Samurai Swan Song: A “Seven Samurai”-Inspired “Fiasco”

This playset is meant to create a Fiasco inspired by, or at least paying homage to, the classic story of the Seven Samurai. The players depict samurai protecting a village from a bandit attack, though they may be little better than thieves themselves. A few more supernatural options have been included towards the “6” roles, though they can easily be avoided if the playgroup decides they want to eschew such influences.

The playset uses the Samurai Virtues as inspiration for Needs. The playset also combines Objects and Locations to a single section, meaning that all characters will have one selection from each section. This could easily be expanded, but playtesting showed that considering the narrow depiction of events (a retelling of a classic tale) the playset does not suffer from any shortage of options.

This just started out as a playset for personal use, so feedback is much appreciated!


  1. Rivalries
    1. Rivals Within the Same School
    2. Members of Rival Schools
    3. “You Killed My Master.”
    4. “Your Actions Forced Me to be Ronin.”
    5. “You Stole a Position That Was Destined for Me.”
    6. Only One May be Champion of Specific Kami
  2. Romantic
    1. Secret Lovers
    2. Unrequited Love
    3. Arranged Marriage
    4. Past Fling
    5. Tragically Celibate
    6. Propelled by the Kami
  3. Past Entanglements
    1. Bastard Child
    2. Childhood Chums
    3. Siblings
    4. Held Prisoner by Same Lord
    5. Fought Under the Same Banner
    6. Kami Patron
  4. Clan
    1. Served Daimyo Together
    2. Impress the Clan to Restore Status
    3. Sent by Clan to Root Out Fallen Clanmates Among Bandits
    4. Rival Families within Clan
    5. Serve as Paragon Samurai to Refocus Dying
    6. Clan Prophetically linked to Clan
  5. Clandestine
    1. Kill Another Samurai
    2. Protect Another Samurai
    3. Blackmail Another Samurai
    4. Find a Worthy Heir for Childless Daimyo
    5. Secret Joint Mission to Kill Bandit’s Leader
    6. Somewhere in the Region is an Ancient Shrine
  6. Community
    1. Lowborn Family in Village
    2. Dishonored Pupil in Village
    3. Retired Servant Amidst Village
    4. Ancestral Homeland
    5. Bastard Child in Village
    6. Child of Prophecy Hidden in Populace

Needs (Samurai Virtues)

  1. Courage
    1. To Confront my Past Cowardice
    2. To Teach My Equals the Value of Courage
    3. To Act Courageous to Hide My Cowardice
    4. To Inspire Others in Face of Their Fear
    5. To Overcome My Greatest Fear
    6. To Show Courage Even in the Face of Certain Failure
  2. Benevolence
    1. To Aid Villagers at Great Personal Risk or Cost
    2. To Teach My Equals the Value of Benevolence
    3. To Appear Benevolent While Acting for My Own Betterment
    4. To Show Benevolence to Enemies
    5. To Persuade Another to Act Against Their Nature and Show Benevolence
    6. To Put Others Above Yourself in All Instances
  3. Respect
    1. To Honor My Dying Sensei’s Request
    2. To Teach My Equals the value of Respect
    3. To Show Respect, While Secretly Undermining Others
    4. To Prove My Worth to Those With Lower Social Standing Than I
    5. To Respect to My Foes
    6. To Show Respect Alone and Without Reward at Immense Personal Cost
  4. Honesty
    1. To Reveal the Truth, No Matter the Cost
    2. To Reach My Equals the Value of Honesty
    3. To Deceive Others, Without Lying
    4. To Show Honesty to Enemies
    5. To Show the Pointlessness of Honesty
    6. To Use My Honesty to Defeat a Foe
  5. Honor
    1. To Restore My Honor
    2. To Teach My Equals the Value of Honor
    3. To Act Honorable to Hide My Dishonor
    4. To Honor to Enemies
    5. To Prove (Another Family/Clan’s) Lack of Honor
    6. To Sacrifice My Personal Goals to Gain Great Honor
  6. Loyalty
    1. To Demonstrate Loyalty and Risk Defeat
    2. To Teach My Equals the Value of Loyalty
    3. To Appear Loyal to Hide My Disloyalty
    4. To Be Loyal to My Comrades
    5. To Be Loyal to Enemies
    6. To Commit Justifiable Seppuku

Objects and Locations

  1. Weapons
    1. Ancestral Daisho
    2. Finely Crafted Spear
    3. Bow
    4. Another’s Wakazashi
    5. Caltrops
    6. An Arrow Blessed by Kami
  2. Clothing
    1. Prized Shoes
    2. Ornate Kimono
    3. A Wagon Full of Silk
    4. A Well-Worn Hat
    5. Ancestral Armor
    6. A Ring With a Trapped Kami
  3. Animals
    1. Mighty Steed
    2. Braying Ass
    3. Prized Cock
    4. Friendly Oxen
    5. Exotic Monkey
    6. Legendary Unicorn
  4. Mementos
    1. A Lock of Hair
    2. Ornately Decorated Chopsticks
    3. A Small Book of Poetry
    4. A Worn Map
    5. Ornately Decorated Fans
    6. A Tear From the Moon
  5. Documents
    1. A Love Note
    2. Stolen Plans
    3. Correspondence That Would Cause Grave Dishonor to the Shogun
    4. Ciphered Script Sent to Bandits
    5. An Invitation to Imperial Court
    6. A Lost Treatise on a Hidden Shrine
  6. Geography
    1. Bandit Camp
    2. Village Tea House
    3. Village Well
    4. Secluded Cave
    5. Picturesque Stream
    6. Kami’s Shrine