I know, I know, you didn’t actually EXPECT that everyone you invited would ACTUALLY be able to attend your party... but they all can! Who knew your sister and brother-in-law would rearrange their vacation plans and your co-worker would skip their bunco night just so they could attend your mystery party? Or as word of your party has gotten out and more and more people want to join in… and you just don’t want to say no.
It’s a phenomenon and undeniable at the same time. But, then again, you aren’t just throwing the same old party, you can’t expect the same old response.
HOW TO AVOID THIS PREDICAMENT: Get an accurate guest count before ordering.
To help you do this, we offer free invitations on the site that you can either send out via the post or email to your hopeful guests. Simply download the invitations, enter in your details (time, place, date, rsvp info) and send them to your guests. This will allow you to get an accurate head count before even ordering the party, causing little to no confusion about which size party version to order.
In the event you DID NOT do this ahead of time and found yourself with a smaller version of party (too few characters, too many guests) here are a few options for you.
FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE PURCHASED THE 15-20 GUEST VERSION.
Option #1—Purchase the upgrade materials.
If you have purchased the 15-20 guest version of the mystery, than you CAN purchase the upgrade materials off of the site without any problem. This upgrade includes a number of general character descriptions for additional guests. These additional general characters will keep their birth name (or names you give them) and they will have information about the murder, secrets to keep and objectives to complete. These characters will act as sleuths and help bring to the surface some of the hidden motives of the suspects in question. You may have duplicates of as many of these general characters are you need in order to fill your guest list. With larger parties, we find that it is important to have these extra roles to (a) make sure everyone is "involved" with the murder and (b) to help bring to light all of the possible motives for the murder. These versions are also a great way to accommodate guests who are last-minute add-ons or guests who are unsure if they are going to be able to make the party at all. Additionally, you will NOT have to redistribute your original materials sent to your first 20 guests.
Option #2— same as #3 (see below).
FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE PURCHASED THE 8-12 or 10-15 GUEST VERSION AND HAVE MORE PEOPLE COMING.
Option #3— Make the extra guests “investigators”.
With the party materials offered in the smaller versions, you can still involve the additional guests without giving them roles. One successful way to do this is to send the additional guests the invite and newletter/newspiece that introduces the characters. This way, the guests are still informed and ‘in the know’ of everything that is happening. When these guests arrive at the party, provide them with money (maybe even more than the character guests) and instruct them to use it wisely to gain secrets and information on the characters at large. Additionally, inform the investigators they are still competing for “best actor/actress”, “best costume”, “most money” and “super sleuth” awards. This allows the guests to be involved with the mystery without having their own roles. (This idea came to light after a customer had a great time successfully executing it and recounted it for us here.)
Option #4– Purchase the size you intend to use.
This is our least favorite option. While we would love to honor the ability to upgrade or downgrade for a game, unfortunately, we cannot. Since our games are custom written for the size of the party (ie, we don't just create a mystery with 8 characters and then keep adding more characters to it), each mystery size is unique unto itself and must be charged that way. That being said, going from 10-15 version to 15-20 version, will not only add in more characters, but it will change the storylines of the existing characters, and vice-versa in going from a larger version to a smaller one. (This is why we strongly suggest you get a guest count before formally ordering.) Unfortunately, if you find yourself in this predicament, and you don’t want to add people as investigators (as described directly above) you will have to purchase another version of the mystery for the size you want unless you are moving from the 15-20 version to the 20+ version. Keep in mind that if you have already distributed the character information from the previous party you purchased and you switch to another party size, you will need to redistribute the character information, as it will have changed for everyone, not just the new people now included in the party.
We understand no one likes to leave anyone out - or be left out - which is why we put this together to help you plan your party to be the best it can be. Here's to mischievous and murderous times with friends - no matter how many are there!!!