Had some old friends from LA visiting this weekend, so I talked them into a game using the "Vegas, Baby!" playset. We ended up with something a lot grungier than "The Hangover". In rough outline form, I present...
DEGENERATE - a game of Fiasco
The story takes place in and around a seedy off-strip Las Vegas stripclub called "Degenerate".CHARACTERS:
- Charles "Chopper" Peck (aka "the Pecker Chopper") - crime kingpin, owner of Degenerate, runs illegal drug and prostitution rackets
- Bucky "Bukowski" Landen - smalltime hoodlum and bigtime drug addict, runs favors for Chopper, owes Berkowitz $900 for a personal loan
- Berkowitz - Federal Game and Wildlife agent tasked with busting toad smugglers, working undercover as a regular customer at Degenerate
- Anastasia - "Escorts Agent" and thug for Chopper, best known for using her spiked clear heels as a deadly weapon, has a soft spot for Berkowitz
- Desiraye (non-player character) - a stripper at the club, Bucky's sometimes-girlfriend, dumb as a brick and possibly pregnant
- Chopper sends Bucky out to pick up a suitcase containing twenty thermos bottles full of "hallucitoads" (small illegally-imported toads which are a powerful hallucinogenic drug when swallowed whole); he sends Anastasia along as muscle.
- Bucky picks up the suitcase and keeps eying it on the way back. Anastasia warns him to leave it alone.
- Berkowitz sits at the stage, nursing one beer all day, he tips each dancer $1 and watches everything that goes on; he sees Bucky come in with the suitcase. He's curious.
- Anastasia is concerned about Berkowitz, she thinks he's a sad loser, and she sets him up with Desiraye. She then goes upstairs to tell Chopper to keep an eye on Bucky.
- Chopper needs to test the product, so he has Bucky swallow one of the hallucitoads. He then goes back to making business calls.
- Bucky's Trip. (this is a crazy psychedelic sequence wandering through the back streets of Vegas and finally ending puking in the alley behind the club that Bucky calls his "office". Soundtrack: "Surprise Truck" by Camper Van Beethoven ).
- Berkowitz saw that Bucky left the club quite high, so he asks Anastasia what's going on; Anastasia notices there is a transceiver in his bag. Fuck, he's a cop of some kind?
- Anastasia goes upstairs to tell Chopper about Berkowitz, but before she can tell him about the radio, Chopper chews her out for showing sympathy to her "boyfriend". He says Berkowitz is a "useless mushroom" and a bad customer who just takes up space and never spends much money (meanwhile, the office door is open, and Berkowitz hears everything he says).
- The wrong guy gets busted
- Collateral damageACT TWO:
- Chopper is confronted by Berkowitz, who drops his pants to reveal that he was one of Chopper's highschool victims. Yes, he has no penis. Berkowitz then issues an offer to the crime boss: Either fake your death, enter the witness protection program and testify against your source, or go to jail. Anastasia knocks him out with a kick to the head. Chopper ties him to a chair.
- Bucky and Desiraye run out to the truck with two of Berkowitz' bags that were left unattended; they know there's several tens of thousands of dollars in there. They see some black sedans pulling up in the rear view - the cops? - so they run back into the club to hide.
- Berkowitz awakens tied to the chair, but his brain will never be the same: Chopper has fed him a hallucitoad and recorded his insane babbling.
- Anastasia discovers that Berkowitz is wearing a wire, and realizes they're busted. Just then the Federal Game & Wildlife agents begin coming in downstairs. Thinking they're the FBI, Chopper grabs two uzis. He and Anastasia prepare for a firefight.
- Chopper and Anastasia come charging downstairs with uzis blazing, killing all the feds and many of Chopper's employees. It's a fucking massacre. And none of the victims were armed.
- Bucky and Desiraye have ducked behind the bar; Bucky tells her to take the money bag and go wait for him in the truck. Desiraye agrees, then skips town with the money, never to be seen again.
- Berkowitz is seen in his Happy Place. He's sitting on a lily pad, talking to his toad friends who assure him they are not endangered. Chopper is there too, he's firing an uzi, but he's tiny and harmless.
- Anastasia grabs the other 2 bags while Chopper puts a ballgag in Berkowitz' mouth and slings him over his shoulder. They shove everything into the Hummer just as cops surround the club and make radio contact. Chopper forces them to back off; he's holding Berkowitz as a hostage. He then switches radio frequency and calls for his personal helicopter, which lands in the parking lot. They toss everything into the helicopter. Switching back to the cops, Chopper tells them he will hand over Berklowitz' assailant. He shoves Anastasia out of the helicopter and takes off.
- Chopper successfully escapes to Mexico. There he buys a club and tries to start up his rackets again, but the club is destroyed and everything he owns is stolen by the pissed-off Mexican gang whose turf he stepped on. He dies of dysentery, penniless and alone.
- Bucky finds out Desiraye's crack baby really was his; he retreats into even heavier drug use, which eventually kills him.
- Berkowitz never really recovers, he spends the rest of his retarded life working as the least-popular counselor at a wayward kids camp.
- Anastasia, framed by Chopper, goes to prison for life on charges of assault & battery on a federal agent.
# # #
So who was the "winner" in all of this?
I can only say... Desiraye!