Fiasco: an RPG for collaboratively generating caper/heist stories


30 Responses to “Fiasco: an RPG for collaboratively generating caper/heist stories”

  1. Can it generate reverse heist stories, like ‘Lord of the Rings?’

  2. Punchcard says:

    Fiasco is a tremendous amount of fun. Oddly enough, some friends and I have hit on the idea of using a Fiasco session as a way to kick off a new DnD campaign, which makes for an oh-so much better narrative than “You all meet in a tavern…..”

  3. I think Lord of the Rings was actually fallout from a Fiasco game. “So at the end of this game, Numenor sunk , Sauron is living in Mirkwood, Isildur is dead, the magic ring is totally missing, and so are most of the Palintirs. Good game, everyone!

    • Mordicai says:

       Ha!  Yes, I said much the same thing before reading your comment.  “Oh, well, then my character Feanor is going to tell his sons to swear a ruinous oath!  Red die!”

  4. I watched these episodes when they first came out, and the players were all pretty awesome. The players, though, were all writers of one sort or other. What if you’re not a writer?

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Then you are apt to be less awesome.

      But, as with all such things, you get bonus awesomeness for doing it anyway.

    • Nick Wedig says:

      I’ve played Fiasco with many non-writers.  And they have generally been as awesome or awesomer than what was shown in the video.  Trust in your own ability and your friend’s abilities and they’ll surprise you with how creative and fun they can be.

    • I’ve played this with normal people. Still pretty awesome. One player was a little meh on it (she didn’t like the on the spot nature), the other 3 of us loved it and can’t wait to play again.

    • Ewen Cluney says:

      You really don’t have to be a writer to enjoy Fiasco, but you do need to be reasonably comfortable with improvising. The only times I’ve ever seen a Fiasco game not work are with people who are just too stuck in a traditional tabletop RPG mindset.

  5. Handsome Bob says:

    The author Jason Morningstar’s earlier game,  Shab-al-Hiri Roach, is also quite unique for the RPG genre– essentially an RPG with no GM.  The game provides a rough outline of scenes that must be narrated by the players. 

    • Tynam says:

      No longer unique; GM-light and GMless games are fast becoming design staples of the indie scene.  (See Microscope, Fiasco, Forsooth!, Inspectres, Bliss Stage, etc…)

      That said, Shab-al-Hiri Roach is a classic and anyone even vaguely inclined to that genre should try it.

  6. BookGuy says:

    Skimming this headline, I read it as “an RPG for collaborative gender capitalism.”  I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to try to create it.

    • Reverend Loki says:

       So a game where the winner is the one that can pimp out their fellow player’s characters most effectively?

  7. Boundegar says:

    Anybody got a stat sheet for Walter White?

  8. MooseDesign says:

    They should be careful with that cover art… Spike Lee was threatened with a lawsuit for their Clockers homage/ripoff (depending on your perspective). This isn’t nearly as direct as that was, but still Saul Bass’ Anatomy of a Murder work was the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

    Anywho, cool idea for an RPG!

    • penguinchris says:

      The Anatomy of a Murder titles have been endlessly “homaged” to the point where many graphic designers have no idea where the style came from (though a graphic designer friend of mine learned about it by watching the title sequence in class in college, along with a bunch of others, I don’t think that’s standard). 

      The insurance company that uses the “mayhem guy” in their TV ads uses this style – with the pointing hands and everything – in their print ads.

  9. Nagurski says:

    “snappy Tarentino dialogue”? Poor Ben Hecht. His writing style has been co-opted by a crap artist, who now stands in as a descriptor for it.

  10. regondi says:

    I’ve been gaming since 1979 (1st ed D&D). I’ve played a bazillion different systems and got rather burned out “dice rolling” rather than “role playing.” I’ve also been gaming with the (more or less) same group of people for about 25 years. We recently started playing Fiasco and its riotously fun. I’m glad to finally play an RPG where I only have to roll dice three times and not consult 47 different tables to try and create some semblance of verisimilitude. No offence intended, but playing with a bunch of writer sounds like there would be a lot of ego at the table. You just need people who you are comfortable with. 

  11. LogrusZed says:

    This was the only episode I didn’t enjoy. So much actor “business” going on, it reminded me of  the community theater group from season 2 of Party Down.

  12. L_Mariachi says:

    How do you determine whether a character gets a red die or a white die? Rogers seems to be handing them out from the central pile according to whim.

    • cdr says:

       If you establish your scene (saying where it is, who’s there, what’s going on), the other players decide if it turns out well for you (white die) or badly (red/black die). If you let the other players establish your scene, you get to choose the outcome. In the first act you give the die to someone else, in the second act you keep the die. At the end you roll all your dice and subtract one color from the other, then look on the Aftermath table for how things turned out for you. A high number is good, low number bad.

    • Mordicai says:

      Yes, whim!  Or well, narrative intuition.

  13. synesthesia says:

    the shut up  and sit down guys did a great review of this game, seems like a lot of fun, im assembling a team of drinkers and rollers, but its proving hard. 

  14. cdr says:

    They did a great job showing what Fiasco is like to play. If you’re going to Gen Con this weekend and want to pick up a copy, Indie Press Revolution will have it at their booth.  It’s great with 3 or 4 players, OK with 5, and for 6 or more it’s best to split into games of 3-4 people each. Bully Pulpit releases a new free playset (scenario) every month at — my personal favorite is Manna Hotel.

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