Tag Results

Kingdomon (part 2), Launching Into Legacy

Last day of the Kickstarter, so of course it’s time to take a break from prepping the advance release for backers to talk more about our Pokemon-inspired Kingdom Legacy campaign. Catch up on part 1 first. Our game ends and we sit basking in the afterglow. “Soooooo,” I drawl with false casualness, “if you guys […]

Ben Robbins | October 13th, 2020 | , ,

Kingdomon: You Must Acquire Them All!

Caroline has a theory that all games can be used to play Pokemon. Or more accurately, role-play in a Pokemon setting. So when Caroline, Marc, Al, and I sat down (virtually) to play some Kingdom earlier this year, I thought, yeah sure. I’m not as big of a Pokemon fan as soooome people at the […]

Ben Robbins | October 11th, 2020 | , ,

The Sword of Thanormyr

I’ve been playtesting Marc’s game Epitaph for years. It’s finally available on Kickstarter, which means soon you can play it too! If you look at the Kickstarter page, you can see the story of “Cyrna of Thanormyr” is one of the graphics. That’s one of the games I was in, but trimmed down and simplified […]

Ben Robbins | September 17th, 2020 | ,

Grand Experiments: Bloody Morder

I’ve seen strangely proud GM’s say “oooh that game was so intense a character jumped off a cliff to escape THE HORROR!” But here’s my question: the player is deciding what the character does, so is that player responding to the fiction or the GM? Is this the dramatic moment of despair the GM proudly […]

Ben Robbins | April 2nd, 2020 | , ,

Angels & Offspring

Me: Welcome to Microscope! What kind of history should we make? “Emergence of magic!” “Angels!” “The extinction of mankind!” Me: Cool. What if we combine all three? Birthrates in our modern world dwindle, which (we discover in play) is because angels have walked unseen among us and judged that humanity’s time should come to an […]

Ben Robbins | January 22nd, 2020 | , | 2 comments

Last Stand of the Murderfists

In the atomic wastelands of the future, the Murderfists are the undisputed champions of the brutal sport, Killball. But now they stand before the mutant overlord, awaiting judgment. Their crime? Stopping the execution of their comrade, condemned to slow-death in the sands for daring to love a houri of the tyrant’s harem. From his gilded […]

Ben Robbins | January 14th, 2020 | ,

Goody Patience of Salem

Ahhh, Salem! Good old terrible Salem! I’m no stranger to the Salem Fiasco playset, but this time around we had sexism, racism, and assorted acts of bad parenting… honestly witchcraft was the least of our problems. The witches might have been the most level-headed folks in town. They certainly caused the least damage. I love […]

Ben Robbins | November 7th, 2019 |

It Was A Monster Mash

You know how some ideas sound terrible on paper, but in the moment they work perfectly? Amazingly, even? That was this game. Our original game plan fell through, so Andy, Marc, Caroline and I switched to an off-the-cuff game of Follow. Marc had been wanting to play ghosts driving people out of their haunted house. […]

Ben Robbins | October 20th, 2019 | ,

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