Friday, August 10, 2012

Fiasco Actual Play: Boomtown!

Okay, so we all got together again. There was a minute of discussion about what game we should play, and Kenny brought up Fiasco again as one he wanted to do another round of. This time through we had a full house - Me, Daniel, Kris, and Kenny - so we collectively pitched it to Daniel and he agreed to try it out. I showed off a bunch of playsets, and then focused in on the ones we'd discussed further last time.  Daniel's input helped us narrow it down until we had our destination:

If you don't know, Boomtown is one of the "core" playsets in that it comes in the rulebook itself. It's one of the 4 in there. Boomtown is a Wild West town just waiting for outlaws and indians, sheriffs and gold, revolvers and quick-draws.
I must say, I am disappointed in one regard by the playsets in the book: All the additional playsets have, on their opening pages, a section called "The Score" that sets the tone and serves as very evocative read-aloud text for pitching the playset. The book playsets don't have one, and that made me sad since I'd been using those to pitch the playsets to the group and why I'd forgotten about the book ones last session. But without further ado:
Here's an image of the character map we made in the setup!...except not. I lost it. It's wherever the one for the Salem game is, and I have no idea where I put them. That's the peril in waiting three bloody months to write up the AP...Never doing it THAT late again.
But here's what I remember:
EDIT: I found 'em! Real character names incoming.
Kenny as Wilson Slater,
Daniel as Ethan Edwards,
Ego/Max as Jim Lockerton,
and Kris as Yong Lin Chu.
Wilson Slater - The Past, War Adversaries - Ethan Edwards. Wilson was the South - it gave Kenny an excuse to his his George W. Bush accent the whole session.
Ethan Edwards - Work, Ranch Hands - Jim Lockerton. This was modified slightly; Ethan is the current interim Sheriff and as such is not currently workign on the ranch. But we have history is what the relationship established for us.
Jim Lockerton - Crime, Chinese Opium Seller (Kris)/Addict (Ego) - Yong Lin Chu.
Yong Lin Chu - Crime, Crime Boss (Kenny)/Toady (Kris) - Wilson Slater.
The other stuff:
Between Jim and Ethan: Location, Across the Tracks, Town Jail.
Between Ethan and Wilson: Object, Information, A Faded Wanted Poster.
Between Wilson and Yong Lin: Need, To Get Away...with a magnificent swindle.
Between Yong Lin and Jim: Need, To Get Free...of a Crushing Debt coming due.

So what do we have? In this town, we've got the bigwig high-time well-to-do rich-as-hell white guy southerner Wilson Slater, holding ownership of the town saloon while at the same time running a major opium operation under everyone's nose. He keeps an old faded wanted poster of himself with him as a point of pride, as evidence of how badly they want him caught, but it was the only one of its kind here so no one knows he's a criminal. Beneath him is Yong Lin Chu, who was a very very chinese man who was directly in charge of the opium den under the saloon. He spoke with a heavy chinese accent, and Kenny decided his character could barely understand a word he says, and as a civil war southerner, he wasn't exactly the most politically sensitive guy to the asians. Yong Lin has control of a group of enforcers (his Ghost Dragon Warriors he called them). The two of them plan to get out of town after pulling an enormous job. My character, Jim Lockerton, was down on his luck - I'm an opium addict with a shit job on a ranch and I definitely can't pay my outrageous debt that I've racked up with Yong Lin, who has, for reasons unknown to me (the actual reason is because they're getting ready to blow town), been pushing for collection. I'm a former coworker of Ethan's. Ethan Edwards is now the interim Sheriff of the town after the last one died, and has been doing a pretty good job of it. His goal is to bring down the opium lords of the town, and he knew about my opium habit, so now that he's sheriff, he's dragged me up to the jail, which of course is in his office. That's where the game started.

