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March 15th, 2010


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07:18 pm - Going for a short walk, may be some time, gotta stab a dude
On a completely different note to yesterday's bombshell, yesterday's D&D game got postponed (probably a good thing, considering my hangover), but I still wanted to play something on Sunday night, so I assembled the small group that played Shab al-Hiri Roach to give Fiasco a try, going through the structure of the game and then playing out a crime-gone-wrong film set in McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Once again, I won't bother with a blow-by-blow, but I will say that it was a rollicking good time. The story revolved around a pair of Earnest Shackleton's skis, valuable antiques left to rot at a Mormon-esque retreat run by a slightly demented old nun (frazicus) who wrote poetry inspired by God, the ice and a clean-cut young diver (fengshuiguy). My sleazy barman was doing his best to retreive the skis (and the butcher's knife he'd used to murder Gary Cole ten years back), but was being stymied by the retreat's shifty second-in-command (damien_wise ), who also wanted to get the skis and continue selling drugs to the locals. By the end the nun and diver had been dosed with ecstasy, Gary Cole had returned from the dead only to get stabbed in the neck, the skis were destroyed in a snowbike collision, the nun lost her faith and sanity, the diver and barman went to prison and the drug dealing priest relocated to Nevada. Happy times.

Some thoughts:

- We're still struggling with the scene-framing and narrative aspects of Morningstar's games. There's a real need to take charge of things when it's your turn, either to create a scene or decide how it turns out, and we generally shied away a bit from that power. There was a lot of negotiating and discussion during scenes, and I think that play may require a bit more certainty and decisiveness on the part of the spotlight player.

- Similarly, most of us prefer to resolve our scenes rather than establish them, and I think the game needs more of a balance between the two stances to keep things fresh.

- It took us a while to determine Relationships and Details that felt engaging and compelling, and even then not all of them quite came to life in play. Part of that may be the playset we chose (well, decided randomly) to use; one with stronger associations and genre triggers may have come to life easier for us.

- We rolled a lot of sixes in the setup phase, and it was really interesting to see how strongly that skewed the creation of game elements - for example, it meant that all the relationships were either community-based or spiritual, and we had to work a little bit against that to inject more drama (like old murders and drug dealing) into the setup.

- Things got a bit compressed in the second half, probably because we were tired after Saturday night CRAZY CRAZY TIMES. Next time we play, I might aim for an earlier start with dinner in the half-time break rather than beforehand.

Overall, though, it was awesome fun, and I'm very keen to try it again, possibly rotating in some different players who are keen to try it out. Big props to Jason Morningstar; Fiasco is a keeper.

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