‘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?
The Tilt, Act Two & Aftermath – Gunfights, robbery and hint of redemption.
After Act One, the scene was set for a bank robbery and a double-cross, despite nobody having much of a plan on exactly how this would all be done.
At this point, the Tilt elements were introduced into the game. Tilt elements are complications to the story that can (or should) radically affect how the game plays out. Dice were rolled, and after discussion between the players, our Tilt elements were:
Tragedy – Pain, followed by confusion
Paranoia – Two people cross paths and everything changes
The ‘triple interest’ scheme had been very successful and the vault was full. Kyle discussed the plan for the robbery with Greg. Kyle planned a mock hold-up, which should keep the suspicion off Greg. However, Kyle held back a secret part of his plan – to shoot Ruby during the robbery in revenge for his father’s death. Greg agreed, but his mind seemed elsewhere.
Earlier that day, the owner of the Bank paid Greg a visit at his home, demanding to know why Greg was offering triple interest and potentially losing so much money. Greg did his best to deflect the questions, but Sam, the owner, was angry and demanded answers. Instead of coming clean about the robbery, Greg grabbed a knife and killed the man, hiding his body.
Ruby arrived at the bank on the morning of the robbery, and noticed that the lone security guard was absent for the day, and that the pistols kept under the bank teller’s counter were not present. Putting two and two together, she feigned sickness and rushed home to tell Jem that the robbery was probably happening today.
Jem, in a moment of piousness, stopped by the local church on her way to stake out the bank, intending to take Kyle’s loot once the robbery was done. Unfortunately, Kyle was also in the church. Both were armed with their matching pistols, and a shootout occurred. In the chaos, a collection of candles set the building ablaze, and Kyle was badly burnt in the fire.
After dousing himself in a horse-trough outside the church, Kyle fights through the pain and confusion and decided to go ahead with the robbery while the town is distracted fighting the church fire. He went into the bank, locked the doors, and trapped the bystanders in a small cupboard. Meanwhile, Ruby saw him coming and tried to escape unnoticed. Kyle tried to call Greg, but Greg wouldn’t leave his office. Spotting Ruby crawling away, Kyle shot her in the back as she ran. He gave chase.
Greg, thoroughly drunk, had locked himself in his office. He ignored Kyle’s summons from outside, and instead tapped frantically at the telegraph machine on his desk. Sending a message to his father in Capital City, he confessed to his crimes and begged for help. His father quickly responded, and offered to help him cover up the murder and deflect responsibility for the robbery.
Ruby had been shot, but she pulled her small pistol and stood her ground in the alleyway at the rear of the bank. Kyle came rushing around the corner, and both held each other at gunpoint. They were caught in a stand-off. They talked, and Ruby revealed that her father killed himself in grief over the death of Kyle’s father, but the family covered it up so he could be buried in the Christian cemetery. Kyle realised that the grudge he has been holding for five years was thoroughly misguided. They began to lower their pistols.
Jem arrived on the scene and saw Kyle and Ruby pointing guns at each other. Rushing to protect her sister, she shot Kyle, who fell to the ground, gravely wounded. Jem and Ruby grabbed some of the money laying around the bank, but they made their escape when they realised that they couldn’t enter the vault. In a moment of pity, they took the wounded Kyle with them to the hideaway behind a waterfall, outside of town.
The aftermath summarises the end of each character’s story via a series of montages. The outcome for each character is determined by the positive/negative outcome dice awarded during Acts One & Two. These dice are rolled and positive numbers cancel out negative numbers. High scores represent more favourable outcomes, while low scores are very bad.
Here is how the aftermath played out:
Gregory Bond – Aftermath: Black 1 – Horrible
In the aftermath of the robbery, Greg was clear of any suspicion. Having requested help from his father, a senior board member of the banking institution in Capital City, Greg was able to cover up the murder of Sam, the owner of the local branch of the bank. Greg took over, and eventually became Mayor of the town, but several years later, Greg’s father made a death-bed confession about covering up Greg’s crime, and Greg was investigated, found guilty and hanged.
Kyle Cooper – Aftermath: Black 10 – Pretty Good
Badly wounded by Jem’s gunshot, Kyle was taken back to the waterfall hideout by Jem and Ruby. When a local Dentist was paid to patch up Ruby’s wounds, the man did a similar job on Kyle, but the wound became badly infected. Already disfigured by his burns from the Church fire, Kyle needed his leg amputated due to the infection. Eventually he regained his strength, and returned to the town under a false identity, avoiding any suspicion for the robbery. As a one-legged and disfigured gunfighter, Kyle grew to become a feared and respected member of the town.
Jem Quinn – Aftermath: White 2 – Merciless
After the robbery, Jem hired the local Dentist to patch up Ruby and Kyle. Unfortunately the small amount of money they had stolen was not enough to clear them of their debt, so she was forced to return to working at the Saloon. While working there, she met a wealthy man who swept her off her feet, and promised to take her back to Capital City with him. Jem accepted his proposal, leaving her sister and the family farm behind. Little did Jem know that the man was abusive and unfaithful, and after a year he threw her out, leaving her destitute and alone in a strange city, where she spent the rest of her life working the streets trying to save enough money for a ticket home.
Ruby Quinn – Aftermath: White 3 – Grim
Ruby took what little money they managed to steal and paid it to the creditors to get them off her back. She nursed Kyle back to health in the waterfall hideout, but one day he was simply gone. The blame for the bank robbery eventually fell on Ruby’s head, and she was jailed for the crime. Her years in prison went very badly for her, and when she emerged she was a broken person who’s jailhouse tattoos and grim visage made children cry when they passed her in the street.
When all was said and done, none of our characters had a particularly happy ending. The players, however, had a fantastic time putting each other through the wringer and we will definitely be playing Fiasco again in future.