Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fiasco: Small Town Life

Using the Reconstruction-playset, we played Fiasco again.

We came up with:
Samuel Sommerville, rich wartime profiteer and married to
Rachel Sommerville, even richer than her husband - she owns a percentage and works part-time at the Circus, the brothel managed by
Robert Montgomery, ex-soldier who lost everything during the war and who has an affair with Rachel and unfortunately with
Black Maddy as well, probably his best earner due to her, ahem, area of expertise

Robert's busy balancing the books when Maddy bursts into the room and adds to his worries by complaining that the Judge can't take what he asked for. Considering Maddy's speciality and her enthusiasm for her work, Roberts feels forced to ask if the Judge is alright and she says that he will be, once he comes round again.
And by the way, would he mind getting rid of that bitch? Robert tries to ensure Maddy that he has no idea who she is talking about, but Maddy is having none of that. His slim chances of convincing her crumble when Rachel chooses this exact moment for a visit. Some namecalling and bitching later, Rachel threatens to bankrupt the brothel unless Roberts fires Maddy and he does, reluctantly and against better knowledge.

Rachel promptly drops the the next bomb by telling Robert that she is pregnant and that the child is his. Robert has no intention of marrying her and even less intention of being part of a plan to kill her husband. Rachel loses it and threatens to blackmail him. They have a shouting match that ends with Rachel storming out.

Samuel and Rachel notice people whispering and gossiping about them in church. Samuel knows about his wife's part-time job and he tolerates it because it gets her out of the house and leaves him free for his own dubious activities, but when the whole town knows, that goes too far. When Rachel asks for the key to the weapon cabinet, that raises some extra red flags.

He goes into full panic mode when he finds out at home that a couple of very compromising photographs showing him and Black Maddy are missing. He goes to see Black Maddy at her day job - she's working at a chapter of the Salvation Army. They talk things over and agree that it's best for all concerned when Samuel has Rachel committed to an asylum or at least confined to her room.

He finds that Rachel has already put her own plans in motion: she has spoken to the Judge about the Circus and tries to get it closed down, showing him the photos she stole. She threatens Samuel with his own gun and her knowledge of his dodgy business activities. In a rage, he beats her and locks her in her room. He then returns to Black Maddy.

Meanwhile, Robert has also been to see Black Maddy, asking her to forgive him and offering to dispose of Rachel. They are just done with their makeup sex when Samuel arrives, bearing the bad news that it won't be so easy to get rid of Rachel.

Robert has had it and he offers again to kill Rachel, which would after all neatly solve all their problems. They agree and Maddy suggests that she meets with the Judge who is slavishly devoted to her, she surely can convince him to turn a blind eye.

Rachel has made it out of the bedroom, a simple lock has never been much of an obstacle for her. She receives an invitation from Robert, who wishes to reconcile with her and suggests that they meet in a small clearing somewhere out of town, far away from nosy neighbours. Before she goes there, she tries to alert the local Pinkertons to her husband's dodgy business transactions, but without much success.

So when she meets with Robert, she's on the verge of hysteria and obviously desperate to make up...he thinks. The huge bunch of flowers she's carrying are certainly a nice touch. When she gets close enough, Robert shoots her with his revolver, but she's not dead immediately - she has enough time to detonate the Ketchum grenade she had hidden in those flowers. The blast kills them both.

Meanwhile, Maddy has found that the Judge has his own plans. Apparently, the discovery that he's not the sole customer of Maddy has come as quite a shock. Using all her charm, Maddy can convince him that the Circus would be a much better place with her in charge. To make that happen, Rachel and Robert have to die and the Judge orders her to get him Robert's revolver by sundown.

The Pinkertons have taken an interest in Samuel after all and arrest him, while he's still trying to understand what happened to Rachel. They do find all sorts of weapons in his barn. Maddy is arrested as well since her name has come up. She manages to escape, Samuel is not so lucky and is put on trial.

The expected death sentence for Samuel is turned into life in prison after he rats on his business partners. Unfortunately, that also means that his life is made a living hell by those men and their associates. When he finally is killed in one of those unfortunate accidents that happen to people who talk too much, it's a relieve.
Maddy has left the area and has settled in Washington D.C. where she establishes herself as a very high end madam with considerable influence, all very discreet of course.

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Minor anachronism here with the Salvation Army, but it was such a nice touch. The Ketchum grenade was a souvenir from a satisfied customer.

Fiasco at it's backstabbing best. When things started to get moving, we all ganged up on Rachel's player, but he was very effective at wreaking havoc among us. This is not a game you can play with people who hold a grudge.

We played loose and fast with the things we picked during the set up. Originally, we had "find out about the baby" as a need and the blackmail was tied to Maddy and Samuel. But it didn't quite work out that way, so instead of forcing those elements into the story that was developing, we went where it took us. And it was quite a ride.

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