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Plot Summary[]

In this special, the crew- Anil, Alex, Ben, Lydia, and GM Bryn- create an improvised story reminiscent of a Coen Brother's movie.

Character Summary[]

Randall Hammerstein[]

The golden child of the family (due to his figure skating prowess.) Ex-boyfriend and figure skating partner of Leonardo Tiptoe Trapp. Incredible at figure skating.

Dylan Hammerstein[]

The black sheep of the family, pothead Dylan works at the Wetherton Enquirer (sometimes spelled with an 'I'), the other totally reliable and reputable newspaper in town. Between he and his brother, they have the ultimate recipe for "special" cookies. A very supportive brother.

Kevin Rogers[]

A reporter at the the Wetherton Gazette, Wetherton's leading, and some would say only reputable newspaper.

Janice "On Ice" Smith[]

The HR manager at the Wetherton Gazette by day, mediocre figure skater by night, Janice "On Ice" Smith loves nothing more than getting the newest office gossip. Janice is really out to prove that she should be the sole host of the Extravaganza On Ice. Janice can be very cutthroat and passive aggressive.

Leonardo "Tip-toe" Trapp[]

Formerly one half of the Tiptoe Trapp/Hammerstein figure skating duo, Leonardo broke up (both professionally and romantically) with Randall after his failed drug test, and decided to co-host the Extravaganza with Janice this year, instead of Randall. A meek, sheepish man, just trying to put on a good show and get through the night.

Synopsis[]

Episode 1[]

The game takes place in the small town of Wetherton, which will be holding a knock-off version of ITV's Dancing On Ice, called Extravaganza On Ice. Janice (On Ice) and Leonardo are a relatively new figure-skating duo, after Leonardo left Randall, his former skating partner and lover, due to a failed drugs test. However, it is traditional that Leonardo and Randall do the 'Christmas Dance' at the opening of the show, and despite what has happened between them, they need to put on a good show for the village. Meanwhile, trouble is afoot in the journalism world as Kevin and Dylan try to cover the event and expose the corruption that lies beneath...

BREAK

Scene 1 (set-up): Randall and Leonardo[]

The scene opens with Leonardo knocking sheepishly on Randall's front door. After a cold greeting from Randall, Leonardo hesitantly asks if he would join the judge's panel for the upcoming Extravaganza. After realizing that this conversation will be longer than he'd assumed, Randall grudgingly invites Leonardo in. After the awkward topic of Leonardo and Randall's past is brought up, Leonardo tells Randall that he and Janice would really like him to join as a panelist. Randall is incredulous at the idea, and points out that the first time Leonardo has come to see him after their break-up is to ask for something.

As things get more heated, Leonardo tells Randall that he's just trying to throw him a bone, and that he knows he can do better. Dylan encourages Randall to take the opportunity, and Randall reluctantly agrees.

Scene 2 (set-up): Janice (On Ice) and Kevin[]

Janice (On Ice) and Kevin meet in the office kitchen over coffee and fruitcake. Janice (On Ice) strongly encourages Kevin to let her (and HR!) know about anything, no matter how sensitive, because she (and HR!) are always here to help. Kevin awkwardly mentions that they need more coffee. Janice (On Ice) tells Kevin about being entrusted as a Secret Santa, and attempts to learn what he's going to buy his Secret Santa, under the guise of her position as HR manager. Kevin assures her that his gift won't cause any problems.

Kevin then tries talking about the absurd amount of fruitcake the office gives out (cupboards full of it, in fact) but is derailed when Janice (On Ice) casually wonders aloud if he'll be going to the Extravaganza. Kevin asks if it's required, and Janice (On Ice) says no, although she does mention that that HR pays very close attention to who "participates in moral boosting experiences". Kevin hesitantly agrees to come, and Janice (On Ice) is delighted.

