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Festival of Rain

Story gamers make shit up constantly. It’s a big part of the process. We invent whole cities, cultures, and worlds at the drop of a hat and then maybe burn them down two hours later. We build and explore fast fast fast… and also slow slow slow. And we share our toys. We create specifically […]

Ben Robbins | July 12th, 2022 | , , , ,

Field Game: Tips & Strategies

As any true student of Field Game knows, there are many schools of thought about winning strategies. Debates among scholars have at times been heated, rivaling the action on the field. But even as the once-bucolic school sport outgrew the classroom and morphed into the modern Field Game we now see on national TV, fundamental […]

Ben Robbins | April 4th, 2022 | , , ,

Ring the Nug: the Kingdomon Field Game

We’re playing a scene during the Elspa Academy era of our Kingdom Legacy campaign, where students are learning a game to teach them about teamwork, handling wild Kingdo monsters… and maybe a little something about friendship. We’re practicing for the championship match against our rival, Dorfin Academy, but it’s not going well. Spotsprints, Laardvarks, and […]

Ben Robbins | March 31st, 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 | , , , , , ,

Kingdomon: Back to Kin Je’do

“Imagine if the Warlord had never conquered Kin Je’do hundreds of years ago. If their philosophy of living in harmony with nature had been what survived and prospered? How different would our world be now..?” In game 9, the peaceful citizens of Kin Je’do struggle to find a way to deal with Pashelkata, visiting scholar […]

Ben Robbins | December 9th, 2021 | , , , | 2 comments

Kingdomon: Enter the Sub-Verse

In which we dance on the edge of the abyss, as story gamers do. The Kingdom Legacy game we’ve been playing for almost two years has suddenly taken a bold, dangerous turn. Not content to merely keep having immense fun every week, we made an unplanned and spontaneous escalation that threatens the entire foundation of […]

Ben Robbins | December 6th, 2021 | , , , | 1 comment

Aushi Finds Their Magic

If you play story games, you probably already know: story games will break your heart. Aushi was a witch born without magic. It was all they ever wanted. And then they got some. But you know what they say, be careful what you wish for… Art by Ace, who is also playing poor tragic Aushi. […]

Ben Robbins | October 12th, 2021 | , , , | 1 comment

Blood of the Star-Dragon

Twenty three sessions into our “Department of Witches” Kingdom Legacy game, we discover that the bloodline of witches first began in prehistoric times, when five hunters came across the shattered body of the dragon that had fallen from the stars. Every witch in our game is descended from the blood of these five. From the […]

Ben Robbins | August 11th, 2021 | , , , | 1 comment

Gods & Kingdomon

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update about our epic Pokemon-inspired Kingdom Legacy campaign, but now Caroline has taken up the torch to talk about our very latest era, in which we worship our adorable pocket monsters as GODS… Less Than Three blog: There’s always another Kingdom Each era we’ve really thought about […]

Ben Robbins | August 6th, 2021 | , , , ,

A Careful Balance of Agreement & Disagreement

Any role-playing game is a careful balance between agreement and disagreement. We need agreement because the game world only exists in our minds. If we can’t agree about what’s true, we’re going to contradict each other. If you think there are walls around the city and I don’t, our game will crash. Since agreement is […]

Ben Robbins | July 3rd, 2021 | , , ,

K2: Books Are Shipping!

Kingdom books have arrived and are shipping! If you pre-ordered, keep your eyes peeled! Soon it’s time for Summer Kingdoms…

Ben Robbins | June 28th, 2021 | ,

K2: Start the Presses

Ahh, the age-old tale of getting a book ready for print! It goes a little something like this: Send the file to the printer. They ship you the print. Make some adjustments. Do another test. Make some more adjustments. Do another test. Love the test. Approve the test. Start the presses. And isn’t that a […]

Ben Robbins | May 25th, 2021 | ,

Kingdom Is Ready to Play

After many, many, many (many) revisions, the second edition of Kingdom is done and ready to play. You can get the PDF right now. Books will be printed as soon as print tests are done, but you can pre-order those now too. If you bought the advance release, you should have already received an email […]

