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After watching Wil Wheaton run Fiasco on his youtube channel 'Tabletop', I thought it would be a nice game to have, especially for those situations where the GM of our regular RPG had nothing prepared.

My concern is that it seems like a game which is meant for players who love the role-play aspect of RPGs (such as myself), but my group consists of players who play RPGs for all kind of reasons.

Here is a list of the different player types (as described in the D&D 4E DM Guide, but applicable to any RPG):

  • Slayer - Kills stuff, takes loot
  • Power-Gamer - Maximises stats and probabilities
  • Actor - First person character interactions
  • Explorer - Needs to know what's behind the locked door or down the well
  • Watcher - Enjoys watching the game, but doesn't take a pro-active role (shuns the spotlight)
  • Story-Teller - Enjoys telling stories which add depth to the character or setting

My question is: Which player types are most likely to get the most from Fiasco (Storyteller and Actor?), which should just avoid the game(Power-Gamer?), and how can the Fiasco experience accommodate for those player types who are somewhere in-between?

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I ask back: Why can't your players adapt to the game for a night? Are they really that set in their ways? – Adriano Varoli Piazza Nov 20 '13 at 12:25
Also, it's a one-shot that lasts 2-3 hours. – okeefe Nov 20 '13 at 13:30
@AdrianoVaroliPiazza I'm sure people can adapt. I'm just trying to be considerate to my fellow players in finding a game everyone can enjoy. – Conor Pender Nov 20 '13 at 13:49
If it's a 1-shot, I will do just about anything. Any taboo subjects I can probably stomach for 1 session. Any styles of playing are much less abhorrent if there is an expiration date attached to it. Also, if you are currently playing a long campaign, a "palette cleanser game" is generally fun and livens up the long campaign as well. – Pulsehead Nov 20 '13 at 18:16
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Your heart is in the right place in wanting to choose a game that accommodates everyone, but you may be doing your friends a disservice by trying to perfectly anticipate their tastes and abilities. If you end up accidentally "typecasting" them in a way that's not accurate, they'll never have the chance to show or discover that they can do more than their player type. (I know, I've done it, and happened to be wrong.)

The nice thing about Fiasco is that it's short and takes up an evening's play, max. You should ask your players if they're interested and willing to do this once, kind of like trying a new board game. Your Watcher and Slayer may surprise you! (Sometimes a Watcher or a Slayer are playing that way because the regular game doesn't perfectly suit them! It's hard to know.)

Or they might not surprise you. But at least they had the chance to make their own choices instead of having the choice pre-made for them without ever knowing about it.

So if you pitch the game and everyone kinda shrugs, that's enough to try it once. It won't be worse than seeing a movie that turns out to be terrible, and it might be way better. If you have a vocal objector or three, then say "ok" and suggest a side-event for just a subset of the group to try it out. (This is actually ideal in your case – your group sounds too large for a good game of Fiasco anyway.) And if no-one is interested, then you haven't lost anything.

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You make a good point about group size. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Nov 20 '13 at 17:01

Based on my experience, Fiasco is a game for people who love to improvise and participate, so a Watcher would have to at least play the part of the "submissive toady", not just watch and hit something every now and then. Fiasco is also about story, not stats, so the power-gamer is at first glance a bad fit.

That aside, Fiasco does offer something for everyone, though. You just have to be aware that it's really difficult to "win", if by winning you mean getting a positive ending. You can easily be an Explorer, an Actor, a Story-Teller, a Slayer. Your expectations will be subverted, that's all.

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