Tag Results

Real Dinosaurs Are Bitey

A Jurassic Park-style Kingdom, spawning dinosaurs and showing them off to tourists: what could go wrong?!? We had a petting zoo, dammit. A petting zoo. We were so close to saving the park. So close. But even though we turned a moral corner and decided to start fresh with *natural* dinosaurs instead of the genetically […]

Ben Robbins | February 12th, 2018 | ,

Kingdom: Return of Time Passes

I’m experimenting with a new way to do Time Passes in Kingdom. I removed it for one-shot games in the latest revision, but you can use this new rule in both one-shot and multi-session games: TIME PASSES When it’s your turn to make a Crossroad, you can instead say that Time Passes. Immediately play out […]

Ben Robbins | September 2nd, 2017 | | 2 comments

Lawyers Never Die

Kingdom at Story Games Seattle. When the new Archbishop of the Church of England forbids contracts binding demons to work on Sundays, the senior partner of our firm has an inspirational meeting with one of the founding partners (whose ghost haunts our office). He gets in touch with his inner lawyer, remembers why he started […]

Ben Robbins | July 7th, 2017 | , ,

Lord of the Flies: Kingdom in the Classroom

Over the past few years, I’ve heard from a lot of different educators who have experimented with Microscope, Kingdom and similar games in the classroom. They were each trying different approaches, but didn’t have a common forum to share what they’d learned. So when Keenan Kibrick contacted me and we talked about creating a new […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2016 | ,

Kingdom v1.3

I released Kingdom three years ago, but every time I play it I’m still looking for ways to make it better. It’s a crowd-favorite at Story Games Seattle so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to try out refinements that streamline the rules and make things simpler, faster and more fun. This rules update includes […]

Ben Robbins | July 25th, 2016 |

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 |

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 |

Summer Is Coming

The Story Games Seattle crew delivers some stunningly good Kingdom games. This time we played a Kingdom in the style of Toy Story, if Toy Story walked in on Lord of the Flies going to third base with Animal Farm. Playtime Is Over (Kingdom) Is there an award for darkest story featuring toys? Because if […]

Ben Robbins | May 17th, 2015 | , ,

Uncontrolled Orders & Predictions

A small but important official change to the Kingdom rules. If you switch Roles and leave orders or predictions behind, it’s up to the players who have Power or Perspective during Crossroad resolution to decide whether they happen. Kingdom Rules Update: Uncontrolled Orders & Predictions (one-page PDF) Update: I revised and simplified the text to […]

Ben Robbins | May 29th, 2014 | | 2 comments

Necropolis: Fingers Worked to the Bone

In Necropolis, you work even after you’re dead. Your corpse is state property, reanimated as a mindless undead laborer. It is an industrialized city-state powered by reanimated perpetual motion machines. If it can be powered by crank, piston, or gear, you’ll find it worked by a skeletal hand. Ryan Deugan was one of the Power […]

Ben Robbins | May 20th, 2014 |

Burn the Witch! A Salem Kingdom

For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken … we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants and cause their prayers to […]

Ben Robbins | April 29th, 2014 | ,

Temporary Kingdoms

I was reading about how during the American Revolutionary War, Henry Knox hauled an entire battery of cannons from captured Fort Ticonderoga 300 miles through the dead of winter to give George Washington’s army the artillery it vitally needed to threaten the fortified British. It sounded like an epic trek: cannons falling through the ice […]

Ben Robbins | March 11th, 2014 |

They Have Perspective

I just sent out the sneak peek of my next game as a reward for the fine folks who backed Kingdom at the Perspective level. If you’re a Perspective backer and you didn’t get the link, let me know. I usually play my cards pretty close to the vest when it comes to projects I’m […]

Ben Robbins | March 6th, 2014 | ,

“How Weirdly Powerless”

How weirdly powerless Power is. There’s a built-in irony, caused by these limitations, by not allowing a character both perspective and power. And of course, that makes perfect real-world sense, doesn’t it? When you take power, you become something set apart from your peers, and can’t claim to properly represent them. You have, in fact, […]

Ben Robbins | February 11th, 2014 | ,

Actual Play Roundup: A Beetle Pushing the Sun

A few of the latest and greatest Kingdom games from around the world. Are they playing Kingdom in Korea? The answer is yes. Plains Tribes — “Originally I was a little bit worried about how the tribal roleplaying would turn out, whether it would descend into a stereotype-fest a la every Hollywood movie with Indians […]

Ben Robbins | February 5th, 2014 | , ,

Kingdom on IPR & Amazon

Kingdom is now also available through Indie Press Revolution and Amazon. Amazon is actually out of stock (already) but there are more on the way to their warehouse. And of course you can always buy the book or PDF direct. Indie Press Revolution distributes to various cool Friendly Local Game Stores, so if you want […]

Ben Robbins | February 1st, 2014 |

Brain Trust

I was very lucky making Kingdom. Not only did I have a horde of playtesters with appetites like feral cats (a good thing) but I had a rock solid brain trust: Caroline Hobbs, Marc Hobbs and Pat Kemp. It’s not just that I played a lot of great Kingdom games with them — though I […]

Ben Robbins | December 28th, 2013 |

A Kingdom (book) of Your Own

Kingdom books are now on sale. Go get you one. You’ll notice that you can order Microscope books too. Now that I’ve jumped into the deep end and set up the infrastructure to ship piles of books for Kickstarter, I’m going to give direct sales a try. Books and PDFs will still be available at […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2013 | | 2 comments

Start the Presses

The final Kingdom proof came back from the printer. It looks great, so I’ve given the order: start the printing presses. If you already bought the PDF, you’ll be getting an email link to download the updated version that includes the final corrections and changes that were made before the book went to print. Kickstarters, […]

Ben Robbins | November 22nd, 2013 | | 2 comments

Battle of the Planets

I’ve been working so much on getting Kingdom to the printer that I haven’t gotten to play in a while, which is a crime where I come from. Happily some good folks at Story Games Seattle were up for plunging the universe into interplanetary war. Because, y’know: Thursday. Star*Watch: the Interplanetary Patrol I was a […]

Ben Robbins | November 18th, 2013 | , ,

Kingdom: What Changed

If you’re a Kickstarter backer who got the advance release of Kingdom at the end of July, this is a review of what changed in the final version. There are lots of places in the text that have been revised or cleaned up to make the game easier to understand and play without actually changing […]

Ben Robbins | November 9th, 2013 |

Hail to the Playtesters

Here’s a thing about games you’re working on: they are just ugly piles of cogs and gears until you play them. And you can’t just play by yourself. You need other people. Brave souls willing to play with you. People willing to spend precious hours of their lives trying something that may be ruinously half-baked […]

Ben Robbins | November 8th, 2013 |

Kingdom Released

Can’t wait to make a Kingdom of your own? Today is your lucky day. It’s done. You can purchase and download it right now. After the Kickstarter advance release, I spent a lot of time tweaking and fine-tuning, polishing every single moving part to make sure that when you played, you would have a great […]

Ben Robbins | November 2nd, 2013 |

Early Kingdom Emerges

People are playing Kingdom right now. Well, Kickstarter backers are, anyway. It’s a rules-only release while the appendices and other supplemental materials are being finished. I promised I’d get them playing Kingdom by the end of July and I made it with four hours to spare. Piece of cake! People are already reporting the Kingdoms […]

Ben Robbins | August 6th, 2013 | | 1 comment