Posts in this Category

You don’t vote for kings!

I dropped four new quests on Team Follow: the Booty, the Candidate, the Colony and the Gods. If you are in the playtest and didn’t get the email, let me know so I can hook you up! The Booty was actually the very first quest we played but it didn’t make the initial cut because […]

Ben Robbins | July 18th, 2016 | follow

Microscope Seeds: Secrets & Squirrels

Two more history seeds for you! These were created as part of the Microscope Explorer kickstarter, based on ideas requested by generous backers, but they are provided as free downloads for all Microscope players to enjoy. In the War of Secrets seed, a world-shaking truth lurks, guarded by some and sought by others: Aliens hide […]

Ben Robbins | July 14th, 2016 | microscope tools

“I have never been so proud of her…”

I was on my way to make a surprise appearance on Strix’s Weekly Affirmations show on HyperRPG when it occurred to me that in the seven years I’ve been playing Microscope, I had never recorded a session I played. Ever. So if you’ve been curious to see how I play and teach Microscope (with occasional […]

Ben Robbins | July 5th, 2016 | interviews, microscope actual play | 2 comments

A Good Week (for Betrayal!)

Obviously the question of people working together (or not) is a pretty fundamental one which I think makes it great material for examination. As a game designer, that’s something that interests me: looking at core issues or social dynamics that we all deal with. Cooperation is a universal issue. Where it isn’t, it should be. […]

Ben Robbins | July 3rd, 2016 | follow | 2 comments

Hackers & Homework

or, “You can take down the corrupt corporate hegemony after you finish cleaning your room!” I tried out some rules tweaks for Follow at our Story Games Seattle playtest meetup Monday. We agreed on a Heist but decided to make it a cyberpunk-hacky thing. Pretty normal so far, right? Except half the characters turned out […]

Ben Robbins | June 30th, 2016 | follow

Follow Needs Playtesters

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing Follow and now I’m ready to share it with playtesters. Which means you! As always, I’m looking for people who will actually play the game and provide feedback, not just read it. If you’re interested, drop me a line at follow-playtest at lamemage.com or leave a comment […]

Ben Robbins | June 17th, 2016 | follow | 24 comments

Microscope Seed: Brave New World

“Colonists set foot on a new planet and strive to make it home. Can it grow into a flourishing, civilized world or will the colony fail and be forgotten?” Brave New World is one of the new, improved seeds in Microscope Explorer, but I wanted to make it available for all those Microscope players who […]

Ben Robbins | May 29th, 2016 | microscope explorer, microscope tools

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 | 2 comments

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 | 2 comments

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