Tag Results

“We reject Kings, Princes, Santas and other Tyrants…”

She looked me dead in the eye and uttered two words: “Santa. Kingdom.” A lot of the time we play serious, challenging games; dramatic examinations of life, society and the human condition. But sometimes you know you need a break and some surefire ace-in-the-hole fun. And in a situation like that you might just decide […]

Ben Robbins | December 20th, 2012 | , , | 1 comment

Moments in the Cold War

Microscope. A Cold War history. Lots of serious drama that left us craving even more Cold War Microscope. Mockingbird The British agents on operation “Mockingbird” are set up in a flat in a ghetto of emigrants who got out of the Eastern bloc and came to the West. The agents have been hunkered there for […]

Ben Robbins | November 7th, 2012 | , , , | 4 comments

Actual Play Roundup: Something Fractal in the State of Denmark

One of the marvelous things about the modern world is that when you publish a game electronically, people around the world can buy and download it instantly. Microscope games have popped up all over the globe, but now Denmark seems to be the latest nation to get the fractal history bug… Utopia The Second Coming […]

Ben Robbins | June 26th, 2012 | , , , | 4 comments

Our Ground is Level and Our Table is Round

A lot of people have asked me to talk about how we do things at Story Games Seattle. We’ve had a lot of luck getting hordes of people to sit down, play games and have fun. What’s our recipe? If you’re bringing new people into gaming you could say there are actually two phases. The […]

Ben Robbins | May 1st, 2012 | , , | 5 comments

Actual Play Roundup: Day in the Live(s)

Remember how I said we played a mess of birthday Microscope at Story Games Seattle, all without realizing it was Microscope’s birthday? Here they are, plus a few more stragglers from the weeks before and after. Beware: several of these are experimental “short form” Microscope, where the whole history is actually a very short period […]

Ben Robbins | March 4th, 2012 | , ,

Fugit Omnis

“…and they flee to the colonies to escape oppression.” “This family is always fleeing things. That should be their family crest: Fugit Omnis!” I think because you have so much freedom to create in Microscope, there’s an initial urge to invent really far-out settings. Personally I think the real payoff comes when you zoom in […]

Ben Robbins | February 9th, 2012 | , ,

A Good Year for Gaming, Examined

So as I already posted, I had an epic year of gaming. Sixty percent more games than any year for the last decade. We’re talking raw college-levels of gaming. How did this magical thing happen? For one, 2011 was the year of the West Coast game tour, with convention and gaming events large and small, […]

Ben Robbins | January 5th, 2012 | , , | 2 comments

Actual Play Roundup: PvP (Plant-versus-Plant)

You probably thought I was kidding when I said there was a Microscope game with nothing but plant-on-plant action. I never bluff when it comes to Microscope. Or plants. Plants of Arbre — The long-awaited plant history (thanks, Dominic!). Yep, plants. Just plants. Star Wars Rebooted — Using Microscope to re-write canon the way it […]

Ben Robbins | August 8th, 2011 | , , ,

Actual Play Roundup: We don’t need no stinkin’ capes!

Why is it never a good thing when superheroes take over the world? Don’t ask why, ask Weillach (yes, the Supers take over) The Fleet Departs: A Microscope RPG Campaign Set-Up In other news, Microscope has landed on the beaches of Europe. Books are sitting on the shelves of Leisure Games in the UK, right […]

Ben Robbins | April 26th, 2011 | , ,

Actual Play Roundup: You had me at Biolords

I’ve been so busy since Microscope came out that I’ve fallen behind on cheering about the lovely actual play reports. Let’s fix that, shall we? Age of the Dragon Kings Rodent Monarchy Fission Biolords & Planet Cancer Slaves, Privateers & Hashish AIs: Stop Aggregating Yourself I also have unofficial reports of an entire Microscope game […]

Ben Robbins | March 25th, 2011 | , , , | 7 comments

We have always been at war with Eurasia

The big question: now that Man’s lust for war has consumed Earth in a nuclear holocaust, do the handful of survivors in their nations moon bases beat their swords into ploughshares, or do they finish what their missiles started and continue their tiny, bitter Cold War on the Moon? Answer: bang! bang! bang! We have […]

Ben Robbins | November 30th, 2010 | , , | 2 comments

Trick or Treat

For Halloween, we tried doing some Microscope games with a horror theme. Microscope is kind of an odd fit for suspense or horror, because you usually know how things are going to turn out before you drill down and roleplay the details: you know the explorers are going to vanish mysteriously, before you play the […]

Ben Robbins | November 4th, 2010 | , ,

Rex Populi

“I am your king!” “Well I didn’t vote for you…” “You don’t vote for kings!” — oh my god, it’s a Monty Python quote The thing I always really enjoy about Microscope is the unforeseen creation. Someone introduces a simple idea, then someone else explores it a little more, then someone else takes it even […]

Ben Robbins | September 13th, 2010 | , ,

Lingua Franca

I’ve been running a group that does weekly pickup games, specifically story games. It’s open to the public, and anyone is welcome to play, so we get a pretty random mix. I have yet to sit down with the same combination of players twice, which is great exercise for your gaming muscles. We get new […]

Ben Robbins | June 2nd, 2010 | , | 1 comment

Define Busy

“Fire up the Orbital Mind Control Lasers! Aim them at the Seattle area!” Bob thinks I’m being lazy and ignoring ars ludi, but it’s not true! I’m actually just really busy. On the volunteer front, I’m helping organize Go Play NW 2010, plus I’m organizing weekly meetups for Story Games Seattle. That’s right: slaving away […]

Ben Robbins | April 29th, 2010 | , , | 2 comments

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 | , ,