Daniel started with the first scene. We're down in the Sheriff's office, me locked up and complainin' away at Ethan. I couldn't understand why he would suddenly bust me - he worked with me, he's known about my opium habit for years! Why suddenly bust me? Turns out now that he's sheriff he's supposed to do these things, and he needs to know where I get my drugs from. I squeal, and let him know about how I do a meet down along the tracks with a chinaman who gives 'em to me. On further pushing, I tell about how I've got a meet with him again at sundown, but that's all I know, I swear! Daniel leaves to go start setting up to ambush 'em. The following scene, my scene, was Yong Lin Chu coming into the sheriff's office with a couple of his Warriors and he was all intimidating me and stuff about how I had to get him the money right away, and I basically said I didn't have it in here and would get it to him later. He bought it (cuz I totally didn't have any cash) and left. Then came Kris's scene, which was the actual meet between Yong Lin and Ethan. In a twist, Ethan's surprise doesn't work very well and Yong Lin's Warriors overwhelm him. They leave him unconscious and head back into town. Meanwhile, Wilson decided to come have a little meet with Jim down in lock-up. Wilson's come with his shiny gold revolver to make sure he gets his money. Jim realizes who Wilson is - the crime lord - and Wilson gives him a choice: Give him his money or he'll give me a new whole in my head. Oh, but why does he need it so fast? Wilson replies that he's gonna be coming into some money soon, and then shortly after some trouble with the law, and that he's getting out of dodge, and he needs my cash before he goes. Jim's a bit of a coward, but of course, he's got no money. And so I do what I must: Jim confesses that he's got no money, but WAIT, I'll work for you! Let me in on your job, I'll do whatever you need me to do, just don't kill me! Wilson thinks it out and agrees, taking that fancy revolver and blowing the cell lock and we go off into the night. And the first round of play ends!
The second round starts, and Ethan is waking up. He's in the general store looking for something when he runs into Wilson Slater, who says some devious things that sound innocent unless you know that he's behind Yong Lin. Their debating the war and such and Wilson goes to leave when Ethan notices a piece of parchment in Wilson's back pocket. He asks about it, but Wilson just deflects it as a piece of business for the saloon. We know better - that's the Wanted Poster. Anyway, my turn comes and I'm in the opium den with Wilson and Yong Lin. Yong Lin is furious that I'm here, that he's sure I was the one who set him up for the sheriff. I'm confessin' it, but I had no choice! Wilson is pretty sure that I'm on his side, and describes the Big Job to us: we're hitting a bank vault. He starts talking about it, and eventually Yong Lin is arguing with me about my role in it, but it goes well for me and Wilson reprimands him, sending him off to go prep his Warriors. I don't remember the rest of the scenes in this round, but it's mostly us preparing and Ethan investigating. Oh yeah, one of them is again Ethan and Wilson, this time at the saloon, Ethan trying to track down the chinaman and the opium den, but having no luck.
Act 1 End. Tilt time! We roll it up, and I dunno who got to pick pieces, but we got:
* Paranoia. The Thing You Stole Has Been Stolen.
* Tragedy. Confusion, Followed By Pain.
So how'd we work it out? Well, the Tilt was the heist! Middle of the job and it turns out someone got out and now the fuckin' sheriff is here. We're all disguised, but bullets start flyin' away. Most of the Warriors get killed, as do a bunch of deputized locals, and Jim gets a hole blown in his leg. But we've got the stuff, and high tail it out of there. I'm bleeding like crazy, there's a huge body count, and we're sure as hell paranoid. But we got away clean, right? They dont know who we are, Wilson and Yong Lin and Jim's masks were good, we're free to get out of here? Tough luck - the thing you stole has been stolen. And I don't mean the money. In the battlefield of the bank, interim sheriff Ethan Edwards found a piece of paper; a wanted poster, for Boomtown's very own Wilson Slater. He rounds up another deputy and starts heading for the saloon. Begin Act II.
Okay, so we did something special out of the book for Act II: I'm pretty sure we played it acclerated. There's an option in the book about how if you don't think you can fill a whole Act II, just do one round of scenes and then pass the last rounds dice out like usual.
What were the scenes? Daniel had a scene of trying to find the opium den, and eventually succeeding. I took over the scene next and kept it playing, and Ethan stormed the place and we had another gunfight, with Yong Lin and Wilson getting out with the money. But not Jim. Jim is shot in the leg and can't run, and now he's shot in a couple more spots. Jim dies with his former friend over him. Next we got Wilson and Yong Lin loading the train to go. Yong Lin tries to usurp Wilson with his two remaining Warriors, but that ain't happenin'! Wilson blows one away before he can get close and the other one bails. For the insubordination, and because he's a treacherous bastard, Wilson shoots Yong Lin in the belly - he's gonna need medical attention or he's gonna die. Wilson finishes up loading as Yong Lin lies in the dust as the cops close in. Just as the train is leaving, Ethan leaps aboard. Kenny's scene is their shoot-out! I actually don't remember how it goes for sure, but I'm pretty sure it goes bad for Kenny. It ends right, with a quick-draw duel between the crime lord southerner and the sheriff from the north. Bang.
See, that's the trouble. I don't have the aftermath stuff written down. But here's what I'm pretty sure happened:
Jim is dead. That's it for him, just a tragic addict who got in over his head, shot and killed by his friend.
Ethan is doing great. He took down the whole opium network, and stopped a bank heist. He is instated as permanent sheriff - a ranch hand no more.
Yong Lin and Wilson aren't doing too great. Neither of their bullet wounds killed them, and now they've both betrayed each other, which is why they're cell mates now. Sucks for Wilson that he doesn't have a gun anymore, because Yong Lin knows how to fight in close quarters...

And that was Fiasco Session 2: Boomtown! We all loved it. I'm so happy with how both games went, and very little could have made it better. Well, maybe if I'd had this post written a little sooner... Anyway, we love Fiasco and it's always sitting there ready for the day we don't know what to do. It's not too much narration and it's not that hard, it doesn't take too long, and you're bound to have fun. Go play a round. As made quite clear on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop episodes, Fiasco works great with brand new folks, folks who have never gamed, or old pros. It's a great intro game to roleplaying for those storytellers you know, and anyone who likes improv acting should take a peek at it for fun. I can't recommend it enough.

And tonight's song is by The Megas! They're a great band who does covers of Megaman songs with lyrics of their own writing. Get Acoustic, the acoustic remix album of Get Equipped, is my favorite of their's. Seriously, go check 'em out, it's pretty great. This is The Quick and the Blue!
Tomorrow? I'll see if I have enough to talk about the new pre-release PDF of Dungeon World to fill a post. If not, I'm thinking art. Less impressive than two days ago's, but still fun. Later!

End Recording,

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