Subscribe MICROSCOPE KINGDOM FOLLOW UNION More Ars Ludi

Tag Results

New K2 for June

Hello, playtesters! I’m working on new draft of Kingdom second edition that should be ready sometime in June. So if you’ve played and you’ve got feedback for me, I can incorporate it into this revision. If not, don’t worry, there will be a call for feedback before the playtest ends. Right now most of the […]

Ben Robbins | May 28th, 2020 | , | 3 comments

Kingdom Duet

Given all the chaos in the world, I’m keeping the K2 playtest open for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry about any deadlines right now, just play and have fun. If you have feedback or posted about your game somewhere, send it my way. But again: just play and have fun. Lots of people have jumped […]

Ben Robbins | April 30th, 2020 | , | 3 comments

Kingdom Playtest Wants You

I played another sweet, sweet game of Kingdom last night, convincing me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the new edition is ready for external playtesting. That means you! Want in? Email me at kingdom-playtest at lamemage.com or leave a comment here. There’s a hidden comment field for your email address that I can […]

Ben Robbins | March 1st, 2020 | , | 110 comments

Kingdom, Second Edition

I’ve had a second edition of Kingdom simmering for a while now and it’s finally in a place I’m really happy with. It’s looking very good. I love playing Kingdom. Love it. My hit rate for engaging and dramatic sessions with Kingdom has always been very, very high. The game itself is great. But the […]

Ben Robbins | February 18th, 2020 | , | 8 comments

K2

“That feeling when you revise your rules and cut your page count IN HALF.” Spoiler alert: Kingdom, 2nd Edition, is in the works.

Ben Robbins | February 14th, 2020 | , | 5 comments

A Kingdom In Letters

A clever player asked me an interesting question: could you play Kingdom with characters writing letters on their turn instead of playing scenes? Very unexpected and very intriguing. The more I think about it, the more I think that not only could it work, it could be fantastic. The one-sided monologue of a letter opens […]

Ben Robbins | November 22nd, 2019 |

Real Dinosaurs Are Bitey

A Jurassic Park-style Kingdom, spawning dinosaurs and showing them off to tourists: what could go wrong?!? We had a petting zoo, dammit. A petting zoo. We were so close to saving the park. So close. But even though we turned a moral corner and decided to start fresh with *natural* dinosaurs instead of the genetically […]

Ben Robbins | February 12th, 2018 | ,

Kingdom: Return of Time Passes

I’m experimenting with a new way to do Time Passes in Kingdom. I removed it for one-shot games in the latest revision, but you can use this new rule in both one-shot and multi-session games: TIME PASSES When it’s your turn to make a Crossroad, you can instead say that Time Passes. Immediately play out […]

Ben Robbins | September 2nd, 2017 | , | 2 comments

Lawyers Never Die

Kingdom at Story Games Seattle. When the new Archbishop of the Church of England forbids contracts binding demons to work on Sundays, the senior partner of our firm has an inspirational meeting with one of the founding partners (whose ghost haunts our office). He gets in touch with his inner lawyer, remembers why he started […]

Ben Robbins | July 7th, 2017 | , ,

Lord of the Flies: Kingdom in the Classroom

Over the past few years, I’ve heard from a lot of different educators who have experimented with Microscope, Kingdom and similar games in the classroom. They were each trying different approaches, but didn’t have a common forum to share what they’d learned. So when Keenan Kibrick contacted me and we talked about creating a new […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2016 | ,

Kingdom v1.3

I released Kingdom three years ago, but every time I play it I’m still looking for ways to make it better. It’s a crowd-favorite at Story Games Seattle so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to try out refinements that streamline the rules and make things simpler, faster and more fun. This rules update includes […]

Ben Robbins | July 25th, 2016 | ,

A Kingdom Without Issues

Time is precious gaming treasure. To streamline Kingdom character creation, I’ve been experimenting with removing Issues and using Bonds to take over that duty. I’ve found it to be faster and actually make better characters, for reasons I’ll go into below. To use this change, simply remove the Issues step entirely. When you are creating […]

