Recently, our class got together to finish our existing sessions of the Fiasco Role Playing Game that we had started the week prior. The Fiasco RPG System is designed with the intent of creating chaos for the players to react to and incorporate into their stories. In this session, rather than creating characters once again, we began by performing our “Tilt” The Tilt involves using the dice that have yet to handed out to other players in order to select new Elements to add to the story, using the similar method of defining a category before establishing the more specific meaning behind that Element. Once these twists have been added, we then moved on to Act Two, where we continued to tell our characters’ stories by acting out scenes while including the twists that had been determined in the Tilt. Once we had given out all of our dice, we then moved onto the Aftermath, where we each used our dice to determine how well our character’s story ended and told these stories one die at a time.
For this second half of our Fiasco session, I personally think the most difficult aspect was trying to incorporate the Elements that we discovered in our Tilt into our existing story. Our Tilt involved two Elements, a stranger arriving to settle a score and someone developing a conscience. Before we could even begin to act out our scenes, we tried to think about ways that we could include those elements moving forward, such as by having our stranger be connected to more than one of our players, and by allowing one of existing characters to gain a conscience and using that to prompt a character arc. While I believe we were able to resolve our tilts very well, it was still likely the most difficult part of this session, and attempting to involve those elements without planning ahead like we had likely would have resulted in the whole story falling apart.
As for the session itself, it was decided that our rival lemonade salesmen would be presented with a new issue: an employee from the company that made their lemonade stands arriving to reclaim a stand that was not paid for (A stranger arriving to settle a score), which introduced a new issue for both the innocent party and the guilty party. However, while this was being settled the “wizard” from the previous session gained a conscience and attempted to reform themselves into a businessman. Once all of the other plot points had progressed however, the estranged relatives finally settled their scores as one of them attempted to murder the other, and the sound of sirens gathered the remaining characters. The Aftermath then set the background for these characters futures, with the attempted murder landing one relative in jail while the other made a full recovery, one of the lemonade salesman running away with a EMT adn the other losing the spark that made them enjoy the business, and the “wizard” turned businessman reverting back to their “wizardly” ways.
However, what more is there to learn from Fiasco that we haven’t learned already. Personally, I think the potential difficulty of incorporating the Tilt might contain an insight into leadership as a whole, as was how we were able to mitigate the difficulty of it. A leader needs to be able to account for unexpected setbacks as they attempt to lead their team to their goal, and to plan for a way to get around those setbacks and account for them. Similarly, our group needed to be able to plan how to include our Tilt Elements in our story, even though we didn’t know what they would be until our Tilt happened. As such, I personally think that our planning session not only allowed us to mitigate the harm the Tilt could cause to our story, but was also an example of how you might be able to use planning to be a more effective leader when faced with the unexpected.