Fiasco for the second time Friday night. Our first time was a test run where we used the "Main Street" playset. It was extremely fun - the most fun role playing I'd ever had - and not having a GM was incredibly freeing. If you're interested in reading more about the premise and inspirations for Fiasco, go check out our interview with Jason Morningstar, the designer.
So this past Friday for game night, we did two things: we brought our first GM-less game to a group that predominatly plays D&D 4e, Savage Worlds, and other highly-tactical games, and we split the group up into two games. Because the little sister and the Gamer Wife were able to come, our numbers swelled to eight players. This is far too large for any normal game of Fiasco, so we split into two groups of four. Four is probably the sweet spot for Fiasco, but three to five is the recommended size. I really like four personally because it creates a good depth of plot while giving you enough players to play NPC's. Keep reading to find out why you have to play Fiasco.
The Bro and I each took a group. He took my hardcopy while I used the pdf (the pdf + print bundle on indie press rpg is a great deal!). I was overall rules interpreter since I had read the book cover-to-cover, but we both had experience from our first game, and the rules are very simple.
I've been debating trying to do a recap of our game Friday night. We played the London Gangsters playset downloaded from Bully Pulpit's website (they release a new playset every month - basically free scenarios on tap). Our game was ridiculously fun, but I'm really guessing that to recount a play of Fiasco is one part futile mixed with three parts "you had to be there" making for a very dull, unfunny examination of what makes a joke funny.
The theme of our game ended up being "miscommunication." There were so many air-quotation marks made by the players, and by the end, all four of our characters had unique goals and contacts but thought that everyone was on the same page and after the same thing. Of course, we as players knew and it made it all the more enjoyable. To recount any more of the story, say how we came across Jesus-loving Russian Czarists and their 10,000 Jesus pamphlets or the Italian-Armenians (don't ask) trying to push the illegal product "gyros" onto the street to compete with the Boss' "kebab" business, or how the second group of Russians, these ones communists who were supplying both the Boss' "kebabs" and the niece's kebab ingredients, would be a waste of time. Just go buy the bundle of Fiasco at IPR and play a game or 12 with your group. You will not regret it, and in no time you'll be developing your own playsets (I've already been working on a Zombie playset, and 80's teen comedy Hughesian playset, and a small time supervillian playset which you'll hopefully see here in the future) - it is inevitable.
P.S. We ended the game without ever knowing what "kebabs" or "gyros" actually are, and we are all the better for it!