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‘Transatlantic’ in Print

By Fiasco, Transatlantic, Uncategorized

I was at Dreamation the other week and it was my first opportunity to finally pick up the Fiasco playset supplement book that contains my ‘Transatlantic’.  The Bullypulpit boys did a wonderful job with the book, and the subsequent Fiasco books as well.  Happy to have this finally in my library.  IMHO, this book contains the largest collection of the most playable scenarios for Fiasco; and is virtually mandated for a swath of play.

My best to Steve and Jason.

further along “Transatlantic”

By Fiasco, Transatlantic

I’ve rounded up some more Transatlantic Actual Play for my Fiasco playset.  Below is a link to a game at Gencon in 2011 that just found itself to me.

Some observations, now that I’ve seen it unfold a few times…

My goals with the playset was to create a scenario that was gender neutral, period, and with enough backdoors to not trap players tightly in that framework.  I used a lot of specific language to invoke the 30s.  And although the color of that vernacular helps to promote setting; players often trip over it.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.  It hasn’t hurt play by reinforcing genre but I probably could have done a better job with it rather than swinging my purple prose all over the printed word.  Let’s have at it then:


Fiasco at Gencon 2011, with Shane Ivey, Greg Stolze, Ross Payton and another at RPPR:

listen here

Here’s some Youtube AP of Transatlantic.  They don’t exactly get the Fiasco rules right but it doesn’t stop them from enjoying it one bit:

setup of game


Lastly, Analog Game Studies (Felan Parker) writes up a really well thought paper on Fiasco.  They mention Transatlantic as a sample playset.


It’s incredibly satisfying to see and hear other people enjoy something that you’ve sent out there into the world.  Thanks.  Play on!

“Transatlantic”, more Actual Play

By Fiasco, Transatlantic

The best part about game design is feedback: that people play the things you create and enjoyed them. Because of the magic of the internet, some of these people post accounts about play sessions or recorded actual play.

Here are a few posts about feedback on my playset for Fiasco, “Transatlantic”.

*Transatlantic Terror, via Story Games:

Played a great game of Fiasco a week or so ago using the Transatlantic playset. I had never used this playset before. There are so many playsets that usually when I play one my reaction is “That was great – I hope to do it again someday after I’ve gotten through the many, many others on my to-play list.” With Transatlantic, though, my reaction was “That was SUPER great – I’d gladly do that one again anytime!” 


*Geekily Inc has a weekly podcast called Drunks and Dragons. Over two sessions in September of 2013, Tim Lanning, Mike Bachmann, Jennifer Cheek, Michael DiMauro and Sarah Tompkins (Extra credit to Sarah for the introduction voiceover) sat down for a most terrible voyage…

Drunks and Dragons Random Encounters: Fiasco “Transatlantic” part 1

Drunks and Dragons Random Encounters: Fiasco “Transatlantic” part 2

One of their comments says, “This is the darkest Willie Wonka episode that I have ever heard.”

*Also, Thursday Knights, from earlier in 2013, played a session of “Transatlantic” and broadcast it here:

Thursday Knights s02e03: A Fiasco on the Transatlantic

… love the mangled voice over and labored vocabulary, apologies for that.  sounds like you guys had a great time.


As a side comment, many thanks to Jason Morningstar for Fiasco and for Steve Segedy for his stewardship of Bully Pulpit Games.

Fiasco playset of the month “Transatlantic” available as a free download from Bully Pulpit here.





Nantucket Sleighride, Game Chef 2014 entry

By Game Chef 2014, Nantucket Sleighride

and then in about 48 hours, from out of nowhere, a game came along…

Nantucket Sleighride. A gm-less, card based roleplaying game for 4 players.

download at: Nantucket Sleighride GC2014

I’ll probably come back at it next week with some better graphics. But I’d love to hear any feedback about it if you have a chance to take a gander and give it your time.

Oof, Game Chef is never not a wild ride. Much thanks to Avery McDaldno and the crew that put it together.

Nantucket Sleighride, Game Chef 2014

By Game Chef 2014, Nantucket Sleighride

Nantucket Sleighride
or, the Moby Dick Roleplaying Game
A card based, gm-less game for 4 people.

Game Chef 2014/
Theme: No Book; Ingredients: Absorb, Wild, Glitter, Sickle.

