We were recently asked how we would add around 20 additional characters to Hollywood Lies. That’s a lot, and as we’ve already talked about that for Casino Fatale, I thought I’d explain what I would do for Hollywood Lies.
Hollywood Lies starts with 32 characters, and there are two additional characters. So an additional 20 characters means you could run Hollywood Lies for 54 guests! You’re going to want at least one more host for that! (And this applies to Christmas Lies and Halloween Lies as well.)
As I mentioned in the earlier post, I wouldn’t write detailed characters (with secrets and bespoke goals) for these extra 20—that would be a significant amount of work. So these would be more minor characters, mainly focussed on solving the murder and making movies.
I’d give each character:
- A clue—duplicated from the other characters.
- A goal to help solve the murder.
- A goal to be in the movies.
- A goal to help their friends.
- Another goal—related to either the Hollywood Charity Ball (maybe buy a ticket), the Post-Modern Freeform Movement (maybe as a member, maybe wanting to join), Club Monte Carlo (to join), find an agent, or be hypnotised by Les Tytan.
I would make sure that each of the new characters had two or three good friends they could support (hence the goal). Ideally, you would cast real-life friends in these roles.
I’d also give them abilities (based on the existing ones) and money to make sure there’s still enough money in the game for all the movies to be made.
More ability uses
With more characters, ability uses will be scarce. So to counter this, I would give everyone five blank “Tear this up instead of marking an ability use” cards.
Making movie changes
I would change the making movie rules slightly to ensure that everyone can make a movie.
Hollywood Lies starts with five producers and movie teams of 5-8 people. I would increase the team size to 8-10 and add a sixth producer—so theoretically, we could have up to 60 people making movies.
Six producers gives us flexibility, although it does mean the party will last longer as there will be another movie to show off. (With an additional 20 characters, the party will take longer than usual because it will take the players longer to find the people they need to talk to.)
I would also create assistants to help the original characters. In particular, an assistant for each producer and the detective.
Copying existing characters
I would also copy some of the existing character types (similar to the new producer I mentioned above).
These would be new agents, another Hollywood reporter and maybe an amateur detective.
20 additional characters
So here are my 20 additional characters:
- One extra producer, whose main goal is to make a movie
- Six assistant producers
- One assistant detective
- Two new agents
- One rival Hollywood reporter
- One amateur detective as a rival to the police detective
- Four actor/directors (who can do either role)
- Four actor/screenwriters (each with a screenplay)
And if I needed even more, I’d increase the number of actors/screenwriters/directors.
More tips on adding characters
- From our mailbox: twins—an accident in casting results in a novel approach to creating extra characters.
- Writing extra characters—from Steve’s Great Murder Mystery Games website.
- Expanding Casino Fatale for 50 guests—the original article.
Would you be interested if we produced an additional 20 characters for Hollywood Lies? (And Halloween Lies and Christmas Lies.) Let us know in the comments below.