Tag Results

The Fall and Rise (and Fall) of Antal

Intense game of Follow at Story Games Seattle. We played the Rebellion question, but our fellowship was nowhere near equipped to overthrow the new nobles, House Jakab, that had ousted our traditional rulers, the beloved House of Antal. Character creation led to a wonderfully complex interpersonal web: “My mother was a nanny for the nobles, […]

Ben Robbins | February 19th, 2018 | , ,

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 | ,

We See Dead People

Shock at Story Games Seattle. Our issues (picked independently and secretly, as we do) were Loneliness, Inheritance, and Over-Medication. What kind of sci-fi Shock could we brainstorm that addresses all three of these issues? How about a drug that lets you go into a trance and talk to your ancestors? We have a whole society […]

Ben Robbins | February 2nd, 2018 | , ,

“Is it… sentient?”

Saturday at Story Games Seattle, we were doing the meditative “hmm, what kind of history do we want to make…” when Connor threw out one word that made everyone at the table go “a ha!!!”: Domestication It got us thinking about symbiosis and spawned a setting where two independent sentient species, one human and one […]

Ben Robbins | November 14th, 2017 | , ,

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 | , ,

Do You Think You’re Beautiful?

We’re on the verge of a breakthrough that will change society. We’ve deciphered the genetic code and can bend it to our will. But… the only genetic trait we’ve mastered is beauty. Physical beauty. We can’t make you smarter or healthier, just more attractive. We’ve isolated beauty to a mathematical equation and can engineer facial […]

Ben Robbins | May 31st, 2017 | , , , | 2 comments

An Eye for an Eye

Do cybernetic implants count as human remains? When you have parts inside you that are the intellectual property of others, where does the boundary of ownership lie — is it really *your* arm? And once total body replacement is available, can you still be held responsible for your actions since someone else made your synthetic […]

Ben Robbins | April 17th, 2017 | , , ,

Kill All Enlightened Robots

Usually at a con you get some good games and some okay games. At our story games area at Emerald City Comicon I drew the lucky penny: all my games were great great great. One Microscope game included a textbook example of building on each other’s contributions to make an unexpected whole. We’re making the […]

Ben Robbins | April 11th, 2017 | , ,

Heartbreak at Suicide Ridge

I already talked about the Follow Rebellion where we (luckily) failed to awaken the elder god Kanaguk and destroy the world. I played another Rebellion at Story Games Seattle just a few days later with a totally different group, half of whom had never played Follow before. Playing two Rebellions in a row was chance, […]

Ben Robbins | November 6th, 2016 | , ,

Awaken, Kanaguk!

I played two games of Follow last week and by tooooootal coincidence we picked the Rebellion both times. When I’m playtesting, I often sit back and see what quest the other players choose, because: playtesting. What quests people choose or reject can be very informative. The same quest, twice in a row? Boring, right? Nope, […]

Ben Robbins | September 27th, 2016 | ,

That Winning Face

“That moment in Follow where everyone holds their breath as you draw the stones… and then everyone screams. Priceless.” Game designers make the games they want to play. We’re selfish like that. But it’s a good thing, because it means we want our games to work (selfish) and we love what we make. But for […]

Ben Robbins | September 6th, 2016 | , ,

The Colony: Strength vs Beauty, Truckers vs Slugs (Follow at Go Play NW, part 3)

My third game of Follow at Go Play NW. The very last slot of the con. The slot that has no lunch break before it. Traditionally that means people will be a little logy, a little tired, or maybe if you’re lucky, laid back and serene. That was our first real life “what makes your […]

Ben Robbins | August 28th, 2016 | , ,

The Dragon: the Sacred Flame (Follow at Go Play NW, part 2)

On Sunday a bunch of the Go Play NW staff retreated to an undisclosed location to end the con with some gaming glee. True fact: con organizers are often too exhausted making fun for others to enjoy themselves and play all the games. It’s a crime but there it is. So when Brandon suggested we […]

Ben Robbins | August 14th, 2016 | , ,

Follow at Go Play NW: Rebels and Dragons and Truckers, Oh My!

Go Play oh glorious Go Play! How we miss thee! Yeah, it’s only been a few weeks, but around the country hearts are breaking because we are separated from our dear comrades in creative-arms. We weep, we sleep, and we weep again. I got to play some lovely sessions of Follow. I scheduled one for […]

Ben Robbins | August 9th, 2016 | , ,

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 | ,

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 | , | 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 | , , , | 2 comments

A Good Week (for Betrayal!)

Obviously the question of people working together (or not) is a pretty fundamental one which I think makes it great material for examination. As a game designer, that’s something that interests me: looking at core issues or social dynamics that we all deal with. Cooperation is a universal issue. Where it isn’t, it should be. […]

Ben Robbins | July 3rd, 2016 | , | 2 comments

Hackers & Homework

or, “You can take down the corrupt corporate hegemony after you finish cleaning your room!” I tried out some rules tweaks for Follow at our Story Games Seattle playtest meetup Monday. We agreed on a Heist but decided to make it a cyberpunk-hacky thing. Pretty normal so far, right? Except half the characters turned out […]

Ben Robbins | June 30th, 2016 | , ,

Hide In Your Own Body

Playtesting Eden again. Baruch has troubles. He accidentally broke Hosanna’s precious dagger so she paid him back by luring him into webs of biting spiders. But it didn’t end there and now she’s just terrorizing him. Baruch is afraid and asks turtle what to do. Turtle (slowly) pulls his head and legs into his shell. […]

Ben Robbins | June 2nd, 2016 | ,

Eye of the Kraken

One of the nice things about the quest templates in Follow is that they get everyone on the same page about the kind of task we’re performing, but they’re flexible enough that you can easily change the flavor or setting. Want to steal the plans to the Death Star? Whip out the Heist quest. By […]

Ben Robbins | May 25th, 2016 | , | 2 comments

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 | , ,

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 | , , , , ,

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 | , ,