Scene 3 (set-up): Kevin and Dylan[]

A press conference announcing the Extravaganza On Ice, headed by the mayor of Wetherton and attended by many reporters. Dylan, there in a reporting capacity for the Wetherton E(I)nquirer, asks the mayor (voiced by Lydia) what she has to say about allegations that the event is bound to be a disaster (because of Leonardo and Randall's fraught past.) The mayor dismisses him.

Kevin, there for the Wetherton Gazette, asks about the economic advantages of having the event. Dylan interrupts to add that he would also like to know about economic advantages. The mayor responds that the Extravaganza will really help highlight young new skaters, and seeing as ice skating is really the heart of Wetherton, that is of course very important.

Dylan interrupts the mayor to ask if the E(I)nquirer will also be issued press passes to the event, or if it will just be a "one horse, propaganda machine". Kevin assures Dylan that passes will be issued to all relevant papers, and the mayor adds that the bar for entry is actually higher than just relevant- the newspaper must be well-spelled as well as delivered on time. Dylan protests this, loudly, and presses the mayor on why she's spending money on an ice skating event rather than anything else. The mayor decides that there are no financial incentives, she just really likes watching ice skating.

Dylan, fed up, yells that he'll be at the Extravaganza anyway, as his brother's a host, and walks out making a rude gesture at both Kevin and the mayor.

Scene 4 (set-up): Dylan and Randall[]

After the conversation with Leonardo and the press conference, Randall is angrily washing the dishes. Dylan asks if he's okay, and Randall rants about Leonardo. Dylan points out that Randall has never been as happy as he was dancing with Leonardo, and suggests he "dance [his] way back into his heart, man". Randall isn't sure about the idea, but Dylan assures him that while Janice is good, Randall is great. Randall comes around to the idea, especially when Dylan reminds him that their parents were always very proud of him.

Randall gives Dylan a hug and resolves that this Christmas, he's going to turn his life around. He then agrees to get Dylan into the Extravaganza, as a thank you.

Scene 5 (set-up): Janice (On Ice) and Leonardo[]

Janice (On Ice) and Leonardo are chatting mid-skate. Janice (On Ice) passive aggressively compliments Leonardo on the great idea that was inviting Randall onto their judging panel. She does, however, point out that while Leonardo and Randall had hosted it in the past, that was in the past, and this year's Extravaganza should be focused on the town's current legacy, which is mostly Janice (On-Ice)-centric. Randall understands that there are some tensions, but believes they can make it work for the sake of the show- after all, they can hardly leave a talent like Randall's sitting on the sidelines.

Janice (On Ice) suggests that Randall can simply stay in the judge's chair and not skate at the Extravaganza, but Randall points out that what with all the pressure on them from the mayor to make this successful, they simply can't leave Randall out, especially so late in the planning. Eventually, despite Janice (on Ice)'s passive aggressive disagreements, Leonardo exercises the power of veto- mentioning that Janice (On Ice) has used it quite frequently in the past- and decides that Randall will skate.

As Leonardo heads off, Janice (On Ice) trips and falls on her ass on the ice.

Episode 2[]

Scene 6 (resolution): Randall and Leonardo (+ Janice On Ice)[]

Leonardo meets Randall as the Extravaganza is about to start, relieved that he's showed up. Leonardo is anxiously checking that everything is ready, and Janice reassures him it's all been taken care of. After Janice suggests they read out the names of the businesses who donated to the event, Randall protests, pointing out that it's a charity fundraiser and not a corporate event. Randall and Janice get into an argument before Leonardo breaks it up, sounding even more stressed than before.

While Leonardo has a panic attack, Janice and Randall debate whether or not it's fair to judge children on their ice skating skills. Leonardo breaks them up again, sounding even more stressed and slightly hysterical.

Eventually, Randall ends up challenging Janice to a competition on the ice, during their pre-show exhibition, much to Leonardo's despair. Randall declares that the winner will be the one who gets to skate with Leonardo.

