Posts in this Category

Eye of the Kraken

One of the nice things about the quest templates in Follow is that they get everyone on the same page about the kind of task we’re performing, but they’re flexible enough that you can easily change the flavor or setting. Want to steal the plans to the Death Star? Whip out the Heist quest. By […]

Ben Robbins | May 25th, 2016 | follow

Follow the plan, or follow your heart…

Now that Microscope Explorer is out, the Oracles are free online, and all but a few of the advanced backer rewards are done, should I take a vacation? Should I put my feet up, sip some coffee and rest on my laurels? Well yes to the coffee, but no to all the rest. I’ve been […]

Ben Robbins | April 14th, 2016 | follow

Oracles for Everyone

Don’t you hate it when you sit down to play Microscope and then fumble about trying to pick a topic for your history? So many possibilities. Not quite infinite but really really big. And each minute of brainstorming and discussion is one less minute of play. As I’ve said many times, you don’t need need […]

Ben Robbins | April 6th, 2016 | microscope explorer

A Kingdom Without Issues

Time is precious gaming treasure. To streamline Kingdom character creation, I’ve been experimenting with removing Issues and using Bonds to take over that duty. I’ve found it to be faster and actually make better characters, for reasons I’ll go into below. To use this change, simply remove the Issues step entirely. When you are creating […]

Ben Robbins | April 4th, 2016 | kingdom

Your Kingdom Goes On Without You

If you’re playing a multi-session Kingdom campaign, what do you do if someone can’t make it? How do you play without them? When someone asked this, my first instinct was: never play without the whole crew. Just play another one-shot if someone can’t make it. But then I thought about it a bit… and started […]

Ben Robbins | March 20th, 2016 | kingdom

Happy Birthday, Microscope!

It’s hard to believe Microscope is five years old today (almost seven if you count from the first game we played). And what better birthday present than brand new Microscope Explorer books, hot off the presses? Let the shipping commence..!

Ben Robbins | February 23rd, 2016 | microscope explorer | 1 comment

History Is a Lie

I finish Microscope Explorer and I immediately start coming up with even more ways to play. Doh! Jonathan Walton asked: Thinking about using Microscope for a grad class on Friday. Anyone run it (or Echo) as attempt to uncover/obscure “true” history? I’m hoping it might be useful for exploring multiple competing narratives about the same […]

Ben Robbins | February 18th, 2016 | microscope | 1 comment

Breaking the Oracles

The first print test of Microscope Explorer just came back. Yep, it looks great. But before I press the big red button that starts the actual print run, I’m double-checking (and triple-checking) everything, then doing a second print test with those final corrections. One of main things I’ve been doing is stress-testing the Oracles to […]

Ben Robbins | January 24th, 2016 | microscope explorer

Unleash the Scribes!

“Wanted: Hundreds of monks to manually transcribe copies of Microscope Explorer onto thin pages of vellum…” What’s that? We’ve got machines for that now? Whew, that’ll save time. And monks. Now that the PDF is done I’m working on test prints of the book. When those check out, bulk printing begins. Depending on turnaround times […]

Ben Robbins | January 12th, 2016 | microscope explorer | 4 comments

Microscope Explorer Released

Microscope Explorer, the new supplement for Microscope, is available, right now. Backers have already had their hands on Union, Chronicle and history Seeds for months, so it’s time to give everyone else a shot! Books should be ready to ship in February but you can pre-order them now.

Ben Robbins | January 3rd, 2016 | microscope explorer

“Arrr why won’t my kids grow up faster?!?”

It’s always fantastic to chat with RpgGamerDad. After he invited me to talk about Microscope back in January I promised I’d come back when the Microscope Explorer was underway. So I did! RpgGamerDad Podcast: Ep 43 – Sunny Seattle Special RpgGamerDad also talked a bit about Microscope Explorer and his plans to run Microscope with […]

Ben Robbins | August 3rd, 2015 | microscope explorer, microscope kids

Flight of the Madamas

“We created the Citizen Kane of spaceship stories…” –Timothy Young Sometimes the excellent games sneak up on you. They disguise themselves with trenchcoats and fake moustaches and then, when you least expect it, they pounce! I played two games of Microscope Chronicle at PAX last year. The first was the story of a mechwarrior-style mercenary […]

Ben Robbins | July 29th, 2015 | microscope actual play, microscope explorer

Microscope Explorer Kicks Off

Psst! Hey, kid! Want to score some cool new ways to play Microscope? I’ve got some Microscope Explorer right here… (uh, imagine me whispering in a dark alley, possibly wearing a ratty trench coat, tempting the youths with story games and that sweet, sweet imagination…)

Ben Robbins | July 6th, 2015 | microscope explorer

Echo: Take Your Time

Ever since the first playtest, Microscope Echo required the Lens to describe a faction going back and changing history. The idea was that this intervention kicks off each round and drives the action. But as I keep playing it, I’m thinking that requirement isn’t necessary. Players don’t seem at all hesitant to go back and […]

Ben Robbins | June 15th, 2015 | microscope explorer

Summer Is Coming

The Story Games Seattle crew delivers some stunningly good Kingdom games. This time we played a Kingdom in the style of Toy Story, if Toy Story walked in on Lord of the Flies going to third base with Animal Farm. Playtime Is Over (Kingdom) Is there an award for darkest story featuring toys? Because if […]

Ben Robbins | May 17th, 2015 | kingdom actual play