Tag Results

Farewell, Story Games Seattle!

After 8 years and over 600 meetups, I’m shutting down Story Games Seattle. Lots and lots of people have been a part of Story Games Seattle over the years. So many people and so many great games… and some terrible ones too, because that’s the risk you take when you sit down with strangers and […]

Ben Robbins | March 29th, 2018 | , | 9 comments

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 | , ,

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 | , ,

300 Games Later

You play a game, then you play another game, then you play another game, and suddenly… you’ve played a lot of games. A few weeks ago I played my 300th game at Story Games Seattle. That’s a lot of candles on that cake. If you told me when I sat down to show people how […]

Ben Robbins | October 11th, 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 | , ,

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 | , , ,

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 | , ,

PAX 2016: Veni Vidi Ludi

“We came. We saw. We gamed.” Once again, crack squads from Story Games Seattle, Story Games Olympia and other parts Pacific Northwest, descended on PAX to bring the story games to the people. From Friday through Monday, our expert facilitators were on hand, offering games to anybody who wandered up and wanted to take them […]

Ben Robbins | September 18th, 2016 | , , ,

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 | , ,

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 | , ,

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 | , ,

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 | , , , ,

“The people at the table are what matters”

Story games documentary time! [ don’t be alarmed, the first thirty seconds or so is black, but if you have trouble here’s a direct link ] That’s me, J.C. and Natalie playing, plus Ashley and Ed at the interview table. The background action is all the awesome folks of Story Games Seattle playing at the […]

Ben Robbins | January 26th, 2015 | , , , , | 2 comments

“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

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 | , ,

Story Games Seattle FAQ

I put together a Frequently Asked Questions page for Story Games Seattle. “But wait,” you ask, “you’ve been running the thing for three years? You’re just posted a FAQ now?” Yep. There have been assorted pages discussing what we do or don’t do but nothing quite as comprehensive as this. Oh right, you were asking […]

Ben Robbins | May 16th, 2013 | ,

Women in Gaming Communities (Norwescon 2013)

Women in Gaming Communities (Sat 6-7 pm) Gender inequality among gamers continues to be a frequent topic. Women and girl gamers often feel unwelcome in the boys club, and gamers can be clueless or dismissive of gender inequality. What are some successful ways to get women into gaming? What are some things to avoid? How […]

Ben Robbins | April 23rd, 2013 | , , , | 3 comments

“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

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

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