidence that Marine is the real murderer.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Despite having no formal fighting training, Azazel still manages to tackle Yasuhiro down a flight of stairs in the pregame and knock Bill off his feet on day 2.
- Host: Ace
Game Summary: Here.
Game 2 is a direct sequel to Game 1. Despite the mystery surrounding Yasuhiro Nishimura's death and the destruction of his mansion, only a cursory investigation was ever conducted. His disappearance, along with the Sakuragi Research scandal, gradually faded from public memory.
Fast forward seven years, thirteen strangers are abducted from an international science awards ceremony by persons unknown. They wake up in an elaborate prison and are gleefully informed by a cartoon fox named Ni that, if they cannot win his game, they will be executed for their crimes.
All they have to do is find and name the killer in their midst.
- Breather Episode: The fifth day contains a segment of pure investigation, wedged right between the massacre in Amada's office and Joseph's death. It's much sillier in tone in comparison to previous investigation phases.
- CamelCase: Messages sent between teams are limited to 100 characters each. Kit and Joseph remove spaces and capitalize every word to fit more information in.
- Comically Missing the Point: Joseph mistakes Taichi and Ajax's argument over the merits of art and science for an argument about a band's best song.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: Ni electrocutes Janie on day one, temporarily rendering her unable to speak. Since the room she's in doesn't have a pen, she uses blood from a nearby corpse to try and write out a message.
- Cycle of Revenge: Team R executes Vlad on the first day. Mizuiro reciprocates by sending an insulting message and no evidence on the second day. Team R then reciprocates by killing Mizuiro.
- Dark Secret: As a game mechanic, no less. Every roleplayer's character has a designated secret that they must try to hide from the other players. Specifically, every one of them have ties to the Prince Project. Some helped, while others are merely related to those who did.
- Dead All Along: Taichi was murdered shortly after the events of The First Game. Yasuhiro's ghost has been using his body as a puppet ever since.
- Deadly Game: In order to win their freedom, the eleven innocent players must uncover and execute the murderer among them. Every night, and every incorrect vote, brings a new death.
- Destination Defenestration: During the pregame, Adel Ivers falls through a skylight she was sitting on while stargazing and is caught by Taichi. Neither are seriously harmed, aside from a few cuts that are quickly patched up by the nurse.
- Dull Surprise: When Ni crawls out of a television screen and eats some of Team R's evidence, Kit, Fumie and Oliver ignore it, while Ajax shrugs it off and gets a snack.
- Flexing Those Non-Biceps: Ajax attempts to argue that science cannot explain everything by flexing. Taichi is so unimpressed by the display that he rattles off a textbook explanation as to how muscle mass is generally formed, or would be, if Ajax actually had any.
- Forced to Watch: Clarissa was kidnapped prior to the game, tied to a chair, and forced to watch Joseph play. Yasuhiro later kills Joseph in front of her.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Vlad and Oliver are executed via vote early in the story, despite the cast having no prior grudges against either of them. This was done to remove inactive roleplayers from the group, while simultaneously canceling out some accidental out-of-character votes.
- Genre Shift: The first four days of the game are a slow-paced Ontological Mystery that involves the players investigating the mystery of who kidnapped them, what the Prince Project is, and what any of them have to do with it. The fifth is a slasher story, with the surviving players trying to avoid being picked off by the vengeful spirit of Yasuhiro.
- Happy Ending Override: The surviving cast of the first game are found dead within seconds of the second game starting. Although the bodies are actually CGI fakes, the survivors are still in captivity for the duration of the game and are finally Killed Off for Real on the fifth day.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Joseph begs Yasuhiro to kill him instead of Clarissa. While Yasuhiro had no intention of letting either of them live, killing Joseph first buys the others enough time to rescue Clarissa.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Yasuhiro Nishimura reprises his role as mastermind this time around. Though, unlike the first game, he plays a very active role in the endgame.
- Inside a Computer System: The game itself takes place within a computer simulation of the Prince Project facility.
- Language Barrier: There is a number of evidence written in Japanese— something all but a couple characters know, and only one lives long enough to be useful.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Misa encourages the surviving group to split up on the fifth day to increase the speed of investigations, despite a homicidal Yasuhiro being on the loose. This gets Joseph killed.
- Never Found the Body: Discussed. The corpses of the players vanish after execution, with different bodies appearing in their place. Alex wonders if this means they aren't really dead. Alex is right. They've just booted out of the computer simulation.Alex: We haven't seen Team L since introduction, so who knows if its really them? Did you ever read about the Milgram experiment? This could just be an elaborate test of our integrity, y-y'know? If we haven't seen Janie die, then...
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Despite having been dead for seven years, Kenji is able to manifest within the game, save Alex from being murdered, and open an escape route for the trapped players. He's also the one to destroy Yasuhiro's ghost.
- One Steve Limit: Joseph is alarmed when he learns that Rosa is the caretaker of a man named Nishimura, assuming him to be the deceased Yasuhiro. She's actually talking about Osamu Nishimura, his father.
- Sequel Escalation: The Second Game boasts twelve players in contrast to the First Game's nine, a voting system, pre-written character secrets, more events, and a much higher body count.
- Shock Collar: All players have numbered collars strapped around their necks. Ni uses these to zap rulebreakers and execute those who are voted out of the game.
