Jason Morningstar’s Fiasco is a hell of a game. I could write a few thousand words here about how and why it’s wonderful but you’ve already read other great recommendations of it online. The best, most persuasive argument for the game is simply to play it with clever, thoughtful players, so go do that if you haven’t.
Since playing it for the first time, earlier this summer, I’ve written or co-written a few playsets for the game. Some of them are scheduled to see the light of day in the future. One, though, is so crazy that I think it requires playtesting and advice to be gathered from the Fiasco community at large, to make sure the damn thing even works.
This is that playset: “All The Damn Time”
(It’s a PDF file.)
Here’s the gist of it: Sam Howard is a man unstuck in time. Some kind of quantum-level shenanigans have him traveling to and from key moments in his life. But if one Sam Howard managed to mess things up the first time, who’s to say that even more meddling Sam Howards can make things any better? Will Sam improve his life by futzing with his own history or will he turn a life of perfectly ordinary mistakes into a paradoxical catastrophe?
Who plays Sam Howard, by the way? You all do. You playSams from different points in time. Good luck with that.
To be clear, this is a terrible starter playset for the game. If you have never played Fiasco, do not start here. Pick almost any of the great Playsets of the Month from the Bully Pulpit Games website, or play one of the sets that come packaged in the game book. If you’ve played the game a few times already, though, and you’re willing to tax your skills a bit, I’d love to hear how (or if) this playset works for you.
(Now for some advice, right up front. The Relationships are specifically designed to work across multiple Sams, young and old, but the first group is especially suited for the youngest two Sams and the sixth group is specially designed to “wrap around” from the oldest to the youngest Sams. You can tinker and meddle with the possibilities, of course, especially if you want a smaller story with Sams separated by shorter lengths of time. It should work either way. Just remember that the Relationships are open to interpretation.)
I’d like to especially thank Jason Morningstar and Logan Bonner for looking over this set once already. If it sucks, though, it’s my fault.