city of angles by stefan gagne

backThe City of Angles Fiasco Playset

It's home to millions of lost souls. It's a twisted reflection of an urban nightmare. It's a strange echo of everything we know and love. It's the City of Angles, and if there's a profitable angle to be found here, you're gonna find it...

This is a playset for use with the Fiasco roleplaying game system. It's not playtested at all, and may be entirely missing the point; I whipped it up for fun during my "off month" while promoting the City of Angles Kickstarter. Feedback welcome!

(Haven't read City of Angles yet? You can read it online for free! It's a webnovel series of drama, comedy, and existential cosmic horror. And if that sounds up your alley, you're gonna love it!)

The Score:

The City of Angles.

A crazed pile of misaligned streets and randomly distributed buildings, with no rhyme or reason. Even the people that live here were plucked from their ordinary lives and seeded throughout the territory like so many pepper flakes... a bit of spice to the madness of a metaphor that doesn't apply very well to food or condiments.

Within the City, most try to eke out a normal life. It's the best way to try to stay sane, to sit back and pretend nothing is out of the ordinary, that you're just an average Joe leading an average life in an average borough. To truly come to grips with what's in front of you is to court madness... and cubism, the unique form of psychophysiological disorder that turns you into a bubbling cauldron of reality-warping insanity. A Picasso.

But hey, that's not you. You're not going to lose your marbles. You're going to get ALL the marbles, instead. This city is rife with opportunity for those willing to brave its nonsense. Without a traditional family or home to fall back on, you've forged new bonds with your fellow man, ones of survival and mutually beneficial purpose. Together you're going to make it in the City of Angles, or die trying. Well. Preferably not the latter.

Reading List: City of Angles, Dresden Files, Hitchhiker's Guide

Viewing List: Dark City, In the Mouth of Madness, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


  1. Work
    1. Orientation Counselor and Newly Arrived Import
    2. Salvager Gang Leader and Right Hand Man
    3. Independent Sideways mapper and bodyguard
    4. Representatives for Safety and Resources on a FART team
    5. Club event booker and local talent
    6. Dispatcher and taxi driver
  2. Friendship
    1. Best bros from waaaaay back
    2. Friends back on Earth, but one was echoed into the city long before that
    3. Got lost in the Sideways together, some time ago
    4. Grew up in the same City apartment building, before one got moved to the Suburbs
    5. Used the same laundromat every Sunday, mixed up your clothes
    6. Former friends who had a fierce falling out
  3. Family
    1. Siblings by adoption, one Import and one Native
    2. Distant cousins on Earth, who just found each other here
    3. Husband and wife, but one died on Earth after being echoed here
    4. From different families, but as close as siblings all the same
    5. Falling out years ago, but forced to deal with each other now
    6. As far as anybody knows, you're family. But you know the truth.
  4. Dreaming
    1. Bedlam dances through your shared dreams every night
    2. Former members of the Cult of Bedlam, now reformed
    3. Doom-and-awakening pamphlet writers for the Echo Chamber
    4. Blue-eyed girl in mirrors keeps encouraging you to kill each other and find peace
    5. Oddly prophetic dreams about the future of each other, but not yourself
    6. Mutual obsession with a strangely spiraling shape
  5. Oddity
    1. Both have the same apartment number, keep getting each other's mail
    2. One is a perfect duplicate of the other, but no twins involved
    3. Hectic daily schedules somehow keep you running into each other
    4. One saw the other in his/her dreams every night for a month
    5. Hanging together for safety and sanity since That Night We Don't Talk About Anymore
    6. A former Picasso and the one who brought them back from the brink
  6. Locality
    1. Adjoining businesses at the Crossways Points
    2. Got into a car accident together at Pileup Intersection
    3. Own houses for lease in the Suburbs
    4. Adjoining properties with ill-defined borders in the Outlands
    5. One floor up from your posh apartment on the Zag
    6. A Sideways passage you can't close connects your homes together


