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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

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

Time Is A Tentacle

Microscope game recording on the Roll Play Game podcast. They’re expanding on an existing published setting, so there’s a lot of negotiation and discussion at the very start about what fits, but after that they get down to proper Microscope-business. Storm of Whispers – Prologue I: The Origins of the Race And when they say […]

Ben Robbins | July 30th, 2023 | ,

Beware False Prophets

A digital Fahrenheit 451 meets Twitter. Censorship, online connectivity (or the lack thereof), and everyone winding up miserable. That’s the history I got to play with some folks who had never tried Microscope before, or hardly any story games for that matter. Playing with new folks is — let’s not mince words — always a […]

Ben Robbins | July 24th, 2023 | ,

Barbie x Microscope

Yes, that’s Barbie Microscope. There are close ups of the timeline in the thread which are just loaded with golden moments: “Ken is good at taking orders.” “Why does Ken have big feelings???” I can *see* the story arc unfolding. I have… no words. Just infinite love and respect.

Ben Robbins | July 16th, 2023 | , ,

Just Him and His Dad

From an email I’ve been meaning to post. Today seems like the right day: Just wanted to let you know – I introduced a friend of mine to Microscope with a 4-person game a few months back, and he enjoyed it so much that I bought him the rulebook. He texted me yesterday saying that […]

Ben Robbins | June 18th, 2023 | , , | 4 comments

“Ooh, let’s be bad!” Microscope player says before Breaking the Rules

“People playing a Microscope game over brunch were heard saying “let’s be bad,” as they began to break the rules of the history-building RPG. “We’ve had a rough week!” Elizabeth Nelson said loudly. “I just finished up a month-long assignment, and Nadine’s boss has been a super dick, so we’re treating ourself and playing a […]

Ben Robbins | March 26th, 2023 | ,

Microscope In Spanish

El Refugio de Ryhope is bringing Microscope to Spanish speakers world-wide! They did a great job with Follow, and it’s always exciting to see Microscope unleashed on a whole new community.

Ben Robbins | March 7th, 2023 | , | 1 comment

Metal of the Gods

Humanity steals metal from the Gods… HEAVY METAL… In a classic case of someone suggesting an idea, then someone else taking that idea a little further, than someone else going even farther, we decided to do a quick Microscope game that was pure cosmic metal, and discovered in the process that my friends are stone […]

Ben Robbins | August 28th, 2022 | , | 1 comment

It Never Ends

The most unrealistic thing about Microscope is that the history has an end. There’s a starting bookend and an ending bookend. Real history never ends. It just keeps going and going. Every victory sets the stage for the next battle, but so does every defeat. The next election will fix things! Or destroy things! Yes, […]

Ben Robbins | June 26th, 2022 | , | 2 comments

Microscope In the Classroom: Collaboration Is Not Easy

Along the way, the students learn and reinforce some valuable skills. Collaboration is not easy. Strong personalities have to tone it down to ensure everyone has a voice. Quieter personalities find themselves thrust into the spotlight, having to at least briefly take on a leadership role within the group. Attention must be paid to cause-effect […]

Ben Robbins | March 14th, 2022 | ,

Mercenaries vs Terraformers

On a lark we sat down (virtually) to play some Microscope, and wound up making a “Day of the Triffids meets the Black Company meets Starship Troopers (the movie)” kind of history. It was less about the aliens and more about the humans banding together to fight back… or not! Specifically the poor soldiers fighting […]

Ben Robbins | September 23rd, 2021 | ,

Microscope Comes to Japan

Microscope has arrived in Japan! You can get the PDF right now. The print edition will follow later, thanks to Harrow Hill, my Japanese publishers!

Ben Robbins | February 13th, 2021 | , | 1 comment

What’s the Korean word for Microscope?

Want a Korean translation of Microscope? This is your lucky day, because it is crowdfunding right now. Both Microscope and Microscope Explorer, actually. The funding goal has already been reached, so congratulations to Yiyagi wa Nori (“Story and Game”), my Korean publishers!

Ben Robbins | September 26th, 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