Ben Robbins | April 4th, 2016 | ,

Your Kingdom Goes On Without You

If you’re playing a multi-session Kingdom campaign, what do you do if someone can’t make it? How do you play without them? When someone asked this, my first instinct was: never play without the whole crew. Just play another one-shot if someone can’t make it. But then I thought about it a bit… and started […]

Ben Robbins | March 20th, 2016 |

Summer Is Coming

The Story Games Seattle crew delivers some stunningly good Kingdom games. This time we played a Kingdom in the style of Toy Story, if Toy Story walked in on Lord of the Flies going to third base with Animal Farm. Playtime Is Over (Kingdom) Is there an award for darkest story featuring toys? Because if […]

Ben Robbins | May 17th, 2015 | , ,

Uncontrolled Orders & Predictions

A small but important official change to the Kingdom rules. If you switch Roles and leave orders or predictions behind, it’s up to the players who have Power or Perspective during Crossroad resolution to decide whether they happen. Kingdom Rules Update: Uncontrolled Orders & Predictions (one-page PDF) Update: I revised and simplified the text to […]

Ben Robbins | May 29th, 2014 | , | 2 comments

Necropolis: Fingers Worked to the Bone

In Necropolis, you work even after you’re dead. Your corpse is state property, reanimated as a mindless undead laborer. It is an industrialized city-state powered by reanimated perpetual motion machines. If it can be powered by crank, piston, or gear, you’ll find it worked by a skeletal hand. Ryan Deugan was one of the Power […]

Ben Robbins | May 20th, 2014 |

Burn the Witch! A Salem Kingdom

For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken … we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants and cause their prayers to […]

Ben Robbins | April 29th, 2014 | ,

Temporary Kingdoms

I was reading about how during the American Revolutionary War, Henry Knox hauled an entire battery of cannons from captured Fort Ticonderoga 300 miles through the dead of winter to give George Washington’s army the artillery it vitally needed to threaten the fortified British. It sounded like an epic trek: cannons falling through the ice […]

Ben Robbins | March 11th, 2014 |

They Have Perspective

I just sent out the sneak peek of my next game as a reward for the fine folks who backed Kingdom at the Perspective level. If you’re a Perspective backer and you didn’t get the link, let me know. I usually play my cards pretty close to the vest when it comes to projects I’m […]

Ben Robbins | March 6th, 2014 | ,

“How Weirdly Powerless”

How weirdly powerless Power is. There’s a built-in irony, caused by these limitations, by not allowing a character both perspective and power. And of course, that makes perfect real-world sense, doesn’t it? When you take power, you become something set apart from your peers, and can’t claim to properly represent them. You have, in fact, […]

Ben Robbins | February 11th, 2014 | ,

Actual Play Roundup: A Beetle Pushing the Sun

A few of the latest and greatest Kingdom games from around the world. Are they playing Kingdom in Korea? The answer is yes. Plains Tribes — “Originally I was a little bit worried about how the tribal roleplaying would turn out, whether it would descend into a stereotype-fest a la every Hollywood movie with Indians […]

Ben Robbins | February 5th, 2014 | , , ,

Kingdom on IPR & Amazon

Kingdom is now also available through Indie Press Revolution and Amazon. Amazon is actually out of stock (already) but there are more on the way to their warehouse. And of course you can always buy the book or PDF direct. Indie Press Revolution distributes to various cool Friendly Local Game Stores, so if you want […]

Ben Robbins | February 1st, 2014 |

Brain Trust

I was very lucky making Kingdom. Not only did I have a horde of playtesters with appetites like feral cats (a good thing) but I had a rock solid brain trust: Caroline Hobbs, Marc Hobbs and Pat Kemp. It’s not just that I played a lot of great Kingdom games with them — though I […]

Ben Robbins | December 28th, 2013 |

A Kingdom (book) of Your Own

Kingdom books are now on sale. Go get you one. You’ll notice that you can order Microscope books too. Now that I’ve jumped into the deep end and set up the infrastructure to ship piles of books for Kickstarter, I’m going to give direct sales a try. Books and PDFs will still be available at […]

Ben Robbins | December 12th, 2013 | | 2 comments