Ok it’s going to end up a long post about tonight’s role play (geek play time) session, but before that I really should talk about our great walk into school this morning.
Obviously it was good to wake up with the little in the place, and Aiden woke the same time as me, and was overjoyed to see me first thing (I’m pretty sure I look rough and scary first thing on the morning, but it didn’t bother him).
Both Aiden and Paige breezed along for the walk to school, and it was another of those great walks where Aiden didn’t require any encouragement or ask to be picked up. So following on from his full walk home last night he scored an easy double πŸ™‚
Now onto tonight’s Geek session. After the fun and frivolity of last weeks dalliance with Fiasco, we once again jumped into another session of fundamentally free form improv. Which ticks major boxes with me, I’ve dabbled with improv before πŸ˜‰
As a group we decided not to play out Act 2 of last weeks session, as we felt that was our free sample of this new game, and we’d have another go with a different setting (and obviously characters). We had previously stumbled through the Set Up phase, but this time we were all familiar with the mechanics and charged through it, focussing on weaving an interesting plot to play out.
Our play set was The Wild West this time, and the characters we had are onus the table were: A sheriff that ran the town his way, his deputy with a shady past, the sheriff’s wayward foster brother, a charlatan preacher/faith healer and finally a dodgy character by the name Oscar Alavarez Fuego. Clearly Oscar was me πŸ™‚
In Fiasco you end up with a series of connections to the two players either side of side, which you each get a chance to help define. Oscar’s relationships in this case were:
A criminal relationship with the preacher/faith healer. Which we decided was Oscar playing the part of stooge/shill in order to shift as much “snake oil” cure all miracle tonic as possible.
The other relationship was between Oscar and the sheriff’s deputy. Oscar provided the shady past element as he and the deputy had a criminal past together. Whereas the deputy had moved on from the life of crime and tried to atone for their, Oscar had stuck to the wrong side if the tracks. Suffice to say the deputy wasn’t keen on their current employer and friends finding out about their past.
There are other things that get thrown into plot as you’re going through the set up. In our case we had different relationships that both had an undefined criminal object between them. So we came up with the premise that the sheriffs foster brother had recently used a hand gun with a very dark past to commit a murder (the greedy git had topped his business partner for a full share in a silver mine). The preacher/faith healer had become aware of this and agreed to dispose of the weapon. Unbeknownst to those two, this was the very weapon that linked Oscar and the deputy, and had been used in some sort of major crime, and was both very incriminating and unique in appearance.
All of this was before we had even role played any scenes. Add into that mix that the Sheriff was always having to bail out his foster brother, and you can see that we were shaping up for a plot worthy of a Cohen Brothers film (kind of the inspiration behind the whole game).
For the game you then each take turns setting up a scene for characters to act out, with as much or as little detail as you like. You can either choose to say “I want a scene to happen where my character gets “x,y or z resolved in a good or bad way” it you can say “character A and character B are in this situation trying to figure out x”.
The game then unfolds with lots of role playing/improv. The more relaxed and into the character you are the more fun it tends to be, you can end up taking the narrative of the story in some really interesting directions. I think this game is great, because as role players we’ve all played D&D and what tends to happen (and I’m really guilty of this) is the GM will set up a situation where you need to interact with an NPC (Non Player Character). It usually goes like this:
Player: “Hello”
NPC (GM): “Hello”
Player: “We have a clue to our quest which brought us here, so erm do you know anything about X,Y or Z?”
NPC: “erm, what is this strange you talk about, we don’t tend to talk to strangers much around here”
Player: “oh erm” I need to use my intimidate skill to resolve this.
And so it plays out………….. With Fiasco that doesn’t work. You have no skill table to fall back on, you have to play the part of your character and convince the other characters to go in the duration you wish to go.
For instance in tonight’s opening scene I was playing the part of the stooge in order to fleece the townsfolk of their hard earned money for bottles of snake oil, when the sheriff strolls over and spots us for the con artists we clearly are. His response is to shoot my character (fortunately in the leg) and demand that the snake oil heals my injury. Yeah pretty bad for me I got shot in the opening scene!
Why this did allow us to do though was shape the sheriff up as a psychopath that rules this backwater town with a fist of iron (think Gene Hackman in Unforgiven). Now I was able to role play it into a flesh wound, but my protestations at the sheriffs harsh treatment enabled us to set up a scene with the deputy. From this we learned that the deputy and Oscar where in a gang together and the deputy had used “the cursed colt revolver” to kill a senator. Oscar had promised to keep this revolver safe and out if the way, but his younger brother had since run away with weapon, and no it had turned up in this town and been used by the foster brother of the sheriff in a recent murder. This foster brother has at the very end of the first act been revealed to be Oscar’s younger brother πŸ˜‰
I hope you’ve managed to follow that plot, from a skeleton of connected characters we role played out some truly awesome scene and just properly bounced off one another. By far my favourite scene was when myself and the player of the Deputy were put together with the direction stipulated as “we want to know what your shady past was and how the recover links you together” – go. We both properly role plate the “shit” out of it, it was Oscar winning stuff πŸ™‚
Right I’ve rambled on far too much, but the story teller in me wanted to impart the details, sometime next week we’re playing Act 2 and get to find out what happens to all of our characters (it isn’t usually anything good – remember think Cohen Brothers films), I’m looming forward to the aftermath section of the game. Oh and to finish on a cliff hanger Act 1 ended with Oscar getting pushed down a mine shaft but grabbing hold of the Sheriff’s foster brother (who did the pushing) after it was revealed that Oscar was his biological brother πŸ˜‰
I took a couple of pics of today’s walk to school as the Fiasco session πŸ˜‰

Odi et amo………..Excrucior

Stay Slinky People,

Poisoner extraordinaire