There's something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out...Edit

In 1963 a nuclear detonation took place under the Nevada desert. The bomb — altered by parties unknown — ripped through the fragile skein of normal space-time the whole visible universe occupies, opening a hole into something... stranger.

Beneath our reality, in realms so strange they defy science as we know it, someone or something has built tunnels, chambers, traps, lairs... The place alters itself inexorably and unpredictably; maps go stale, get rancid. The dangers from the environment are formidible, but the inhabitants of the dungeon are worse: there's no other word for them but monsters. Alright, there is another word — "Xenofauna" — but nobody uses that except in reports. Most of them don't live long when brought Upstairs. Most. There are things down there that can be far more insidious in their efforts to cross over.

If you're not careful, the place changes you too. The NATIVE SONS program uses these hybrids as trackers and guides in the hostile new frontier, and teams accompanied by them show dramatically higher success and lower mortality rates. The hybrids are stuck between upstairs and downstairs though — if they spend too much time in either world, they'll start to degenerate or sicken, go mad, or transform into something worse. They need to delve to survive.

So many lives have been lost.

But the thing that makes it all worthwhile — at least in the eyes of those in charge — is that apart from all the horrors this new world is filled with treasures and wonders which can, quite simply, do the impossible.

The government put a door and a lock onto the hole — ninety tons of steel and titanium strong enough to bounce nukes — and named it Project: LONG STAIR. There are three different bases inside: the rear echelon First Landing, the field support Second Landing, and the forward firebase of Third Landing. Even though other global powers have forged their own entrances, the world at large has been kept in the dark. A situation that might change at any moment. Alliances from the world above don't always hold down here, and every breach generates an ever increasing amount of so-called Fortean phenomena. Nothing yet as overt as monsters in the street, but probable hauntings, psychic events, missing time, UFO sightings, and even some semi-credible crypto-zoology. The most common are the voices -- weird, semi-audible hallucinations which almost makes sense. Voices that grow ever more coherent and less alien to those that pay too much attention.

Those who hide behind terminology name this hell hole "The Basement" or the "Subterrestrial Operational Theater".

To everyone else, it is simply "The Dungeon".

Movie NightEdit

Aliens, The Bourne films, Cube, Dark City, Kolchak (TV), M*A*S*H (TV), Platoon, Species, Stargate, The X-Files (TV), Universal Soldier

Stunt DiceEdit

The playset works fine with the standard binary colours. For a greater sense of your world getting fucked with, try the following.

Shifting SandsEdit

Each player replaces one of their starting dice with a red one; white or black doesn't matter. Red dice are wild for scene resolution — they can be either positive or negative at the discretion of the person Resolving. However, when a player receives a red die, the two players they share a relationship with swap any accumulated dice they have with each other.

ie., Darla resolves her scene and gives Billy the red die. Allan and Cathy have to give the other their dice pools. If she'd given it to Allan, she and Cathy would have swapped instead.

When it comes time for the Tilt and the Aftermath, red dice are determined by their face value when rolled. Odd versus Even, or High versus Low. The player going last gets to decide which three faces are black and which are white.


  1. Fellows In Arms
    1. Homeland Security agents up in the Real World
    2. NATIVE SON asset and handler
    3. Green Lieutenant and experienced Sergeant
    4. Death Row inmates commuted to the Dungeon
    5. The latest in the long line of FNGs dropped in to make up the numbers
    6. Drake & Vasquez
  2. Crime
    1. Smuggling
    2. Murder
    3. Blackmail
    4. Brutal beating
    5. Sleeping with the enemy
    6. Framed someone for a friendly fire incident
  3. Friendships
    1. Best friends forever
    2. Fuck buddies
    3. Best Frienemies
    4. Enemies until yesterday
    5. Best friends until yesterday
    6. What happens in the foxhole stays in the foxhole
  4. The Past
    1. Went through Basic Training together
    2. Ex-Lovers
    3. Only survivors of a brutal massacre
    4. Life-debt
    5. AA sponsor
    6. Painful reminder of a life left behind
  5. The Dungeon
    1. Permanently body swapped
    2. Clones
    3. Escaped enemy captivity together
    4. Telepathy
    5. Hybridization
    6. International allies
  6. Downtime
    1. Drinking
    2. Gaming
    3. Religion
    4. Art
    5. Family
    6. Shenanigans


