Sitting in a pizzeria tonight, we played Fiasco by Jason Morningstar using the Vegas playset from the Fiasco Companion. Our cast includes George Campari, a former mobster who long-ago retired by purchasing a gas station on the wrong side of the exit from the interstate into Vegas; George’s son Bill Campari who pulls small-time grifts off the strip at older casinos like the Paradise; and Alec Sanders, an attorney who resents having a soul but remains a good friend of George and his family.
Our story opens with Bill waltzing into Alec’s office dressed like a bum to see if there is anything he can do to get back at Jack, owner of the Paradise Casino, who’s had Bill blackballed from his and all the older casinos. Alec agrees to take the case and shake some cages by threatening a defamation case. Later, George comes to Alec in desperation because he found a very old Cadillac abandoned at the gas station with a body in the trunk. Is it related to his old days in mob or just bad luck? Alec goes back to the gas station with George to investigate and see the Caddy arrive with another car that leaves right afterward, providing the evidence they’ll need to prove George wasn’t there.
That night, Bill goes home to check on his old man, but George turns the conversation back to Bill’s job prospects and whether Bill will ever get himself straightened out. The next day George and Alec are being questioned at police headquarters, but the sergeant taking their statement reveals they have strong leads of mob involvement that puts George in the clear, for now. Afterward, Alec takes George with him to see Jack at the Palace about the situation with Bill. They confront Jack and Alec leans on him hard, never having forgiven him for switching his story in an important case. With enough threats, Jack agrees to bury the beef and let Bill back in the neighboring casinos as long as he doesn’t come around to the Paradise anymore.
In the final scenes, Bill is accosted by a pair of mobsters in the parking garage of the office building where he took a job to please his father. They break his nose and take him away to see the boss. George gets a call at dinner from the boss demanding that George bring one million dollars to him or else Bill will suffer an accident. George grabs his gun and spare ammunition, and heads out into the night. Later, George arrives at Alec’s home with Bill having busted into the storage facility and killed several men to free Bill, and just as Alec has decided this is going to far and he’s got to call the police, more mobsters come screeching to a stop in front of his house.
In the aftermath, we learn that when Alec opens the door to talk his way out of this mess, the mobsters open fire and he’s killed. George is taken away by the mobsters and pulled inexorably and forevermore into their orbit. Meanwhile, Bill finds himself back on his own in the gutter trying to eke a living as a small-timer with no guts.