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That’s How You Get A Space-Baby

Final game of our City of Winter campaign. Our family (or what’s left of it) dreamed of escaping to the moon, but it’s clearer and clearer that crystal palaces and domed cities are not for us. We’re too low rent. So we’ve resigned ourselves to a life in the Drift, floating among the wreckage halfway […]

Ben Robbins | June 17th, 2024 |

What’s Making This Downfall So Good?

We’re playing a game of Downfall that has rapidly become my favorite. I was going to say it’s up there, but by now there is no question: this is the best Downfall game I’ve ever played. But because I am a game scientist, complete with lab coat and goggles, I cannot leave well enough alone. […]

Ben Robbins | December 20th, 2023 | ,

My Mom’s a Mech Merc on Mars

I’ve been GMing a very hacked version of Lancer. Our setting has kind of a Cowboy Bebop meets Hammers Slammers meets professional sports vibe: pilots are professionals but it’s just a job. It’s not personal. And because they’re in mighty mighty mecha, even if they get wrecked in combat they are likely to walk away […]

Ben Robbins | August 16th, 2023 | ,

Do you remember Remember Tomorrow?

Remember Tomorrow by Gregor Hutton is a weird little game that you probably never heard of. It came out back in 2010, and it’s possible that it made less of an impact because on the surface it doesn’t look weird at all. You play a character with a goal, fighting bad guys to get what […]

Ben Robbins | July 31st, 2023 | , , , | 1 comment

“the stories it lets me tell with my dearest friends”

Sometimes it’s very nice to check your email: As we’ve gotten to the end of the year, folks are reflecting on the tabletop we’ve gotten to play over the last 12 months, and the standout for me was an incredible four-session run at Kingdom 2e that I’m going to be thinking about for ages. That […]

Ben Robbins | December 7th, 2022 | , , ,

Classic Cartography: Star Frontiers

Time for some map nostalgia! When Star Frontiers came out in 1982, we were so excited about lasers and gryojet pistols that we briefly dropped our long-running D&D campaign like a hot potato and went all-in. I remember wistfully wondering whether we’d ever return to our gelatinous cubes and +3 longswords. In the end the […]

Ben Robbins | September 18th, 2022 | , , | 2 comments

Mind of Sandra Birch

“It’s Inside Out, the game” I have a short list of go-to GMless pickup games, “games to play at a moment’s notice.” What I’m always looking for are games you can jump into easily but still have endless replay, usually because they handle a lot of different flavors of fiction. Mind of Margaret is one […]

Ben Robbins | September 6th, 2022 |

2021: A Year of Legacy

Despite the pandemic — or more likely because of it — I played more role-playing games in 2021 than any other year since I started logging my games back in high school. It’s a fact. Playing online via video chat used to seem like a pale imitation of face-to-face gaming, but for logistics it can’t […]

Ben Robbins | January 16th, 2022 | , , , , , ,

The Sword of Thanormyr

I’ve been playtesting Marc’s game Epitaph for years. It’s finally available on Kickstarter, which means soon you can play it too! If you look at the Kickstarter page, you can see the story of “Cyrna of Thanormyr” is one of the graphics. That’s one of the games I was in, but trimmed down and simplified […]

Ben Robbins | September 17th, 2020 | ,

Goody Patience of Salem

Ahhh, Salem! Good old terrible Salem! I’m no stranger to the Salem Fiasco playset, but this time around we had sexism, racism, and assorted acts of bad parenting… honestly witchcraft was the least of our problems. The witches might have been the most level-headed folks in town. They certainly caused the least damage. I love […]

Ben Robbins | November 7th, 2019 |

We See Dead People

Shock at Story Games Seattle. Our issues (picked independently and secretly, as we do) were Loneliness, Inheritance, and Over-Medication. What kind of sci-fi Shock could we brainstorm that addresses all three of these issues? How about a drug that lets you go into a trance and talk to your ancestors? We have a whole society […]

Ben Robbins | February 2nd, 2018 | , ,

Hide In Your Own Body

Playtesting Eden again. Baruch has troubles. He accidentally broke Hosanna’s precious dagger so she paid him back by luring him into webs of biting spiders. But it didn’t end there and now she’s just terrorizing him. Baruch is afraid and asks turtle what to do. Turtle (slowly) pulls his head and legs into his shell. […]

Ben Robbins | June 2nd, 2016 | ,

The owl knows better

Playing a lovely game of Eden at Story Games Seattle. Narwhals and bunnies try to explain reproduction to the innocent humans. Narwhals are convinced it is essential to sing together and have a magnificent horn, or else it won’t work. Poor humans have no magnificent horn or lovely songs, so they are doomed to failure. […]

Ben Robbins | May 13th, 2016 | , ,

Lights, Camera, Downfall!

We got together to film Caroline’s new game, Downfall, so you can watch the action in living color. Was there drinking? There might have been some drinking. I’ve been playtesting Downfall over the last two years and I have to say, it rocks. It’s on Kickstarter right now so check it out!

Ben Robbins | July 23rd, 2015 | , ,