Actual Play – Transatlantic (1/14/2012)

Players: Sean Nittner, Chris Bennet, Brian Willians, Mia Blankensop
System: Fiasco
Playset: Transatlantic

This game was so much for me, in part because it was very different from most Fiasco games I’ve played.

Three of our relationships were very close, while one was distant from the others. Mia (Elke Dubois) and I (Etienne Dubois) were newlyweds, however she did not recognize the wedding as legitimate until we were marred in a Lutheran church. She was my 19 year old beautiful mail order bride and I was the middle aged french man who fought in the great war. Because she did not see us as married in the eyes of god we had separate cabins aboard the boat, and mine had a stow away. They young American girl Sadie Beatrice Hawkins who was returning to Plano, Texas with her fathers military sabre that was lost in the war.

Sadie, being a beautiful girl, hiding out in the cabin of a middle aged French man, of course caused a giant scandal. She had been looking forward to seeing the love of her life, a man named Nikola, that she knew only as a pen pal. Meeting Nikola, however, Sadie realized that “she” was a “he”. Heart broken she fled back to he cabin and into the consoling arms of Etienne. Insert jealous hijinks here.

We had young nervous porters, stodgy old gentlemen with monocles, and a generous captain Miska… all of which died… but what we didn‘t have was a strong connection to Brian’s character (Nikola Kral). Besides the gender confusion, Nikola felt detached from the group, we didn’t have a lot of overlapping interests and her story seemed more connected with the ship captain than the other players…until it suddenly seemed like Nikola might not actually be who she said she was.
What if she was a German spy?

Hot damn. Within a few scenes Nikola was revealed as a spy bent on giving secrets transported on the Leviathan to a German Uboat that was following us. As the torpedo was fired and the ship was sinking, that’s when we realized Nikola was actually Nikolas! He is a she is he again! And “he” took my Elke hostage!

Suddenly Brian went from being off stage to center stage and the melt down that ensued was just awesome.

Thoughts on this game

Though I was technically mediating this game, because I had Mia (our improv instructor) in it, and Bennett (a veteran Fiasco himself), I hardly did anything besides offer off up the playset and a pile of dice. Fiasco, with a group of creative players excited by eachother’s happiness, is the closest thing to an RPG that plays itself.

Our game shifted forward in time a little be when we realized we needed a Uboat to exist, for WWII to be on the brink and proto Nazi’s to be in the picture. Frankly, I don’t think any of us cared, those pulpy tropes were a lot of fun.