An Utter Fiasco (The Fun Kind)

Last week I met up with a few folks to play the game Fiasco. I had first heard about the game right before XCon last month, and Darren Miller was running the game at the convention. I very briefly met him him then but didn’t have the time to sit and play a full game. It was quite fun. I am not an RPG player, and I really appreciated how the game mechanics were minimal and mostly existed to keep us telling the story. When in doubt, don’t sweat the details and tell the most entertaining story, which I found a very fun way to approach a game.

Darren has posted a play report of our session. As we wrapped it up, I think most of us said the same thing, which was that if the story we generated was a movie, we’d watch it. My character was “Wally Smalls”, the hardware store proprietor whose attempt to use the family inheritance to flip a shady real estate deal drove most of the mayhem. My favorite Coen-esque wrinkle was when Paul aka my uncle “Cliff” accidentally maimed (and had thought he had killed) the guy I was on my way to murder. I think I truly surprised Darren when we met up at the post-murder dumping ground and I shot his character. I had that in mind for a long time. His character was the one coercing my character into the act, who didn’t want to do it but due to external pressures agreed to it. From the first moment we set up the rendezvous to dispose of the body, I knew that “Carl” was going in the same place as the other corpse. It wasn’t a sheer power play, because I also wanted my character caught for his crimes right in the middle of the act. It put me in mind of one of my favorite moments in any noir film or Coen Brothers movie, the scene in Blood Simple where after burying Dan Hedaya’s body in the field we see the sun slowly rise and as it does, we see the field is empty dirt with giant thick tire tracks leading straight to the shallow grave. The feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you watch that was what I was hoping to get out of the game, and did I ever!

I highly recommend this game, and I think it is a good one for people who aren’t that into RPG. It’s all about story, and if you are willing to contribute, you will have fun.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

One thought on “An Utter Fiasco (The Fun Kind)”

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the game. I’d definitely love to do it again.

    I was surprised when you turned Carl into worm food, but it was a fitting ending and a welcome twist.

    I loved how eager everyone was to jump into character and contribute to making the story awesome. I know experienced die-hard rpg fans who couldn’t pull that off. It was a blast.

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