Love murder mysteries and roleplay and need a short, interesting one-shot to give your players a break from the grind of a massive campaign? Murder on the Eberron Express is just that one-shot!
The basic premise is that your players find themselves on the lightning rail in Eberron when a murder occurs. Each of the players is meant to play an archetype who knows the victim – the Spouse, the Heir, the Former Business Partner, etc. – which gives them all a reason why they might have wanted to kill the victim. You also randomly roll to see who the murderer is, so it can either be an NPC or a player, and the game encourages you to do secret conversations, thus ramping up the suspense and suspicion. It’s a pretty darn cool idea, especially for DnD, which is decidedly more combat-based.
My party really enjoyed this game, but they also really enjoy roleplaying. Most of them made up a new character/used the pre-gen characters, but one of them converted an old character into an archetype, and it actually worked really well. With a little bit of game prep, you can make this adventure fit into your larger campaign. The only real problem is if one of your players turns out to be the murderer – how will you resolve that?
Overall, I quite enjoyed this game. It was interesting and had lots of little salacious details, and the format allowed my players to be endlessly suspicious of each other and the NPCs. They didn’t end up catching the killer (she made it to the train station because they were too busy accusing each other), but they still really seemed to enjoy the game.
As a DM, I thought this one-shot was simple and well-written and had everything I needed to effectively run it. I don’t really think I needed anything else, although the 2nd class cabin and the construct ended up being completely superfluous. I would definitely recommend people give it a try – you’ll have a lot of fun!
[5 of 5 Stars!]