- Simultaneous Arcs: After a brief introductory thread on day one, the players are split into two groups and are locked in two different rooms. The following days consist of the groups investigating their respective areas, with limited contact with the other group. The game's graveyard also has a long-running thread that features the deceased characters reacting to the events of the game from the safety of Amada's observation room. All threads converge on the fifth day.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: The survivors of the first game, sans Clarissa, are lynched some time before the second game. Their bodies are put on display to unnerve the new participants. Taichi is executed by Ni a few minutes later. It's later revealed that these corpses are actually just part of the computer simulation and that Taichi's death was faked. Minutes later, Yasuhiro executes them for real.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Kenji laments that Yasuhiro could have been a great person, had he not been so wrapped up in the past. He doesn't hold any ill-will towards him - just pity.
- Unexpectedly Abandoned: The building in which the ceremony was held becomes mysteriously empty after the power goes out.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The surviving players discuss a plan to defeat Yasuhiro's ghost in great detail. It would have failed, had Kenji not stepped in at the end.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Subverted. Getting killed off is the simplest way to get out of the Dinner Game simulation. It's a gun that kills the dead players.
- You Wake Up in a Room: The introduction takes the guests from the hotel to what appears to be a prison with no fanfare, although somewhat foreshadowed by the fact that all of the hotel's rooms were improvised during the pregame.
- Host: Ace
Game Information: Here.
Ten people go to sleep in their beds on December 31st, and wake up on January 1st to find themselves trapped in a castle in the sky. Curiously, they all have two things in common: they're all celebrities, and they all share the same strange tattoo. While looking for a way out, they discover a corpse and an ominous message splattered across the floor, indicating what is to come.
- Arc Symbol: The clock tattoo that every character has also appears throughout the castle, and is carved into the bodies of the deceased.
- Artificial Script: There are a number of books written in a made-up language said to be so ancient that no one remembers it.
- Bittersweet Ending: Lance, Quinn and Ingrid manage to fix time, save Earth and return home, but they lose their powers in the process and never find out why Jacks did what she did.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: The killer writes messages to the players with the blood of their victims. There isn't a single other writing utensil in the castle.
- Due to the Dead: Subverted. Corpses freeze in place the instant that a person is killed, preventing them from being moved. Shinjiro attempts to close Camille's eyes after she is shot, but to no avail.
- Gorn: The bodies of the deceased are shredded in a rather gruesome manner on the second day.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The cast are abducted and start dying on New Year's Day. Jacks dies a day later, on her birthday.
- Left Hanging: Jacks has no time to explain why she committed the murders before she is executed, and neither Quinn nor Nightmare can provide any explanation for her actions.
- Power Tattoo: Every character has a clock tattoo on their skin that acts as a conductor of their time powers.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Justified. Camille's corpse freezes in time after she is shot in the head by the magic gun, preventing any blood from leaking from the wound.
- Sacrificial Lamb: David is found dead on the floor on the first day to establish the killer's threat. Camille is shot by the magical gun at the end of the day, indicating the importance of voting correctly.
- Something Completely Different: Unlike the games that came before it, the Third Game is set in the current day and in a fantasy-based setting, rather than a sci-fi one.
- Time Stands Still: Dead players are frozen in time the instant they die and cannot be moved by any means. By the time the finale rolls around, the time distortions on Earth have gotten so bad that everyone other than Lance, Ingrid, Nightmare and Daydream are permanently frozen.
- Wrap It Up: A large number of roleplayers dropped the game on the second day. This, coupled with a player correctly guessing and executing the killer, caused the game to come to a sudden end on day 3.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time started to malfunction on Earth prior to the events of the game. Some parts of the world have slowed or stopped completely, while others move at ordinary or incredibly fast speeds.
- Host: Falsely
Game Information: Here.
Life in the small ski resort town of Mt. Leichnam is usually pretty dull. It's especially boring now that it's the off season - or it was, until the party was announced. It's being held by Dr. Marshal Johnson: a reclusive and thoroughly unpleasant person who lives and works alone in a large research shack on the other side of the mountain. The fact that he has suddenly decided to host a party that's free for anyone to attend is as baffling to the locals as it is intriguing.
It's going to be hell to get to his cabin, and what's more the weather report warns of strong winds and snow over the coming days. But despite the numerous warning signs, twelve guests find themselves compelled to attend...
- 13 Is Unlucky: The optional thirteenth player slot places no restrictions on that character's personality or backstory, but burdens them with terrible luck. This manifests in Val's backstory when no less than three trees fall in front of his car on his way into town, almost killing him in the process.
- 20 Minutes into the Past: The game is set in 2015, despite being hosted in 2017. This helps differentiate the game's timeline from that of the previous three.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: The killer assaults Marshal with a bottle from the bar on the first night.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Mt. Leichnam translates to "Mt. Corpse."
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Mt. Leichnam is a small resort town that barely gets any business and has just over 200 permanent residents, thus making it the perfect setting for a violent murder mystery story.
- Small Town Boredom: A number of the guests at the party cite the lack of things to do in Mt. Leichnam as their reason for attending.
- Snowed-In: A blizzard hits the mountain on the night of the party, trapping the guests and cutting off their communications.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Mt. Leichnam's location is deliberately kept vague.