Ben Robbins | April 19th, 2021 | , | 1 comment

Teaching Games

A snippet from the discussion section of the new edition of Kingdom: If you’re reading this, you are probably the person teaching everyone else the rules and how to play: what we call a “facilitator”. First of all, thank you! Learning and teaching other people games is a great public service. You are already a […]

Ben Robbins | March 30th, 2021 | , , , | 3 comments

K2: The Price of Overthrow

Game design journal time! In Kingdom, overthrowing another character and taking their role away falls into that most pernicious category of game rules, “things that rarely happen but are very important”. Which are, my friends, one of the trickiest species of rules. The rule is important, so it has to be robust and fulfill its […]

Ben Robbins | February 7th, 2021 | , , | 3 comments

Watering My Seeds With Tears

True confession: I hate writing seeds. Seeds, playsets, setting templates — whatever you call them, I hate it. I really do. Not because I hate making fiction (I love making fiction) but because, as a game designer, it feels wrong to be making *your* fiction for you. I want the people at the table to […]

Ben Robbins | January 21st, 2021 | , , | 3 comments

Late to the Kingdom

I’ve been hearing from a bunch of people who missed the Kickstarter for the new edition Kingdom. Which is not surprising, given all the chaos and distraction in the world. But there is no way I’m letting 2020 keep people from getting in on the fun as soon as possible. So I added an option […]

Ben Robbins | November 9th, 2020 | ,

Kingdomon: Launching Into Legacy

Last day of the Kickstarter, so of course it’s time to take a break from prepping the advance release for backers to talk more about our Pokemon-inspired Kingdom Legacy campaign. Catch up on part 1 first. Our game ends and we sit basking in the afterglow. “Soooooo,” I drawl with false casualness, “if you guys […]

Ben Robbins | October 13th, 2020 | , , ,

Kingdomon: You Must Acquire Them All!

Caroline has a theory that all games can be used to play Pokemon. Or more accurately, role-play in a Pokemon setting. So when Caroline, Marc, Al, and I sat down (virtually) to play some Kingdom earlier this year, I thought, yeah sure. I’m not as big of a Pokemon fan as soooome people at the […]

Ben Robbins | October 11th, 2020 | , , ,

Kingdom Kickstarter is loose

The Kingdom kickstarter is live. It has broken its chains and is prowling the city streets, possibly looking for a skyscraper to climb, to better swat passing biplanes. This thing is out of control. But if I don’t have Power, I am totally okay with having Touchstone or Perspective.

Ben Robbins | September 22nd, 2020 | , | 1 comment

Kingdom Kickstarter Coming In September

Wait, it’s September now? I better get busy. My plan is to launch the Kickstarter for the new edition of Kingdom on September 22. Of course it is 2020, which means anything that can go wrong will, but that’s my plan so set your alarms. I’m also gathering testimonials and quotes from people who have […]

Ben Robbins | September 6th, 2020 | ,

K2 Playtest Ends September 15

After six months of great games, it’s time to wrap up the Kingdom playtest! I’ve gotten a lot of excellent feedback already, but if you’ve got more, now’s the time to let me know! Playtesters, try to send me what you’ve got by September 15. And don’t forget to include the names of everyone you […]

Ben Robbins | August 27th, 2020 | ,

Your Kingdom’s Legacy

I sent out the June update of the Kingdom playtest a few weeks ago. The vast majority is the same as the previous version, except for the Touchstone changes I already talked about and some clarified language. But tucked in the back is a brand new thing that I’ve been keeping under wraps: Kingdom Legacy. […]

Ben Robbins | July 19th, 2020 | ,

The Trouble With Touchstones

I am very happy with how the Kingdom second edition playtest is going. Kingdom has always been a fantastic game and the new version does a much better job of capturing that magic. But dear reader, let me tell you a secret: the Touchstone rules have been my cross to bear. A game design thorn […]

Ben Robbins | June 21st, 2020 | , , | 2 comments