Game of the Week: Fiasco

Fiasco is the first of the tabletop RPGs we played in class. In it, you build a character around the relationships you have with the other people at your game table, then set that character loose to cause trouble. Our group played using the Main Street playset, which takes place in an ostensibly “nice” southern small town. The online setting of our class made things slightly more difficult than usual, but we made due using a shared spreadsheet and an online dice roller.

This was not my first time playing Fiasco, so I had some experience (and high expectations) going in. This game’s maelstrom of bad decisions and high emotions can be a lot of fun, but it really depends on the people you’re playing with and how well you can match the energy of the group. One of our group members had difficulty participating due to technical difficulties, but the other two were excellent players. Getting everything set up and communicated properly was by far the hardest part of the game; once we had established a rhythm of starting and finishing scenes, we had a great time playing.

Personal values, relationships, goals and desires take center stage in every game of Fiasco. I was playing a character that was quite different from myself, but aspects of my own values still came out in play. The context of role playing games can give us an avenue to explore what it’s like to be a different person. Because your personal values affect every decision you make, they become extra important in a leadership context. Making sure that your values align with those of your team is essential to success.