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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 | microscope actual play

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 | microscope actual play | 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 | interviews, microscope actual play | 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 | microscope actual play, microscope explorer

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 | microscope actual play, microscope explorer

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 actual play, microscope explorer

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 | microscope actual play, microscope kids

“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 | microscope actual play, microscope kids

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 | microscope actual play

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 | microscope actual play

You’re no White Knight (aka kids being awesome gamers)

We were at Emerald City Comic Con, manning the story games table, when a kid comes up with his Dad. He’s maybe 10 years old and he’s curious about these games even though he’s never played a role-playing game before. And I mean intensely curious, not just idly asking. He’s heard of Dungeons & Dragons […]

Ben Robbins | March 18th, 2013 | microscope actual play, microscope kids | 5 comments

Actual Play Roundup: Is anything more epic than a psionic scream heard across the stars?

There are more great Microscope game write-ups out there than I can keep up with, but these are a few of my recent favorites: Psionic scream heard across the stars — Easily the most epic Microscope play report I’ve seen in quite a while. After the first session the story continues with the Retreat, the […]

Ben Robbins | November 26th, 2012 | microscope actual play

Moments in the Cold War

Microscope. A Cold War history. Lots of serious drama that left us craving even more Cold War Microscope. Mockingbird The British agents on operation “Mockingbird” are set up in a flat in a ghetto of emigrants who got out of the Eastern bloc and came to the West. The agents have been hunkered there for […]

Ben Robbins | November 7th, 2012 | microscope actual play | 4 comments

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