Sometimes we are asked about expanding our murder mysteries to include many more characters than we had originally written.
Now, if you need just one or two extra characters, you can use the free extra characters that we and other customers have written for the games. Or you could write your own (and if you send that character back to us and we like it enough to include it in our list of extra characters, we’ll give you a free game in return).
But what do you do if you want to add 10 or 20 extra characters? If you have 50 guests coming to your Casino Fatale party then you need another 17 characters to write. It’s a lot of work to write another 17 full characters.
So instead, this is what I’d do:
I would write the 17 additional characters as minor roles, and I wouldn’t expect to integrate them fully into the murder mystery. Instead, I’d get them doing something else – and in Casino Fatale I’d ensure that there were some real casino games (backjack, roulette, and so on) for them to enjoy rather than getting completely involved in the mystery.
Each minor character would get a brief one-paragraph background, along with some simple goals (such as play blackjack or get involved with Casino Fatale’s charity auction).
I would give the minor players some clues so that they can interact with the main mystery if they wanted to. (That also gives the main players a reason to interact with them.) As for where I get the clues, I’d take them from the existing characters – in particular their Secrets and Clues.
I would be very careful casting. I would want to manage expectations and make sure that everyone playing a minor role was going to be happy doing that, rather than being fully involved. If someone desperately wants to be involved in the Casino Fatale, then I wouldn’t cast them as a minor character.
And I would also make sure that I had at least one assistant (preferably two) to help me run a game of this size.
If this has inspired you to expand one of our games, we’d love to hear about it.
Update: This post talks about adding 20 characters to Hollywood Lies.