Number of Players: 4
My friend D. was in town from Nashville for the night, so a few of us had dinner with him, and then I informed him we were playing this game. The rest of us had already agreed to it but I forgot to tell him the the plan ahead of time. Oops. Fortunately he's a good sport, and a glass of wine and some jetlag probably helped with that too.
None of the psychics had played before, and all of them are amateur gamers who still think that Monopoly is a good game. (I have recently earned the title "Board Game Hipster" in that circle for having strong opinions about board games that I'm not afraid to voice and for saying things like "I'm not surprised you haven't heard of x game". Perhaps I should try to be a little less heavy-handed with my negative opinions, especially in certain groups....) To be fair, they also introduced me to Sentinels of the Multiverse. So there's hope for them yet.
ANYWAY. My friends are not obsessive gamers, and also had some wine, and one of them was jetlagged. So explaining the rules was more difficult than I'm used to, and getting them to focus was more difficult than I'm used to. These are also friends who haven't seen one another in almost a year, so there was plenty of catching up happening as well.
But we had a murder mystery to solve, and the night wasn't getting any younger. I may have been a teensy bit bossy again. When I had handed out clues to two out of three psychics and they hadn't even started discussing what they might mean, I may have gotten a little impatient. I may have let their protests fall on deaf ears when I handed out the third clue, started the timer, and refused to give them any grace for their first round. Am I a bad friend? Maybe. But this was serious business!
After a few rounds, though, they started to catch on and get into the spirit of things. It took them all seven hours to get to the final stage, but they did it, and accumulated lots of clairvoyance in the process, to the point where they all were able to see the three final clues before voting for the final murder scenario. Did they win?
YES THEY DID! All three of them voted correctly! And I'm not sure that they clues I gave were particularly obvious, either. All three of them did very well for this being their first game, and I was very pleased.
Also notable in this game was a repeat of what is becoming a very common situation:
Psychic: "Oh, maybe it's x! For y reason!"
Ghost (in my head, obviously): "Yes, you got it! That's exactly the right answer AND my reasoning for giving those clues!"
Psychics: "No, that seems like a stretch. How about this?"
Which just goes to show that you should always go with your instincts. Except that every time I went with my instincts in game #11, I was wrong. So maybe everyone just has better instincts than I do.