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Microscope» Forums » General

Subject: Share A Game: Microscope rss

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Hans Messersmith
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aramis wrote:
So, is there anything in the rulebook that makes it worth buying over just following the process laid out so far in the reviews and this thread?


Simple answer is yes. The rulebook is very well written and provides a much better guide to what you actually do in play.

Yes, this means I have just bought a copy myself.
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skalchemist wrote:
aramis wrote:
So, is there anything in the rulebook that makes it worth buying over just following the process laid out so far in the reviews and this thread?

Simple answer is yes. The rulebook is very well written and provides a much better guide to what you actually do in play.

Yes, this means I have just bought a copy myself.

Not to mention that buying good things from good people is good. Ben is good people.

-Dave
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wavemotion wrote:
Ben is good people.

Muharharhar! I have fooled them all! Now off to my secret volcano lair to complete my gravitic death ray! Soon the world burns..!

Oops. Inside voice.

I did want to take this chance to thank everyone for nominating Microscope for the Golden Geek RPG: Game of the Year. After all the hard work it's really gratifying to see other people enjoy the game just as much as I do.
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Just want to chime in and say this thread has convinced me too! I will be picking it up at the earliest possible time I can (i.e. right now in a second when I finish typing this...)
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Ian Cunningham
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I'm curious about larger scale games - say your starting period is "the big bang era" and your ending period is "heat death of the universe". It would seem that you'd either have this curious restriction of only looking at huge, wild events that have universal cosmic importance and scenes end up rattling around like peas in a 50-gallon drum, or you'd end up drilling down so far that you really find yourself doing a Microscrope game within your Microscope game.

I dunno. Maybe I'm worrying about something that doesn't really happen, but I have a weakness for Deep Time, and know I'll eventually end up advocating for something like this anyway.
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Lowell Francis
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Rubric wrote:

Does the game still work with shorter time frames? For example, instead of having your bookend periods be thousands of years apart, what if they were just 100 years apart, or even less?


I know Ben spoke on this, but I'd like to share our experience. To set up a campaign, I created an initial event and a closing event, and then defined the time between them as one year. So the players had to construct in a tighter timeframe. I'd worried about that initially, but my wife convinced me to stick with it. It went really well- and in play the idea that the last year has been dramatic and horrible has been a great motivation.

You can see the session report for that here: The Hunt Begins: Artifacts Wielding Heroes
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cappadocius wrote:
I'm curious about larger scale games - say your starting period is "the big bang era" and your ending period is "heat death of the universe".

Go back a step. What's the simple summary (a sentence or two) of the history you're trying to make?
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Ben Robbins wrote:
cappadocius wrote:
I'm curious about larger scale games - say your starting period is "the big bang era" and your ending period is "heat death of the universe".

Go back a step. What's the simple summary (a sentence or two) of the history you're trying to make?


...

Well, holy crap. Insert embarrassed face-palm. Obviously, the game will focus only on things related to that explicit summary step! If it's "The universe is a game board for the cosmic struggle between the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos", you'll have different periods, events, and scenes than "The inhabitants of Gallifrey invent time travel and use it for their own selfish ends", and both are different than "an anomaly in the quantum foam leads to everything" - you NEED the one-line, possibly-boring summation before setting up your bookends. I was treating that part of the book as play advice, which I've routinely ignored for the past 20 years as being as useful as tits on a boar hog, rather than a crucial stage of actual play, as vital to Microscope as choosing a race and class is to D&D.

Fulsome praise for your ability to encapsulate perfect Socratic education aside, my last summary statement above would lead, I think, to the problems I mention... So, just since I'm curious, let's say my hypothetical group is insane, and we went with "an anomaly in the quantum foam leads to everything" as our summary statement. Are there just summaries that really just miss the point, the Microscope equivalent of a game-breaking min/max?

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cappadocius wrote:
I was treating that part of the book as play advice, which I've routinely ignored for the past 20 years as being as useful as tits on a boar hog, rather than a crucial stage of actual play, as vital to Microscope as choosing a race and class is to D&D.


That is the most entertaining acceptance of a rule I have ever heard ;)

Yeah, I'm not sure how "an anomaly in the quantum foam leads to everything" would play out. Different combinations of people might take that in entirely different directions. That's part of the fun.

But if the players at the table agree to try that history, clearly they like the idea, so you've got something there. Making the Palette (stage 3) would tell you a lot about what people had in mind. If you wanted something really cosmic and abstract, you could ask to ban all people… but of course if no one else wants to do that, you'll have that discussion right there at the beginning, which is as it should be. Someone else might be wanting to play sentient stars and aware nebula: again, the Palette is the time to find out.

I think the biggest way to break the game is to be vague or unclear. Fuzzy concepts -- where you're picturing one thing but someone else is visualizing something entirely different -- are trouble. That's why the starting stages are so carefully laid out to synchronize vision. It can happen during play too (like if you describe an Event too minimally) which is exactly why the rules prompt other players to ask questions to get clarity. You can't build on what other people make if you can't visualize it.
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While I'm talking about Microscope, I want to throw out a huge and heartfelt thanks to all the awesome people who playtested it. Without all their hard work and determination over two whole years, it would never have become the game it is now. No joke. You guys rock.
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James Ryan
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This is the description I needed. Much more to the point than the description on the item page. I look forward to playing this.
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Thanks for sharing!

Besides the haunted house, this sounds *exactly* like HP Lovecraft's Mythos. Lots of Focus there!

I'm going to send a link to your post to a NaNo friend of mind. I'm sure that this RPG is good novel writing fodder!
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