[Fiasco] Dragon Slayers Playset - weekly 4E group tries Fiasco

Started by Jacob Arntson, October 19, 2011, 02:27:44 PM

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Jacob Arntson

I play in a weekly 4E group and we played a steady campaign with one DM last year.  This year, because of schedule conflicts and other things going on we have played with a rotating DM schedule.  We all love 4E and are pretty passionate about it, but sometimes there is very little roleplaying going on and long combats.

To infuse some energy into our game I decided to buy a copy of Fiasco and facilitate it for the group. 

It really blew me away.  After the first round of passing the spotlight everyone got the general idea and the game picked up. 

For anyone who has played the game, it was only our first time so there were some rough spots.  I found that the pace of the game didn't really pick up until after the tilt was introduced.  Also, during the middle and end of the game, everyone started adding a lot of new elements, PCs, locations and it really cluttered up some of the narrative.  I think consciously sticking to the elements at the start is a really good idea.

Fiasco was a ton of fun to play and it definitely worked for our group. 

I feel a new sense of enthusiasm going into our next 4E game.  I plan to run a Shadowfell game - I'm going to try to put as many elements from Fiasco as I can into the game.

Here is the bare bones AP of the game written right after I played it:

Horse the flesh golem and master of disguise by wearing others' flesh
Tasma Thisch the gnome thief
Jockee the gnome mage
Skeggy the human fighter
Zehrin the human fighter (This was my character.)

The heroes had just killed a dragon and were feeling like the ruled the town.

Act 1 started a scene in the middle of a tavern brawl.  The flesh golem and mage started collecting body parts and then an army of paladins came and confronted the party.  The paladins were there on report of a dragon (which we destroyed) and a liche's tomb.  The guards arrested Skeggy and Zehrin while the golem and two gnomes
riding on him escaped into the forest.

In the forest Horse, the nasty flesh golem wearing the skin of the commander of the paladins, met an old man with a staff - not only any staff, but a staff of resurrection with only one charge left.  The old
man was grandfather to the king.  Meanwhile Skeggy and Zehrin fought their way through an army of paladins and then rested at a river. Unfortunately they drank the water, which was tainted with dragon remains.

In a drug fueled state the human fighters leaped off a cliff.

Then scene 2 started.  Zehrin perished and Skeggy managed to survive. The old man was crushed by the falling humans.  He was wearing a ring ... a king's ring ... a ring to rule a kingdom.  Out of the dark a liche came and took the ring.  The party then used the staff, with only one remaining charge to destroy the liche. The castle then sent out a party to search for the ring.  Skeggy was captured, Tasma escaped nasty guards, the liche came back and summoned his new undead companion (formerly Zerhin) and a horde of undead from the catacombs underneath the castle. The game ended with the paladin army battling the undead fiends in the castle.  The credits rolled as quick shots of paladins being massacred and eaten by ghouls and long undead kings.  The heroes managed to
escape in the carnage.

The Aftermath

Tasma was ruined physically from his wounds.  He was fused onto the golem to live out the rest of his miserable life.

Jockee attempted to become a super human and use golem making magic to get a bigger body.  He was about to replace his head with a dragons
when ...

Horse the flesh golem became enraged and stopped the transformation. Finding his new gnome charming Horse lived out the rest of his days charming young women and enjoying his rich golem lifestyle.

Zehrin stayed on as a retainer for the liche and eventually became its slave.  He ended his life as a lowly ghoul slave trapped in a rotting disgusting body.

Skeggy got rich, took his money and traveled back to town.  He found his former cell buddies and they partied and rejoiced in a happy ending.

Ron Edwards

You had me at:

Quotethe nasty flesh golem wearing the skin of the commander of the paladins

Horse has just joined my small stable of favorite lovable abominable characters described in Forge discussions, which already includes Handy Henk (see [Tunnels & Trolls] Gamism ain't for the faint of heart and threads linked in there) and Hobart (see Escape From Tentacle City- Halloween in Tentacle City). Some day I want porcelain statues of these guys on my shelf.

Have you seen Jason's other game Drowning and Falling? It's a hoot too.

Best, Ron

Jacob Arntson

Wow!  Thank you.  I will look through those AP files and check out that game.

I'm really excited to see how the Fiasco session will influence our upcoming 4E session.  I'm going to be the GM so I'm already thinking about cinematic cuts, flashbacks, ways to accelerate the action.

I've come up with a wandering monster solution.  If the players encounter one, they lose 1-2 healing surges, then go around the table Fiasco montage style describing the combat.

Adam Dray

Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777

Jacob Arntson


I also recommend the Companion if you don't have it already.  I don't live in the USA so I bought the PDFs off of https://www.drivethrustuff.com/  I really want real books though.

Steve Segedy

Hi Jacob,

I'm glad you liked Fiasco! If you'd like us to set you up with the books to go with your PDFs, drop me a line at steve@bullypulpitgames.com.

The Shab-al-Hiri Roach and Grey Ranks, available now at IPR!

Phil K.


Sounds like you had a great session. My own experience with that playset wasn't very positive, but my D&D 4E's first foray into Fiasco was very, very good. Here's the writeup of my first Fiasco game with the Transatlantic playset. [Fiasco] Two dead, a sunken ocean liner and no happy endings. Sounds right.