  1. Get Respect From
    1. ...the rest of your squad
    2. ...your superiors
    3. ...your subordinates
    4. ...the loved ones you have to keep lying to
    5. ...whatever the fuck it is controls this place
    6. ...yourself
  2. Understand
    1. ...the nature of the Basement
    2. ...xenomethodology
    3. ...the recurring dreams
    4. ...why you didn't die
    5. ...why they abandoned you
    6. ...why you aren't human anymore
  3. Be Forgiven
    1. ...for lying
    2. ...for following orders
    3. ...for betrayal
    4. ...for not believing
    5. ...for leaving them behind
    6. ...for being a monster
  4. Follow Orders
    1. ...and bring down the one person who actually keeps you all alive
    2. ...and rescue the Senator's kid
    3. ...make sure no one finds out what happened
    4. ...and test yet another stupidly dangerous artefact
    5. ...go where no one has survived before
    6. ...and procreate
  5. Survive
    1. ...and get back to your sweetheart
    2. ...and get revenge
    3. ...and make a profit
    4. ...and get promoted off the front lines
    5. ...and let everyone think you died
    6. ...and never go back
  6. Make Sure
    1. ...everyone else gets out
    2. never happens again
    3. one ever finds out
    4. many are infected as possible
    5. ...they don't screw over the one person who actually keeps you all alive
    6. take as many with you as possible


  1. First Landing
    1. Map Room
    2. Surface access control
    3. Admin & Logistics
    4. R&D ("Blue")
    5. Brig
    6. Life support
  2. Second Landing
    1. "The Tavern"
    2. Biolab ("Red")
    3. Barracks
    4. Armoury
    5. Garage
    6. Morgue
  3. Third Landing
    1. Trenches
    2. 'Hot' Lab ("Black")
    3. Interrogation
    4. Security checkpoints
    5. Weapons emplacements
    6. Dressing station & triage
  4. The World Above
    1. Sleepy suburbia
    2. Rural retreat
    3. Dimly-lit docks
    4. Expensive restaurant
    5. Survival bunker
    6. The open road
  5. The Dungeon
    1. Caravan (non-hostile encounter-suited humanoid traders) campsite
    2. Island in the middle of a frozen lake
    3. Abandoned throne room
    4. Bottomless chasm
    5. Xenofauna settlement
    6. Beneath an alien sky
  6. Foreign Domains
    1. WALKABOUT (Australia)
    2. Looking Glass (UK)
    3. TRAP DOOR (Ukraine)
    4. Sakura aka Cherry Blossom (Japan)
    5. Dante Project (European Union)
    6. New Thule (Nazi Antarctica)


  1. Xenotech
    1. Ring
    2. Blade
    3. Lenses
    4. Bag
    5. Mask
    6. Shotgun of enlightened compassion
  2. Traps
    1. Pitfall
    2. Tripwire
    3. Reality bomb
    4. Delayed-action acid apple
    5. Landmine
    6. Toxic meme
  3. Secret Knowledge
    1. Location of the "Flea Market"
    2. Dungeon Masters Guide
    3. Unauthorised surface access point
    4. Xenomethodology (spells that work)
    5. 5-dimensional mapping
    6. What's in the blue box
  4. Encounters
    1. Orcs (fast adapting cognitive zombie drones)
    2. Something is eating mall Santas (and not necessarily at Christmas)
    3. Little green bastards (highly-social diminutive trap-setters)
    4. Private Ratoslov (renegade US soldier with unknown number of clones)
    5. Dryads (carnivorous humanoid plants)
    6. That creepy little kid
  5. Voices From Below
    1. Number stations
    2. You always know where to find the bodies
    3. The devil and the angel
    4. It glows when enemies are near
    5. What you see in the mirror
    6. Conversations with the dead
  6. Paperwork
    1. Transfer orders out of the Basement
    2. Pink slip (authorisation for assassination)
    3. A diary of someone's final days
    4. Words scrawled on a wall
    5. A compromising data trail
    6. A binding contract

The Tilt Edit

This playset works perfectly well with the standard Tilt table but I would recommend trying it with the custom Tilt table found in the Rat Patrol playset. Because even though the Brass won't admit it, you spend long enough in the Dungon you realise that something is pulling strings...

Voices From Below Insta-SetupEdit

Relationships Down The Long StairEdit

For three players...

  • Fellows In Arms: The latest in the long line of FNGs dropped in to make up the numbers
  • The Past: AA sponsor
  • The Dungeon: Telepathy

For four players, add...

  • Crime: Smuggling

For five players, add...

  • Friendships: Best friends until yesterday

Needs Down The Long StairEdit

For three players...

  • ...whatever the fuck it is controls this place

For four or five players, add...

  • ...procreate

Locations Down The Long StairEdit

For three or four players...

  • The World Above: Rural retreat

For five players, add...

  • The Dungeon: Beneath an alien sky

Things Down The Long StairEdit

For three, four or five players...

  • Voices From Below: It glows when enemies are near

Voices From BelowEdit


Written by Mister Andersen & Raichel Holland

Version 1.1, May 2014.


This Playset is an accessory for the Fiasco role-playing game by Bully Pulpit Games.

This Playset is based on the thread of the same name and is released into the public domain by the authors, Mister Andersen & Raichel Holland.

Fiasco is copyright 2009 by Jason Morningstar. All rights are reserved.

For more information about Fiasco or to download other Playsets and materials, visit

If you’d like to create your own Playset or other Fiasco-related content, they’d like to help. Write them at