The newest #Tabletop is a real #Fiasco!

The newest episode of Tabletop is Fiasco, my absolute favorite storytelling RPG of all time.

Fiasco is "a game about 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."

When you have a Fiasco, you use a playset to establish the things the players are going to ruin their lives trying to get, who they are to each other, and where everything is going to get all fucked up. Some of my favourite playsets are Los Angeles 1936, Dallas 1963, and Flyover.

Saturday Night 78. A Fiasco Playset written by Wil Wheaton and Will Hindmarch, and Jason Morningstar.

The playset we used for Tabletop was written by me and Will Hindmarch, and Fiasco's creator Jason Morningstar. It's called Saturday Night 78. It is described thusly:

New York City, 1978. Last year, the city endured the chaos of the blackout of ‘77 and the terror of the Son of Sam killings. This year, Studio 54 makes millions by giving beautiful plebs and dazzling celebrities a place to party at $20 a head. Condensed sweat rains from Studio 54’s mirrored-laminate ceiling—sweat evaporated from the brows of celebrities, maybe—and falls back on the dancers below.

This is a time of rock and disco, of reckless hedonism and casual sex, a time before consequences. Debauchees high on blow, poppers, or Quaaludes dance and laugh and lust and cry in swank clubs and dirty dives all over the city. Whoever your characters are in the daylight, come dark they transform into sordid stars or disco royalty, beautiful disasters or pitiable victors, ricocheting off each other into the glittering wreckage of imploded parties. Every Saturday night the city’s alight with spectacular fiascos.

What's that you say? It sounds like an awesome setting that you'd like to use yourself? We've got you covered! You can download Saturday Night 78 for free right here, and use it in your very own Fiasco. And if you do, you know that I want to hear all about it in the comments.

25 thoughts on “The newest #Tabletop is a real #Fiasco!”

  1. This was a great episode, Wil. I’ve been interested in this game for a while and being able to watch it played was great. Can’t wait for the next episode.
    Any update on getting the setup available to watch?

  2. Yeah, it's going to be up sometime this week. There was a miscommunication at G&S, and the team thought we wanted the setup to be online this coming Friday. They're working on it now, and are trying to get it online sooner than then. It needs a final mixdown and some colour timing, though, and that's a thing you can't rush.

  3. I’m so glad you ran this one now, I thought you said you were airing it during GenCon, and I was going to miss it because I will be playing FIASCO at GenCon.
    It’s great to see some less common games on the show.

  4. Am looking very much forward to watching this, but I will be waiting, so that I can see the set-up video first.
    Also as my D&D group are currently between campaigns, we might give this a go very soon.

  5. Fiasco is PERFECT for a one-off. You don't have to do any setup until you get your group together (don't play with more than 4), and the whole thing takes about 3 hours.

  6. Haven’t played Summer of ’78 yet, but it’s next and we’ll let you know how it goes :)
    Flyover is one of my favorites as well! My Texas-oiltman-gone-broke-turned-ethanol-plant-supervisor-turned-meth-cook died. By exploding. Twice.

  7. I’ve had good luck (though a longer game) with 5 – make sure there are two Needs between two different pairs, and the 5th person ends up the focus or involved in both pair’s schemes. Just ask Trust-Fund Bubba (who lived in a trailer out behind the Manna Hotel) :) Start with 4 though, for sure.

  8. That’s perfect since we’re only a 4 person group at the moment. This might also get the other gamers of the DMs(my) back about getting my campaign ready for a short while

  9. I’ve really been enjoying TableTop! Thank you for doing it!
    We recently had a game shop open in town and & finally caught them open. Unfortunately, they currently only have video games – which we have several shops for.
    Fortunately, the gal that runs it was very interested when I told her about TableTop and how to find it. We currently have no table top gaming outlet in our area – but we do have a community college and I believe lots of potential interest.
    Hopefully by my sharing your show this little shop will add table top gaming and hang around longer than it would as just another video game store!
    Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

  10. Sorry Wil,
    I dunno what it was, but I didn’t enjoy this episode so much. Every episode has been incredible, up until Gloom last ep which was just “meh..”, and then Fiasco which I actually didn’t finish. I find that watching other people role-play/make stuff up isn’t as engaging to watch as the previous games.
    Hoping you’ll be back to tabletop gaming soon!

  11. PS.
    Took Settlers, Tsuro, Get Bit and Zombie Dice on a boating holiday with the girlfriend and her parents (all non gamers). Every game went down a storm, especially Settlers! Thanks very much for the recommendations!

  12. Thanks, Wil! I’ve been wanting to play this game for a long time, but couldn’t get my mind around just HOW it is played. I think I have enough confidence to actually give it a go now. Well done!

  13. Wil, have you seen or heard of Our Last Best Hope yet? It’s a game which recently was on kickstarter and it’s in a similar vein to Fiasco, but it’s designed to emulate world or civilization ending disaster stories.

  14. I watched this one this afternoon and when I got to the end, I was, “Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!”
    But then the coffee I spilled in my lap cooled and I realized that I had something to look forward to next time on Table Top!

  15. I can’t *wait* to see the finale! Thanks for showcasing Fiasco, I’ve been really intrigued by it, but couldn’t quite figure out how it plays out.

  16. this game seems really….i guess the word i’m looking for is involved. i like games where you just get in & play (after reading the rules & setting up of course), but i can see the appeal for people who like the story/role playing part.

  17. A bit off-topic but a heads-up about Planetfest in Pasadena. Witness live the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars, Sunday, August 5, 10:30 p.m. PT at the Pasadena Convention Center on Green St. Tickets about $37.00. Register online at Bill Nye the Science Guy is in charge. He may give Wesley a free pass.

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