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Author Topic: Fiasco-An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas (Seeking 4 writers)  (Read 612 times)

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Offline PraxisTopic starter

What is this then?
This game isn't for people who want the power fantasy.  Some might argue that Fiasco isn't really a game and more a class on Introduction to Failure.  Some reading this might not know that they are the power fantasy type but they will out themselves pretty quickly during the character creation process.  Those people might be asked to drop out of this exercise.  Not because they are unwelcome but because it's quite probable that they won't enjoy this at all.  Fiasco is an engine of improvisation, creativity and fuckery.  No one person runs a game of Fiasco.  Everyone involved runs the game and everyone is working together to make it memorable.

Some of the most memorable moments I have from roleplaying over the last...well...multiple decades are the times when things went wrong and how my character or other characters reacted to that misfortune and how they evolved...or didn't.  A game of Fiasco is a bullet train, with rockets strapped to it; careening towards that moment; that misfortune with unrepentant glee.

Your character(s) probably won't improve.  At best...they won't die.

If you want sex then there will probably be sex.
If you want violence then there will probably be violence.

I got all the books for this game at Xmas and after playing it a few times I thought that this would be excellent on Elliquiy.  With that said; it's my first time converting the game to a forum type environment so expect some speed bumps until we work out the kinks...together.

How Many People Can Take Part in This?
For the first time; I'm looking for three brave souls to start this with me.  Once I get comfortable with the process we can move it up to five writers and possibly start multiple games once people get up to speed.

How Long Will This Go On For?
There is definitely a hard stop to this.  The writers and their respective characters are indeed moving towards an end-state. Depending on posting rates and how things go; you can expect a the first game to go about 8 to 12 weeks of real time.  Pure speculation on my part coupled with a bit of research online regarding others who have tried this online.

What Do I Need to Participate?

Nothing...well...except the following.
  • Trust - You need to trust the people you're writing with.  Trust in the fact that they are invested and engaged in this like you are.  Trust that if you're struggling then they will help.  You need to be able to roll with the punches that comes with working alongside and being creative with "strangers" and/or their respective egos and needs and that requires trust.
  • Generosity - You are going to make your character and have all these really fantastic ideas for them.  Then you get into the game and the other writers throw you into a situation that takes all your fantastic ideas and turns them into a fuck-show. (Figuratively...not literally.)  (Well...probably not literally) Using the aforementioned are going to trust that the other writer's ideas are going to be just as fun/cool/amazing/fulfilling/satisfying as yours.  You're going to go with it and by going with it that makes you generous.  Be generous.  You need to be generous.
  • Endowment - As much as you are going to be generous and allow the other writers to impact your character; you are also going to be confident enough with the group that you can contribute to their scenarios and ideas.  Even if you don't have a character in the scene; at any time you can jump into the scene and impact or change the current scene in a way that throws the characters in the scene a curve ball but doesn't steal the scene away from the characters.  Endowments flesh out a scene and make it memorable.  Just because you're not directly involved in the scene doesn't mean you're not monitoring it and looking for a chance to throw something into it.
  • READ - Unlike other group games this is one where you want to read the other scenes that you're not involved in because you get to participate in them.
  • EGO - Lack thereof in this case.  You're not doing this to win.  You're doing this create a story that is crazy, most likely amusing and a chance to create some memorable characters and scenes.  Don't let your ego get in the way of the story and more important don't let your ego get in the way of the other writers having fun and being creative.

Some advice before I get into the actual guts of the game...

Our first game will most like be...

wicked violent

...or a combination of the five aforementioned things.  The first game I played involved my character being handcuffed and ankles..."ankle-cuffed" and needing to fish a much needed security keycard out of a jar of elephant urine.'s a long story.

Once people get comfortable with the mechanics of the game (not that critical) as well as get comfortable with being creative (very critical) the stories and scenes generated get pretty nuanced.  It's rad.

How the game ACTUALLY flows/works and what you will be responsible for will be detailed below.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 10:38:53 AM by Praxis »

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 07:42:19 PM »


The four writers choose a playset.  A playset is a framework/theme that we use to generate characters and everything else we need to get into the actual scenes. I'll list four playsets below that the four of us can choose from as our first attempt at this.

