Thursday, May 23, 2013

Total Fiasco - "Fiasco" Gift Box Set

My brother had Fiasco and the Fiasco Companion from Bully Pulpit Games on his wishlist, and I decided they'd be a great birthday gift as he's a bit of table top enthusiast. Rather than just two store bought books, I decided to purchase the .pdf versions as a bundle from I'd made a custom book-box gift set before, and thought a similar format would be a fun way to package it all together.

TOTAL FIASCO! A home made RPG gift set.
I printed the .pdfs on newsprint after looking up how paperbacks are usually bound. Fiasco's pulp and vintage heritage meant any mistakes I made just came across as character and imperfection became decoration. The hardest part was getting the printer to keep everything in the right order, and I ended up having to manual set the print job every four pages. I'm certain there's a smarter way to do it, but it worked for this go round. I printed the covers on posterboard for a little added strength. Since these would be the most handled parts of the set, I went ahead and sprayed them with a sealant, let the covers dry, then pressed and bound them with the pages.

The rulebook and companion, printed and hand bound.

I ran into my first big problem when the books were to big for the paper mache book box I had, but I found a perfect fit at Joann Fabric. I photoshopped and decoupaged elements from the .pdfs to create the book-box cover, the custom logo, and the interior texture.

The books JUST fit in to the new box! Playmat on interior cover.

Once the books are removed, you can see this little envelope I made. Originally I thought it would fit on the inside cover, in the dotted circle of the playmat, but I decided that made it too hard to actually get into the envelope...

Simple envelope, decorated with elements from the .pdf

And get the key-shaped USB drive. It has both of the books, as well as the playmat and all the playsets from Bully Pulpit Games stored on it, with plenty of room for more.

A fun find, you can find these for cheap on

Removing the envelope reveals the die! Just enough for 5 players! I used a cereal box to create the little sunken alcove the die fit into. After decoupage, it looked almost like it had always been there.

Two sets of Chessex die from Nan's Games and Comics.

All in all, a very fun project and hopefully a unique addition to my brother's gaming shelf. I've only had a chance to play once, but it's a great game!


  1. This set turned out beautifully! Love all the detail you put into it - every piece came together beautifully. Use of newsprint both thoughtful and further makes this a one of a kind gift. Very well done!

  2. Fan frikking tastic work. I love it. Expecting equal or better July 16. ...