Random Encounters: FIASCO! Gotham City 14 Miles

If no one has figured it out yet, I like games; board games, card games, some collectible card games and especially role playing games. I do play some video game stuff, on a PC, sometimes a phone app and anything LEGO on consoles.

There is so much out there that it is hard to know where to begin and there is so much variety.  Over the past twenty years there has been a huge surge in board games, theys aints for little kids no more. Thank you Settlers of Catan.

If you want a great book on the history of board games go get It’s All a Game by Tristan Donovan. From the ancient Egyptian game Senet to Backgammon, Chess, Clue, Monopoly and even The Game of Life he covers it all in surprisingly fascinating detail. Surprising because the previously to me unknown backstory for these games is fascinating.

One of the Founding Fathers of Role Playing Games, Gary Gygax, once said that a player should go from playing RPGs to running RPGs to writing RPGS. That is more true than not and I have seen and continue to see it again and again.

Which I have had no recent progress into my G.I. Joe RPG idea but that is neither here nor there which is another definition for procrastination. Honestly, I have been busy but it should turn around soon.

The game that has really captured my imagination over the last couple of years is FIASCO by Jason Morningstar and published by Bullypulpit Games.

Wil Wheaton’s TableTop You Tube show has an excellent 2 part Actual Play of Fiasco.

I haven’t played it as much as I would like to but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to write my own Playset.

A Playset in Fiasco world is a module of sorts, an outline of possible details to the overall plot, characters and story. In Fiasco you make it up as you go along, it is a little bit of that “hippy dippy” RPG thing.  There are dice used, d6s are rolled and from those results you chose the elements that make up your game.

Fiasco is usually very Pulp Fiction, heavy on the crime noir, Philip Marlowe would not be out of place in most Fiasco games. Like most Noir it can be boiled down to Bad People doing Bad Things for Bad Reasons.

The books and show are tailor made for inspiring Fiasco playsets.

That is what makes it really work, the setting could be anywhere. A small southern town with lots of secrets, a big mobbed up city in a Scorcese film, think of the movie Alien and set it on a spaceship. I think a Fiasco game could be inspired by the TV show Last Man On Earth or Downtown Abbey!

For that reason I have been inspired to write my Fiasco Playset titled:

This Batman themed Fiasco is a work in progress and I will be updating this as I go and hopefully with some feedback. I make no claim to these characters or concepts, just the game idea:

Gotham City 14 Miles

A FIASCO Playset

By Thomas Childress

Based upon characters and concepts from DC Comics.

Batman created by Bob Kane AND Bill Finger.

The original intent of the Playset is for the theme of the game to be in the vein of the DC comic series Gotham Central which is an influence on the TV show Gotham.

Any genre of the Batman mythos should work; from the camp of Batman ‘66, the grit of Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, the realism of Nolan’s films, the cool of The Animated Series or some weird-ass mix of all of it which is probably what will happen during game play.

Other comic influenced setting that are very similar are the Marvel Netflix shows especially Daredevil, some of the grittier Spider-Man stories, Green Arrow (and the TV show Arrow), and of course Batman and related comic books such as Birds of Prey, Nightwing, and Gotham Academy.

The game should focus on characters such as a corrupt politicians, small time crooks, dirty business people, Bat-villain goons, honest or dishonest cops and how Batman and his allies (and villains) figure into the story of life in Gotham.

Since this is set in the world of Batman, and by some extension the DC Comics universe, there should be some fantastic elements to the story. They key word is “some,” resist going too over the top like having Superman or Wonder Woman swoop in and save the day or even The Flash. That said, this is Fiasco and however it plays out is how it goes. Some elements such as Mr. Freeze’s cold tech or Poison Ivy’s plant powers should be used but not abused, but again, whatever works.



  1. New cop/too old for this shit cop
  2. Supervisor and subordinate
  3. Cop and wanna-be cop (CSI, dispatch, clerk)
  4. Official (D.A./Internal affairs) and cop
  5. Bad cop, badder cop
  6. Cop and suspect

2 Meanwhile at stately Wayne Manor

  1. Classmates at Gotham Academy
  2. The “fixer” and the client
  3. Wealthy relative and inheritor
  4. Trust fund kid and minion
  5. The respected drug dealer and user
  6. Real housewives of Gotham

3 Family

  1. Siblings, the goody two shoes and the black sheep
  2. Parent and ne’er do well child
  3. Ex-spouses and current parents
  4. Long lost relative
  5. Unrelated but still family
  6. Successful child and deadbeat parent

4 Work and Business

  1. Lawyer and client
  2. Boss and subordinate/goon
  3. Prostitute and john/jill
  4. Business partners/co-workers
  5. Embezzlers in love
  6. Crooked politician and mobster

5 Down and out in Crime Alley

  1. Addicts trying to score
  2. Crime boss and underling
  3. Drug dealers
  4. Fence and thief
  5. Good Samaritan and the con artist
  6. Ex-con and parole officer

6 Friends

  1. Very unlikely friends
  2. Old schoolmates with a secret
  3. Enemies of an enemy
  4. Former cellmates
  5. You got away with it, you think.
  6. I know what you did.


