Actual Play – Home Invasion (8/24/2012)

Players: Hazel McDonagh, Karen Twelves, Sean Nittner, and Noel O’Brien
System: Fiasco
Playset: Home Invasion

I’ve never seen so much unintentional gaming evangelism. Karen and I were in Ireland and excited to game some with her friends. Since we were staying at Noel and Hazel’s house, gaming with them was an obvious choice. Plus, well, they are awesome. Hazel started off disinterested, so we planned to do a three player game. Karen pulled out a few playsets and without any of us noticing suddenly Hazel was in the conversation helping us pick out which playset to use. She narrowed it down to two she liked. From those two Noel picked Home Invasion. And suddenly, all four of us were playing. It was like magic.

One thing we didn’t do much of, or really at all, was bring in the fantastic or supernatural. We were tangled up enough in our own schemes that having an “outsider” that was actually, you know, an outsider, didn’t fit. We thought about it a few times, but stuck to our guns. Played up a privileged rich girl (who died) and all of our characters (who tried to dodge the blame).


“A Brown-nose like you have his finger in everyone’s pie.” – Mayor Thomas Nasser mixing metaphors.

“If my daughter wants to jump off a cliff, you think I’d let her?I might be tempted…” – Even Thomas Nasser didn’t like his daughter Jean.

“Shit. Did you get robbed?”
“No. Yes. Slowly.”
“I knew it was wrong to put her in the boot (trunk) of my car.”

The men in our story. John Estings and Dennis Kramer

“That was punishment. That wasn’t work. Works is for poor people.” – Jean Nasser describing her community service.

“I got you a store, baby!”
“I got you ten grand!”
“I got you your dad!”

The women in our story. Rosalind Bryskett and Esther Abraham (Thomas Nasser’s illegitimate daughter by her mother Jean).

Strong elements of the game

Location – Behind closed doors. Long occupied house without a stick of furniture in it.  This was a lot of fun. Rosalind and Esther both were self employed but doing terribly. To hide their destitute they had sold all their furniture and did all their business (house cleaning and interior decorating) on site! When Dennis showed up at their house unexpectedly it was awesome.

Twist – Tragedy – Death out of the blue – We started Act II with Jean being found dead at the base of her stairs in her home, and then spent the rest of the act telling flashbacks that explained how it happened (and how we all ended up in the Nasser’s house). I do so love putting characters in the cross-hairs. We knew everything revolved around Jean, but we wanted to manipulate her. Killing her forced us back on each other.

Thoughts on the game

This wasn’t my strongest Fiasco. I had two needs (to get revenge on the Nassers) and to break free of the home associations rules, but didn’t feel either of them putting pressure on me. I think this is one of those cases where I needed to create the pressure. Frame myself in a scene being fucked over and needed to fix it.  Also, since no player represented the Nassers or the Association (I was actually the most senior member, but hated it) I didn’t have resistance there.

I actually liked playing the totally myopic Jean. She was totally self absorbed but in a way I could relate to. Her life had been spoon fed to her and she basically had been ignored by her parents, so she became the entitle rich kid we all expected. Her father was horrible though, so I really didn’t mind her being horrible as well. Hmm.

We have several elements that didn’t come up much in the game, and frankly I think that was fine. The ones that excited it were at the forefront of scenes, the others faded to the background.

It was such a good time gaming with Noel and Hazel. They both did awesome jobs playing Mayor Thomas Nasser!