Fiasco in New Crobuzon

This is a playset for Jason Morningstar’s Fiasco generated by me (Evan Torner) and my wife Kat Jones for Origins 2011.  It’s all presented rather crudely, but then again I’m a busy man.  Enjoy!

(Download as a no-frills .pdf here.)


Secret lovers make out furtively in the shadow of The Ribs, while sordid drug deals that could bring the City to its knees take place in the hovel behind them.  A bitter-faced cactacae cocks his rivebow in a back alley before rampaging against the militiamen who killed his comrade in cold blood.  That smell emanating from Salacus Fields has been there a week, and rumors have begun to spread about its terrifying origin.  Better find a way to keep your head down, though that only works so long…

Fiasco in New Crobuzon is set in China Miéville’s fictional city-state of New Crobuzon, an urban fantasy setting inspired both by Victorian London and Cairo.

WARNING: This playset contains a lot of book-related jargon.  Read (at least one of) the books and then relish in this transmedia experience!


Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council


1. Obligation
1)    Guardian/dependent
2)    Employer/employee
3)    Owes the other their life
4)    Debt/creditor
5)    Bizarre contract
6)    Fear

2. Fellowship
1)    Members of the New Quill party
2)    Share a common enemy
3)    Drink in the same pub.
4)    Mutual intellectual pursuits
5)    Current leader/wannabe leader
6)    Wolf in sheep’s clothing

3. Romance
1)    Secret lovers
2)    Friends with benefits
3)    One-sided Obsession
4)    Lover/beloved
5)    Polyamory
6)    Unhealthy attachment

4. Crime
1)    Drug addict/pusher
2)    Petty thieves
3)    Black market dealings
4)    Prostitute/client
5)    Assassin/target
6)    Remade

5. Magic
1)    Master/Construct
2)    Bound by Tesh magic
3)    Rival thaumaturges
4)    Vampire/thrall
5)    Servants of extra-dimensional creature
6)    Teacher/apprentice

6. Community & Culture
1)     Radicals and Rebels
2)    Same race (see Races chart)
3)    Militia Members
4)    Outcasts
5)    Government Officials
6)    Handlingers (see Races chart)


1. Brock Marsh / Ludmead
1)     A laboratory of pilfered equipment
2)     An abandoned office in the university’s science administration wing
3)     Under the boughs of the common
4)     A forgotten cellar in a temple to a minor deity
5)     The slippery floor of a punishment factory
6)     The Dying Child, your run-of-the-mill pub

2. Bonetown / Mog Hill
1)     In the shadow of the Ribs
2)     An abandoned-seeming lot
3)     A neglected thieves’ hideout, covered in sticky tar
4)     Under The Spike, in its labyrinthine catacombs
5)     A militia pod on its way to The Spike
6)     Beneath the stretched skin of a shanty town tent

3. Kinken / Glasshouse
1)     The Plaza of Statues, in front of a palm tree made of khepri spit
2)     A khepri art exchange center
3)     A broodma’s lair, filled with decaying vegetation
4)     A shop run by a family of hotchi
5)     Half a house, next to the Glasshouse dome
6)     Yashur Plaza, at the entrance to the Glasshouse

4. Echomire / Badside / Dog Fenn
1)     On the banks of the failed docks, stinking with malarial filth
2)     An underground slaughterhouse with secret rooms
3)     A plank walkway, slung between houses
4)     A tunnel dug into the Undercity catacombs
5)     The carcass of Grand Calibre Bridge
6)     An unfinished room in an indifferent concrete structure

5. Salacus Fields / Sobek Croix
1)     A little booth at the Clock and Cockerel
2)     A crowded stall at the Aspic Bazaar
3)     A cab waiting along an iron fence in Sobek Croix
4)     At one of the Flexible Puppeteers’ subversive street shows
5)     A Palgolak reading room
6)     The Palace of Love, at Mr. Bombadrezil’s Unique and Wonderful Fair

6. The Crow
1)     The unkempt garden in the Mandragora Wing of Perdido Street Station
2)     The exact geographical center of New Crobuzon
3)     A heavily armed militia checkpoint
4)     The top of a long-deserted turret in Perdido Street Station
5)     On the tracks of the Verso Line
6)     Brothel of Remade whores, hidden near Brock Marsh


1. To discover the truth…
1)     … about that awful smell wafting from Dog Fenn
2)    … about my mysterious birthmark
3)     … about the local legend
4)     … about my family’s murder
5)     … about the Construct Council
6)     … about the latest street drug

2. To escape…
1)     … logic and time
2)     … via passage on a ship to Nova Esperium, where they don’t ask questions
3)     … the endless conspiracy that surrounds you
4)     … the stigma of my Remade body
5)     … your suffocating parents
6)     … your mounting debts

3. To lay with…
1)     … a scandalously different xenian
2)     … anyone who will shelter you this night
3)     … Infel Mendel, one of the mayor’s closest confidants
4)     … three people at once
5)     … your true love
6)     … your best friend’s true love

To obtain…
1)     … a map to the Fractured Land.
2)     … unchecked political power over the slums
3)     … the sliver of dignity you once possessed.
4)     … permission to study at the university
5)     … the Shintacost Prize for Best Artwork
6)     … a pig for tonight’s meal.

To get revenge …
1)     … for your murdered comrade.
2)     … for yourself, having been exploited by the system far too long.
3)     … on your disbanded rebel group
4)     … on the Thousand Voices of Suroch
5)     … your fourteen-year old ward
6)     … your pregnant sister

To inspire…
1)     … a citywide strike
2)     … a close friend to a life of crime
3)     … an up-and-coming scientist
4)     … an expensive exodus to locate Jabber’s resting place
5)     … a poet to record your legacy
6)     … fear in the higher echelons of New Crobuzon


1)     A summons from the Militia
2)     A slake-moth larva
3)     The attention of The Weaver
4)     A forgotten colourbomb, decaying but still live
5)     A map leading to the secret lair of Jack Half-a-Prayer
6)     A grindylow artifact

1)     A corpse of a vodyanoi neighbor
2)     Dreamshit
3)     A ticket to the Glad’ Circus
4)     A remade prostitute
5)     An unlabeled bottle of curious liquid
6)     The pickled head of a murdered magistrate

1)     A monk of the Hidden and Lost
2)     A half finished sculpture of Mr. Motley
3)     A xenian lover
4)     A musical instrument from the Ghosthead Empire
5)     Dispatch from the rogue floating city Armada
6)     A steamy letter from Mayor Rudgutter

1)     A box of colourberries
2)     A shopping list annotated in a secret code
3)     A locket from your long lost mother
4)     A scientific notebook
5)     A diary written by a High Cromlech noble
6)     An old print of a young hootch

1)      A skeleton key to the dwellings of Badside
2)      Easily concealable two-shot Derringer
3)      An aerostat
4)      A khepri stingbox
5)      A working printing press
6)      A wyrman messenger

1)     Knowledge of golemetric creation
2)     A dagger that cuts through reality
3)     A sentient construct
4)     A possibility sword found at a pawn shop
5)     A stolen Remaker’s library
6)     A yag servant







2 responses to “Fiasco in New Crobuzon”

  1. […] Kulisse für FIASKO basiert auf Evan Torner und Kat Jones‘ Playset „Fiasco in New Crobuzon“, den sie für den Origins–Con 2011 geschrieben haben. Ich habe die Verweise auf China […]

  2. furikakekid Avatar

    Sweet. Love your work.

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