Dread, Fiasco and X-People

For the last number of session I have relinquished the role of gamemaster to my peer and co-organiser. We have been playing the beta for the new edition of Delta Green. I plan to do a more thorough write up for in the new year once we delve further into the system.

The passing weekend I planned to run either Dread or Fiasco as a bit of a break as we planned on what we will do with the group over Christmas and into the new year.

Dread is a horror inspired RPG with one obvious difference… results are determined by a pull on a Jenga tower. The  presence of the looming and often swaying tower does impose a sense of dread on the players, especially when every pull brings you closer to one of the players dying. The adventure I had loosely planned was a mission to an installation around Jupiter that to determine what had happened to the previous crew. It was a blend of Alien and Solaris, a creepy isolated base, in a high stress environment and paranoia driving the story. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to GM this game.

Instead we ended up playing play Fiasco. Fiasco is a GMless game (so I got to play) for 3-5 players where the they tell a tale about people with great ambition and poor impulse control to emulate movies like Fargo or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Each game begins with a Play Set, these are the building blocks for your story; the setting, items of importance and your relationships. The Play Set we utilised was X-People, an X-Men themed Play Set made by One Shot Podcast presenter James D’Amato and Samuel Kaye.

Like a good murder mystery, Fiasco works backwards when building characters. It firstly begins with establishing relationships between each player, as well as linking each character with a location, item or drive. Once these links are established you can get a scope of who your character is and how they will tie into the upcoming story. Then each player/character runs through a scene building their character and the ensuing plot. Most games of Fiasco end up being tragically funny. In our play through of the X-People play set definitely involved a dash of comedy, with plenty of betrayal, clones and flashbacks.

Play time would depend two factors; number of players and how deeply you get involved into your character/scene. The main contributor to length of a session heavily depends on the number of players. The addition of one player adds 4 more scenes and another aftermath scene to the game. Another factor to the length of a session would rely on how dramatic the players are and how much they immerse themselves in each scene. This session we had 5 players of varying role-playing experience and the game went for 3 hours plus the break in between the Tilt.

This was the fourth time I have played a game of Fiasco and it is always a pleasure to play.

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