Janice innocently mentions she was under the impression that he'd been the one to break it off with Leonardo months ago, and Randall sputters in indignation. Leonardo tries to get Janice to stop pressing buttons, but fails. Randall angrily admits that breaking it off was a mistake, and that he regrets the decision, and then the hosts are called to the stage.

Scene 7 (set-up): Randall and Dylan[]

The call rings out for people to assemble in the rink. Kevin has his shiny press badge on his lanyard, and is covering this event for the Gazette for the third year, despite his disinterest in skating. He wanders into the toilets. He sees Dylan in the mirror. Dylan confronts him, saying that Kevin knows nothing about ice skating, he is too chummy with the mayor, and that Dylan should cover the event for the E(I)nquirer. Kevin replies that Dylan doesn't deserve to due to his laziness, and Dylan protests that he doesn't have the advantages in life that Kevin has. Dylan says that they both know about the corruption on the council, but that Kevin is too scared to cover it. Kevin says that even if there is evidence- Dylan cuts him off and tells him to be honest with himself. Kevin protests that he's a journalist, and admits that there is corruption. Dylan asks him how he can look at himself, and turns him to look in the mirror, and asks how he can live with himself, having given up on all his principles. Kevin protests that he's on the fast-track to editorship, and Dylan says he makes him sick. Kevin retorts 'as sick as your cookies?'. It escalates, and Dylan punches him in the face, takes his lanyard, and shoves him into a stall and breaks the lock. (Anil adds that the saga of Rogers and Hammerstein ends.)

Scene 8 (set-up): Randall and Leonardo[]

Randall is doing a solo exhibitionary dance, which is not being judged. Janice (On Ice) and Leonardo have done their couple dance already. Dylan is in the press seat. Leonardo recognises this routine, and it's the last one they did together. He starts mouthing along the names of the moves, and Janice (On Ice) encourages him not to. A look of horror and recognition crosses Leonardo's face as he realises that the last time they did this routine, it was destroyed by the last move, that they didn't manage. Janice (On Ice), meanwhile, is the first person to notice that the ice is starting to melt, and that she can't hear the hum of the cooler- whoever was supposed to take care of that, hasn't. She doesn't tell anyone. Leonardo is getting more distressed as Randall gets closer to the move 'Split the Dutchman'. Randall, building up speed for the big move, has just realised that the ice is starting to melt as he skates past the judges' table and his skates dig in. He goes flying, and crashes into the judges' table at high speed, landing with a sickening crack and lying still. Janice (On Ice) unconvincingly cries how tragic this is. Leonardo yells at Janice (On Ice) to just die. He runs to Randall and grabs him, yelling at him and shaking his body (likely exacerbating any spinal injuries).

BREAK

Scene 9 (set-up): Janice[]

Janice (On Ice) is looking to rescue the situation and come out looking like a hero. She also sees a box, with writing on it in (suspiciously) Kevin's handwriting. Leonardo is still sobbing over Randall, and he's still mic'd up. She asks someone to call an ambulance, and calls the cameras to point at her. She starts talking about community spirit. She says they're going to cut to a great performer who should get to host the nationals, and proceeds to start skating to music and trying to get audience participation. The room is silent. At some point, Janice's skates go through some blood from the ice, and every move she makes leaves a trail. It's in really bad taste. Finally, even the music is cut, but Janice doesn't stop. The paramedics rush in, and she's still dancing on the melting ice. She tries to get more attention by raffling off the box of fruit cake to the audience. She then decides that she'll get even more kudos by giving the contents of the box to the children rather than just raffling it (in the background, Leonardo is trying to help the paramedics). she gives it to the children. Unbeknownst to her, Dylan has replaced the fruit cake with a bunch of "special" cookies.

