Tag Results

Happy Birthday, Microscope!

It’s hard to believe Microscope is five years old today (almost seven if you count from the first game we played). And what better birthday present than brand new Microscope Explorer books, hot off the presses? Let the shipping commence..!

Ben Robbins | February 23rd, 2016 | , | 1 comment

History Is a Lie

I finish Microscope Explorer and I immediately start coming up with even more ways to play. Doh! Jonathan Walton asked: Thinking about using Microscope for a grad class on Friday. Anyone run it (or Echo) as attempt to uncover/obscure “true” history? I’m hoping it might be useful for exploring multiple competing narratives about the same […]

Ben Robbins | February 18th, 2016 | | 1 comment

Breaking the Oracles

The first print test of Microscope Explorer just came back. Yep, it looks great. But before I press the big red button that starts the actual print run, I’m double-checking (and triple-checking) everything, then doing a second print test with those final corrections. One of main things I’ve been doing is stress-testing the Oracles to […]

Ben Robbins | January 24th, 2016 | ,

Unleash the Scribes!

“Wanted: Hundreds of monks to manually transcribe copies of Microscope Explorer onto thin pages of vellum…” What’s that? We’ve got machines for that now? Whew, that’ll save time. And monks. Now that the PDF is done I’m working on test prints of the book. When those check out, bulk printing begins. Depending on turnaround times […]

Ben Robbins | January 12th, 2016 | , | 4 comments

Microscope Explorer Released

Microscope Explorer, the new supplement for Microscope, is available, right now. Backers have already had their hands on Union, Chronicle and history Seeds for months, so it’s time to give everyone else a shot! Books should be ready to ship in February but you can pre-order them now.

Ben Robbins | January 3rd, 2016 | ,

“Arrr why won’t my kids grow up faster?!?”

It’s always fantastic to chat with RpgGamerDad. After he invited me to talk about Microscope back in January I promised I’d come back when the Microscope Explorer was underway. So I did! RpgGamerDad Podcast: Ep 43 – Sunny Seattle Special RpgGamerDad also talked a bit about Microscope Explorer and his plans to run Microscope with […]

Ben Robbins | August 3rd, 2015 | , , , ,

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 Explorer Kicks Off

Psst! Hey, kid! Want to score some cool new ways to play Microscope? I’ve got some Microscope Explorer right here… (uh, imagine me whispering in a dark alley, possibly wearing a ratty trench coat, tempting the youths with story games and that sweet, sweet imagination…)

Ben Robbins | July 6th, 2015 | ,

Echo: Take Your Time

Ever since the first playtest, Microscope Echo required the Lens to describe a faction going back and changing history. The idea was that this intervention kicks off each round and drives the action. But as I keep playing it, I’m thinking that requirement isn’t necessary. Players don’t seem at all hesitant to go back and […]

Ben Robbins | June 15th, 2015 | , ,

Guilt Con 2015

“Let’s work on our games! Use the devastating weight of procrastination shame to jam it up!”–the Mighty CHOBBS Peer pressure makes good company. So this weekend, Marc, Caroline and I set the grindstone speed to “dangerously high” and leaned way, way in. We ignored the pretty-pretty sunshine, the chirpy-chirpy birds, and did the dreadful labor […]

Ben Robbins | May 14th, 2015 | , , , ,

Getting ready for Microscope Explorer

Now that all the spin-off games have gone through playtesting, I put up a proper introduction page to talk about what’s going to be in the new Microscope Explorer book. Three Microscope spin-off games? Detailed step-by-step seeds plus randomly generated seeds? All that lovely strategic advice? Yep, we got all that.

Ben Robbins | April 28th, 2015 | , | 2 comments

“Fantasy worlds that break history’s back”

“But too often, fantasy worlds are created like Ikea furniture, popping up whole with minimal assembly from big pre-existing parts that creak and come apart after heavy use. That’s why so many many fictional worlds seem to produce carbon copies of real world Western gender hierarchies, even if it becomes painfully dissonant with other details […]

Ben Robbins | March 29th, 2015 |

Microscope Echo Needs Playtesters

Four years ago today, Microscope is released: would-be players: “Oh cool! A game about time travel!” me: “Actually no. Players pick where in time they want to explore but the characters in the game can’t move through time. Except, uh, forwards. At the normal speed.” would-be players: “But… I can haz time travel?” Fast forward […]

Ben Robbins | February 23rd, 2015 | , , | 15 comments

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 | , , , ,

“What do people that play Microscope need?”

Really fun interview I did on the RPG Gamer Dad podcast is now online. I talk about Microscope, Kingdom, the wonders of gaming with kids, the eternal font of fun that is Story Games Seattle, and some of the cool new stuff being crafted by Marc and Caroline. And yeah, I drop a few hints […]

Ben Robbins | January 19th, 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 | , ,

The Adventures of Meteor Man

The RPG Gamer Dad podcast talks with James Torrance about Microscope: RPG Gamer Dad: The Astounding Adventures of Meteor Man And yes, the eponymous Meteor Man segment right before the Microscope part has nothing to do with Microscope, but it’s awesome so you should give it a listen.

Ben Robbins | November 26th, 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 | , , ,

Microscope? Reddit.

The Microscope areas on G+ and RPGGeek are already pretty active, but now there’s a shiny new spot to talk about it on Reddit: /r/MicroscopeRPG/ on Reddit Microscope has popped up on reddit before, but this is the first time it’s had its own subreddit. Relish it, crewcut!

Ben Robbins | September 30th, 2014 |

Microscope Chronicle Playtest Closing

Hearken, ye gamers! The playtest of Microscope Chronicle is closing September 30. If you’re on the team you should have already gotten an email with instructions and whatnot. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback already, because playtesters rock. I predicted a while back that Chronicle might turn out to be the people’s choice for […]

Ben Robbins | September 19th, 2014 | , , | 1 comment

Watch the Unwatchable Foreign Film

Jackson Tegu has been working on a hack of Microscope called Kaleidoscope: Gather 3-5 players, set aside 2 hours, and make up an unwatchable “foreign” film using a pile of index cards and your crazy brains! Use this step-by-step guide to guffaw your group through non-chronologically remembering a wildly bizarre movie that you apparently just […]

Ben Robbins | September 16th, 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 | ,

Don’t Forget Gollum

Garth Rose just read the playtest draft of Microscope Chronicle: I can easily imagine doing a Chronicle on the One Ring. ;) Anchor characters: Sauron, Celebrimbor, Isildur, Bilbo, Frodo (or maybe Sam).? Exactly.

Ben Robbins | August 14th, 2014 | , , | 1 comment