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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 | ,

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 | , | 1 comment

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

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 | ,

A Scene Less Traveled

Science! Invention! Experimentation! It’s what separates us from the apes. The ones on The Planet of the Apes. Those guys were very frowny-faced about new ideas. While I was working on the new version of Union, I also used that opportunity to experiment with some components of Microscope. The original Union was a variant that […]

Ben Robbins | November 11th, 2018 | ,

Microscope meets 9th Grade English Class

“As the week continued, I could see the students becoming more comfortable not just with the game but with themselves and their interactions in groups. It was transformational for some: I saw students who started the class as awkward, self-doubting students and who were able to take some notable steps in developing their sense of […]

Ben Robbins | August 26th, 2018 | , , | 1 comment

“But we know… they’re gonna die” (Games and Education Interview)

I got to chat with Keenan Kibrick on his new podcast, talking about Microscope, games in the classroom, and (spoiler!) how Romeo and Juliet ends… Games and Education: Interview With Ben Robbins of Microscope Keenan’s being doing great work adapting games for education. Kids playing Lord of Flies as a Kingdom game? Yep, that was […]

Ben Robbins | June 12th, 2018 | , , ,

Union Stands Alone

The unicorn befriends the young mother, but penniless she is driven to betray it, leading a wealthy noble to trap the beast for a pouch of gold, a sin that grieves her until she is old and grey. But the unicorn is not so easily caught… Her son goes forth and leads a hard life […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2017 | , , | 4 comments

“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 | , ,

Indie RPG Award for Best Supplement

Microscope Explorer won the Indie RPG Award for Best Supplement, which is pretty great. And congratulations to all the other winners. But congratulations too to everyone who put their heart and soul into making a game, whether you got an award for it or not. The award is not the important part.

Ben Robbins | August 24th, 2017 | ,

Teaching Teachers How to Teach

Keenan Kibrick continues to kill it in the classroom, teaching teachers how to teach Microscope (say that ten times fast). Yes, that event says “mobile gas chamber”. History can be scary. And if you’re an educator, definitely check out the Immersive Imaginative Education discussion group. It’s a place to share ideas about how role-playing can […]

Ben Robbins | May 28th, 2017 | ,