Scene 10 (set-up): Dylan[]

It's a little later, and Dylan is narrating the documentary of the story of what happened and the corruption that led to it. Randall (his brother) died, and it can be traced back to the deal between the mayor and the Wetherton Gazette, such that they could cover it solely. the money that should have been spent on maintaining the ice rink was instead spent on enriching those behind the deal. Leonardo says he saw the best figure-skating he'd ever seen, but also the tip of the iceberg of the corruption in the town, and watched it melt. He blames himself, in that if it weren't for Leonardo convincing him to be there, he wouldn't have died; in another way, everyone is to blame. Rogers should not be let off the hook.

Dylan has arranged an interview with disgraced former journalist Kevin Rogers. Kevin left the Wetherton Gazette, and brought Dylan all the documentation of the corruption he'd been covering up. Dylan asks what went through his mind after waking up in the toilet stall. Kevin says the events of the night are a little hazy, but Dylan opened his eyes. It's hard being a journalist in this town- Dylan understands. Kevin brought hte documents- Janice (On Ice), the mayor, they were all in on it, trying to get fame and money. Dylan is proud to have Kevin working with them at the E(I)nquirer.

Sadly, they couldn't get an interview with Janice (On Ice), as she's currently awaiting trial for supplying illegal drugs to minors. Dylan ends the documentary with some footage of his brother Randall as a teenager, when he was still learning to figure-skate; when he was still in love with the sport.

"Well- when I'm on the ice I just feel like a different person, you know. A connection between the ice and my feet, and my whole body is just, you know... I'm transformed into something not quite human... I am become transcendent... I'm early in my career, but I, er, y'know, I've met this great guy, and I think we're going to form a partnership together, and we've... y'know, we've been at the county level... we've got something really special, so I think together, we can go far."

The Aftermath[]

This is framed as still part of the documentary.

Dylan Hammerstein went on to become a reasonably successful documentary film-maker. He never did learn to spell, but kicked his drug habit and covered several Winter Olympics. He dedicated much of the money he made to founding an ice-skating school in memory of his brother. To this day, children still come to train there.

Kevin Rogers, after a lot was weighing on his conscience, and despite the hand of friendship and the second chances offered to him by Dylan and the staff at the E(I)nquirer, went on to make other bad editorial decisions, not having learned from his mistakes. Eventually, one fateful evening, it all got too much. the sirens were coming, and he took a gun to himself. He was found slumped over an antique typewriter at his desk.

Janice (On Ice) went to prison, and proceeded to try and manipulate her way to being in charge of the cleaning rota. She failed.

Leonardo didn't cope well with what happened at the Extravaganza, and turned to drink, unable to handle the trauma of having watched his partner die as a direct result of his actions. He certainly felt as though the blame was on him. He did not perish quickly, but made sure to perish slowly. Eventually, one night, he crashed while drunk at the wheel, permanently injuring himself such that he would never walk again. Even now he refuses medical treatment, as he believes this is what he deserves.

Randall is not remembered, a footnote in ice-skating history; he was that close to being great. In ice-skating documentaries, he's always remembered as the one that could have done something great, but didn't.

The tragedy brought tourists and cashflow to the town. The mayor got off scott-free, and made off with all the money.

Quotes[]

Alex: "I weaponize cheerfulness. I wield it like a hammer."
―Alex, about character creation.

Janice: "You know that I can be trusted with anything- like, for instance, I've been entrusted with the very important task of being secret santa. You can trust me with any information."
Kevin: "Key word in there..."
Janice: "Yeah! I know! Entrusted!"
Kevin: "Yes, Janice. That's exactly the word I was going for."
―Janice tries to convince Kevin of her trustworthiness.

