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In Defense of “Boring” Worlds

Caroline has stepped up to the typewriter to talk about the beauty of creating “boring” settings with In This World. Worlds that aren’t incredibly strange or fantastic, but are just a little bit different from our own. The fun of boring worlds (Caroline Hobbs on

Ben Robbins | May 3rd, 2024 | , ,

Our Last Beautiful Dream

I could tell you about our In This World game the other night, when we explored the topic of Dreams. I could tell you about the Leviathan haunting our nightmares, or planned dreams as a therapeutic tool, or the whole world sharing one wondrous, endless dream in the millisecond before all humanity goes extinct. I […]

Ben Robbins | May 3rd, 2024 | , | 3 comments

A Bard, As In Shakespeare

We’ve been using In This World to explore D&D concepts, as you do. Last week: dungeons. This week: character classes. One of our statements is, in normal D&D, bards are musicians. They sing and play music. But in this world, bards are writers. They write and tell stories, traveling across the land to share tales, […]

Ben Robbins | May 3rd, 2024 | ,

A Microscope For The People

In a previous post I talked about the issues with scenes in Microscope. Issues that often lead players to avoid scenes, which (I think) robs you of the full experience of seeing how the big history affects human lives. The good news is that I’ve been working on a solution, which is to make scenes […]

Ben Robbins | April 10th, 2024 | , , , | 2 comments

In This World, In This Classroom

Okay, show of hands: who’s interested in a course called “Science Fiction & Public Health”??? Sign me up! In their latest podcast, Alexis Dinno and Nell Carter talk about how they brought In This World to the classroom at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health: Science Fiction & Public Health Podcast, Episode 8 The In […]

Ben Robbins | April 2nd, 2024 | ,

The Problem With Microscope Scenes

Microscope is great, but as a designer I’m always looking for ways to make my games better. And Microscope has some spots that could use an upgrade. What’s the problem? Scenes. I think scenes are important to Microscope, because scenes are when we zoom all the way in and see how the big history impacts […]

Ben Robbins | April 1st, 2024 | , , | 14 comments

Union: Cousins Once Removed

Say you want to make characters who are all from the same small town. Or from related noble houses. Or who all came to this planet on the same generation ship. Maybe you just want to make up their backstories, or maybe these are characters you’re actually going to play in a campaign. Normally you […]

Ben Robbins | March 23rd, 2024 | ,

More Worlds In The Wild

Even more copies of In This World arriving around the globe (and also Portland). The kickstarter is done and done! There are still stragglers who haven’t answered their surveys (there are always stragglers) but the vast majority have gone out. And I have to say that, as a game designer, it is tremendously satisfying seeing […]

Ben Robbins | March 20th, 2024 | | 2 comments

Dress For the Job You Want

People have had a long week, everyone’s tired, but we still want to do a little gaming-something-something. This looks like a job for… IN THIS WORLD! Our topic: Clothing! We were doing the normal brainstorming and we had some good topics (but also “trains!!!”) but when Caroline threw out Clothing I knew that was the […]

Ben Robbins | March 12th, 2024 | , | 1 comment

Follow Neue Questen

German-speaking Follow players, today is your lucky day. Plotbunny Games, who did the translation of Follow, have released a bunch of brand new quests. Are these destined to be released in English too? I have it on good authority that they just might. And if that is something you’d like to see, let Plotbunny know […]

Ben Robbins | March 5th, 2024 | ,

Worlds In The Wild

I’m getting verified sightings of In This World deliveries in the wild! Books are showing up on people’s doorsteps, which means it’s time to get folks together and make some new worlds. Cats not included. Update: If you too want to show everyone your beautiful book (with or without pets) drop a link in the […]

Ben Robbins | February 23rd, 2024 |

A Whole Stack of Worlds

Does one of these belong to you? If you interpret this glorious sight to mean that printing is done and shipping is underway, you would be correct.

Ben Robbins | February 5th, 2024 |

In This Murder

“Let’s pick a light topic, like Holidays. Or maybe… MURRRRDEERRR????” The Thursday night hobbits have a knack for In This World that is by now well-documented: sparrow bodhisattvas, mech wars, reimagining the Aliens movies… oh right, I never posted about the Aliens game. Someone remind me to do that. So when we sat down to […]

Ben Robbins | January 18th, 2024 | ,

Making History Out of Order, But With Kingdom

Over the past few years we’ve played some pretty huge Kingdom legacy games. Yes, the rules say you can make each new era in the past or future of your community, but on a whim I wondered just how often we actually played out of chronological order? Luckily I have all the data, so figuring […]

Ben Robbins | December 19th, 2023 | , , ,

Prophecies Can Be Good or Bad

“This is part of the magic of collaborative world-building — that you can start a sentence with no pressure to finish it on your own. Jump. Your friends will catch you.” Jack Edward wrote a very thoughtful review of In This World after playing it with his group to brainstorm a campaign world. I highly […]

Ben Robbins | December 3rd, 2023 |