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I ♥ Unicorns

The best Microscope game ever might have happened at GeekGirlCon this weekend. I wasn’t even in the game. Didn’t even see it. But from what I’ve heard it’s now my favorite session ever. Two sessions, actually. A very small and very brave girl came up to our table. One of our expert facilitators leaned down […]

Ben Robbins | August 15th, 2012 | microscope actual play, microscope kids | 4 comments

Actual Play Roundup: Something Fractal in the State of Denmark

One of the marvelous things about the modern world is that when you publish a game electronically, people around the world can buy and download it instantly. Microscope games have popped up all over the globe, but now Denmark seems to be the latest nation to get the fractal history bug… Utopia The Second Coming […]

Ben Robbins | June 26th, 2012 | microscope actual play | 4 comments

Once and Future Zombie

It’s Emerald City Comic Con, late Friday night at the indie RPG tables, and I sit down with some awesome new folks (Hi, Daniel! Hi, Gabi!) to play some Microscope. “What kind of history should we make?” “Let’s do a zombie apocalypse!” “Cool, zombies! Well wait, do we want to do modern times or something […]

Ben Robbins | April 12th, 2012 | microscope actual play

“Why would they do that?!? Let’s go and find out…”

It’s always fascinating to me when people who’ve never played Microscope before–or anything like it for that matter–really dig in and talk about the experience. Into The Gamescape is a podcast in the UK that normally covers board and card games, but they took Microscope for a spin and spent a good chunk of their […]

Ben Robbins | March 19th, 2012 | microscope actual play

Actual Play Roundup: Day in the Live(s)

Remember how I said we played a mess of birthday Microscope at Story Games Seattle, all without realizing it was Microscope’s birthday? Here they are, plus a few more stragglers from the weeks before and after. Beware: several of these are experimental “short form” Microscope, where the whole history is actually a very short period […]

Ben Robbins | March 4th, 2012 | microscope actual play

Fugit Omnis

“…and they flee to the colonies to escape oppression.” “This family is always fleeing things. That should be their family crest: Fugit Omnis!” I think because you have so much freedom to create in Microscope, there’s an initial urge to invent really far-out settings. Personally I think the real payoff comes when you zoom in […]

Ben Robbins | February 9th, 2012 | microscope actual play

Second Class Clones: PAX Microscope

Late Saturday night at PAX, some folks drifted into the Indie Games On Demand room and were checking out all the books on the display table. Like a good host, I pitched a couple of games but they didn’t seem terribly interested. I asked what kind of games they were used to. Party adventure stuff? […]

Ben Robbins | December 6th, 2011 | microscope actual play | 2 comments

Actual Play Roundup: PvP (Plant-versus-Plant)

You probably thought I was kidding when I said there was a Microscope game with nothing but plant-on-plant action. I never bluff when it comes to Microscope. Or plants. Plants of Arbre — The long-awaited plant history (thanks, Dominic!). Yep, plants. Just plants. Star Wars Rebooted — Using Microscope to re-write canon the way it […]

Ben Robbins | August 8th, 2011 | microscope actual play

Quake-pocalypse: That’s no moon! Oh wait, it is.

After six games, we’ve drawn our Quake-pocalypse Microscope history to an epic close. It wasn’t all easy. After game 4, it looked like we were going to have a hard time explaining how it all fit together. But in game 5, we jumped back and revealed that even before the first UFO was shot down, […]

Ben Robbins | July 6th, 2011 | microscope actual play

Quake-pocalypse: But A Very Dignified Squeal

Quake-pocalypse, game 4. The survivors of the shattered Earth escape to a new world, but it’s not what they expect. There’s a welcoming committee. From Earth! But not human. It gets a little complicated. In other news, the so-called scientists of the post-Quake golden age are accused being little more than “junkyard scavengers,” not inventors. […]

Ben Robbins | June 21st, 2011 | microscope actual play

Actual Play Roundup: You Banned Humans?

A flurry of game designers put Microscope to the test, sparked by the RPG Book Club. Will they enjoy themselves or burn Microscope at the stake like the witch it is? Let’s see… War of the Beast-Men! — Jason Morningstar’s posse sets the bar: “You can’t call me a Nazi just because I refuse to […]

Ben Robbins | June 15th, 2011 | microscope actual play | 2 comments

Quake-pocalypse: Don’t Mess With Gravity

Sometimes coming up with Questions in Microscope can be harder than you expect. But a lot of the time there are perfectly good Questions — critical Questions — staring you right in the face. Questions you never consciously considered, but once they hit you they’re blindingly central to understanding your history. Case in point: Quake-pocalypse, […]

Ben Robbins | June 1st, 2011 | microscope actual play | 1 comment

Quake-pocalypse: Techno-priests & Infinity Boxes

Game two of our Quake-pocalypse Microscope history. Science is the big theme of this session, but as everybody knows, there’s good science and there’s bad science. Yay science! It brings us the wondrous Infinity Box, capable of preserving something indefinitely (one could even say infinitely). We play a scene with the Question: What does humanity […]

Ben Robbins | May 22nd, 2011 | microscope actual play

Quake-pocalypse: A Flower for Ulysses

Some of the awesome folks from our weekly pickup games had never gotten the chance to play a multi-session Microscope history. Which is a crime, because multi-session games let you really dig into your history. So we assembled a crack squad (there’s still some debate whether it’s Team Boomstick, Team Thunderbunny, or Team Something Else […]

Ben Robbins | May 9th, 2011 | microscope actual play

Actual Play Roundup: We don’t need no stinkin’ capes!

Why is it never a good thing when superheroes take over the world? Don’t ask why, ask Weillach (yes, the Supers take over) The Fleet Departs: A Microscope RPG Campaign Set-Up In other news, Microscope has landed on the beaches of Europe. Books are sitting on the shelves of Leisure Games in the UK, right […]

Ben Robbins | April 26th, 2011 | microscope actual play