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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 |

Metal of the Gods

Humanity steals metal from the Gods… HEAVY METAL… In a classic case of someone suggesting an idea, then someone else taking that idea a little further, than someone else going even farther, we decided to do a quick Microscope game that was pure cosmic metal, and discovered in the process that my friends are stone […]

Ben Robbins | August 28th, 2022 | , | 1 comment

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 | , , , ,

He Needed His Anger

I forget how juicy family stories are in Union. Then I play it again and… wowzers. The Crimson Knight was a vigilante who put on a mask because he was an angry, violent man, and fighting crime was the most positive outlet he could find to vent that anger. But anger is not a bullet […]

Ben Robbins | May 10th, 2022 | , | 7 comments

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

Mercenaries vs Terraformers

On a lark we sat down (virtually) to play some Microscope, and wound up making a “Day of the Triffids meets the Black Company meets Starship Troopers (the movie)” kind of history. It was less about the aliens and more about the humans banding together to fight back… or not! Specifically the poor soldiers fighting […]

Ben Robbins | September 23rd, 2021 | ,

Which Kid Touches the Giant Robot?

Three kids are playing in the woods when they stumble upon a towering metal figure, sprawled in a crater. Who will touch it first? There are dares and double-dares, scuffles, poking sticks, and finally double-dog dares, until one kid reaches out a trembling hand to touch the shining metal figure… and disappears. Long before I […]

Ben Robbins | September 13th, 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 | , , , ,

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 | , , ,

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 | ,

Grand Experiments: Bloody Morder

I’ve seen strangely proud GM’s say “oooh that game was so intense a character jumped off a cliff to escape THE HORROR!” But here’s my question: the player is deciding what the character does, so is that player responding to the fiction or the GM? Is this the dramatic moment of despair the GM proudly […]

Ben Robbins | April 2nd, 2020 | , ,

Angels & Offspring

Me: Welcome to Microscope! What kind of history should we make? “Emergence of magic!” “Angels!” “The extinction of mankind!” Me: Cool. What if we combine all three? Birthrates in our modern world dwindle, which (we discover in play) is because angels have walked unseen among us and judged that humanity’s time should come to an […]

Ben Robbins | January 22nd, 2020 | , | 2 comments

Last Stand of the Murderfists

In the atomic wastelands of the future, the Murderfists are the undisputed champions of the brutal sport, Killball. But now they stand before the mutant overlord, awaiting judgment. Their crime? Stopping the execution of their comrade, condemned to slow-death in the sands for daring to love a houri of the tyrant’s harem. From his gilded […]

Ben Robbins | January 14th, 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 |

It Was A Monster Mash

You know how some ideas sound terrible on paper, but in the moment they work perfectly? Amazingly, even? That was this game. Our original game plan fell through, so Andy, Marc, Caroline and I switched to an off-the-cuff game of Follow. Marc had been wanting to play ghosts driving people out of their haunted house. […]

Ben Robbins | October 20th, 2019 | ,

The Fall and Rise (and Fall) of Antal

Intense game of Follow at Story Games Seattle. We played the Rebellion question, but our fellowship was nowhere near equipped to overthrow the new nobles, House Jakab, that had ousted our traditional rulers, the beloved House of Antal. Character creation led to a wonderfully complex interpersonal web: “My mother was a nanny for the nobles, […]

Ben Robbins | February 19th, 2018 | , ,