From the Publisher's Webpage:
THINGS CAN GO WRONG, FAST...
...Maybe some dude from youth group talked you into boosting a case of motor oil, but now your cousin is dead in a swamp and you killed him. Maybe you and your girlfriend figured you could scare your wife into a divorce, but things went pear-shaped and now a gang of cranked-up Mexicans with latex gloves and a pit bull are looking for you.
It seemed like such a good idea at the time.
Fiasco is inspired by cinematic tales of small time capers gone disastrously wrong - inspired by films like Blood Simple, Fargo, The Way of the Gun, Burn After Reading, and A Simple Plan. You'll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won't go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will probably all go south in a glorious heap of jealousy, murder, and recrimination. It's designed to be played in a single session, usually around two and a half hours, with no prep.
From the Designer:
Fiasco is a GM-less game for 3-5 players, designed to be played in a few hours with six-sided dice and no preparation. During a game you will engineer and play out stupid, disastrous situations, usually at the intersection of greed, fear, and lust. It's like making your own Coen brothers movie, in about the same amount of time it'd take to watch one.
A game of Fiasco begins with The Setup -- a group activity where you and your friends create a potent and unstable set of circumstances. You choose a Playset, which fixes the game in a particular time and place -- a contemporary southern town, maybe, or the old west. Using a pile of dice, you create an interconnected circle of Relationships and Details pulled from the Playset. Once you’ve created a situation poised on the brink of juicy disaster, you define characters based on your choices. Once the Setup is done, you play out scenes, which focus on various characters in rotation.
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