Casino Fatale - Question Re Guest Numbers

by Tris
(London)

OK, this is the first time I've done all this. But thanks to your site I think it's going to be a damn good 30th birthday party!

Only one question:

I'me not sure yet whether I will have 20 or 24 guests (could be anywhere in between).

The game I want to play is the normal version of Casino Fatale (15-20 players). I've read the overview pdf and it sounds perfect - characters fit my guests just right!

But if I buy the extended version, does this change the game dramatically? Or does it JUST add 10 more characters. What I'm trying to work out is whether I should hang on to see if I only get 20 guests confirmed (so I can 'fill' the normal game).

Or whether I should just buy the extended version so I can get sending out characters now and then it'll automatically reduce back to the 20 version if that's how many people I get.

i.e. I'm not worried about the money at all - I just don't want to ruin the game by having to play a game that was designed for 30 people with only 20!!

Look forward to hearing your answer...

My response:

The expansion doesn't change the game dramatically - it simply adds more guests (and a few plots). The way the expansion works (and other expansions for Freeform Games' parties) is that if you have 24 guests, you use all of the characters in the main game and then four (a specific four) from the expansion. If you only have 23, then you'd different characters (although there'd be some overlap).

If I were you, I'd be sending out characters to some of my guests (the really keen ones), but I'd hold back some of the roles to cover late cancellations and the like. I think I'd hold back at least 5 characters, to give yourself some flexibility.

(I talk about when to send out characters in this article on casting.)

I hope that helps - and I hope you'll tell us about your party after you've had it. (I've got a webpage here set up just for that.)

Oh - and happy 30th birthday!

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Planning Casino Fatale in a hurry

by Deborah Beirowski
(Durban - SA)

I would like to host a Casino Fatale party but only have two weeks to do it in.

Please advise if this will be suitable for 26 people and what would be the fastest way of getting all the details?

My response:

Casino Fatale is downloaded over the Internet once you've bought it, so you can have it almost instantly.

As for preparation, two weeks is plenty (although it's less than I recommend). Click here to see my preferred timetable.

And yes, Casino Fatale is suitable for 26 players - just make sure that you purchase the larger version (for up to 30 players).

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Converting Casino Fatale to the 1920s

by Vic

I really like the game called Casino Fatale but I want to set it in the 1920's. Any ideas?

For instance: what would I use to substitute the nuclear science (as well as anything else that I might have overlooked that would not be in the 1920's)?

Thanks so much.

My response:

Hi Vic,

That's a really interesting question - and potentially quite a lot of work.

Here are your options:

#1 Rewrite large chunks of the game to suit a 1920s setting. That means watching for references to things like mobile phones, television and other technology that simply wasn't around then (and that's apart from the whole nuclear secrets plot).

(If you're commercially minded, you could even contact Freeform Games and see if they would be interested in a 1920s version. They might even give you a bob or two for your efforts.)

#2 The easiest option is just to stand up at the start of the game and explain that the party is set in the 1920s, and if people see references to modern-day kit then they should just ignore them and pretend that they're a 1920s equivalent.

(This is probably my least favourite option.)

#3 The middle option is to read through the characters, identify those items that don't work, and write a short introductory paragraph explaining the differences. (Without going through Casino Fatale in detail, I suspect you'll find that there are several characters that don't need any changes at all.)

You could also annotate the character sheets accordingly, and create substitute item cards.

As an alternative to the nuclear weapon, you could simply change it to something with a name "Doomsday Device" or the "Armageddon Bomb" which sounds appropriately nasty without explaining the science. Or just give it a codeword "Burning Star" or something. Or if you want to stick to the period, you'd probably have to go for some kind of biological weapon like Mustard Gas.

I hope that helps - do let me know how you get on!

Steve

P.S. - Click here to read more about Casino Fatale

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Casino Fatale, number of people recommended

by Rob Sahi
(Holland)

If we played Casino Fatale with 20 people, roughly how much time would we need. Would you recommend playing with so many people?

My response:

Casino Fatale takes approximately 2-3 hours to play - and there's about an hour extra for meeting and greeting and winding down after the event. That time is pretty constant no matter how many players you had.

Yes, I'd be happy playing Casino Fatale with 20 - it works well with that number.

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How do the guests know all the rules?

by Jael Kurtz
(Beit Shemesh, Israel)

In the mystery game Casino Fatale there are details on fighting and killing. How are guests to know that they can kill someone? How do they know to play scissors, paper, stone? I find there are rules that the host knows that the guests have no way of knowing from the information that will be handed out or from your tips in this website.

My response:

If you look at the "Setting and Rules for Casino Fatale" (which needs to be included with the character information that you give to each guest) there's a paragraph on fighting which states:

Fighting: A casino is a civilized place, but sometimes harsh words are not enough! Your character may wish to come to blows with any of the other characters. Should you wish to do something along these lines though, don’t just dive in! See the Host first and tell them what you plan to do so they can oversee and give you more detailed rules if it’s necessary.

This explains to your guests that there are rules for fighting, and if they want to find out then they should speak to the host first. (This is because the fighting rules are a bit wordy and not everyone needs them.)

