Late at night on Saturday, in the dark of night, many people gathered to play a role-playing game... unfortunately a pair of monsters had other plans for them! Die Laughing, by Craig Campbell, is a role-playing game where your group plays characters in a horror movie that are slowly picked off by a monster as the game progresses.
The system is similar to Fiasco, light on the mechanics to allow for the players to shine. Players take turns being the director for a scene, determining what will occur and who will be a part of the scene. Players have a die pool, they use this to roll at the end of a scene they participated in, fail and you lose a die from your pool, succeed and you force another player to lose a die. Run out of die and you die. When your character dies that's not the end, they become a producer on the same movie, able to exert their will on the remaining characters.
Our cast included The Jock, The Nerd, The Preppie, The Stoner, and featured a "No Special FX Budget Ghost". The game was pure calamity. Underpants floated through the first scene, the nerd was tossed out of the party, then fought the jock and earned his respect. Romantic stories were told, pants were confiscated, all as characters dwindled just as quickly as our budget. Producers continually demanded cheaper, and cheaper productions turning the end scene from a blazing inferno to dancing children wearing red and orange costumes. Afterwards the final character named the movie, Mr. Fancy Pants.
Die Laughing was a blast, an exercise in absurdist improvisation. The character choices were interesting and provided inspired actions even though I was more engrossed in the story. Another group in the room was killed by a clown, and each monster provides a unique way that your character will perish.