Kingdom Needs Playtesters

After much internal play and revision, Kingdom is ready for the next step, and that next step is you taking it for a spin.

The basics: it’s a role-playing game for 3-5 players. There’s no GM and no prep. You can play one-shot or multiple sessions.

I’m looking for people who can play and provide feedback, not just read it. If you’re interested drop me a line at kingdom-playtest at, or leave an excited comment in this post and I’ll get your email from the hidden field. Let me know the last few role-playing games your group played so I have a sense of what kind of spread of gamers we’ve got.

I’m not setting a deadline for this playtest phase yet, but it’s going to be a few months at least. I want some serious play time.

A Kingdom is nothing without the individuals behind it. This game has only gotten this far because of the awesome skills of the people who’ve played it from its earliest incarnations: Caroline Gibson, Feiya Cook, Fred Lott, Marc Hobbs, Pat Kemp, and Shuo Meng. You guys have Perspective, one and all.

    Ben Robbins | March 23rd, 2012 | | hide comments
  1. #14 Markus says:

    I’m very interessted in playtesting kingdom. I currently play (and develope) Legenden von Celeira, an (austrian) roleplaying game using cards, with a strong focus on storytelling. Would be nice to help you.

  2. #13 Brian Raff says:

    Very much interested. I’ve got some experience as a playtester for tabletop wargames, mostly stuff done by Ad Astra Games. I’ve played, and thoroughly enjoyed, games of Microscope. In fact, I’d say that neither of my groups (both a physical group and a ‘net group) have had a dull game of it.

    My game groups also have experience in:
    Dream Pod 9’s Silhouette-system, predominantly Jovian Chronicles and Gear Krieg
    Star Trek the RPG
    D&D (AD&D thorugh current)
    Shadowrun (3rd and 4th)
    BESM (3rd)
    The varuious iterations of the Mechwarrior RPG
    An assortment of wargames, including 40k, Battletech, and Squadron Strike
    Consistent, long-running system-less RPGs via message board or chat.

  3. #12 Paul N says:

    I’m pretty sure a subset of my gaming group would be up for playing this. We mainly play D&D 4E together, and some of us have played some Dungeon World and Murderous Ghosts.

  4. #11 Matt says:

    I’d love to pitch this to all of the more old-fashioned gamers at RIT. I don’t really go for a lot of mainstream games (‘cept just for reading); the last games I played were Capes, a short run of a Pokethulhu Adventure Game hack, a bunch of Microscope, and I’m looking at Dungeon World in the near future.

  5. #10 Jason says:

    I’d love to join in the playtest, if there’s still room. I’m dual-DMing a D&D 4E campaign currently, and have used Microscope in it’s creation. We’ve messed around with Great Ork Gods, Kobolds Ate My Babies, and came up just short on a White Wolf campaign (Storyteller bailed at the last minute.)

  6. #9 ben robbins says:

    I should be (momentarily) caught up sending out welcome messages to everyone who’s joined the playtest. That includes people who commented here, emails I’ve gotten, and folks who asked about it at Gamestorm.

    If you haven’t gotten an email to download the rules, let me know!

  7. #8 wzzard says:

    I’m sure my group would love to check it out. We have a regular 4e D&D game but we also play Microscope and Fiasco every once in awhile.

  8. #7 Cape Rust says:

    I’ve got just the group you need I play pathfinder, D&D 3.5, Don’t rest your head and a few other systems. Our group meets every week are are just comming up on the tail end of our current game. I write for roleplayers chronicle and geek-life. Let me know what you need and when you need it!

  9. #6 Rob says:

    Hey Ben,

    I wouldn’t be able to start playtesting until mid-May when I move back home to my gaming group which meets every Sunday (even in my absence). We’ve been playing an ever-evolving world-specific house rules set that the GM wrote which, in a long-since-passed iteration, was based on Palladium FRPG (the same guys who made Rifts). It now no longer whatsoever resembles the original product. We ran a 3.5e campaign too. But beyond that and a once-a-year game of Munchkin we don’t play anything else.