I hope that helps,

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Purchase Gone Bad

I purchased Casino Fatale from you. I tried to establish the guest list so I knew the correct game before purchasing but now people are backing out or not able to commit. Now, I do not have enough players for the game. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to send me a different game for less players, possibly something for 14+ guests, whichever game you recommend.

My response:

While I'm sure you clicked through from my site, I'm afraid you bought Casino Fatale from the publishers, Freeform Games. I say that as only they can give a refund or exchange - I'm afraid I can't do that.

The good news is that Freeform Games do have a cast-iron guarantee (unlike some other online publishers) so exchanging shouldn't be a problem.

Simply go to their site and contact them direct (or use the details in the game files).

You do need to provide details of the purchase, however - such as the reference number and the email address you used to make the purchase.

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Do people find it hard to stay in character all night?

by Tris
(UK)

On reading through the rules and the character descriptions for Casino Fatale, I am just wondering whether people find it quite hard to stay in character all night?!

Most people who are coming have not played this type of game before ... and I've not run one before either (or been to one!). It's also a mix of friends, many have not met others before.

It seems to me that it might be quite difficult for people to find enough to talk about if they stay in character the whole time i.e. isn't it much more difficult to hold a conversation when everything you say is a fabrication than when you're talking about your real self?!

I'm not worried what you answer - we're still going to give this a go. But I was just interested to hear what you think about how easy most people find it to 'keep up the act' for any time longer than it takes to meet the people in their script and start working on their goals i.e. Does is the night likely to 'dry up'... or do you find these things tend to flow along pretty well because everyone's so busy understanding their conflicting points of view and goals??

Thanks in advance!

My response:

Personally I don't find that people have trouble saying in character all night - providing they have all seen each other recently.

If your guests haven't seen one another for ages, then they may want to catch up on the latest gossip - and that can cause people to break out of character. (So if that's the case, you might want to allow a lot of mingling time beforehand.)

But generally, once the game gets going I find that most people stick with the game.

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Are a certain number of male and female characters required for each game?

Will the Casino Fatale game work with 14 females and 6 males?

My response:

In general the games are designed to be flexible with the number of males and females they need, although as you get towards the extremes there can be problems.

Casino Fatale has been written for a minimum of 7 males - but it will still work if you only have 6 males as all that means is that one of the females will have to play a male character.

That shouldn't be a big problem - click here to read more about playing the opposite sex.

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Casino Fatale for 7/8 guests?

by June Mahon
(Suffolk UK)

Can Casino Royale can be adapted for 7/8 guests, including myself. 4 women and 3 men want to do a James Bond mystery evening.

My response:

Hi - I assume that you mean Casino Fatale rather than Casino Royale (I don't know of a murder mystery game called Casino Royale.)

Unfortunately, Casino Fatale needs a minimum of 16 guests, and a dedicated host to run it. While you might be able to run it with 15 guests (and maybe even 14), running it with only eight is likely to require so much rewriting that you'll end up with a very different game.

I don't know if you realised, but Casino Fatale also needs a dedicated host, rather than a separate player.

I suggest that if you can't find a few more people to make Casino Fatale work, then you choose a game with fewer characters.

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Expanding Casino Fatale for more than 30 guests

by Shirley
(Sydney)

I'm interested in purchasing the Casino Fatale expansion pack however I have a large guest list for around 40-50 guests. Is there a larger expansion pack for this theme? I am really keen on doing a casino theme so if there is that will be great!

My response:

As you have no doubt realised, Casino Fatale has been written for up to 16 to 30 players, plus there are an additional three extra characters that have been written by other hosts that you can download from the Freeform Games site.

If you've got 50 people coming, that leaves you with 17 other characters! You have several options.

First is to write 17 more characters for Casino Fatale. That's not impossible, but it's quite a bit of work - I do provide some advice here.

If you do take this route, you should send your work to Freeform Games as they may be interested in publishing it.

Second, you could write 17 more characters - but write them as "minor" roles and don't integrate them fully into the game. If you decide that you're going to have some real casino games (blackjack, roulette and so on) then some of your guests may be very happy doing that rather than playing the murder mystery.

If I was doing that I'd give them a brief one-paragraph summary sheet with some very brief objectives (maybe to get involved with the charity auction that is included in the game) and possibly the odd clue so that they can interact with the "main players".

And again, if you do that I recommend sending it to Freeform Games as they may well be interested in publishing that kind of thing as well.

Third, you could run a completely different game. Unfortunately I can't think of any casino themed murder mystery games for up to 50 people, sorry.

If you're planning to run Casino Fatale with 40-50 people, I really do recommend having at least one (and preferably two) assistant hosts to help you with organising everything.

Good luck - I really hope you decide to run Casino Fatale as I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

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Don't know where to start?

Here's my suggested quick route through the site:

Step 1 - Go to Choosing a Game to choose the game that suits your party best.

Step 2 - Review the Tips for Hosts for helpful advice.

Step 3 - If you want to keep up to date with the latest murder mystery game news, click on my What's New page.

Step 4 - Once you've had your party - tell me how it went! Click here to tell me your murder mystery party story.

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