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Author Topic: Fiasco (Coen brothers-inspired, tabletop RPG-type game)  (Read 18772 times)
Remington Lonespear
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« on: April 21, 2012, 04:37 pm »


Fiasco is inspired by cinematic tales of small-time capers gone disastrously wrong – particularly 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 collapse into 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.

-------------------------------------

Dust recently turned me on to this game and after reading the rulebook twice I'm fairly confident that this is a great game for our little forum of people who can't commit to a weekly RPG type thing but wouldn't mind playing once in a while.

This game takes very little knowledge to play (if you've seen a few Coen brothers movies you have a good idea of where stories like these end up) and there are not many rules.  There would be no dedicated group and since there is no Game Master or Dungeon Master, any time there are 3 or more people around to play it could be ready to play in a flash.  All it takes to play is a copy of the game book, 3-5 players, 2-3 hours and your imagination.

The only real setup involves creating characters and their relationships, defining their needs and how the characters are related.  This is done almost entirely with dice and a little help from the group's imagination.  A setting is chosen (a research station in the Antarctic, a prison, a small suburban town, and the Old West are just some examples, there are tons), characters are created, and then scenes are played out by the players.  Generally, some kind of crime or misfortune happens, and everyone's lives are ruined.

We could easily play over Skype and use a whiteboard/chalkboard/corkboard program to facilitate the game--here's an example of what the playing area might look like, using characters from a writeup on another forum:

(click to show/hide)

So who is interested?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 05:53 pm by Remington Lonespear » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 04:43 pm »

Dammit, I came into this thread hoping this was some Coen brothers-inspired RPG game that was going to be on Xbox or something.
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 04:49 pm »

Yeah, I'll play! (when the semester ends in two weeks)
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 04:58 pm »

I learned about the game from this review, which should give you a pretty good idea of what you're in for.
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 05:56 pm »

I am possibly interested in playing this game.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 05:56 pm »

I'm quite interested. this sounds fun.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 06:17 pm »

We have tentative plans to play a game tonight, in about an hour or so, if anyone is interested.  So far it's just myself and dust.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 07:18 pm »

and me!
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dustbuster
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 10:22 pm »

this game is so racist
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 11:31 pm »

So racist.


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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 03:02 am »

Definitely keen for another game sometime soon, perhaps a less racist scenario, but I'm sure we will make it racist anyway.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 04:35 am »

I could possibly play a game later today (it's Monday morning as I write this), but I'm definitely going to be around Wednesday night to play since Karen will be at her parents' house.  I'll also have last night's writeup done sometime today.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 04:41 am by Remington Lonespear » Logged

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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 01:07 pm »

This replay is super long because I decided to use it to give some examples of how the gameplay is structured--how the dice are used to determine relationships, the Tilt, and the Aftermath, mostly.  Future write-ups will be shorter and will probably not be broken down scene by scene.

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:53 pm by Remington Lonespear » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 04:39 pm »

More like

The scores at the end were Wendy: White 2, Clarence: White 4, Lawrence: Black 3

Based on the describers, (Harsh, Merciless and Bitter) that sounds more like I remember.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 04:47 pm »

You're right about Clarence having White 4, but I'm sure Lawrence had Black 5 now that I've actually re-read the Aftermath table.  I shall update my post.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:53 pm by Remington Lonespear » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2012, 08:00 pm »

Saturday 3pm Pacific. Let's do this.
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Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2012, 08:45 pm »

I'm down for that.  I am also down for tomorrow (Wednesday), 5:30 PM Pacific or later.
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 01:15 am »

I'm down for that.  I am also down for tomorrow (Wednesday), 5:30 PM Pacific or later.

I can do this one, but not saturday.


Looking at the scenarios, The Ice could be fun. or one of the extra ones from the website
( http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/downloads/index.php?cat=7 )

The ones which are standing out for me include White Hole, Camp Death, Dragon Slayers and Objective Zebra.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 05:23 am by BSam » Logged
Remington Lonespear
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 11:09 am »

All of those stand out to me also*, but I think it's probably best if we play some more mundane playsets until we get a good handle on the gameplay.  I'd like to get everyone more comfortable with the way scenes are played out, and particularly with dialogue, something I felt our previous game was lacking.

This is a really good podcast.  It's about an hour of gameplay featuring the designer Jason Morningstar and three others playing the News Channel 6 playset.  It illustrates how a dialogue-heavy session can really drive things forward and I suggest anybody who is interested in playing Fiasco give it a listen, to get an idea of how relationships are established and scenes are put together.

The Fiasco Companion notes that The Ice is the most commonly picked first playset for new groups and it's one I'm interested to play, so I think we should give it a run.  Anybody reading this topic interested in signing on as our third (or fourth)?

*Dragon Slayers in particular sounds like it would make for a downright hilarious session.  Of the playsets listed on their site, that's the one I'm most looking forward to trying.
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2012, 01:08 pm »

This is a really good podcast.  It's about an hour of gameplay featuring the designer Jason Morningstar and three others playing the News Channel 6 playset.  It illustrates how a dialogue-heavy session can really drive things forward and I suggest anybody who is interested in playing Fiasco give it a listen, to get an idea of how relationships are established and scenes are put together.

Rad, thanks for the link. I was going to ask about listening in without playing tonight (I don't have the time tonight to fully commit to playing but would be able to listen as I do some work) to get a feel for how the game is played, because I think it may be a fun one to add to my game nights since we play the same board games over and over.
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