    Our players are some old hat guys who’ve played 2e and Warhammer 40k, some mid-20s guys who’ve only played 3.5e and this GM-written ruleset, and two new girls who are playing for their first time ever who have only ever played this GM-written ruleset.

    I’ve been really itching to get them to try Fiasco and Microscope upon my return. I’d love to give this a shot with them too though.

  10. #5 ben robbins says:

    I’m glad I asked what games people play because I’m getting some fascinating answers! (here and in email)

    But to be clear, it’s definitely not a qualifications test. I just want to get a sense of the demographics so I can make sure all stripes of gamers are included. The real test is when people who haven’t role-played at all give Kingdom a try…

  11. #4 Maciej Sabat says:

    Me! Me! Pick me! Was that exciting enough? ;-)

    I play with a crazy variety of people. Starting with kids (13-17 years old) on RPG camps, then my two more-or-less fixed teams here – we play mostly indie games, then random people in my gaming club – most of which have ‘classic’ approach to games, completely random people on the conventions and one team of casuals playing their first rpgs. I can’t promise I would play Kingdom with all of them, but knowing my fixation on the new games it can happen.

    On the games – we do Fiasco, Apocalypse World, Houses of the Blooded, Blood&Honor, Hell for Leather, Mars Colony, Lady Blackbird, ghost/echo, Archipelago. Obviously, I run Wolsung every now and then. I didn’t mention Microscope, but it’s quite obvious we play it, otherwise I wouldn’t be here ;-)


  12. #3 The Hydra DM says:

    Ah crud I forgot about playing Fiasco (how can I forget Fiasco?!)

    There’s no comment edit button, my bad :(

  13. #2 The Hydra DM says:

    Oh, man, this is exciting!

    Hopefully you’ll consider me to playtest Kingdom, but since you seem interested in “qualifications” (psh! :p) here are the sorts of things I’ve been involved in recently:

    Playing microscope, of course. My first game of microscope was online via google docs (1-on-1 even, and about how the discovery of demonic magic influenced space travel in the near future), and then a game or two via map tool with importing pictures in place of notecards. I’ve played a game in person with my family, as well – that one involved cthulhu and zombie lincoln, definitely a departure from the “serious” games I had played online. I’ve also used it to help me come up with the history of my own West Marches.

    Speaking of that, that’s probably been my biggest roleplaying project recently. I started by asking myself the best format, and of course since I don’t know ten people nearby who would be willing to stop by and play, I chose to run it online. Since early September I’ve managed to turn ~60 notices of interest into ~20 players, of which ~10 remain (real pain in the butt there, but a learning experience for sure). I’ve done a lot of problem solving to get that campaign to work, including how to handle it in 4th edition D&D (the one I’m most familiar with) and came up with some really great stuff. We’ve been playing that since late September, at a rate of about twice a week (47 games so far, usually around 4 hours each). Used inkscape to make a vector map, not unlike how you used illustrator (that was a great idea, by the way – beats hexes for sure!) I dunno how much you want to hear about that, though, so I’ll cut myself short. Before that I ran a very narrative-heavy 4e campaign for ~10 months (currently on hiatus) interspersed with fun little one-shots like the 4e Tomb of Horrors DM reward and the Fourthcore modules just to keep things interesting.

    And, of course, GMing isn’t as much fun without also being a player, so I played in a couple play-by-post games of Spirit of the Century as well, which was quite fun (as well as a Star Wars SAGA edition game, though that died down after a couple of weeks unfortunately).

    I have experience with closed beta testing a fairly popular mod for a video game some years back, as well, so I’m fairly familiar with how this sort of “playtesting” thing works. I do play games in person, too, but if you want to see if they’ll work over the internet then I guess I’d probably be your guy.

    I’ve been a fan of your thoughts on the blog since before Microscope existed (I still use the advice of “just show the players the trap instead of making them roll checks to find it” often, for instance, from your two-part series on traps), and while I’m sad that there aren’t as many of them now, I do quite enjoy that you’re channeling your work into these cool games instead. I do hope you’ll consider my playtesting application :)

  14. #1 Adam Koebel says:

    Hey! My group is doing a one-shot festival. We’d be down to test Kingdom.

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