Optional Players and How they Work:
My Mystery Party games have many ways to have a flexible guest list with various number, age range, and gender options. All games will have flexibility with the number of guests you can invite to your party and that amount will vary depending upon the game. Each game has a minimum number required to play and that is given in the item description. If it says 8 to 18 players - that means there are 8 required players and up to 10 more optional players. As long as the required players are played in your game, nothing else matters.
Optional players in our mystery games will have the same type of materials as the required players. During the game, they'll never realize they weren't required players as they have motives for the crime and a story that intertwines with the rest of the characters. They will mingle about and discuss the clues on their cards just like the required players. However, you can leave them out without affecting your game. Optional players may be played in any combination from the main game and expansion pack(s).
To find the character lists without the required and optional designations, it will be located on the free invitations and the YourMysteryParty.com guest pregame site for each game.
Yep! They are all optional to the game and may be played in any combination. Read the expansion pack instructions, however, as you may need to make slight adjustments when adding the expansion pack on to your game - such as using a new clue card for a main game player in Round Three to adjust the reading order (expansion pack players will always read first when the game is designed for all players to read in front of the group).
Here are the three ways that you may have additional characters to your mystery party:
Main Game Optional Players: As stated above, there will be a minimum number to play and a maximum number in the main game. The required players are required to be intact to make your game flow smoothly. For example, if you have a game that has 5-8 players - then, you must have at least 5 players to play the game. On your party day, if you have a required player not show up - switch one of your optional players into the role. If you don't have any optional players in your game, you can contact us and we can tell you the best options for how to play without the missing required player.
Expansion Packs: The expansion packs contain optional players that may be played in any combination. With some games, the expansion pack may give directions on what to do if a certain player is not played - but it doesn't affect game play whatsoever. During the game, your optional players have the same materials as the required players and won't realize their character was optional. Many games have multiple expansion packs and these are optimal if you purchase them in order, as the players are added to the growing character list in order. Meaning - if you are playing the main game and expansion pack #2 (you choose to skip #1) - your character lists will still have the expansion pack #1 players listed. It won't affect game play whatsoever as there's hardly a party hosted with the exact number of players on the list, but it's just not 'optimal.'
There may also be games were in expansion pack #1, you are provided with a replacement clue card for a main game player to reflect the new order to read solutions in round three. You will not receive this replacement card if you skip to a #2-#4 expansion pack, as we assume you are playing expansion pack#1 and have this replacement card. Be sure to read the description of the expansion pack you are purchasing. Some games do not matter as much and others must be played in order.
We will not give refunds for expansion packs purchased out of order - there are warnings on each page to prevent you doing this.
The expansion packs are sold as they are published. We cannot sell individual characters, as it is more involved than simply selecting a piece of the file to sell you. We're a relatively small company and do not have the manpower to customize every hosts' game. If you only need one player from the expansion pack, and do not wish to spend the money for one player, then pair up this lone player with any player in your game and allow them to play as a team - just give them both copies of the character's clue cards and have one play as the character and the other as a friend of the player - like an impromptu expandable player (see below). Chances are, someone won't show up the day of the party and you can slip this extra player into their role.
Expandable Teams: Some games may have expandable players. This is denoted in the description, the product details and the character list. This means a specified player(s) is designed to have an optional team with them during the game. It's as if you were invited to a party and decided to bring along your friends/colleagues. What would you speak to the other guests about if you attended a party with your friend? You'd have the mutual acquaintance in common, so that's what and who you'd talk about! In other words, if the character is a magician, they can have a team of up to ~15+ magician's assistants with them. The assistants' cards will have the information/clues of their lead player and that is what they use to play with in the game. The expandable players all have duplicate cards, but are in the game just like everybody else otherwise. They are considered second tier players, as they don't have character names (do not give them names) or unique storylines. This is a great way to host large events and still give everyone a role in the game. If you are hosting a large party, you would not want too many story lines to sift through once the mystery occurs. Think about having to keep track of a high number of stories - that's chaotic and the more you add, the more chaos you add to the game, which leads to being less optimal of an experience for everyone. This enables you to grow your guest list without adding chaos to your game.
Caveat: we do have two 'large group' games (Harrison House and Stratford Castle). Both of these have 75 unique character roles. However, this game was built for a large group - it's very redundant by design, and most suspects are quickly ruled out when the investigation begins. This is not the case for the rest of our catalog, so they won't work in jumbo groups like Harrison House and Stratford Castle.