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Matthew Isom

Hey y'all! I am curious, how do you organize your play material, and what do you find most critical to include? I've got a binder with encounter tables, maps, monsters, and miscellaneous notes which through haphazard growth desperately needs restructuring, and was wondering how more experienced DMs did it. :)

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Hey y'all! Just wanted to survey the community on the subject of players mapping the dungeon:

Do you find it adds significantly to the fun?

How do you keep it from slowing play way down? When I tried it I found myself repeating dimensions and having to correct mistakes, which pains me when there's 8 other players waiting. Currently I just draw the maps myself on the whiteboard to save time.

How do you run things like cave systems, or do you keep your dungeon maps grid-aligned to facilitate communication? Do you avoid more abstract maps?


Gave the rules a go yesterday evening. I'm totally new to the game so I'm sure I'm messing some things up, but just wanted to give my thoughts.

Rambling feedback is in order of where I found the stuff in the document, and most of it is just "passing thought" material rather than suggestions so please take with a grain of salt. :)  Some of my misinterpretations definitely are my bad.

1) The first page says draw the ground an inch from the top, the next page says draw the world surface in the middle of the page.
2) I thought the red color for the strata lines was to highlight that's what the document was talking about in the examples, so used black for my lines, which ended up being slightly more confusing for telling which line was a feature and which was a region separator.
3) The instructions said 5 or 6 lines would be good, or whatever looks good to me. Since I haven't played before and didn't know what the lines were for, 9 lines looked good to me, which was definitely crowded given the size of the glass beads (same as my go stones).
4) It looks like when rolling for features there's only a 30% chance of having them be cave systems. Later on when creatures arrive in solid stone areas, do they just carve out living spaces there? That's what I ended up doing, but the first couple times I fudged the region result so they'd arrive in a place that wasn't solid stone/magma/whatever, since I wasn't sure.
5) In answer to the question, it took a sec to figure out how it worked, but it wasn't too hard. Mine ended up being crowded, but that was just due to the number of strata I had decided on.
6) I was a little confused over whether the main city was a colony or not at first, since the first mention of colonies was "colony sites take their actions", but finding there were no specified actions for a city I decided it wasn't one.
7) Since the strata aren't connected by tunnels, the deep elves had to spend every other season just tunnelling to get to a feature, or three seasons to start exploiting a resource (tunnel, build colony, then the summer action). Three seasons to start exploiting a resource means they've already built up to six black beads, one season away from a civil war if nothing eats a black bead.
7.5) The processing colony table is named "mining colony expansion"
8) As to the question, it felt like the deep elves died out too quickly without getting much done.
9) I would prefer if instead of the encounter chart that tells you which entry to look at on another chart, you just had the dice rolls on each of the encounter tables. That way you wouldn't have to flip back and forth, looking up your die roll, flipping to the move chart and looking up that move.
10) The first encounter chart is named "challenge" instead of "encounter"
11) It didn't feel like a super lot happened during each monster era, so I gave the original group a couple turns before migrants arrived. Encounters only involved someone losing a black bead ~30% of the time, so monster groups didn't disappear much. Adding a new group every era seemed too fast to me, with no old groups disappearing.
12) As to the advantage question, yeah I was curious why the defender outnumbering the aggressor wouldn't result in a penalty to the roll or if they had a bonus token. But it didn't seem like a big deal to me since I didn't care who was winning. :)
13) I wasn't sure what territory entailed here. Anywhere near other beads?
14) The alpha extort move in the tables has them looting black beads. I guess it makes sense that they'd grow in population that way, but just wanted to check since other looting is always white beads.

It was a very enjoyable game! I'm looking forward to playing again. I'll probably cheat and make sure I get a nexus or two again since those are neat. :)

Hey all! I'm looking for a hangout group open to new players. I'm available Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7-12 CST (GMT-6), or Sunday from 9:45 PM onwards. I'm interested in anything fantasy-based, but have LotFP, S&W, 2E, and Castles and Crusades rules on hand.

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Made an ASCII frog today. Clearly it was a very productive morning. :P
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As a new player of Microscope, I'm totally amazed by the stories this game brings out. I've been fortunate enough to be a part of a couple of games myself recently and just wanted to share my experiences. What use is a great story if it goes untold? :P
First let me say that being a newcomer to Microscope meant I wasn't great at explaining the rules. I tried to paraphrase them for the first game but found that actually added to the amount of explanation required. This is one of the only games I've found that is so concisely written it doesn't benefit from being so summarized.
The first game we ended up running with five people and the atmosphere was great. Everyone was excited about our history and eager to add to it. We were unfortunately a little constrained about time and didn't get nearly far enough into it for our tastes. Adding a scene in the first round of play kinda slowed things down for us, I think, but that might've been due to the question I asked.
The second game we ran with only three people. The atmosphere was less intense than the first time, and we proceeded at a more leisurely pace. Since there were only three influencing parties the history seemed more coherent, but with less exciting surprises than the five-person game. I see the wisdom of what Ben Robbins said about four-person groups being ideal.
The history we created in the second game was so great though, I can't help but share some of it! We played out the development of a human civilization that lived entirely on small islands. Our history began when vessels capable of oceanic travel were discovered, and ended with the annihilation of the civilization. In between humans harnessed great sea monsters to pull their vessels, discovered and became addicted to fish-toxin drugs, exploited the sentient marine races, and established an empire of far-flung trade.
Their downfall began when the sea-creatures threw off the yoke and began a popular movement against their human oppressors. Human empires were shattered and the survivors were hunted, eventually being driven inland in the few large islands. There they were able to survive for a time as long as they did not stray too close to shore. Unfortunately, the sea-creatures eventually perfected technologies for creating water-tanks and land-walking apparatuses, and humans were soon rendered extinct.
Characters in our story ranged from Cashady Jones the triad drug lord, One-Tusk the peaceable sea-king, Vilebeak the deceitful kraken, Holybeard the prophet of the seafolk, and Whitefin the last to throw off the yoke and who's message of peace came too late.
I can't believe what fun this game is! I was stoked about it just reading others' play reports, and the reality was even better than I had hoped. Thanks so much to +Ben Robbins  for creating this game, I cannot wait to play more!
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