Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Flask Full of Gasoline is also full of crazy awesome

A Flask Full of Gasoline is one part genius, two parts machismo and eight parts unbridled lunacy. If you ever wanted the perfect RPG based on movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch with a chance at folks ending up in the hospital, this is your game. On the surface, it's a really funny spoof of RPGs. However, beneath that is some interesting design choices.

Before you play, you're going to need to get a bunch of shot glasses, some matches, a bottle of 190 proof grain liquor, a pile of bullets and a hip flask full of gasoline. Character sheets consist of writing down five things that make your character a badass hard case.

Dealer sits everyone down at the table in any order they choose. Sitting farther away from the dealer is a disadvantage so this is blatant favoritism time. Everyone gets a shot of grain liquor and sets a bullet face up in front of them.

Here's the mechanics. If you want to do something or you don't like a decision the dealer made, you flick your bullet at the dealer's bullet. You make it, cool. You get your way. Miss, lose one of your badass traits, which are also your hit points.

Don't want to lose a trait? Fine. Take a hit from the flask of gasoline to show you really are that tough. In case you didn't know it, ask any idiot who tried to syphon their neighbor's gas tank and is now at the hospital, this is a REALLY dumb idea. Put you in the ER or the grave dumb idea.

PVP is handled by flicking your bullet into the other guy's shot glass. Miss, you drink your shot. Make it, you get your way and they have to drink their shot, bullet and all. Beats chugging gasoline but not by that much. 

Dealer hands out match sticks for doing awesome cool stuff. End of the game, whoever has the most matches gets to burn down whatever they feel like. Whoever has the least has to burn down whatever the group votes on. Better hope it's not your ma's caravan with her in it.

A Flask Full of Gasoline consists of three little pamphlets. Main book, dealer's guide (which is mostly how to play head games and mess with people but does include NPC rules), and a sample adventure. Taken as a whole, it's a hysterical read and amazingly over the top madness crammed into 24 little pages.

However, The last page of the adventure includes alternate rules to make the game something you could play without people dying. And that turns the whole thing on its head.

Fill the flask with grain liquor. Fill the shot glasses with vodka. Swap out the bullets with candy. Boom. Instead of a parody that could kill someone, you have a functional game based on pub games.

Yeah, I'm actually looking at a Flask Full of Gasoline as playable game. Deal with it.

Here's the thing. Over the years, I've played a decent number of games of Dread, the one with the Jenga tower. Swapping out dice or cards for dexterity games does work and it adds a completely kind of tension and excitement to a game.

Don't get me wrong, even with the alternate rules, we're looking at a fast and silly game where everyone is going to get hammered. Seriously, how good do you think your candy flicking skills really are?

At the very least, A Flask Full of Gasoline is definitely worth a read. You could stand up on the stage and just read the rules and have everyone rolling in the aisles. However, with the alternate rules, I can see the right crew of people having a lot of fun with it. It would be a light, silly, sloppy game that would require designated drivers but people would have fun.

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