Dylan: "Madam Mayor, what do you say to allegations that the event is bound to be a disaster with both Randall Hammerstein and Lorenzo- Leonardo- I forget his name but you know who I mean! Like, they- they split up, acrimoniously, months ago, and you're putting them on the same panel, is this really a good idea?"
―Dylan, during the Mayor's press conference

Dylan, yelling into a microphone: "Fine, this whole town is corrupt! But you can't stop me, my brother's a host, so I'll be there anyway!"
―-Dylan, to Kevin and the Mayor after they deny him a press pass

Mechanics[]

Fiasco is a relatively rules-light system. The players roll dice on some tables to generate characters, based on a playset. The players are playing the playset "And to All A Good Night", a Christmas-themed playset written by Elizabeth Bowman and Lindsay Peters. Each player takes two dice in each of two colours. This game has white and red dice.

Episode 1

Character creation[]

Each player gets a relationship with the player sitting either side of them. Each player rolls four dice (two white, two red), and all the players' dice are collected together in the middle of the table and sorted by roll value. Going around the table, each player chooses a category (1 - 6) and an option within the category (1 - 6) and assigns the resulting relationship to any of the available relationships at the table.

Initial relationships[]

  • Alex defines his character's relationship with Ben's character. He picks a 6 (On The Same Side)
  • Ben defines his character's relationship with Alex'. He picks a 1 (In A Figure-Skating Duo).
  • Bryn defines the relationship between his and Anil's characters. He picks a 4 (Have a work relationship)
  • Anil defines the relationship between his and Lydia's characters. He picks a 3 (There is a secret relationship of some kind between them).
  • Lydia defines the relationship between their and Alex' characters. They pick a 6 (On the same side)
  • Alex defines the relationship between his and Lydia's characters. He picks a 1 (In a Figure-Skating Duo).
  • Ben defines the relationship between his and Bryn's characters. He picks a 2 (Family).
  • Bryn defines the relationship between his and Ben's characters. He picks a 2 (The Black Sheep and the Golden Child).
  • Anil defines the relationship between his and Lydia's characters. He picks a 2 (Secret Santas).
  • Lydia defines the relationship between Bryn's and Anil's characters. They pick a 6 (Journalists at rival newspapers)

Relationship facets[]

A relationship can be attached to a Need, and Object, or a Location. Each player takes a Facet index card, and the players go around again with dice, defining these facets. They use the remaining dice on the table, and do not roll again.

  • Alex picks a 5 and defines a Need between his and Ben's characters: They need to carry on a tradition.
  • Ben picks a 2 and defines an Object between his and Bryn's characters: They have the Ultimate Recipe For...
  • Bryn picks a 1 and defines an Object between his and Ben's characters: the ultimate recipe for... "Special" cookies
  • Anil picks a 3 and defines a Need between Alex' and Lydia's characters: They need to prove something.
  • Lydia defines the Need between her and Alex' characters: The need to prove that... the Christmas skating show should always be hosted by Alex' character.
  • Alex picks a 3 and defines a Location between Bryn and Anil's characters: Home Sweet Home
  • Ben picks a 3 and defines a Location between Bryn and Anil's characters: In The Bathroom with the Door Locked
  • Anil picks a 5 and defines an Object between Alex' and Lydia's characters: A box containing... Something
  • Lydia rolls the last (wild) die and gets a 4, defining the Object between their and Alex' characters: All the Christmas fruitcakes from the last 10 years.

Story building[]

Worldbuilding[]

The players then flesh out their characters' names and relationships, and the skeleton of the story. This is detailed in the synopsis and characters section.

Scene creation[]

On a player's turn, they can enact a scene. they can choose whether to set up a new scene, or resolve an existing scene. Setting up a scene is freeform, but resolving a scene uses dice. There are two piles of dice: the red dice and the white. At the end of a scene, players are given (for scene set-ups) or take (for scene resolutions) either a white die, which ends the scene well, or a red die, which ends the scene badly. The players hand their die to someone else after the scene ends. They keep their collected dice for later, when they reach the 'Tilt Point' of the story.

