Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Life in the Time of Extremophiles: There Will Be Penguins (Fiasco)

Life in the Time of Extremophiles: There Will Be Penguins (Fiasco)

Tyler Sellon
user 43734692
Seattle, WA
Post #: 1
A game of Fiasco, played by Pat, Chris, Stuart, and myself (Tyler), set inside a base in the wastes of Antartica.

A tale of one man's obsession with environmental extremism, specifically bacteria that live in extreme environments; a smuggler's attempts to learn the truth of room B-142; a scientist's attempt to find a positive spin for a nuclear explosion; and a crazy old man named Yeti. All this, and a horde of penguins.

Dramatis Personae:

Dr. Tobias "Yeti" Pearson (Pat)--An old scientist, gone native, and living most of his life out in the wastes around the volcano. Sees a kindred soul buried in the person of Dr. Walsh.

Dr. Alan Seaborg (Stuart)--A scientist of dubious degree ("I...study...ice?"). More interested in running the base's black market. Involved in smuggling in a nuclear weapon for Dr. Busse, and trying to discover what Pearson has locked up in room B-142.

Dr. Keith Walsh (Chris)--An outsider, sent in to clear up disaster after Dr. Busse attempted to use a nuclear weapon in his research. A scientist turned PR specialist, trying to keep his company's reputation clean, and the National Science Foundation's (NSF) eyes directed elsewhere.

Dr. Otto von Busse (Tyler)--Specialist in extremophile bacteria, specifically those that live in radioactive or volcanic environments. Prefers the bacteria to people, and is looking for ways to increase the size of the habitat. Hence the attempt to procure plutonium through Dr. Seaborg. Vendetta with the NSF for cutting his funding.

Summary:
Act 1--Seaborg and Busse try to deflect attention from Walsh and NSF special agents, while Seaborg tries to build a relationship with Walsh. Seaborg and Pearson fight, with Seaborg embarrassing Pearson in front of their colleagues. It's revealed that Seaborg had arranged for the delivery of the nuclear device by separatists from Greenland, killing them with a speargun when Busse and he took delivery. The device was hit during the action, hence the current attention from Walsh and the NSF. Payment was to be in combat penguins. Busse does his best to direct attention away from himself, and towards Seaborg, but isn't particularly successful. Throughout, Seaborg intimates that the only recorded evidence of their crime is kept on a USB drive secreted in his person.

Tilt--Mayhem, dangerous animal gets loose; and Paranoia, a sudden reversal.

Act 2--Things immediately start off strange, when it's revealed that Pearson is actually a top NSF agent on the base, looking to get Walsh involved in his project--mental control of militarized penguins. A helm of control is involved. Seaborg and Busse are panicking about evidence, and accidentally let loose the combat penguins that were to be traded to the Greenland separatists. Walsh is recruited to be the penguin master. Busse and Seaborg, fleeing the penguins, take refuge in Busse's lab. There, they eat and then take to the vents to try and find their way to safety, seeing the pair of NSF agents brutally attacked along the way to room B-140. In flashback, it's revealed that Walsh has asked Busse to get hard evidence from Seaborg--Busse assumes from Seaborg's earlier talk that a laxative will do the trick. These were included in the earlier food. Turns out to not be the case. Seaborg and Busse use the events to get to room B-142, where they meet up with Pearson, who has an old prototype penguin controller which they use to get the real crown to Walsh, who saves the day.

Epilogue--Walsh goes crazy from the mental strain, as does Pearson, who instigates a penguin invasion of Greenland. Busse finally succeeds in expanding his bacteria's habitat, and begins teaching them advanced mathematics. Seaborg remains on the base, his leg damaged in the fighting with the penguins, and poorly repaired.

Analysis:
Game got very weird, very quick. The second act in particular was full of elements like the combat penguins. This isn't a bad thing, but could have been annoying to those looking for more character driven scenes. The first act started off a bit aimless as well, while we tried to determine where the story was going. The second act picked up the pace considerably, as we got more comfortable with the format and each other.
Pat
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 41
Thanks for the write-up, Tyler!

I agree that the game started out aimless and ended up really weird. The plot actually seems remarkably cogent in write-up form, but it certainly didn't feel that way during the game. This is my second time playing The Ice playset, and in both games, things got wacky the moment we included the penguins.
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