Every writer gets four 6 sided dice. (2 "Black" and 2 "White" dice)  This gives us a total of 20 dice.  To start; all 20 dice are rolled (by me) to get us started in helping with the generation of the necessary information we are getting from the playset.

Then we decide how we; as the writers are "situated" around the table.  This matters because our characters have relationships with one another depending on how we are seated around the table.  Since we're online...we will do it as follows...(just an example)

1 - Slamdarius
2 - Praxis
3 - Kittycatcyberjockey
4 - 420BlaznNoScopeBoomHeadshot

So in this format...

Slamdarius' character has a relationship with Praxis' character and with 420BlaznNoScopeBoomHeadshot's character
Praxis' character has a relationship with Slamdarius and with Kittycatcyberjockey
Kittycatcyberjockey has a relationship with Praxis and with 420BlaznNoScopeBoomHeadshot

Basically...the players that are immediately to your left and right are the people your character is tied to.  Please note a relationship can be a romantic/sexual relationship.  It can also be coworkers. Siblings. Parent/child.  It all depends on the dice and the playset we are using.

We are going to use the dice and each other to decide all kinds of thing about our characters before we actually "build" our characters.  This might feel odd or awkward for some of you.  Some great advice I can give you that was given to me is written below.

"Fuckin' suck it up buttercup!"

This is how the game works.  It's very random, very collaborative and unashamedly forces you to improvise and be creative...often.

Watch this video and it will show you the entire process for setting up the game.

Or don't watch it and have fun when you learn it as we go.  Seriously...that's fun and it's how I learned and it was rad.

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 07:42:55 PM »

When Setup is done; every writer will have the following...

Two relationships (tied to another writer they are next to)
Each relationship will have a detail expanding on what that relationship is.

Each player will have one of the following three attributes. This will be selected in a manner that is associated with one of the two relationships they have

  • NEED and requisite detail
  • OBJECT and requisite detail
  • LOCATION and requiste detail

Every game has to have a NEED, an OBJECT and a LOCATION.  This leaves the fourth writer a chance to pick one of the three that works for them the best (based on dice rolls of course).

Once all this is established; a name is given to the character and using the tags provided below that character is made and is ready to go!


Name:Nathan Brubaker
Relationship 1: Details given later
Relationship 2: Details given later
Location: Depending on scene
Date/Time: Depending on scene
Wearing: Depending on scene

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 07:44:49 PM »
How it all goes down...

A game consists of two acts.

Between Act I and Act II is the TILT
The TILT throws more chaos and angsty goodness into the story at random.






What happens during an ACT

** Each player/writer takes a turn in the SPOTLIGHT.
When in the SPOTLIGHT a player/writer can do one of two things...

     i) ESTABLISH a scene (explained below)

     ii) RESOLVE a scene (explained below)

As the player in the SPOTLIGHT, if you choose to ESTABLISH the scene then the players at the table get to RESOLVE the scene.
If the player in the SPOTLIGHT chooses to RESOLVE the scene then the players at the table get to ESTABLISH the scene.

When the scene concludes, they player passes the SPOTLIGHT to another player.
All players are in the SPOTLIGHT twice which then concludes ACT I

Then we roll the TILT. This adds some chaos to the story.

Then ACT II which is the same process as ACT I.
Once all the players have been in the SPOTLIGHT twice, the story ends and we roll into the AFTERMATH.

What's ESTABLISH precious?  What's ESTABLISH eh?

When a player chooses ESTABLISH they are choosing to set the scene and the characters within that scene.
This means the other players get to RESOLVE the scene. (see below)

What does a scene usually consist of?

The character of the player in the SPOTLIGHT. (Solo)
The character of the player in the SPOTLIGHT and another character or characters of the other players.
The character of the player in the SPOTLIGHT and a NPC or multiple NPCs (written by the other players)
The character of the player in the SPOTLIGHT and a combination of other characters and NPCs.
(Get it?  Get creative)
(TIP - To start however...keep it simple-ish?)