  1. To Figure Out...
    1. ...why the number 23 keeps following you around.
    2. ...why the name "Esther" is always at the tip of your tongue.
    3. ...where the rest of your family ended up, after that day.
    4. ...if the Picasso which keeps following you around is someone you know.
    5. ...what happened to you during the missing Thursday.
    6. ...why you can see words describing people everywhere you go.
  2. To Deal With...
    1. ...bad memories of a loved one torn apart by a Picasso.
    2. ...your own long-term experiences as a Picasso, now 'saved' from that fate.
    3. ...the strangely suicidal thoughts that began when your eyes turned blue.
    4. ...crippling social phobia, and acute loneliness.
    5. anxiety disorder that just keeps getting worse and worse.
    6. ...the unusual calm that settles on you while others lose their minds.
  3. To Move Up...
    1. scoring that one last score that'll secure your future.
    2. advancing your position in your organization despite politics.
    3. finding a new line of work that's less dangerous.
    4. getting the hell out of the City and living in the Suburbs.
    5. winning a local government seat you've been campaigning for.
    6. finding someone willing to buy the strange cubist toy you found.
  4. To Find Happiness...
    1. the arms of another. Hopefully the right other.
    2. the bottom of an exhausted checking account.
    3. the peace of mind of a truly secure home.
    4. the end of the road, wherever it may lead you.
    5. ...far, far away from your own memories of what came before.
    6. protecting the ones you love most, no matter the cost.
  5. To Create Greatness...
    1. ...with a spray paint can and an impossible to reach wall.
    2. ...bound within the covers of a printed book.
    3. ...through light and sound and motion across the dance floor.
    4. ...with a form of art some call madness, but you call perfection.
    5. achieving understanding of the world through poetry.
    6. ...within the perfect design blueprint of the perfect building.
  6. To Confront an Enemy...
    1. ...the corrupt Department of Safety Officer determined to nail you.
    2. ...a business rival who wants you out of the game for good.
    3. ...a Picasso that seems to keep following you around.
    4. ...a homeless man who keeps stalking you and blurring away before he can be caught.
    5. ...someone who claims to be family, and wants your inheritance.
    6. ...who you've never met and will never meet until it's too late.


  1. Crossways Points
    1. A strip club
    2. A pawn shop
    3. A crack house
    4. An ancient video rental joint
    5. A very out of place high end shoe shop
    6. A yellow-black quarantined building
  2. The Zag
    1. A ritzy night club
    2. An up-and-coming night club
    3. A poetry corner and coffee house
    4. A movie theater
    5. The opera house
    6. A high-end prositution front
  3. District 23
    1. An abandoned building
    2. The Plaza Arms Apartments
    3. A poorly funded hospital emergency room
    4. The Undefined Spaces
    5. A Salvager Gang hideout
    6. A red-black quarantined building
  4. The Suburbs
    1. Gated and guarded private community
    2. Sprawl of identical houses
    3. A public school
    4. The endless forest and wood
    5. Huge shopping mall
    6. Strip mall
  5. The Outlands
    1. Private farm with electric fence
    2. Retirement home
    3. Sprawling farm manor
    4. All-night trucker diner
    5. Commercial rest stop
    6. Tourist trap for vacationers
  6. The Sideways
    1. A repeating room, contents refreshing overnight
    2. A repeating room that also repeats a person
    3. A misaligned series of hallways with non-Euclidean doorways
    4. An endless run of dentist waiting rooms
    5. Subway stations that connect to subway stations
    6. A series of false rooftops with fake skies


  1. Ordinary Stuff
    1. A painting
    2. A book of poems
    3. Someone's briefcase
    4. A set of housekeys
    5. A Departmental identity card
    6. An umbrella
  2. Weaponry
    1. Baseball bat
    2. Handgun
    3. Grenades
    4. Bicycle chain
    5. Knives
    6. Truncheon
  3. Oddities
    1. Cubist keyboard
    2. Living map of the Sideways
    3. Mirror that follows you around
    4. A dreamcatcher
    5. Anxiety-inducing music CD
    6. Unopenable book
  4. Information
    1. Cracker phone
    2. Smart tablet
    3. High-end smart phone
    4. Heavily encrypted laptop computer
    5. Amateur guidebook
    6. Professional guidebook
  5. Transportation
    1. Taxi cab
    2. Box truck
    3. Skateboard
    4. Segway
    5. Helicopter
    6. Sideways map
  6. Valuables
    1. Wallet
    2. Rolex
    3. Unsigned contract
    4. CDC flu vaccine data
    5. A ring of unmarked keys
    6. Blackmail evidence


Relationships in City of Angles...

For three players...
WORK: Salvager Gang Leader and Right Hand Man
FRIENDSHIP: Friends back on Earth, but one was echoed into the city long before that
DREAMING: Blue-eyed girl in mirrors keeps encouraging you to kill each other and find peace

For four players, add...
FRIENDSHIP: Got lost in the Sideways together, some time ago

For five players, add...
ODDITY: A former Picasso and the one who brought them back from the brink

Needs in City of Angles...

For three players...
TO MOVE UP: By finding someone willing to buy the strange cubist toy you found.

For four or five players, add...
TO FIGURE OUT: What happened to you during the missing Thursday.

Objects in City of Angles...

For three or four players...
INFORMATION: Heavily encrypted laptop computer

For five players, add...
ODDITIES: Anxiety-inducing music CD

Locations in City of Angles...

For three, four or five players...
CROSSWAYS POINTS: A yellow-black quarantined building

Copyright 2014 by Stefan Gagne