Actual Play – 4Ever (9/23/2010)

Players: Sean Nittner, Eric Fattig, and Chris Ruggiero
System: Fiasco
Playset: Touring Rock Band

This was my second Go Play SF Bay event and was as lot of fun. I think having a preset game (especially one that is so easy to pickup) was a great plan.

Fattig and I arrived a little late due to traffic and there was some scrambling around to find the right size play groups, but in only a few minutes we were settled in with Ruggiero and ready to roll.

Macklin had supplied the printed out play sets for us to sift through but the top one on the list instantly spoke to me: Touring Rock Band. Hell yes!

Characters – Connections

Lando – Turnpike

Relationship: The Grind (Boss/Roadie). Lando was in charge, Turnpike his miss treated (but figured out later on, very necessary) roadie.
Object: Sick as hell (Digital camera with stuffed memory card). Rocket’s camera with pictures that Lando and Turnpike took but neither of them knew how to get the pictures off.

Turnpike – Rocket

Location: Where ever the hell you are today (An elementary school). Dan Quayle Elementry, where both Lando and Rocket went to school, where Turnpike’s kid now goes, and where an interview with Lindsey Lohan would be taking place later this day.

Relationship: Bad Friends (You owe him your life). “I took a bullet for you fucker.” One day when Rocket was getting his fix some crazy meth head came to kill Turnpike and Rocket caught a bullet in his leg, something he likes to remind Turnpike of, often.

Rocket – Lando

Need: To Get Wasted (to handle the pressure of a TV interview). Said MTV interview with the recently sober Lindsey.
Relationship: Family (“Blood Brothers”). We cut our hands on a White Snake album in high school.

We decided he band had broken up and reformed three times, each time changing its name by adding a number. Naturally, the band was now named 4! 4-ever!

Game on

The game started with our beater van, filled with gear and an unimportant drummer pulling up to old Dan Quayle Elementary, parking over two spots and a median. Scaring children and ruffling the feathers of the vice principal Mr. Ferguson.

And as expected everything went downhill from there. Leon the drug dealer nearly killed the drummer shooting out the back window as Lando and Turnpike ripped him off. Rocket locked Furgeson in his “evidence” locker where he had a heart attack hearing about people defame the name of the honorable Mr. Quayle. The production agent, disgusted by Rocket and Turnpike actually has an odd attraction to Lando, which just means she follows him into all his mayham, including getting high in the boys bathroom, running from the drug dealer, and taking Linsdey the hospital after she got shot, so she could get some morphine.

At the end of the day, the drummer died (live wires are a bitch), the concert went on in the hospital parking lot, Officer Bruce Polanski arrested Lando and Rocket for possession but held off the other cops until the show could end so the guys could talk shop about bikes. Turpike and his wife (a nurse) had to go to counseling and Lindsey, well she didn’t stay sober for long… just as we all expected.

What rocked

Timing. There were five games of fiasco and they all finished in about 2.5-3 hours. The fixed scene structure and the easy game setup makes this game just awesome to fit in an evening’s time.

We kept it really mellow. For a game that can game that can go off the rails in a moment’s notice, I was really happy to keep it under 11. We all recognized that our characters weren’t going to make it big and were cool with that. Consequently we were totally callous about what color dice we were getting, I think we actually tried to keep them evenly mixed rather than going for one color or another. This really made the game shine for me.

We had so much excitement in this game. Chris and I kept giving each other high-fives and shouting “blood brothers”. It was killer energy.

All our names came up in play as part of our dialog. Like “C’mon Lando, he’s just a crack dealer, calm down.” Results: Rocket, Lando and Turnpike. We decided these were names we took in high school and never gave them up.

Memorable line of the night: Rocket (handcuffed but trying to answer a phone call from Turnpike): Kid, I’ll give you $5 if you reach in my pocket.

Lando became the inadvertent playboy, I was happy to send some love his way. None of it would last, but what does?

Three players is my favorite size.  With 4 I always feel like there’s a disconnect between the person opposite of you (since everyone has four things they are trying to juggle with the people on either side).  I haven’t played 5 but I figure that might have some trouble as well.  I really dig three though, it means everyone is REALLY connected to everyone else.

What could have been improved

An elementary school was really incongruous with everything else in the game. We tried to make it work, but it always felt like something of a stretch. Much fun being tasered in the halls until Rocket urinated in his pants, and then swapping pants with Turnpike (also in the hall) and then Turnpike taking the drummers pants (because apparently he wears swim trunks under them) in the parking lot, but still a bit of a stretch.

Dude… we totally forgot about the digital camera. That would have been a real hot potato. Ah well, the game rocked hard, regardless.


  1. Three Vs. Four players

    While I agree that three players worked really, really well in this session, there’s something I like about the awkward relationship between two people who don’t really know each other but are thrust together in an awkward situation. I think there’s the potential for mispronouncing the name of the guy you just met while you’re frantically burying a body together in the woods. That sort of thing. But I’ve never seen that actually happen in a four player game and I don’t think it comes naturally, it’s something you’ve really gotta work to make happen when you’re framing scenes. Still, it’s an ideal to aspire to, and I’d be willing to give four players a shot in future fiascos.

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