Guests who don't want to play a character

by DJ
(Trinidad, CO)

I'm planning a party for approximately 40 guests.

About 10 or more of the guests will not want to play characters. Do you have a game that can accommodate 25 to 30 suspects and about 10 to 15 additional characters who are just background players?

Maybe they can participate in trying to solve the mystery but don't actually have to be involved in memorizing parts?

If not, how would you suggest those extra people be handled so they can be included in the game without having to play key parts?

My response:

Hi - thanks for your question.

The trick for this is to find a murder mystery game setting where it makes sense for there to be other people present. Luckily there are a few I can recommend.

First, you could host Casino Fatale, which is set in a Parisian casino and is for up to 30 players. If you set up a roulette wheel and blackjack table then you could have your other guests play the part of "general casino guests" rather than specific roles.

Second, you could host Murder at Sea, set aboard the Libertainia. Your extra guests can play other passengers (I probably wouldn't make them crewmembers though). Murder at Sea is for up to 33 guest.

Third, you could host Hollywood Lies, which is for up to 32 guests and is set at a party. The guests could play extra guests at the party who aren't involved in the main plots (but could be involved in the voting).

Fourth, you could run The Last Gasp which is a Victorian murder mystery game and is for up to 40 guests.

In all of these I would give each of the additional guests a name badge, and some simple information that they know (that can be copied from the main game) so that they can be involved just a little.

For example, for Hollywood Lies I would give them a name, a clue, and maybe a single ability. Depending on how involved you want to make them, I might give them simple roles, such as "Assistant to Mr X" or give them an objective to collect as many movie star autographs as possible.

I would also give each of the guests a small amount of in-game money - just enough for them to do something with, but not enough to unbalance the in-game economy.

(You may find that some of those who originally thought that they wanted to sit out the game, decide that they want to play. If you have some spare characters then you might want to print them out so that you have them to hand if needed.)

I hope that gives you a few ideas!

Click here to learn more about Casino Fatale.

Click here to learn more about Murder at Sea.

Click here to learn more about Hollywood Lies.

Click here to learn more about The Last Gasp.

(Disclaimer - I am the author of Hollywood Lies, so take anything I say about it with a pinch of salt!)

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A Purrfect Murder - a cat-themed murder mystery for 9-12 guests.

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

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