Tag Results

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 | , ,

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 | , , , ,

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 | , ,

“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 | , , ,

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 | ,

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 |

Actual Play Roundup: Unicorn vs Death (GPNW 2014)

Got to play two great games of Microscope Union at Go Play NW: Revolutionary Zero — Bringing down society as we know it. Let she who is without sin throw the first plague.? Oathbreaker — Magi, faerie courts and unicorns (well, one unicorn) fighting Death for the soul of a mortal.? Pat, Feiya and Tim […]

Ben Robbins | July 5th, 2014 | , ,

“My Dad, he’s full of stars!”

First playtest of Microscope Union was beautiful and bittersweet: Nathan grew up on the farm. As a young man he sees strange lights in the sky, a sight that fills him with quiet wonder. Belle comes from the big city. She hates the country, hates working on the farm, but eventually she and Nathan fall […]

Ben Robbins | June 20th, 2014 | , , , , | 3 comments

“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 | , ,

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 | ,

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 | , ,

Who’s the real witch in Salem?

“Hey, I want to film a story game! Round up the hottest players in Seattle and bring them to my office! Stat!” That’s Peter Adkison talking, a little over a year ago. He needed to make a documentary for his film class and story games seemed like the perfect topic and would I help out? […]

Ben Robbins | August 7th, 2013 | , | 2 comments

Six Years of Power

Michael over at Futile Position had a few short questions for me about Kingdom and Microscope. Unfortunately for him I had a few very long answers: Interview with Ben Robbins about his new world-building story game Kingdom (Futile Position) As a special bonus this interview also includes a recap of almost the entire second Crossroad […]

Ben Robbins | June 19th, 2013 | , ,

You’re no White Knight (aka kids being awesome gamers)

We were at Emerald City Comic Con, manning the story games table, when a kid comes up with his Dad. He’s maybe 10 years old and he’s curious about these games even though he’s never played a role-playing game before. And I mean intensely curious, not just idly asking. He’s heard of Dungeons & Dragons […]

Ben Robbins | March 18th, 2013 | , , , , | 5 comments

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 |

“We reject Kings, Princes, Santas and other Tyrants…”

She looked me dead in the eye and uttered two words: “Santa. Kingdom.” A lot of the time we play serious, challenging games; dramatic examinations of life, society and the human condition. But sometimes you know you need a break and some surefire ace-in-the-hole fun. And in a situation like that you might just decide […]

Ben Robbins | December 20th, 2012 | , , | 1 comment

Actual Play Roundup: Is anything more epic than a psionic scream heard across the stars?

There are more great Microscope game write-ups out there than I can keep up with, but these are a few of my recent favorites: Psionic scream heard across the stars — Easily the most epic Microscope play report I’ve seen in quite a while. After the first session the story continues with the Retreat, the […]

Ben Robbins | November 26th, 2012 | ,

Moments in the Cold War

Microscope. A Cold War history. Lots of serious drama that left us craving even more Cold War Microscope. Mockingbird The British agents on operation “Mockingbird” are set up in a flat in a ghetto of emigrants who got out of the Eastern bloc and came to the West. The agents have been hunkered there for […]

Ben Robbins | November 7th, 2012 | , , , | 4 comments

Starfall

Sneak peak from a Kingdom playset I’m working on: Starfall, weapons-smith to the galaxy. A hidden world-clave of scientists and technocrats, Starfall is the ultimate arms dealer to the planets. Humble and discrete, they are both corporation and independent nation-state, the kingmakers of all interplanetary affairs. Starfall’s weapons have no equal in known space. They […]

Ben Robbins | August 27th, 2012 | , | 1 comment

I ♥ Unicorns

The best Microscope game ever might have happened at GeekGirlCon this weekend. I wasn’t even in the game. Didn’t even see it. But from what I’ve heard it’s now my favorite session ever. Two sessions, actually. A very small and very brave girl came up to our table. One of our expert facilitators leaned down […]

Ben Robbins | August 15th, 2012 | , , | 4 comments

Actual Play Roundup: Something Fractal in the State of Denmark

One of the marvelous things about the modern world is that when you publish a game electronically, people around the world can buy and download it instantly. Microscope games have popped up all over the globe, but now Denmark seems to be the latest nation to get the fractal history bug… Utopia The Second Coming […]

Ben Robbins | June 26th, 2012 | , , | 4 comments

“You’re the only one who’s ready.”

Kingdom playtest. Sanctuary of Arcadia, game 2. The elders want to revive the old tradition and send Heralds out into the world to do good works in the name of the sequestered wizards of Arcadia. Karadin comes from the outside world and knows it isn’t the idyllic haven the Arcadians are used to. It’s a […]

Ben Robbins | May 25th, 2012 | ,