Hey, I got curious and wound up with this list of Fiasco playsets. It’s as complete as I can make it; the last update was January 19th, 2011. I’ve tried to provide enough information about each one so you can get an idea of whether or not it’s up your alley. The Bully Pulpit playsets are in order of publication; the third party playsets are in alphabetical order.
Latest additions: Liquidation, a playset about modern retail.
Current count: 49 playsets (one in Italian), plus one translation.
Bully Pulpit Playsets
The rulebook comes with four playsets.
- Main Street
- A nice American southern town, although I grew up in a nice New England town and you could pretty much use this one for that, too. If you don’t have the game for some reason, this playset appears in the preview.
- The Wild, Wild West.
- Tales From Suburbia
- More family connections and Edge City than you get in Main Street. Interesting study in what makes two playsets different, in fact.
- The Ice
- Death and life at an Antarctic research station.
Currently none of these are available, so hold onto ’em if you have ’em.
- Las Vegas
- You got this at Gencon 2010 if you bought the game there. I don’t think there’s any other way to get it. Here’s an actual play report.
- Los Angeles 1936
- Chandler-esque LA noir. This was available if you bought the Fiasco PDF download through the end of 2010.
- Poppleton Mall
- A holiday mall-themed playset inspired by Bad Santa and Mallrats. It includes alternate elements if you don’t want to do the holidays. It was free with the purchase of a Fiasco T-shirt during the holiday season in 2010.
All of Bully Pulpit’s free Fiasco downloads can be found here.
- Touring Rock Band
- The best and worst of rock and roll.
- Gangster London
- Bad guys in London; slanted more towards modern London than (say) the Kray Twins, but you could adjust it very easily.
- Last Frontier
- Life in an Alaskan fishing village. Best sub-section: “Bear Insurance.”
- Lucky Strike
- A U.S. Army replacement depot in November, 1944, full of bored soldiers.
- The great American Midwest, anywhere from Texas to North Dakota.
- 1867, in the Virginia, right after the Civil War. Some potential for offensive play, but you’re playing Fiasco, so you thought about that already.
- Manna Hotel
- A run-down motor lodge in Kansas; contains supernatural overtones.
- 1913 New York
- Graft, anarchists, and plutocrats in New York City.
- An ocean liner en route to New York in 1932. (Two decades after the Titanic, by the by.)
- Dallas 1963
- Right before the Kennedy assassination. The Book Depository is a Location.
- London 1593
- Queen Elizabeth I, spies, and Shakespeare.
- Dragon Slayers
- The aftermath of a successful Dungeons & Dragons dungeoncrawl. The PCs, not the players.
- Operation Zebra
- Something very bad happened, and something very bad is about to happen, and you’re trapped on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. During World War II. Emphatically occult.
- Horse Fever
- This’ll show up as an English Playset of the Month at some point, but this is the original. Looks like it’s about horse racing.
- Ice (Russian)
- Translated from the rulebook; lives on the Bully Pulpit download page.
A few of these link directly to PDFs, which I have marked as such cause who wants a surprise PDF? Some link to landing pages, from whence you can download the PDF. These are noted as “PDF download” in the description. All else can be assumed to be a text page of some sort.
- All The Damn Time
- Experimental playset in which everyone plays the same person at different points in his life, because he’s a time-traveler. PDF download.
- The Big Anime Con (PDF)
- Otaku with as much right to screw up as anyone else. (One of two con playsets; we know our own turf, yo.)
- Italy, 1435, as the Renaissance begins. PDF download.
- Break A Leg!
- Awful things behind the scenes at a theater. Could be community, could be Broadway.
- Devil’s Night (PDF)
- Vampires in Detroit on Devil’s Night; horror-themed. Discussion and art are here.
- Double Down
- Atlantic City casinos. Some horse racing here if you want your horse racing in English.
- Dwarf Fortress
- Dwarf Fortress is an ASCII-based dwarven community building simulation with a cult following. This is probably mostly of interest to Dwarf Fortress players, although if you read up on the original you’d get the humor and references.
- Firan is a fantasy multi-player text-based roleplay environment, which is all we had before these newfangled MMOs and VTTs and stuff. I think it would be difficult to play this one without Firan players involved.
- Funny Old Game
- A football (soccer) playset; not yet complete.
- GenCon: The Worst Four Days In Gaming
- Everything bad about going to a gaming con in four short days. Awesome sense of the hobby’s less attractive side. PDF download.
- Hollywoodland Noir
- The Hollywood located midway between James Ellroy and Raymond Chandler.
- Home for the Holidays
- A holiday-themed playset from Megan of the Jank Cast.
- A playset about a big chain bookstore closing. PDF download.
- No Strings Attached
- Muppets. See also discussion. PDF download.
- Outrageous Fortune
- Shakespeare! In contrast to London 1593, this one is about the joy of being a Shakespeare character.
- Pink Mohawks
- Low-lifes in the world of Shadowrun. Not official.
- Science Comics
- Sometimes there are third-rate supervillains, and sometimes they make mistakes too. Best sub-section: “Minions.”
- Toil and Trouble
- Wizarding school for youngsters. Yeah, inspired by those books. PDF download.
- White Collar (PDF)
- White collar crime, high finance, and mistakes.
- Yokohama 1865
- Foreigners, samurai, and criminals in Yokohama, just as Japan’s isolation begins to end.
RPG Geek Contest (November 2010)
The RPG Geek people ran a contest in late November for the best Fiasco playset, which is so cool I wanted to make it a special section. The title links below go to each playset’s page; the PDF links in the descriptions go to the PDF download page, because it is hard to find those if you’re not familiar with RPG Geek. The overall list of entries is here.
- Bangkok 1984
- Based on the musical Chess, plus spy stuff. World’s your oyster. PDF download.
- The Bull
- Purposefully claustrophobic British pub goings-on. Lots and lots of British cultural references, which are politely hyper-linked. Substitutes Events for Locations. PDF download.
- Cults of New England
- If it’s 1933 in New England, there must be Deep Ones. Lovecraftian. PDF download.
- The Fallout
- After the bomb falls, people will still make stupid mistakes about each other. PDF download.
- Holly Jolly!
- Rankin/Bass fun at the North Pole. Comes with a custom Tilt table. PDF download.
- On the Rez
- Poverty and pain on a Native American reservation. PDF download.
- A Shot At The Show
- Minor league baseball, small towns, and ambition. PDF download.
- State Prison
- Problems behind bars, plus Scientology. PDF download.
There’s a very nice Word template for creating Fiasco playsets. It works best if you use the Fiasco fonts. You could also use the OpenOffice template, and apparently if you’re an InDesign user you can get that template direct from the Bully Pulpit people.