Fiasco

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Hawke
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Fiasco

Post by Hawke »

Got a chance to play fiasco last night after one of my Mutant City Blues players didn't show up. We jumped in, none of us having played before, and had 10 times more fun than I expected us to have. Here is what the game is for those that don't know:
THINGS CAN GO WRONG, FAST…

…Maybe some dude from youth group talked you into boosting a case of motor oil, but now your cousin is dead in a swamp and you killed him. Maybe you and your girlfriend figured you could scare your wife into a divorce, but things went pear-shaped and now a gang of cranked-up Mexicans with latex gloves and a pit bull are looking for you.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Fiasco is inspired by cinematic tales of small time capers gone disastrously wrong – inspired by films like Blood Simple, Fargo, The Way of the Gun, Burn After Reading, and A Simple Plan. You’ll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won’t go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will probably all go south in a glorious heap of jealousy, murder, and recrimination. Lives and reputations will be lost, painful wisdom will be gained, and if you are really lucky, your guy just might end up back where he started.

Fiasco is a GM-less game for 3-5 players, designed to be played in a few hours with six-sided dice and no preparation. During a game you will engineer and play out stupid, disastrous situations, usually at the intersection of greed, fear, and lust. It’s like making your own Coen brothers movie, in about the same amount of time it’d take to watch one.


I quickly rigged up a dice rolling macro that would change the token image to one of the dice facing images for a d6. Since I didn't see a black d6 anywhere handy, I simply added the hidden state (giving it a dark overlay) and a black halo to the dice we used. Did a mass roll and moves the dice(tokens) in the center.

We used the boomtown playset, basically setup in a wild wild west game. The initial mechanic was pretty straightforward, we could move the dice around to establish relationships by "buying" them with the dice on the table.

The four players were as follows:
Clyde Long - A local boy from Virgin Gulch, CO who was working as a ranch hand at Buffalo Joe's ranch. His dad had recently died, and his mother Marlena married the local Sheriff...
Sheriff Billy Joe Beane - A real jerk, a drunk, a womanizer, who beats Clyde's mom and is hated by all including his Deputy
Deputy Deke Lazarus - Current deputy who is filled with all the wrong kinds of revenge and secret plots to get even. He is Former confederate soldier, who had his leg cut off brutally during the war by...
Quigley Bongo A former union soldier who is crazily obsessed with legs, bones, and is losing it little by little... happened to move to Virgin Gulch and works on Buffalo Joe's ranch, but does not recognize Deke. Has a saloon wench of a wife who Deke is trying to sleep with... and trouble ensues when Sheriff Billy Joe tries, too.

We just used the text labels, some colors, a few lines and were able to play out the story... a cave filled with treasure and bones led to some craziness, NPC death, a crazy chase, more legs getting cut off, and some very poorly done accents made for a fantastic evening. And in the end, all the players ended up really bad off except Sheriff Billy Joe who took up to bone collectin' himself and was running for mayor - d'oh!

Definitely will be playing this again and thinking of ways that we can better use MapTool.

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wolph42
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Re: Fiasco

Post by wolph42 »

Well that in the least got me curious, if others are as well, I found a preview of the rulebook here it indeed sounds like a lot of fun and reminds me of the 'shab al hiri roach' (or something like that) which was also bloody hilarious.

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CoveredInFish
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Re: Fiasco

Post by CoveredInFish »

Great! I always wanted to play fiasco but never got around. I should have some dice-solution around here ... started working on it at least. EDIT: ah yes here it is: fw_fiasco.cmpgn

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Hawke
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Hawke »

Oh - nice... your framework looks great. I just realized I didn't change the background, I should've used sand for our western themed one. There's also a "play mat" that I took a screenshot of, cropped, and dropped down for ease of explanation.

In addition to running the relationships, we also created a timeline up at the top for each scene, I'd suggest too.

The only thing we had some confusion about was how the Aftermath ran. It didn't go as smoothly and as fun as the rest of the game, though I'll try it a few more times now that I understand the rules of it.

