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A Place to Talk About GMless Games

I’m trying a little experiment. Role-playing games with no GM are… let’s face it, a tiny weird niche in the tabletop RPG universe. So when you try to talk about GMless games in a forum that is 99.9% about games with a GM, it’s hard to generate any useful discussion density. Lots of people have […]

Ben Robbins | July 2nd, 2023 | , , | 3 comments

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

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

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

Our Ground is Level and Our Table is Round

A lot of people have asked me to talk about how we do things at Story Games Seattle. We’ve had a lot of luck getting hordes of people to sit down, play games and have fun. What’s our recipe? If you’re bringing new people into gaming you could say there are actually two phases. The […]

Ben Robbins | May 1st, 2012 | , , | 5 comments

We Are Here to Game

Next weekend is Fabricated Realities (the “I’m sorry, did you say gaming inside of artwork?” con) and the awesome folks putting it together asked me to say a few words for the zine. They’d heard tall tales of the welcome spiel from our Story Games Seattle open game nights, cunningly crafted to help people shake […]

Ben Robbins | May 28th, 2011 | ,

Lottery & The Pickup Donut (part 2)

We did the Pickup Donut for just about every slot of Go Play NW 2010. But for one slot, we tried something even more experimental… The Lottery Unlike the Pickup Donut, which had been part of our plan to handle the large volume of pickup games for months, the Lottery was a last minute idea. […]

Ben Robbins | May 12th, 2011 | , | 3 comments

Lottery & The Pickup Donut

One of the big challenges of running events like Go Play NW (or even small events like the weekly Story Games Seattle) is actually getting people sitting down and playing. It’s not that people don’t want to play. Quite the opposite. They’re there to play. But everybody is a little picky. They actually want to […]

Ben Robbins | May 11th, 2011 | , | 4 comments

That’s a lot of hats

People are clever. We can do two, three, four things at once. We can wear a lot of hats and take care of a lot of different things all at the same time. But there’s a price. It is pretty much guaranteed that the more you try to do at once, the harder each of […]

Ben Robbins | April 11th, 2011 | | 6 comments

Pitching New Game Systems, or “Let’s play Star*Axe!”

Back in the day, if I had a new game and I wanted to get other people to try it, I might have said something like this: “Let’s play Star*Axe! It’s sci fi, kind of buzzmetal-grunge-future. You play space vikings sacking colony ships and planetoids, killing lots of stuff under the watchful eye of your […]

Ben Robbins | August 28th, 2010 | , | 11 comments

You Will Miss That Really Cool Game

Go Play NW is coming up. If you’re going, here’s a shocking statistic: you will miss 95% of the games. It’s basic math. A hundred people, with an average of five people per game (or less) means twenty games per slot, and because of those pesky laws of time and space, you’ll only be in […]

Ben Robbins | June 14th, 2010 | , , | 6 comments

Lingua Franca

I’ve been running a group that does weekly pickup games, specifically story games. It’s open to the public, and anyone is welcome to play, so we get a pretty random mix. I have yet to sit down with the same combination of players twice, which is great exercise for your gaming muscles. We get new […]

Ben Robbins | June 2nd, 2010 | , | 1 comment