1 To get Rich

  1. By being bribed
  2. By stealing from someone.
  3. And unload this merchandise
  4. So I can be like BE Bruce Wayne!
  5. And buy my freedom
  6. As a professional assassin.   

2 To get Power

  1. Over that special someone
  2. In the mob
  3. And takeover the company
  4. On the streets
  5. And be the new Boss of Gotham
  6. And take my revenge!

3 To get Revenge

  1. On a mobster
  2. On that psychotic clown.
  3. On a corrupt politician
  4. On that jerk at the office
  5. On Harvey Bullock
  6. For turning me into this twisted freak.

4 To get Truth

  1. Why is Two-Face looking for you?
  2. How did you do to get on the Falcone’s good side?
  3. Who did you piss off?
  4. When was that person killed?
  5. Where do you go at night?
  6. What is the last thing you remember?

5 To get Out

  1. Of this crew
  2. With this suitcase.
  3. This life of crime, maybe.
  4. Of this good for nothing marriage
  5. Of the Narrows
  6. Of the debt I owe

6 Really Needs…

  1. To watch the world burn
  2. To get justice for my family
  3. To do what the voices are telling me to do.
  4. To save someone I love, no matter what.
  5. To get rich, there’s never enough, pick another Get Rich Need
  6. To kill The Batman


1 Uptown

  1. Robinson Park
  2. Cathedral Square
  3. Gotham Gazette Building
  4. William Finger Museum of Art and Antiquity
  5. A posh penthouse.
  6. The Iceberg Lounge

2 Downtown

  1. Wayne Tower, home of Wayne Enterprises
  2. GCPD
  3. Gotham Mercy General Hospital
  4. City Hall
  5. Sprang River and Bridge
  6. Wayne Foundation Building

3 Old Gotham

  1. Gotham University
  2. Gotham Docks
  3. Westward Bridge
  4. The Clock Tower
  5. Gotham Academy
  6. The old subway

4 Crime Alley

  1. Monarch Theater
  2. Martha Wayne Free Clinic
  3. The Stacked Deck, notorious hood nightclub.
  4. Special Crimes Unit, where the Bat-signal is.
  5. Falcone Penthouse
  6. Crack house, meth lab, seedy hotel, indoor grow; pick one.

5 The Narrows

  1. ACE Chemical Company
  2. Blackgate Penitentiary
  3. Arkham Asylum
  4. Abandoned factories and warehouses such as Krank Co. Toys
  5. Amusement Mile
  6. Gotham Arms Apartments

6 Meanwhile at Stately Wayne Manor…

  1. Wayne Manor
  2. Kane County Fairgrounds
  3. Giordano Botanical Gardens
  4. Wildwood Cemetery
  5. A lonely stretch of road
  6. Slaughter Swamp



  1. A body in a trunk.
  2. A worn love letter
  3. A Rolex watch with the inscription “Love, Selina.”
  4. A book of matches with something scribbled inside
  5. A GPS ankle bracelet.
  6. Handwritten list of names

2 Weapon

  1. A police night stick with crusted blood on it
  2. A straight razor.
  3. A trunk/case full of military grade weapons
  4. A dagger with a skull on the pommel
  5. A S&W .357 Magnum
  6. A rocket launcher.

3 Loot

  1. A broken strand of pearls
  2. A duffel full of cash spotted with blood
  3. A Crown Royal bag full of wedding bands
  4. A suitcase of drugs and a business card
  5. A teddy bear stuffed with… something
  6. A flash drive

4 Transportation

  1. A limousine with bullet holes in it
  2. An expensive sports car
  3. A police car
  4. A tank
  5. A Bat villain’s ride
  6. A Gotham Metro pass

5 Information

  1. A police scanner
  2. A sealed manila envelope with “Property of Arkham” printed on the outside.
  3. An old Haley’s Circus Program
  4. A map of Gotham City with handwritten markings on it
  5. A flash drive.
  6. Schematics/Building plans

6  “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”

  1. A colorful umbrella
  2. A 1922 Liberty head silver dollar with scratches on the “tails” side.
  3. A laughing fish squirt gun with Joker Venom inside.
  4. A cane with a question mark handle.
  5. A razor sharp scimitar
  6. A batarang

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