Fiasco Follow Up

As usual, I am piggybacking on Risus Monkey's posts, this one about his Fiasco play experience.  As I mentioned before, I loved this game.  I found it challenging, entertaining, and a wonderful creative exercise.  I am not really sure why I grokked it better than the Monkey, but it really just struck a chord.  I was the one who initiated a lot of those flashbacks that contributed to the story being so complicated, but I think I remember most of the plot essentials.  I can't do the story justice, nor can I recreate the structure of the narrative or the game (I am not sure anyone could without a complex diagram!), but here's the basic thrust.  I have forgotten names, but Risus Monkey took notes and can help me correct them.

Dramatis Personae:

Riley Coppedge: Small town boy from Manna, Kansas.  Fled to Chicago after high school, became a stock broker, and never looked back. Except in his vow to destroy the town.
David Coppedge: Riley's twin brother.  Local pot dealer and immigrant smuggler.
Yvonne Taylor: Riley's ex-lover.  Took the fall for Riley's embezzlement and did three years in prison.
Sandra Greene: Local attorney in Manna.  Did time with Yvonne.  Does favors for. . .
Gary Pisolowski "Mr Clean": Chicago mafia hitman called to Manna to clean up what turns out to be a huge mess.

The backstory was this, at least according to Riley.  Riley hated Manna, largely due to his brother's popularity and ability to get away with anything.  This reached critical mass when David, pretending to be Riley, seuduced the love of his life (Julie Armstrong, an NPC) on the night of the senior prom.  This shattered Riley.  He left, went to college, moved to Chicago, and ended up as a stockbroker at a big firm with mob ties.  He did some work for the mob, but the company got wind of things.  Riley talked his then lover, Yvonne, a lower level accountant, to taking the fall in exchange for a 200 grand after the jail time.  After she got out, she was supposed to meet him in Manna to collect the money.  Riley also used his mob connections to supposedly get "Mr. Clean" to head to Manna to kill his brother and generally tear the town apart.

Mr. Clean, however, ran into some trouble.  During one of his trips to Manna to set up the operation, he was pulled over for speeding and called Sandra.  She used her "influence" with the local sherrif to get Gary released.  (I honestly don't remember if Gary and Sandra had set up a previous connection, or if Sandra had been connected to the mob some other way).  Later, he inadvertently blew up the Armstrong farm, despite specific warnings from Riley NOT to harm Julie Armstrong.  It was an open question as to how inadvertent this destruction was, as he kept muttering that the Armstrongs were into some "sick stuff."  Fleeing the farm, he ran into David and stashed some stuff behind the propane tank at the Coppedge Farm.

Sandra, tired of all this drama, had contacted an over-zealous member of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.  There meeting, held in the lobby of the Manna hotel (where Riley, Gary, and Yvonne were all staying, of course) was overheard by the nosey, nerdy clerk, who also happened to be the mayor's son.  This poor lad  ealier had a time with Yvonne, who threatened him in order to find out if Riley had made it into town.  He pieced all this together to figure out Riley likely had a bunch of cash in his room.  Taking his master key, he went upstairs to search!

Meanwhile, the KBI agent pay David a visit, based on some phone records that showed a phone call from David's house to Sandra.  That phone call was made by Gary, but the agent hadn't put all that together yet.  The agent went to the farm, started snooping around, and got a shovel to the back of the head for his trouble.

Sometime around this time, Riley met Gary at a local truckstop for a progress update.  Satisfied, he returned to his car, only to be carjacked by Yvonne.  She had followed him from the hotel, convinced that he was trying to pull a fast one.  He promised to take her to the money, which he had hidden in his hotel room. . .

They arrived at the hotel, surprising the mayor's son who was tossing Riley's room looking for the money.  New to the cimiminal underworld, Yvonne accidentially shot him in the face!  Unhinged by her own act of violence, she then shot Riley in the leg, demanding that, not only he give her the money, but promising that he would pay for sending her to prison.  Pay by watching as she executed his own brother right before his eyes.

Which was already in progress by Gary, who had come back to the farm to tie up all loose ends, only to have them unravel again as Riley and Yvonne show up.  Faced with twin brothers, conflciting stories, and the revalation that not only had David had secretly been seeing Julie Armstrong while pretending he was Riley for months, but that Julie was in posession of the rest of the stolen mafia money, they shot David in the leg and made the call to Julie, arranging a meet at the Manna hotel.

En route, they stole a cop car that had Sandra handcuffed in the back (I have no idea how this part worked out).  Pulling into the back of the Manna Hotel, Mr. Clean took David to meet (and presumably execute) Julie.  Alone with Yvonne, Riley promised her his entire stolen fortune, hidden in a Swiss Bank, if only she would let Julie live.  She took the account number and fled into the night, accidentally dropping her revolver as she ran off.

The game ended there, with the epilogue wrapping up at least some of the loose ends.  David died.  Riley was a cripple who spent the remainder of his days in Manna, Mr. Clean was able to put this entire mess behind him and go back to Chicago, and Yvonne made it out with five million dollars.


  1. I think you got the gist of it down nicely. Of course, Riley's twin brother was actually called Cooper (or "Coop").

  2. Wow. Yeah, I can see why Risus thought he'd have trouble getting all that down.

  3. @ Risus. I should have remembered that name, at least. Thanks!

  4. Great seeing this writeup! I read over Tim's comments as well and I'll simply say that Fiasco seems to generate its own convoluted plots out of nowhere. I also saw that Tim commented that it pushed him out of his comfort zone (not all in a bad way) and I think that's pretty natural.

    I felt somewhat out of my depth the first time I played it too. I do know that it left me with a desire to play more and I have had more fun with it each time I play. I think you just get more comfortable with the free-form nature of it as you go.

    One thing I know for sure: It was awesome gaming with you guys again! I hope we get another chance sooner than later!

  5. @Rel: Yeah, I very much had a great time even though the experience was very different than my previous gaming experiences. It's good to step outside the comfort zone and I look forward to playing it again soon.

    And yes, it was great playing you down in NC. I'm going to try my darndest to get a game in with you this spring (most likely DC game day).

  6. @Rel Well, I think my enthusiasm for the game is clear. And it certainly was aided by the group I gamed with at NC Game Day!


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