  • Alex sets up scene 1, between Leonardo and Randall, in which Leonardo tries to recruit Randall to be on the judges' panel.
    • Bryn hands Alex a white die, meaning Leonardo gets what he wants in this scene (recruiting Randall).
    • Alex gives Anil the white die.
  • Ben sets up scene 2, between Janice and Kevin, in which they are in the Gazette office kitchen, by a fruitcake.
    • Bryn hands Lydia a white die, meaning Janice gets what she wants in this scene (getting Kevin to attend the event).
    • [Lydia does not give away the die by mistake]
  • Bryn sets up scene 3, between Kevin and Dylan, in which a press conference is held about the Extravaganza. (Lydia plays the Mayor, and Alex plays another reporter.)
    • Alex hands a red die to Bryn, meaning Dylan does not get what he wants in this scene (a scoop on local corruption).
    • Bryn gives the red die to Alex.
  • Anil sets up a scene between Dylan and Randall, at their house, in the aftermath of the press conference.
    • Lydia gives Ben a white die, meaning Randall gets what he wants (a hug? Validation?).
    • Ben gives the die to Bryn.
  • Lydia sets up a scene between Janice and Leonardo, whilst skating on the rink.
    • Bryn hands Lydia a red die, meaning Janice doesn't get what she wants (plotting against Randall so he doesn't skate and usurp her).
    • Lydia hands the die to Ben.

The tilt point[]

After a full round of scenes (often there are several rounds, but this is a one-shot), the Tilt Point is introduced. All the players roll the dice they have been given. The person with the highest white (good) score and the person with the highest red (bad) score are affected by the tilt.

  • Ben (red): 6; Bryn (white): 1; Anil (white): 5; Lydia (white): 3; Alex (red): lower than 6.
  • The players would now roll on the tilt table. Since this is a one-shot, they use the values already on the dice: 6 (red) for Ben, and 5 (white) for Anil.
    • 5 = paranoia; 6 = failure.
  • Ben chooses to use the 6 as the 'category' value and the 5 as the 'specific' value: Category: failure; specific: You thought it was taken care of, but it wasn't.

Episode 2

Scene creation[]

  • Alex chooses to resolve a scene. The other players decide it takes place between Leonardo and Randall in the dressing room, 20 minutes before the show starts.
    • Alex picks the red die, and does not get what he wants (harmony between the characters).
  • Ben sets up a scene between Kevin and Dylan in the bathroom, since Randall has told him there's only one seat for the press.
    • Lydia gives a white die to Bryn, which means he gets what he wants (the seat for press by the mayor).
  • Bryn sets up a scene with Randall, alone on the ice, dancing. What is at stake: does he remind Leonardo of how good they used to have it?
    • Ben takes a red die, and Randall fails to win Leonardo over.
  • Anil sets up a scene with Janice (On Ice).
    • The group unanimously gives Lydia a red die; Janice (On Ice) doesn't get what she wants (To come out of this shining)
  • Lydia sets up a scene with Dylan. Dylan is writing his story about what happened that night, and the corruption that led to it.
    • Anil hands Bryn a white die, and he gets what he wants (some kind of closure and recognition).

The Aftermath[]

This is usually narrated as a montage, although in this game it will be as part of the documentary. The players roll any remaining dice left in front of them, and roll on the aftermath table to get an epilogue. The value is calculated as white-red, or red-white, whichever gives a positive value.

  • Bryn (3 white dice): White 10. You've made it out with dignity, possibly with respect and/or profit.
  • Anil (1 white die): White 1. You are certainly dead, probably from a self-inflicted wound. People you care about are also probably dead, maybe through your own stupid failure.
  • Lydia (1 red die,1 white die): White 2. You might not be dead on the outside, but are dead on the inside. the emotional or mental wounds you have suffered will never heal. The future is a brick wall.
  • Alex (2 red dice): Red 6. You will suffer, and everyone will know of your stupidity, lack of common sense and decency. You'll probably be locked up too.
  • Ben. Red 5. You will remember this episode for all of your diminished days. The lesson you learn will be profound, lingering, and painful.
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