Content of the article: "Help your players make a cohesive party using backstory relationships in a game of Fiasco"
Related backstories via Fiasco
I want to start by saying that this is not my OC, I just saw some ideas, found some templates, and put it all together into a post.
That said, I LOVE when my players make backstories that are related to each other. I think it gives them built-in ways to RP with each other and really helps them jump straight into their characters at session 1.
Fiasco is a roleplaying game all about improvisation and creating a story — sounds like DnD, right?
Fiasco has three stages:
Create character relationships by rolling and then assigning dice to results on tables
Roleplaying through capers and heist scenes that go hilariously sideways with complications and other rules
What does that have to do with DnD backstories?
We can harness the fun and energy of dice rolling and the creativity of character choices to create characters with related backstories, simply by playing through stage two of Fiasco.
The benefits are threefold: 1. creates a cohesive party without an awkward session 1 2. jumpstarts RP in your game 3. provides a solid RP foundation for new players
I'm sold, how does it work?
Players roll d6s, then take turns assigning them to their relationships with the players on their two sides, choosing from the Fiasco playset options.
Things like: One page of my FR playset
The combination of rolling and choosing gives creativity through limited choice as the player must assign the die somewhere but can choose what type of relationship to assign it to.
My players created:
a gnome paladin who accidentally killed her own family seeking revenge on an evil wizard who escaped from his lair with an awakened bear and only they know each others' secrets.
an awakened bear monk who is childhood friends with a wild magic sorcerer and both want to be epic heroes, escaped an evil wizard with the gnome.
a goliath barbarian who helped the gnome paladin battle some giants out of the mountains and who met at a gypsy camp.
a wild magic sorcerer who is seeking to collect on a bounty on a lich with the goliath barb and who is childhood friends with the bear.
Your players will roll 4d6/player over the course of two rounds, round one is for general categories, then second round is for more specifics.
Sweet, but how can I do this online?
With this happening during quarantine, I needed a way to have players record information during a live play session online. With some judicious googling, I found a google docs Fiasco template.
Obviously though, we don't want our players seeking revenge on an evil giant king when we've got a entirely-seaborne campaign planned. So, we'll need our own custom fiasco playset. Google was my friend and I managed to find this google docs Fiasco playset template.
My players all had a great time creating relationships for their characters this way during session zero, it gave my two new-to-DnD players a structure to build off of and they came up with a killer backstory to explain their awakened bear monk and gnome paladin knew each other!
Was it worth it?
- It was really fun to roll extra dice during session zero
- It gave the players built-in RP opportunities with each other and hooks into the world
- It gave the new players a way to jump straight into my RP-heavy game
- It created a cohesive party of characters who knew each other without having to do awkward session 1 introductions
- It was a bit of work to figure out initially, though this was mostly in designing the roll results in the table while still making sure it fit within the module (modified)
- If you leave more of the world blank, you won't have to do as much work making sure stuff makes sense — only the stuff the players roll will be for sure, everything else is fake!
- It was really fun and brought us all to a high level of RP immediately (even the new players)
- It is better suited for a homebrew home game rather than DMs trying to run modules
- I'll do it again, for sure
- DnD Fiasco https://dysonlogos.blog/2017/02/06/this-is-totally-not-another-dd-fiasco/
- Fiasco relationships https://slyflourish.com/fiasco_relationships.html
- Fiasco in play https://youtu.be/uuJizhyf-y4
- Fiasco explained
- ideas from reddit two years ago https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/9iss96/fiasco_as_party_builder/
- ideas from reddit five years ago https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/32dn8f/level_0_session_concept_fiasco/
- New DM creating a game for kids 9-12 yrs old, looking for story tips and advice ahead of session 0
- Why do humans suck?
- My Player Always Has An Excuse To Not Share Dice Rolls
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