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The owl knows better

Playing a lovely game of Eden at Story Games Seattle. Narwhals and bunnies try to explain reproduction to the innocent humans. Narwhals are convinced it is essential to sing together and have a magnificent horn, or else it won’t work. Poor humans have no magnificent horn or lovely songs, so they are doomed to failure. […]

Ben Robbins | May 13th, 2016 | what we played

Lights, Camera, Downfall!

We got together to film Caroline’s new game, Downfall, so you can watch the action in living color. Was there drinking? There might have been some drinking. I’ve been playtesting Downfall over the last two years and I have to say, it rocks. It’s on Kickstarter right now so check it out!

Ben Robbins | July 23rd, 2015 | what we played

For Neptune! For Freedom!

A blast from the past, because it’s awesome: “Yes, that’s interplanetary war. Can the ‘seidonians throw off the yoke of the invading Uranians, the cold war puppet satellite of the tyrannical Crimson Republic? Love, war and orbital death rays in the Outer Planets.” For Neptune! For Freedom! This is easily one of my favorite one-shot […]

Ben Robbins | August 19th, 2014 | what we played

The Temple Stands Empty

Playing A Thousand Years Under the Sun @ Story Games Seattle: The humble Temple of the Winds becomes of place serenity and wisdom, where the Gods speak to men. A thriving market grows around it, catering to the pilgrims and seekers who come from distant lands to visit it. In time, hawkers and charlatans in […]

Ben Robbins | December 13th, 2013 | what we played

Flight of the Hornet

We sit down to play Battlestations, a space combat RPG, last night. I’ve had it for a while but this is the first time we’ve tried it out. We plan to spend the evening blasting ships and taking names. I tell the players they’re fresh-faced cadets, straight out of the Union academy. They’re eager to […]

Ben Robbins | February 7th, 2013 | what we played

Polaris: Freedom of the Press

We’ve done a whole slew of Polaris setting hacks recently. Aztecs, Fall of the Roman Republic, 1920s Empire City cops and Battlestar Galactica (twice). The key ingredients of a satisfying Polaris analog are pretty simple: 1) a grand society on the verge of collapse because of some doom it has brought upon itself (a Mistake-analog), […]

Ben Robbins | June 24th, 2011 | what we played

Mars Colony Triple-header

“I start a campaign… a totally _fascist_ campaign.” –brand new gamer, solving the problems of Mars I love Mars Colony. It’s hands-down the best game I picked up at GenCon 2009. That’s not even considering that it’s technically only an ash can release, not the final version, which is coming out at GenCon this year. […]

Ben Robbins | May 19th, 2010 | what we played | 3 comments

We have forks

Great moments in Mouse Guard. The patrol is welcomed to Darkwater after an arduous journey. Tired mice are tired, and hungry mice are hungry. Hearty meals are arranged by the happy hosts. player: mimes picking up food with his paws and nibbling on it city-mouse: “We have forks.” player: “I have a high Nature.” This […]

Ben Robbins | March 26th, 2010 | what we played

Now he’s my real brother

Playing Shock with (nearly) total strangers. We’re doing it old-school, so we secretly pick issues and then brainstorm a Shock that fits, instead of the wussy Shock-first approach. We choose overpopulation, cultural extinction and plagiarism, and decide on a dystopian future where ideological groups struggle for dominance in society. The Shock we come up with […]

Ben Robbins | March 19th, 2010 | what we played

Dauntless Mission #4: the Ruby Aurora

The DAUNTLESS flies again! This was literally a “just finishing breakfast, sitting around in our pajamas, saying hey we could play a quick game of InSpace” kind of deal. As usual in less than two hours we had crafted an entire gripping story arc out of nothing and then sat back and admired the game’s […]

Ben Robbins | January 20th, 2009 | InSpectres, what we played

Dauntless Mission #3: Plague at Prospect Station

Spoiler alert: Like the other DAUNTLESS games, mission three was a lot of fun. Unlike the other missions the story didn’t really wrap up in one neat package. Why not? We accidentally skipped the mid-game pow-wow. Seriously: do not underestimate the power of the pow-wow. Once again Jem takes the GM helm and Ping and […]

Ben Robbins | October 24th, 2008 | InSpectres, what we played | 2 comments

Dauntless Mission #2: Trapped in the Void

Our first InSpectres in Spaaaace! game turned out to be a great way to do cerebral “mysteries of the universe” adventures. But is InSpectres really a winner for this kind of game or did we just luck out? Science demands more data points! Recognizing that GMing is easy street, Jem steps up to the plate […]

Ben Robbins | September 23rd, 2008 | InSpectres, what we played

Games I want to play: Geiger Counter scenarios

There are just not enough hours in the day to play all the Geiger Counter games I want to try. I’m particularly interested in using the system in less obvious ways (not just another slasher/aliens movie). These are a few of the ideas we’ve got queued up, just waiting for a chance to play. Maybe […]

Ben Robbins | September 17th, 2008 | what we played | 3 comments

Dauntless Mission #1: InSpectres In Spaaaace!

After our last excellent InSpectres game (the Matter of the Missing Mummy -or- the Case of the Peripatetic Pharaoh) we decided to take it out for another spin and see what else we could do with it. If you’re unfamiliar with InSpectres, the idea is that it takes traditional game structure and flips it on […]

Ben Robbins | September 11th, 2008 | InSpectres, what we played | 3 comments

Perils of Abstract Defeat

We went a mad binge last week with the new Descent campaign game (The Road to Legend). It’s an improvement over the original game in a number of ways, mostly because there’s more long-term development and planning instead of the usual “>spang< Gold treasure!" inflation at the end of every dungeon. One thing that's a […]

Ben Robbins | May 12th, 2008 | what we played