Theme: using a deck of cards for resolution and rule guides to be printed on cards.
Ingredients: Absorb (card mechanic); Wild (setting; sea); Glitter; Sickle (harpoon)


A story game of 4 acts, comprising of 3 scenes each. Players bid for role of Harpooneer and Navigator.

1/2 standard deck of playing cards, insert both Jokers (whales) and shuffle.
Blind draw 4 (of 6) of the Act cards (setting), place face-down in row.
Deal Sailor (role) + Composure (color) to each player; final player picks from remaining.
Blind draw 3 (of 6) Epilogues and place after 4th Act.

Each player submits Four Conflicts to the a communal pot.
Highest ranked sailor reads opening logbook entry by the captain.
Start Act 1.

Act 1, Reveal first setting card. Lowest ranked player reads card aloud and sets stage. He then
draws card from deck; makes first bid, playing at least one card from hand. Around Clockwise once to other players. Highest bid is the Harpooneer. Lowest bid is the Navigator. In the event of a tie, second player must play additional cards from hand to surpass original bid.

Harpooneer draws two Conflicts from pool; selects one; returns other; and sets the stage between players; the vice in question is the drive for the scene.
Navigator decides at any point in play which side will win, according to the unfolding narrative. Winner may bank a card; Loser draws a card from deck to hand.

Previous Loser starts next bid; using this same format for 2nd, 3rd and 4th Act.

Jokers are “whale sightings”. Played any time, Whale Sightings immediately interrupt play. Scene ends without victor. All players immediately discard their hands. Entire discard pile shuffled; returned to top of deck; all players dealt new 3 card hand. Person that played the card, the Whale Spotter must draw from the captain’s speeches and read one.


At end of 4th Act, each player should add their banked cards. Highest has first choice of Epilogues. Last has their choice of remaining Epilogues.

Game Chef 2014, now.

By Game Chef 2014

Game Chef 2014 is off and running. Now mostly homes on Google+ for forums and it’s own site for rules.

Theme: No Book.
Ingredients: Absorb, Wild, Glitter, Sickle.

It is with this in mind that I’m taking a look at submitting a card-based rpg based on Moby Dick / the Essex. Already, a hand-full of people on G+ have been of great help in prioritizing feel.

And as always, time is at a premium.

Transatlantic notes

By Fiasco

There’s been a run on Transatlantic the past few weeks! Great to see. Is it because of all the Downton Abbey on the BBC/PBS or perhaps it’s because 2012 is the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic?

My buddy, Chris Bennett, dragged a copy of the Transatlantic playset to Fiascon 2012. Here are the results:

Chris Bennett: I played a 17 year old tomboy from Texas named Sadie Hawkins who had a crush on a young German bride but accidently stabbed her with a cavalry saber. Oops.

Mia Blankensop: See how mournful I look? I was a German, orphaned, staunchly Lutheran teen bride. In the thirties.

Sean Nittner: I was a French WWI veteran sailing west with my new (or soon to be) bride. But in this picture it just looks like I have TMJ. Fun times!

Brian Minter offers the following AP from a housecon he threw for his friends.

“Brian Minter 4 days ago whisperquote# 11
We played Transatlantic! It was a good one.

St. John Smythe pretended to be friends with the ship’s purser, Reginald Black, but only to learn where his father had hidden the dowager countess’ emerald tiara aboard the ship, while Burt Smythe, St. John’s identical twin separated at birth, snuck aboard and pretended to be his brother, also in order to steal the tiara, which he wanted to use to fund the activities of Pierre Lecarre, a Frenchman traveling to New York to repatriate the Statue of Liberty back to France. On board, Pierre Lecarre was posing as wealthy American peanut farmer Percibald Jackson, but he was (sort of) found out when his brother-in-law, Hank Shanksmith, an uneducated harpooner, was rescued from the Georgia Peach, which sank in the North Atlantic with all hands aboard. Shanksmith spent a night of strong, manly passion with Reginald Black, who denied this forbidden love until the end of the game, when, gut-shot by Burt Smythe, he begged Shanksmith’s forgiveness. There was also a pirate ship of Australians, and a bag full of tiaras, and the cruise ship may not have actually sunk, but it was hard to tell.”

via StoryGames

Thanks for the recent spate of Transatlantic love!