What is it: Fiasco is a GMless cooperative roleplaying game by Bully Pulpit Games that handles 3-5 players. The players create a situation based off scenarios that can be found in the book or online for free. They define the relationships between their characters, speical locations and objects as well as the driving force of the session in the form of needs. It takes about 2-3 hours to play and be described as a Coen Brothers Movie turned into a game.
Great what does that mean: You start by choosing a scenario, for example the book comes with a Western one, a suburban one, a rural town among others. You then roll dice(4 times the number of players, with half being one color and half being another) and use these results to pick details from the tables provided. Once you’re done with this you use this information to create your characters and firmly define the situation. The game consists of people setting up and acting out scenes with an intermission and tilt in the middle and an epilogue at the end. The goal is to just have fun.
Scaling: The number of players listed is accurate, 3 is good, 4 seems to be the best in my experience while 5 makes it hard to include everyone. this doesn’t work at 2 players and I can’t imagine going above 5 is fun.
Rules: The rules are rather lite, although I’m still not convinced that my group is doing it right. On the other hand; given the nature of the game the rules really just facilitate a framework to play in. It’s a lot more important to have a group that makes this fun by not following the golden rule of not being a dick.
Book Quality: It’s a serviceable softwork with solid production values and a pdf version. Last time I checked they were offering the pdf and physical copies a bundle; which is really nice and something I wish was more common.
What’s good: It encourages you to do crazy roleplaying session and requires little prep(you need dice and index cards). It plays in a reasonable amount of time and there’s a lot of support in terms of scenarios that you can use outside of the book.
What’s not so good: The rules are light but are a bit tricky to fully grasp. The wrong group can make this a very unfun experience.
Overall: 4/5, Fiasco does a lot of things right with solid production values. It can be really fun but like with many games, the group you play this with makes or break it.