IN THIS WORLD MICROSCOPE KINGDOM FOLLOW UNION Subscribe More Ars Ludi

Posts in this Category

Not Your Father’s Mister Hummington

I think this might win as the weirdest idea for a Microscope Chronicle history, but it totally worked. Marc says, what if we make the history of a cartoon character? And we ask, you mean like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, the character’s place in society and how the character changes over time and influences […]

Ben Robbins | July 2nd, 2024 | , , ,

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 | , ,

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 | ,

“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 | , ,

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 | , , ,

Kill All Enlightened Robots

Usually at a con you get some good games and some okay games. At our story games area at Emerald City Comicon I drew the lucky penny: all my games were great great great. One Microscope game included a textbook example of building on each other’s contributions to make an unexpected whole. We’re making the […]

Ben Robbins | April 11th, 2017 | , ,

The Blooded

Last weekend I had a chance to play Microscope for the first time with some of my gaming crew from way, way back. We’re talking veterans of Lorngard and my old AD&D campaign — that far back. We started our history with a pretty basic fantasy premise: magic was perilous, and a eldritch war had […]

Ben Robbins | August 7th, 2016 | ,

Boom, Stone Age

In Microscope, there’s always room in between, so long as it doesn’t contradict the history you’ve established. But how much room? Again, as much as makes sense. There was a suggestion on twitter about marking cards to show how much time passed between each Period. The problem is, our understanding of the history improves as […]

Ben Robbins | August 6th, 2016 | , | 3 comments

“I have never been so proud of her…”

I was on my way to make a surprise appearance on Strix’s Weekly Affirmations show on HyperRPG when it occurred to me that in the seven years I’ve been playing Microscope, I had never recorded a session I played. Ever. So if you’ve been curious to see how I play and teach Microscope (with occasional […]

Ben Robbins | July 5th, 2016 | , , , | 2 comments

Flight of the Madamas

“We created the Citizen Kane of spaceship stories…” –Timothy Young Sometimes the excellent games sneak up on you. They disguise themselves with trenchcoats and fake moustaches and then, when you least expect it, they pounce! I played two games of Microscope Chronicle at PAX last year. The first was the story of a mechwarrior-style mercenary […]

Ben Robbins | July 29th, 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 | , , ,