Posts in this Category

Angels & Offspring

Me: Welcome to Microscope! What kind of history should we make? “Emergence of magic!” “Angels!” “The extinction of mankind!” Me: Cool. What if we combine all three? Birthrates in our modern world dwindle, which (we discover in play) is because angels have walked unseen among us and judged that humanity’s time should come to an […]

Ben Robbins | January 22nd, 2020 | , | 2 comments

Last Stand of the Murderfists

In the atomic wastelands of the future, the Murderfists are the undisputed champions of the brutal sport, Killball. But now they stand before the mutant overlord, awaiting judgment. Their crime? Stopping the execution of their comrade, condemned to slow-death in the sands for daring to love a houri of the tyrant’s harem. From his gilded […]

Ben Robbins | January 14th, 2020 | ,

“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 | , ,

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 | , , ,

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 | , ,

The Blooded

Last weekend I had a chance to play Microscope for the first time with some of my gaming crew from way, way back. We’re talking veterans of Lorngard and my old AD&D campaign — that far back. We started our history with a pretty basic fantasy premise: magic was perilous, and a eldritch war had […]

Ben Robbins | August 7th, 2016 | ,

Boom, Stone Age

In Microscope, there’s always room in between, so long as it doesn’t contradict the history you’ve established. But how much room? Again, as much as makes sense. There was a suggestion on twitter about marking cards to show how much time passed between each Period. The problem is, our understanding of the history improves as […]

Ben Robbins | August 6th, 2016 | , | 3 comments

“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 | , , , | 2 comments

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 | , , , , ,

Dark Side of the Moon

The Earth was lost. The tide of Communism had spread to every corner of the globe. But on the Moon the last patriots remained steadfast, raining down showers of city-crushing debris from their lunar bunkers. Vengeful, destructive, but ultimately futile. It was a last hurrah for the West, but too late to turn the tide. […]

Ben Robbins | February 17th, 2015 | , , ,

By This Ring I Swear

Great game of Microscope Chronicle at Story Games Seattle. Rulers swore oaths on it (and broke them). Friends spirited it away and swore more oaths on it (and broke them). Later it was the wedding ring binding two houses in marriage (guess how that turned out?). By This Ring I Swear Doomed bromances and loveless […]

Ben Robbins | February 10th, 2015 | , , , ,

Microscope After School

I met Dylan at PAX. He asked me about using Microscope with kids and I made him promise to tell me how it went. Good to his word, Dylan gave me a full report and then kindly agreed to let me share it: I work as a Programmer and sometimes assistant at a after school […]

Ben Robbins | December 17th, 2014 | , ,

“I asked the other 13 yr old what he liked best? Freedom.”

If you guessed that I simply could not get enough tales of kids playing Microscope, you would be right. Here are Ryan and his friend Duncan rocking the Anipocalypse while Ryan’s sister schemes and watches… Having trouble visualizing Aquacology, the underwater city-state that the dolphins ultimately wipe out? No problem. Ryan has you covered: And […]

Ben Robbins | November 11th, 2014 | , , ,

Actual Play Roundup: The 53rd Focus

Tons of great Microscope game reports recently. I can’t even keep up. Here’s just a handful: “I’m involved in a months-long, remote-play, 2-person Microscope game (in its 53rd Focus).” Shadow of the Titan: Campaign Creation for 13th Age Parallel Lives Podcast: “The masses rejoice as the World Spell is completed” Invasions: Earth! A Microscope Supers […]

Ben Robbins | September 9th, 2014 | ,

Actual Play Roundup: Unicorn vs Death (GPNW 2014)

Got to play two great games of Microscope Union at Go Play NW: Revolutionary Zero — Bringing down society as we know it. Let she who is without sin throw the first plague.? Oathbreaker — Magi, faerie courts and unicorns (well, one unicorn) fighting Death for the soul of a mortal.? Pat, Feiya and Tim […]

Ben Robbins | July 5th, 2014 | , ,