In May 2001, I designed and organized a Spy Soiree, a fictional Embassy Ball in which arriving guests would receive their identities, affiliations, and assignments at the door.
Come in formal wear, with a cover name. Enjoy yourself. Complete your mission. Try not to get killed.
The goal of the project was to encourage diverse strangers to interact by assigning them roles in which they could playfully develop their character.
Players might arrive to find that they were a foreign dignitary visiting incognito, or an agent of an intelligence service with orders to quietly eliminate a Prince’s body guards, or an agent provocateur set on causing mayhem to be blamed on the rising socialist movement. And so on.
The game featured missions and motives at cross purposes with other players, alliances as well as double-crosses and hidden motives, a drink token economy, and of course, the social heart of the party: drinking, dancing, and hobnobbing with others at the Embassy Ball.
While drinks cost a token, the dead drank for free.