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Two of the biggest complaints about this game seem to be the disparity in difficulty based on the number of players and players feeling uninvolved when they get eliminated. Here's an idea to kill two birds with one stone.
Write six names on the roster sheet regardless of the number of players. They can be the names of the players, friends and family, or any other random name you like. (You can write fewer names if you want a more difficult game.)
Shuffle the supply deck and deal out 20 cards among all players. Some players may receive more cards than others -- this is fine.
All other setup is the same as described in the rules.
All other gameplay is the same as described in the rules with the exception of what happens when a player dies.
When a player dies, they select one of the names from the roster. They erase the name and write it on a tombstone on the back of the card as normal.
That player is NOT eliminated from play. They keep all of their Supply and Trail cards and continue to use them to keep the party moving down the trail.
The game ends if the last name is erased from the roster.
This should give all parties an equal chance of conquering the trail and keep everyone in the game and participating.