Posts in this Category

A Spacesuit and A Wrench, But No Gun

You’re trying to earn a living doing salvage and repair. Maybe on Mars, maybe near the moons of Saturn. Take contracts, fix things, and upgrade your ship. And there is no combat system whatsoever. Does that sound interesting to you? It sounds interesting to me. The game is Void Above, and I just heard about […]

Ben Robbins | February 26th, 2024 |

“For other times of loss”

Like all boys, they never walked anywhere, but named a goal and lit for it, scissors and elbows. Nobody won. Nobody wanted to win. It was in their friendship they just wanted to run forever, shadow and shadow. Their hands slapped library door handles together, their chests broke track tapes together, their tennis shoes beat […]

Ben Robbins | February 15th, 2024 |

Say Hello to Chop Downhouse

Ever wonder whether you could come up with the best character name of all time? Well the bad news is, you can’t, because that achievement goes to 5-year-old who came up with Chop Downhouse. CHOP DOWNHOUSE. Yep, Caroline has started playing D&D with her kiddo: Mommy, Let’s Play Dungeons and Dragons “And if you’ve ever […]

Ben Robbins | September 2nd, 2023 | ,

Schoolhouse Rock: How you spread it around

Nine hungry men, had six dollars each That’s 54 bucks but they were out of luck Because 54 bucks won’t buy dinner downtown Not for nine Then there were six hungry men They had nine dollars each And they went downtown and the waiter said “Sit down!” Oh, it makes a big difference how you […]

Ben Robbins | March 22nd, 2023 | ,

Their Power to Oppress

Rules must always be evaluated for their power to oppress Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs, by Dan Olson, 2022 The discussion is about community rules, economic rules, and even legal rules, but game rules are exactly the same kettle of fish. The community is that group of people, sitting at that table, […]

Ben Robbins | April 24th, 2022 | , , | 1 comment

An Item or Object to Be Processed

I urge you not to endorse this sinister measure. Humanity many times has had sad experience of superpowerful police forces… As soon as (the police) slip out from under the firm thumb of a suspicious local tribune, they become arbitrary, merciless, a law unto themselves. They think no more of justice, but only of establishing […]

Ben Robbins | January 3rd, 2022 |

All We Have To Decide

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of […]

Ben Robbins | August 6th, 2020 | , | 2 comments

Murder of Crows, Pride of Lions

I’ve been playing it for years, so I’m glad Eden is now up on Kickstarter and approaching release! That story about bears getting framed for murder? Yeah that was the first time I played. There’s a fun and very interesting thing that happens when you play Eden that I really haven’t seen in other games. […]

Ben Robbins | October 31st, 2016 |

The Coaster Double-Dares You

A long, long time ago when I was taking Psych courses, I got the idea drilled into me that subjects must voluntarily and willingly take part in your studies. You must get consent. Which, as an experimental psychologist, is a bummer, because you can learn all sorts of exciting things if you pounce on people […]

Ben Robbins | November 3rd, 2014 |

Fleeing From Goblins, West Marches-style

In Ben’s original West Marches campaign, he arranged the adventure-filled regions of his wilderness in order of challenge, more or less. The further you were from town, the more likely you were to be in an extremely dangerous place… Ben tells an anecdote about his players fleeing from goblins for days, ultimately having to run […]

Ben Robbins | October 20th, 2014 | ,

Watch the Unwatchable Foreign Film

Jackson Tegu has been working on a hack of Microscope called Kaleidoscope: Gather 3-5 players, set aside 2 hours, and make up an unwatchable “foreign” film using a pile of index cards and your crazy brains! Use this step-by-step guide to guffaw your group through non-chronologically remembering a wildly bizarre movie that you apparently just […]

Ben Robbins | September 16th, 2014 | ,

Return to the Angry Red Planet

Tim C Koppang has a sequel to Mars Colony in Kickstarter right now: Mars Colony 39 Dark. Nope, it’s not just a new improved Mars Colony. It’s Mars Colony from the point-of-view of the rebels. What’s different is that 39 Dark is a look at the colony from the people up instead of from the […]

Ben Robbins | March 24th, 2014 | , ,

Aaron Allston

A long, long time ago, Aaron Allston sent me my very first rejection letter. He did me a huge favor. Rest In Peace.

Ben Robbins | February 28th, 2014 |

A Battle of Men Against Men

It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats […]

Ben Robbins | January 20th, 2014 | ,

That Old Idea of “Game”

To call D&D an innovative game is a bit like calling the Wright Brothers’ vehicle an innovative car. The definition of game has expanded to include D&D, but there is really no reason that a neutral outside observer would categorize it that way. A definition for game would previously have been something like: A contest […]

Ben Robbins | August 20th, 2013 | | 3 comments