[Fiasco] Hospital Playset Design Help?

edited August 2010 in Story Games
I've been very interested in writing up a "Memorial Hospital" playset for Fiasco since I got the game. There's a million doctor show episodes to tap into, plus my own experience in the medical field and medical thrillers. The recent novel "Beat the Reaper", about a hitman-turned-intern in a crumbling inner city hospital, was pretty inspiring too. Any thoughts about how to construct a good playset? There must be more to it than just taking the skeleton of another playset like "The Ice" and changing the details, right?

I was thinking about having categories for "Diseases", "Patients", and "Crises" as well as Needs and Objects. Is that too much special effects? It seems that relationships are the meat of the playset, and they need to be tweaked as well. Any suggestions?

Comments

  • Hi Daniel,

    There's some general advice on creating playsets in the book, on page 60. I think a hospital Fiasco sounds promising, especially if you've got some ready knowledge in that area. My suggestion would be to focus on the Location and Object tables, using them to create cinematic color appropriate to your setting. Change the Relationships and Needs as well, though many of them won't need to be changed much (Family, for example).

    Changing a whole set of Details (turning Locations into Diseases, for example) is totally fine- you'll just need to test it and see what effect it would have on play. In that example, game-play would become very specific and focused on the disease that gets pulled into play. In order to keep the balance of fun, I probably wouldn't mess with more than one set of Details at a time, but that's just me.
  • edited August 2010
    Turning Objects into Diagnosis would totally work. You could have general categories: Trauma, infectious disease, routine procedure, etc. And each of those would have six specific elements, so Diagnosis: Trauma: Gunshot wound, Diagnosis: Infectious disease: Babesiosis.

    I think that would be a fun way to focus a medical-themed fiasco.

    You must have Relationships and Needs and two more, full stop. Object and Location are malleable but you can't add more than that.
  • Well colour me "shucks": babesiosis is an actual medical condition. My intial thought was that Jason was just having fun with words ending in "-iosis" and that babesiosis was an infection of hot chicks.

    A hospital-themed Fiasco playset sounds really good Daniel. Do it :)

    Cheers
    Pete
  • Thanks for the comments, now to work.
    I'm trying to come up with a playset that would support a very special episode of House MD, or a madcap story of a coked-up doctor trying to whack his own patient to pay off his gambling debts -- or both at the same time.
  • For Fiasco doctors make one table for what disease someone has and another for what diagnosis they have.
  • Posted By: KripplerFor Fiasco doctors make one table for what disease someone has and another for what diagnosis they have.
    No, don't do that. But you could have "Disease and Diagnosis" and "Objects and Locations" in addition to Relationships and Needs. The ones that are normally Object and Location are inspirational color, so you could differentiate within each, with three categories of disease and three of diagnosis for example. In a five player game you could end up with one of each. I think hospital physical color - trauma bays, drug dispensers, surgical robots, cafeterias, etc. - is important to help set the tone and ground the action.
  • If I were doing this, I'd probably make a Diseases and Diagnoses subcategories of Objects. It seems to me that the point of the Details is to list things that inspire and suggest; in House MD, for instance, the actual disease and the two or three mistaken diagnoses before arriving at the correct diagnosis seem to me to be more pacing elements than plot elements, and so putting too much emphasis on the disease is likely to create a very different feel.

    It might be a better idea still to have a category of Patients -- maybe as a subcategory of Objects, maybe as its own thing. "A 24-year-old man complaining of abdominal pain, who refuses to discuss any other symptoms with his girlfriend present" "A 50-year old man and his wife who had heart attacks within hours of each other."
  • I think you're right, Charlton. Patients are kind of like Objects. I was thinking of letting people match up "patient" and "condition" but it's a lot punchier to have little vignettes like you suggested: "pretty teenager who just overdosed on her mom's sleeping pills" or "elderly man with gunshot wound to the head".
  • edited August 2010
    Posted By: Jason Morningstar But you could have "Disease and Diagnosis" and "Objects and Locations" in addition to Relationships and Needs. The ones that are normally Object and Location are inspirational color, so you could differentiate within each, with three categories of disease and three of diagnosis for example. In a five player game you could end up with one of each. I think hospital physical color - trauma bays, drug dispensers, surgical robots, cafeterias, etc. - is important to help set the tone and ground the action.
    Thanks Jason, I was thinking of having a category for "hospital stuff" that would include places and things, good to know that it's kosher!
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