Posts in this Category

Polaris: Freedom of the Press

We’ve done a whole slew of Polaris setting hacks recently. Aztecs, Fall of the Roman Republic, 1920s Empire City cops and Battlestar Galactica (twice). The key ingredients of a satisfying Polaris analog are pretty simple: 1) a grand society on the verge of collapse because of some doom it has brought upon itself (a Mistake-analog), […]

Ben Robbins | June 24th, 2011 | ,

Mars Colony Triple-header

“I start a campaign… a totally _fascist_ campaign.” –brand new gamer, solving the problems of Mars I love Mars Colony. It’s hands-down the best game I picked up at GenCon 2009. That’s not even considering that it’s technically only an ash can release, not the final version, which is coming out at GenCon this year. […]

Ben Robbins | May 19th, 2010 | , | 3 comments

We have forks

Great moments in Mouse Guard. The patrol is welcomed to Darkwater after an arduous journey. Tired mice are tired, and hungry mice are hungry. Hearty meals are arranged by the happy hosts. player: mimes picking up food with his paws and nibbling on it city-mouse: “We have forks.” player: “I have a high Nature.” This […]

Ben Robbins | March 26th, 2010 |

Now he’s my real brother

Playing Shock with (nearly) total strangers. We’re doing it old-school, so we secretly pick issues and then brainstorm a Shock that fits, instead of the wussy Shock-first approach. We choose overpopulation, cultural extinction and plagiarism, and decide on a dystopian future where ideological groups struggle for dominance in society. The Shock we come up with […]

Ben Robbins | March 19th, 2010 | , ,

Dauntless Mission #4: the Ruby Aurora

The DAUNTLESS flies again! This was literally a “just finishing breakfast, sitting around in our pajamas, saying hey we could play a quick game of InSpace” kind of deal. As usual in less than two hours we had crafted an entire gripping story arc out of nothing and then sat back and admired the game’s […]

Ben Robbins | January 20th, 2009 | , ,

Dauntless Mission #3: Plague at Prospect Station

Spoiler alert: Like the other DAUNTLESS games, mission three was a lot of fun. Unlike the other missions the story didn’t really wrap up in one neat package. Why not? We accidentally skipped the mid-game pow-wow. Seriously: do not underestimate the power of the pow-wow. Once again Jem takes the GM helm and Ping and […]

Ben Robbins | October 24th, 2008 | , | 2 comments

Dauntless Mission #2: Trapped in the Void

Our first InSpectres in Spaaaace! game turned out to be a great way to do cerebral “mysteries of the universe” adventures. But is InSpectres really a winner for this kind of game or did we just luck out? Science demands more data points! Recognizing that GMing is easy street, Jem steps up to the plate […]

Ben Robbins | September 23rd, 2008 | , ,

Dauntless Mission #1: InSpectres In Spaaaace!

After our last excellent InSpectres game (the Matter of the Missing Mummy -or- the Case of the Peripatetic Pharaoh) we decided to take it out for another spin and see what else we could do with it. If you’re unfamiliar with InSpectres, the idea is that it takes traditional game structure and flips it on […]

Ben Robbins | September 11th, 2008 | , , | 3 comments

Perils of Abstract Defeat

We went a mad binge last week with the new Descent campaign game (The Road to Legend). It’s an improvement over the original game in a number of ways, mostly because there’s more long-term development and planning instead of the usual “>spang< Gold treasure!" inflation at the end of every dungeon. One thing that's a […]

Ben Robbins | May 12th, 2008 |

When did Zargon become such a dick?

Back before 3rd Edition D&D came out we used to play HeroQuest* to get our low impact dungeon-crawling fix. Somebody would get drafted to be Zargon, the pseudo-GM who moved the monsters and read the dungeon description, and the rest of us would pick Elf or Wizard or Barbarian (Dwarf = everyone’s last choice) and […]

Ben Robbins | February 25th, 2008 | | 4 comments

Kit Bashing: Polaris Spycraft (Agents of Northstar)

Forget all that mythic tragedy beneath the fading stars stuff: I wanted to try Polaris as a modern spy game. It seemed perfect for the job, since the key conflict phrases looked like they would work really well for rapidly spawning the kinds of twists and revelations that are the meat of espionage. Flexible, but […]

Ben Robbins | January 16th, 2008 | , , | 1 comment