Jul 252012

Poppleton Terrace is a lovely place to live–a town full of friendly people in tidy houses with neatly tended lawns run by a homeowner’s association that makes sure everything is kept just so. However, in this seemingly idyllic community, good fences don’t always make good neighbors. As the residents gear up for the annual Fourth of July bash at the Nasser’s, decades of resentment boils over and closely kept secrets are revealed in a maelstrom of deception and back-stabbing that will lead four characters to their own separate reckonings. Join the Rag-NERD-rok Crew as we take a long, unflinching look into the black heart of suburbia, and uncover a series of mishaps and betrayals that can only be called a Fiasco!

This Fiasco was created using the Home Invasion playset by Jason Morningstar, which was Playset of the Month for June 2012. It’s quite hilarious, and we highly recommend giving it a look.

In place of the regular Tilt and Aftermath tables provided in the Fiasco rulebook, we used the Soft versions provided in the Fiasco Companion.

  • crawlkill

    that was so hilarious it was kinda depressing! I feel like this is really happening somewhere out there in smalltown America.

    but I was disappointed the bad end wasn’t the Mexican authorities screeching onto the lawn with extradition papers to prosecute, er, whichever character that was for pedophilia!

  • Citadel

    That was fantastic to listen to! All the characters were really strong, and you managed to make the plot twist and turn pretty wildly. I particularly liked the way you used side characters like Petunia, the Grandmother and the screaming children to good effect, made this little society seem more real. Truly a vicious struggle fought over the merest of goals. Top marks to Alex’s stuttering neurotic acting 😛

    Did you guys think about how you wanted to play your characters much ahead of time, or did they just develop as you played?

    • Alex

      Thanks Citadel! Our planning for Fiascos varies depending on the setup. For this one, we had a pretty good idea what we were going to be doing going into it. We always decide on our characters before we start, sort of cementing what their role is in the story and what their goals are. Building up that base is one of my favorite parts of playing Fiasco. As for my stuttering in this one, that I added on the fly. It just seemed right.

  • Damn it, guys, I listen to this at work!

    I really like how crazy these things get, but is there a quick summation of the “rules” somewhere? It’s still good, I’d just like to know how the flow of the game works.

    • RyGuy

      You know, I’m not sure if there is a Fiasco rules summary anywhere that isn’t in the main sourcebook. I’d Google it. The rules are pretty simple though. In a nutshell:

      1.) Each player begins with two pairs of dice: two “black” dice and two “white” dice. You roll them bones during the setup and go around the table selecting attributes from a pre-written playset that determine your characters’ relationships, goals, etc. Once all the dice are used up, you figure out who your character is and how the attributes you’ve selected form the foundations of the story. (We usually skip this bit during recordings because it isn’t too interesting to listen to.)
      2.) The story is divided into two acts. Each player gets two scenes in an act, and you go around the circle taking turns performing scenes that feature your character (which direction doesn’t matter). On your turn, you can either establish the scene or resolve it. If you establish, you get to set the stage for the scene to come, but the other players choose how it plays out in terms of whether it ends poorly or well for your character. If you resolve, the opposite is true–you choose the outcome, but the other players get to set the stage.
      3.) The dice aren’t rolled for anything in particular during most of gameplay–they’re just there to represent the outcomes of the scenes and your character’s general “karma.” When you establish, you’re given a die at the end of each scene and when you resolve, you take one at the beginning. During Act I, you give your die away at the end of your scene, but during Act II, you keep it. White dice are positive outcomes; black dice are negative ones. You roll the dice in your pile twice during gameplay: once at the end of Act I to determine who gets to roll for the Tilt, and once at the end of the game to find out what your character’s overall outcome is. When you roll, you subtract the lower number from the higher by color, so if you roll 9 black and 2 white, you’ve got 7 black.
      4.) At the end of Act I, the Tilt table comes into play, which is basically another pre-written chart of complications and setbacks to toss into the story in Act II. Usually, the two players who roll the highest numbers for each color get to roll the remaining dice in the center for the Tilt.
      5.) The final outcome for your character is determined at the end of the game based on the “karma” you’ve accumulated. Here, black dice represent tangible consequences for your character’s involvement, such as money, power, infamy, etc., while white dice represent the spiritual spoils: love, fulfillment, happiness. For a good outcome, it’s best to have dice of predominantly one color, either black or white, as having a mix will make you roll lower numbers (and you don’t want that). Lower numbers of either color tend to result in your character being dead or worse (and believe me, you can get much, much worse than dead).

      That’s just a bare-bones rundown. If you’re interested in playing, I’d highly recommend checking out the sourcebook. It’s a great read, and it’s full of ideas that’ll help you engineer the most spectacular train wrecks imaginable. Well worth the $10 for the PDF.

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