One of these days I’m going to do a full post about my thoughts on Stardew Valley, as if there haven’t been enough reviews and tips/tricks articles elsewhere. The same friend who gifted me Mount & Blade: Warband hooked me up with Stardew because he’s a stand up guy and apparently knows exactly what kind of games I like. Considering the two of us originally became friends on a Harvest Moon 64 message board, back in the days when message boards were premier Internet communication hubs (along with AIM), I guess the odds were in his favor on this one.
A couple of friends from my Japan days visited this past weekend and we played a game called Fiasco, which my old English-teacher buddy had been itching to try.
Fiasco is an RPG in the purest sense of the word – each player creates a character who they can (and probably must) flesh out as the game progresses. Interestingly, rules and gameplay mechanics are comparatively minimal. There are a few die rolls, but most of the “play” consists of creating and acting out scenes. This is basically the game. Relationships, motivations, and a few extra flavor-items are established in the first part of play, and then the story is slowly crafted by the players. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s very collaborative; there is no winning or losing (actually everyone pretty much is forced into “losing” ultimately, as the name of the game might suggest) for individual players. At times you may choose to have your character fail at their goal to progress an interesting story for the group as a whole.
A couple of us had D&D experience, and we kind of took the lead in plotting the course of events for our game, which was set in a world of superheroes and villains (there are many different modules available for free, so a lot of potential variety). The ladies, my girlfriend and his wife, did a commendable job as newcomers to roleplaying. We ran an abridged version of the game as we realized that we had been pacing a little quickly and the climax of our story was approaching before Act 2. I imagine with some Fiasco experience and a seasoned crew of roleplayers, this could be a very exciting game. It certainly takes a lot of imagination and mental energy to play.
In our game, our four players were:
The Mayor, who could read minds by touch and during the course of the game gained the power to mind control others by singing
Mr. Blackwell aka The Red X, an evil kingpin/Lex Luthor-type businessman who was the secret power behind all the city’s crime
Dr. Smalls aka the Mad Woman, a twisted scientist in business with Mr. Blackwell, who had developed a mind-control drug to bring about her vision of a peaceful society
Kyle Weathers aka “The Law”, an alien posing as the Mayor’s intern, actually her “superhero” mentor. This was my character, who didn’t really possess any superpowers aside from intellect and vastly advanced alien technology, including a device that could grant random superpowers to humans
I won’t run through our story, but suffice it to say there were wheelings and dealings, monsters, and dudes bursting into flame. 10/10 would play again.