Posts in this Category

The Fall and Rise (and Fall) of Antal

Intense game of Follow at Story Games Seattle. We played the Rebellion question, but our fellowship was nowhere near equipped to overthrow the new nobles, House Jakab, that had ousted our traditional rulers, the beloved House of Antal. Character creation led to a wonderfully complex interpersonal web: “My mother was a nanny for the nobles, […]

Ben Robbins | February 19th, 2018 | follow

Real Dinosaurs Are Bitey

A Jurassic Park-style Kingdom, spawning dinosaurs and showing them off to tourists: what could go wrong?!? We had a petting zoo, dammit. A petting zoo. We were so close to saving the park. So close. But even though we turned a moral corner and decided to start fresh with *natural* dinosaurs instead of the genetically […]

Ben Robbins | February 12th, 2018 | kingdom actual play

Union Stands Alone

The unicorn befriends the young mother, but penniless she is driven to betray it, leading a wealthy noble to trap the beast for a pouch of gold, a sin that grieves her until she is old and grey. But the unicorn is not so easily caught… Her son goes forth and leads a hard life […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2017 | microscope explorer, union | 4 comments

“Is it… sentient?”

Saturday at Story Games Seattle, we were doing the meditative “hmm, what kind of history do we want to make…” when Connor threw out one word that made everyone at the table go “a ha!!!”: Domestication It got us thinking about symbiosis and spawned a setting where two independent sentient species, one human and one […]

Ben Robbins | November 14th, 2017 | microscope actual play

Kingdom: Return of Time Passes

I’m experimenting with a new way to do Time Passes in Kingdom. I removed it for one-shot games in the latest revision, but you can use this new rule in both one-shot and multi-session games: TIME PASSES When it’s your turn to make a Crossroad, you can instead say that Time Passes. Immediately play out […]

Ben Robbins | September 2nd, 2017 | kingdom | 2 comments

Indie RPG Award for Best Supplement

Microscope Explorer won the Indie RPG Award for Best Supplement, which is pretty great. And congratulations to all the other winners. But congratulations too to everyone who put their heart and soul into making a game, whether you got an award for it or not. The award is not the important part.

Ben Robbins | August 24th, 2017 | microscope explorer

Hot Off the Presses

What am I doing this weekend? Here’s a hint: Books are here. Shipping has begun. There’s always something magical about holding a finished product in your hand. Magical, but not quite as magical as hearing about people having a great time playing the game. That is still the best.

Ben Robbins | August 4th, 2017 | follow | 2 comments

Lawyers Never Die

Kingdom at Story Games Seattle. When the new Archbishop of the Church of England forbids contracts binding demons to work on Sundays, the senior partner of our firm has an inspirational meeting with one of the founding partners (whose ghost haunts our office). He gets in touch with his inner lawyer, remembers why he started […]

Ben Robbins | July 7th, 2017 | kingdom actual play

Follow Is Ready for You

I am happy to report that Follow is done and released into the wild. If you’re a backer or pre-ordererer you should have already received your new download link. Everyone else: you can buy the PDF right now. Do you love that cover? I love that cover. It’s the gorgeous work of Al Lukehart. She […]

Ben Robbins | July 2nd, 2017 | follow

Do You Think You’re Beautiful?

We’re on the verge of a breakthrough that will change society. We’ve deciphered the genetic code and can bend it to our will. But… the only genetic trait we’ve mastered is beauty. Physical beauty. We can’t make you smarter or healthier, just more attractive. We’ve isolated beauty to a mathematical equation and can engineer facial […]

Ben Robbins | May 31st, 2017 | follow | 2 comments

Teaching Teachers How to Teach

Keenan Kibrick continues to kill it in the classroom, teaching teachers how to teach Microscope (say that ten times fast). Yes, that event says “mobile gas chamber”. History can be scary. And if you’re an educator, definitely check out the Immersive Imaginative Education discussion group. It’s a place to share ideas about how role-playing can […]

Ben Robbins | May 28th, 2017 | microscope kids

An Eye for an Eye

Do cybernetic implants count as human remains? When you have parts inside you that are the intellectual property of others, where does the boundary of ownership lie — is it really *your* arm? And once total body replacement is available, can you still be held responsible for your actions since someone else made your synthetic […]

Ben Robbins | April 17th, 2017 | microscope actual play

Kill All Enlightened Robots

Usually at a con you get some good games and some okay games. At our story games area at Emerald City Comicon I drew the lucky penny: all my games were great great great. One Microscope game included a textbook example of building on each other’s contributions to make an unexpected whole. We’re making the […]

Ben Robbins | April 11th, 2017 | microscope actual play

The Scarlet Letter: Microscope in the Classroom

Keenan is killing it bringing story games to the classroom. His latest post is about using Microscope scene structure to explore the Scarlet Letter. The kids’ feedback is stunning, once again. Scarlet Letter: Microscope Scene Building and Reflections Other educators are starting to share their experiences on the new “games in the classroom” G+ community, […]

Ben Robbins | December 19th, 2016 | microscope kids

Lord of the Flies: Kingdom in the Classroom

Over the past few years, I’ve heard from a lot of different educators who have experimented with Microscope, Kingdom and similar games in the classroom. They were each trying different approaches, but didn’t have a common forum to share what they’d learned. So when Keenan Kibrick contacted me and we talked about creating a new […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2016 | kingdom