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Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 11th, 2010, 8:49 pm
by Ben Robbins
Last year there was a lot more demand for Microscope than I expected, so this time I'm trying to plan ahead a bit. I'll definitely be ready to drop some on-demand history-building pickup game action, but if folks want to be sure they get a chance to play I'll schedule games too.

And if you're reading this saying, "what the heck is Microscope?" here's the pitch:
Mankind spreads to the stars and founds a galactic civilization. A brilliant general conquers the world and dies young, leaving behind a fractured empire. An ancient line of dragon-kings die out as magic fades from the realm.

Those are all examples of Microscope games.

Microscope is a roleplaying game, but you don’t have your own character. You don’t play in chronological order. You know how things end before you know why they really happened. Yeah, it’s a bit experimental.

You start with the big picture, the grand scheme of your history, then zoom in and explore all the nooks and crannies. The more you play, the more complex the history becomes. Your once simple summary becomes a detailed tapestry, full of meaning and surprises.

It’s fractal gaming.

Want to leap a thousand years in the future and see how an institution shaped society? Want to jump back to the childhood of the king you just saw assassinated and find out what made him such a hated ruler? That’s normal play in Microscope. You have the freedom to move around and examine whatever you want, defying limits of time and space.

Want to do a game spanning centuries or thousands of years, like the Silmarillion, the Foundation books, or the entire Dune series? Microscope says yes.
It's GMless, no prep, very high creative involvement from everyone at the table.

It hasn't been released yet, but it's been playtested externally by a bunch of groups, and I've played it about three dozen times. The rules are pretty refined. For folks who played last year: the structure is generally the same, but key improvements have been made. I loved it back then, but I like it even more now.

Wanna play? Have question? Chime in.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 11th, 2010, 10:50 pm
by Caesar_X
I didn't get to play this last year, but I definitely want in now.

But I'm wary of scheduling too much, so I'm going to keep it loose and hope I can jump into one of your games.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 11th, 2010, 10:55 pm
by Ben Robbins
Ping's threatening to run it too, so you may also be able to play with her.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 13th, 2010, 1:38 am
by ping
Yeah - Microscope is in my bag o' pick-up games with all the new rules, tweaks and everything. I'll schedule a game if there's enough interest, otherwise, I'll just keep it handy on the top of my list.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 14th, 2010, 4:48 pm
by Inkslinger
Just wanted to jump in and say I'm interested in playing--so I'll either watch for a scheduled game to pop up, or try and track down a pickup session.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 17th, 2010, 11:34 am
by spiritmage
I would definitely be interested in getting in on this at some point....!

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: May 21st, 2010, 5:44 pm
by Darin S.
This sounds fascinating and I missed it last year, I'll keep my eyes and ears open.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: June 8th, 2010, 11:01 pm
by gammaraygames
I was thinking Shock, but now you've got me thinking Microscope as well. If it's FRI 01 or SAT 03 or 04, I'd be interested.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: June 9th, 2010, 10:34 pm
by Joel P. Shempert
I so wanted in on this last year and never found the time. Here's hoping I can rectify that this year. If nothing else, Ben, I'd love to talk to you about the game sometime.

Re: Microscope: fractal gaming

Posted: June 14th, 2010, 7:58 pm
by David Dunn
I would love to play a game of Microscope. If it gells, count on me.