Actual Play – Fiasco: Dallas 63 playset 50th anniversary (10/4/2013)

Playset_Dallas_63Players:  Jason Morningstar, Morgan Ellis, Ezra Denny, Sean Nittner
Facilitator: Chris Bennett
System: Fiasco
Setting: Dallas 63′

Game Description:

It’s November 22, 1963, and the President is coming to Dallas, although he really shouldn’t. And for a group of people with boundless ambition and poor judgement, you could run quite a scheme while everyone else is paying attention to JFK’s visit.”

We will be running three tables of Fiasco with 3-5 players each, all using the Dallas 63 playset. At the mid-point of the game, each table will swap interesting pieces of content from their games with the other tables to incorporate in the second half of their game. A triangulation of sorts.

This session does not assume any knowledge of Fiasco or the events of 1963. Just a willingness to show up, have fun and make your own history! You understand this will probably end badly for you, right?

Dallas 63 was playset of the month on Bully Pulpit Game:

Lured in by the pretties

I walked by Bennett’s room and he asked me if I wanted to play (he had a no-show). I would have refused but then he showed me the table with a missing player had Jason, Ezra, and Morgan at it. I was in!

We were terrible, and betrayed each other left, right, and center. But JFK lived!



Thoughts on this game

We hit a few points of confusion in this game. Wait, if I have the gold, why am I trying to smuggle it back to Cuba? Huh, why does the Cuban vixen need to kill the patriotic soldier she’s been sleeping with. It was a series of disconnects where I felt like we were following the tropes of the genre but the story itself wasn’t quite holding together.  This may have been due to some confusion at the table (wait, who owes who money?) or to disconnects with how hard we should play (I remember a point where Jason called me on letting someone off early, when I should have pushed for more, which probably would have escalated the tension rather than relieving it).

I think Archipelago giving players specific prompts to say during scenes like “go harder” and “try that a different way” are great and should be used in all collaborative games. A bit more of that I think would have smoothed out these wrinkles.

Bennett’s Mega-Fiasco game concept works really well. Three tables play three separate games all with the same playset. During the tilt they each write down a few elements from their story and put them on a shared table, then they each take two from the other tables and add them to their games. Hilarity ensues!

Bennett had another great rule. You die, you get a cookie. Like a real cookie, that you get to eat. And eat it Jason did!