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CoveredInFish
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Re: Fiasco

Post by CoveredInFish »

Thanks for the playmat. I somehow missed that, although - since it looks official - I assume it's available from bullypulpit.

Timeline is a good hint.

I'm still thinking about having better "index cards" than text labels (since these arent real pretty imho), but I havent found a solution without using extern software (make it with PS eg)

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Hawke
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Hawke »

Yeah the current text box could use some additional options... I wish you could constrain it and wrap the text and change the font size and font color... We did use a different background for some of the stuff, but I still think there could be some additional options... hopefully with 1.4 someone will take a look at that eventually.

And yeah - if you look at the playmat's URL it's from their website. I guess the other thing we could add would be aftermath & tilt tables, but I don't think they're public so it wouldn't be that useful since we couldn't distribute it.

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Azhrei
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Azhrei »

Hawke wrote:Yeah the current text box could use some additional options... I wish you could constrain it and wrap the text and change the font size and font color...

Are you referring to the Notes field that pops up when you click on an object? You can already control those parameters the same way you can with any other text field: add <html> at the beginning and then type in HTML.

I use that all the time with <div width="400px"> so that I can control the width of the box.

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Hawke
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Hawke »

I was actually talking about the "Drawing Tools -> Add Text Label To Map" Here's a what a game session looks like on a whiteboard (suggests index cards and stickies as options too): Image

We were just using the labels cause we could edit and move them around and we didn't need an external image editor... then just used the drawing tools to draw lines between them. We used different colors for characters, locations, needs, and relationships, too.

Thanlis
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Thanlis »

I have nothing useful to add to the Maptool portion of the discussion, but I love Fiasco to pieces. Great game.
Reed (halfling sorcerer P3) // Collin (human fighter P2) // Cine (eladrin psion H2)
Sirath (deva shaman H1) // Alesk (dragonborn cleric H3) // Kevin (halfling barbarian H1)

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Hawke
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Hawke »

Thanlis - what playsets have you played? I'm curious if really some are better than others.

Any suggestions for the Aftermath? My understanding is you do your dice total which gives you the result (i.e. White 5) but then the book mentioned how you say a plot point for every die you have in front of you by returning them to the middle. I don't really get that part of it... we sort of glossed over the dice in front of you and all just gave our result based on the die total. While we carried it Roleplay wise, I felt it was the weakest mechanic of the game.

I also felt there could've been better explanation in the book for first time players about why giving and choosing black/white dice affects things.

Anyway, criticisms aside - eager to hear about playsets... can't wait to get enough experience to create some of my own.

Thanlis
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Re: Fiasco

Post by Thanlis »

I've just played Ice, but it was great. It went in completely different directions than I expected, and I really enjoyed not GMing.

Aftermath is a bit confusing at first, I think. What's supposed to happen: you use your total (after rolling) to determine the general outcome for your character, as you said. But you don't just say what it is: you use the dice in front of you to narrate to the conclusion. So if I had three dice and I wound up with White 5:

"This is Thanlis, stumbling across the ice, with the feathers of a dead penguin decorating his uniform."

(The two other players go.)

"This is Thanlis, trying to explain why he killed the last Emperor penguin in the world on live television."

(Others go.)

"This is Thanlis, alone in a house in the wilds of New Hampshire ten years later, hiding from yet another reporter who wants to do yet another National Geographic TV special on the Man Who Killed A Species."

So the plot points don't have anything to do with the totals on the dice -- the dice, at that point, are just a counter to determine how many one-line statements you have. And you can give people dice to give them more room to narrate their final fate if you want.

If you ever wanted to get up a game online, I would be in like Flynn.
Reed (halfling sorcerer P3) // Collin (human fighter P2) // Cine (eladrin psion H2)
Sirath (deva shaman H1) // Alesk (dragonborn cleric H3) // Kevin (halfling barbarian H1)

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