‘Boomtown’ Fiasco Gameplay – Part 1

‘Boomtown’ Fiasco One-Shot – System: Fiasco by Bully Pulpit Games – Players: 4

In the Wild West, two sisters struggle to hold on to their family farm and cope with the crushing debt left by their father. Two men, close as blood, plan to get rich the easy way. The only thing between these folks and their money is a history of hatred, bad blood and murder. What could go wrong?

Setup & Act One – Bad Blood and Triple Interest

Fiasco is a highly creative collaborative roleplaying game, in which 3-5 players work together to tell a story that they know will go badly for most of them. The fun comes from playing out exactly HOW things are going to go badly, and as long as players realise that they are working together to tell the an interesting story, they can revel in the struggles they’re inflicting on their characters.


Fiasco is a game that functions in 4 parts: Setup, Act One, Act Two and Aftermath. In Setup, dice rolls are used to select options from tables of relationships, locations, needs and objects. At the end of the Setup, the relationships between characters were defined like this:

Fiasco 'Boomtown' Relationship Map

Fiasco ‘Boomtown’ Relationship Map


We also fleshed out some of the background of our characters, including explanations for the events of their past.

Our characters:

Gregory Bond – a clean-cut manager of a bank in the decent part of town. Five years prior, he had taken in a young boy after the death of the boy’s father, and two men were now as close as blood.

Kyle Cooper –  a young troublemaker who’s father had been killed five years ago in a shootout. He still owned one of a set of matched revolvers – the other revolver was held by the family of his father’s killer.

Ruby Quinn – the younger of the Quinn sisters, who were struggling under a massive debt left by their father. Ruby was so desperate that she was trying to get a job at the local bank.

Jem Quinn – the eldest of the Quinn sisters, Jem retained the revolver that matched Kyle Coopers’. Jem’s father, Toby Quinn, was the one who had killed Kyle’s father five years ago.


(Scenes in Act One & Two will be summarised but dice assignments will not be listed as I didn’t keep strict notes.)

Kyle and Greg met at the saloon to discuss Kyle’s big idea – robbing Greg’s bank. Greg saw the merits of the plan, but he wanted to do things ‘his way’.

Greg interviewed Ruby for the position of bank teller. Ruby did not seem well suited to the job, but Greg wanted to give her a chance, and hired her.

Ruby raced home to tell Jem that she got the job. Jem explained that it might not be enough to let them keep the farm, as the debt collectors would come calling next week. Jem suggests using Ruby’s new position to start stealing from the bank.

Jem, knowing that Kyle is untrustworthy, approached the local Sheriff and lays some groundwork for possibly framing Kyle for stealing from the bank. She enquired about the value of any rewards for catching bank robbers, but backed off when quizzed by the Sheriff.

Kyle went to the bank to deposit his meagre pay, only to come across Ruby working there. Kyle made a scene, telling the customers that Ruby was in debt and would rob them, and Greg quickly interrupts. Greg took Kyle aside to try and calm him, but Kyle was angry that Greg would help the family of his father’s killer.

Later, in the saloon, Greg and Kyle discussed their plan for making sure there would be plenty of money when the robbery goes down. While the owner of the bank branch was out of town, Greg suggests that he offer triple interest rates on new deposits to ensure that the vault is full in time for the robbery.

Ruby, suspicious of the high interest scheme, suggests to Jem that Greg may be up to something shady. Jem, who works at the saloon, realises that she overheard Kyle and Greg’s plans to defraud and rob the bank, and she suggests that this might be a chance for the sisters to make a big score and clear their debt. They plan to steal the cash from Kyle after he has robbed the bank.

Jem, in a flashback, remembered the shootout in which Kyle’s father was killed. She remembers her father, Toby, accusing Kyle’s father of stealing from their family business. Neither man backed down, and Kyle’s father was shot and killed right in front of her.

That concluded Act One. Come by next time, pardner, to find out about The Tilt and see what complications are thrown into this simmering Fiasco. Watch things go from bad to worse in ‘Boomtown’ Fiasco – Part 2.


One response to “‘Boomtown’ Fiasco Gameplay – Part 1

  1. Pingback: ‘Boomtown’ Fiasco Gameplay – Part 2 | Dan Scale·

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