I have played in a game where the SPOTLIGHT player selected two other characters at the table and they played out a scene that impacted the SPOTLIGHT player's character without that player's character being in the scene.  It was rad...and clever.

The scene can be in the past.
The scene can be in the future.
The scene can be in the current timeline and working chronologically with the other scenes. (TIP - This is the easiest until people get comfortable)

RESOLVE - Would you like to know more?

When a player chooses RESOLVE they are choosing to dictate the outcome of the scene their character is in. (Either a good outcome for the character or a bad outcome for the character)
This means the other players get to ESTABLISH and set the scene and the characters within that scene. (SEE PREVIOUS POST)

There are no rules around the severity of a good or bad outcome.  There are shades of good and shades of bad.   Just make sure that whatever is happening as the writer...make it count.  You only get a handful of scenes.  Make them mean something when you can.

What else happens during a scene?

Examples -

Praxis chooses to Establish.

Praxis lays out a scene with Kittycatcyberjockey

This means that the players at the table EXCEPT Praxis get to Resolve the scene.

How does this work?

Remember the 20 dice we had at the start? 10 black and 10 white dice?  Remember?

During the scene the players responsible for RESOLVING the scene can choose from the pool of black and white dice.  At any point during the scene, ONE of the three remaining players will take a white dice OR a black dice.  They will silently give that dice to Praxis (or whomever's turn it happens to be).

If he is given a white dice.  That means the scene needs to end with a good outcome for Praxis' character. 
If he is given a black dice. That means the scene needs to end with a bad outcome for the Praxis' character.

When the scene concludes; whatever dice Praxis was given; he takes that dice and gives it to one of the other three players.  The value of the dice doesn't matter at this point.  What matters (eventually) is the colour of the dice.  Over the course of ACT I and ACT II you will acquire a tiny little pile of dice.  That plays a role later.

So how do you know when the scene ends?


When any of the four writers steps in and says "SCENE".  That ends it.

But...but...what if I wanted to write more for that scene? 

Too bad.  Trust the other writers you are in the game with. 

When they say Scene.  You end it. 
When you say Scene.  You end it.
When they say Scene.  They end it. 
When you say Scene.  They end it.

Be creative.
Be kind.
Be patient a bit too, yeah?

And What is the Deal with NPCs?

You're better off having one or two NPCs.

It's actually fun to have one NPC that keeps showing up in multiple scenes that acts a bit as glue for some of the scenes and provides some continuity.

You CAN have as many NPCs as you like but remember that the game is about the four main characters...not about your NPCs.

Also no one owns the NPCs.  They belong to the group.  Anyone can write a NPC!

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 07:46:58 PM »
The rest of the game...people can learn as we go along.

Playsets for the first group are as follows.

You're getting the title and that's it.  I'm being deliberately vague.  The four of us will select one playset from the four and then we will get started!

« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 10:56:00 AM by Praxis »

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 07:48:27 PM »

Shoot me a PM.

We can have as brief or lengthy a discussion as you need and once you're ready to go.  I'll take the first three players/writers that show interest and are fine with the open-ended nature of the game.

Then we will settle on the playset.

Then we get into it.

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 07:59:31 PM »

1 - Kitteredge

2 - Cosima

3 - Praxis

4 - Mai
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 10:29:09 AM by Praxis »

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Re: Fiasco - An Exercise in Creativity and Some Bad Fuckin' Ideas
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 10:28:29 AM »
So we filled up the first group but we have another confirmed (and possibly a few more)  So I am starting GROUP TWO right here and now.

While I won't be actively writing in GROUP TWO I will be moderating.  Teaching you guys the mechanics and weighing in on/giving advice etc.


 - Sarah Morgan
 - Wander
 - Remiel
 - Imogen
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 10:39:10 AM by Praxis »

Offline PraxisTopic starter

Alright.  We have secured enough people for a second group.

Group details are as follows...


1 - Kitteredge

2 - Cosima

3 - Praxis

4 - Mai


1 - Sarah Morgan

2 - Wander

3 - Remiel

4 - Imogen

If we get more interest we will shoot for a third group as well.