‘Main Street’ Fiasco Gameplay – Part 1

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

The death of a relative can bring an entire family together – especially if she is filthy rich. It can get complicated when your con-man Uncle is back in town, the funeral director is hitting on your cousin and you’ve just found a suitcase full of cash in your Great Aunt’s attic. Let the Fiasco on Main Street begin.

Setup & Act One – A creepy crush, the coffin con-job and a suitcase full of cash.

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 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:

Relationship Map

Relationship Map

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

Our characters:

Freddie Sommers – a young single woman who’s Great Aunt Jessie had just passed away. Freddie had been responsible for caring for Jessie in her final months.

Lily Sommers –  Freddie’s cousin, also young and single. Lily had attended high school with Patrick many years ago, but was oblivious to Patrick’s crush on her.

(Uncle) Holden Sommers –  Itinerant uncle of Lily and Freddie. Having heard of the death of his wealthy family member, Holden had come back to town looking to profit from the situation.

Patrick Spiller–  The wealthy director of the local funeral home, who had been harbouring a crush on Lily since high school.


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

Patrick was shocked to see his high school crush, Lily, enter his funeral home one day. Lily explained about the death of her Great Aunt, and Patrick took the opportunity to comfort her, offering her a discount on the funeral package because Lily was an old friend. He was a little too direct in his advances, and Lily was stand-offish and tried to remain professional.

Holden, having let himself into Aunt Jessie’s house, was pilfering expensive silverware when Freddie came down from the attic where she had been cleaning. Freddie was surprised to see Holden after an absence of over a year. Holden claimed to be in town to pay his respects, but he doesn’t seem very interested in what happened to Jessie.

Later, Freddie shared her suspicions about Holden with her cousin, Lily. While Holden was outside, sleeping in his car, they agreed that he must be back for a slice of Great Aunt Jessie’s fortune. They continue to clean the attic while they talk, and stumble across a suitcase full of cash – a considerable portion of Jessie’s assets.

Lily suggested that the cousin keep the suitcase a secret from Holden. They tried to sneak out to make the funeral plans, but Holden spotted them leaving and decided to accompany them to the funeral home, despite their protests.

Patrick met with the bereaved family, and did his best to help them organise the service while also up-selling them on the most expensive arrangements. Lily broke down into tears, and Patrick restated his offer of a discount, but the girls and Holden explained that they want a simple and inexpensive funeral that suited Great Aunt Jessie’s frugal lifestyle.

While the ladies wandered off to discuss the funeral, Holden talked business with Patrick. Holden claimed he ‘knew a guy’ who could get quality coffins at discount prices, and offered to make a deal. Patrick rejected the offer at first, but when Holden reveals that he knows of Patrick’s feelings for Lily, Patrick agreed to inspect the crooked merchandise.

Meanwhile, Freddie and Lily visited their lawyer, who revealed to them that Holden stood to gain 80% of their Great Aunt’s considerable wealth.  Realising that their suitcase held a large portion of that money, they decided to keep it a secret and hide it somewhere out of Holden’s reach.

Lily decided that the funeral home was the perfect location to hide the suitcase of cash. She approached Patrick, feigning anguish and claiming that she was unable to stay at her Great Aunt’s house any longer. Patrick was more than happy to let her stay at his house. Lily asked Patrick to store two suitcases for her, until they could go back to his place after the funeral. Patrick locked the identical suitcases in the embalming room.

That concluded Act One. Wouldn’t Great Aunt Jessie be proud, with her only living relatives scheming for the largest share of her money, and the creepy funeral director trying to score in the middle of it?

Join us next time for the Tilt and the conclusion to the story in ‘Main Street’ Fiasco Part 2.


One response to “‘Main Street’ Fiasco Gameplay – Part 1

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

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