For those who don’t know, Wil Wheaton does a regular vodcast called “Tabletop” in which he gets friends – usually gamers, but sometimes first timers – to play tabletop (i.e., non-video) games with him. Some games are more traditional board games, and some games are Role Playing Games. Those who never played an RPG, or only ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons, may not realize that, essentially, these are games in which stories are built and played out – very much like the games we played as small children, but with various levels of rules and structure to help things along. Most RPGs require a Game Keeper (you might have heard “Dungeon Master”) who does not play a character but runs the story/game for the players. Fiasco is different.
In Fiasco, there is no Game Keeper, all the players are characters and they create the story they are in, together, as they go. In order to do this, they must first create the world, characters, relationships and starting situation from which they will start their (very adult) game/story. The video below shows not the game itself, but the setup of the game, wherein all four players: Wil Wheaton (who should need no introduction); John Rogers (writer and showrunner of Leverage, at the time); Bonnie Burton (writer) and; Alison Haislop (actress) use the Fiasco Guidebook to create the starting point for their game. Since all four players make their living from Story, it is both fun and informative to watch them as they work through the options presented in the Guidebook, using dice rolls to add in an element of randomness, to come up with what they think will set them off on the most interesting/fun story possible. Well worth a watch, even if you’re not a gamer!