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Not sure if anyone else has tried this. I just found it today, and even the free version looks like it will be a pretty good fit for Microscope.

Just wanted to say hello, new Microscope owner here. Looking forward to gleaning any and all information from the group on this new addition of mine.


I played Union last night and there seemed to be a lack of clarity as to where you can add details:

You select say a defined Grandparent. They don't have either of their parents defined or their child.

You can now chose parent, child, union or fate (the last two if names are populated).

Can the players define the partner of the len's subject, and their own union/fate if that partner is defined?

Can the players define the parents and offspring's union or fate once both parties are defined or do they have to have the lens on that level of the family tree?

We just ruled that you can define any element above and below the lens character (with the union/fate definition restriction) - Is this correct?

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I posted this experiment a couple of months ago on reddit.

The TLDR is you create a timeline of a clash of two cultures starting with the start period of culture a, the start period of culture b the period of first major interaction and the end period.
You would have two parallel time lines until they meet and you only have one timeline after that point.

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I ran a slightly-drifted version of Microscope this weekend at Kapcon in Wellington, New Zealand. I ran it as a pre-determined scenario where I began the game describing a final scene that we would resolve at the end of the session - we then created all the scenes that informed that dramatic moment. It worked really well! Microscope seemed to stand up well to the ways I bent and folded it to fit.

But while it did work very well, one bit didn't work at all: setting a focus for the Lens. See my full notes for exactly how this stopped working. I'd love any advice on this!

Anyway - I invite anyone to grab this structure and give it a try - we had an very good time indeed.

(I also forgot to explain which way to orient cards for events vs. periods vs. scenes, but we muddled through!)


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Resetting my game bag and all these wonderful cards and memories from my Microscope explorer series were in there. Hard to throw them away! These are just some from various games I scattered and photoed.

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My favorite comment from the thread:

"I love microscope! Something I'd say to anybody who hasn't played much is don't collaborate, don't discuss, and don't bully! You were planning something and somebody threw a wrench in it? Great! That's where the really interesting stuff comes from. It's so tempting to want to ask where somebody is going with something, or what they want to do, but if you're curious, explore it with a scene!"

Spot on.

Hi everyone. I played my third session last night and have a few observations/ questions for the group:

1)Every time I've played, enforcing the group to declare each item as light or dark seems to be an afterthought and not add much value to play. What has been other's experience? To me, the items' tones usually speak for themselves. And since anything nested within an item can (and according to RAW is encouraged to) switch tone from the parent, stopping the flow each time to force the question gets cumbersome. How has it benefited other players to shape the narrative?

2)Last night I experimented with a different play format. I had a group of friends that I wanted to engage in world-building to switch to a yet-to-be determined RPG at the end-point of the Microscope's plotline. So I basically stepped back into a role of facilitator; not adding any items myself and just let them play while I maintained order. The only caveat I tried to place was that the end period had to be some type of crisis that their adventuring party in the follow-on game would need to respond to.

The main challenge was how many people showed up. Excluding myself, I had seven players at the table. So, what they decided was to play as teams: three pairs and one solo player. All-in-all I think it worked pretty well. It yielded a much richer base of thoughts to shape the world when you had that much imagination in play, but limiting submissions by team kept the game moving. The main downside was that teams would get absorbed in sidebars and discussing their next submission instead of tracking the turns of the current person speaking. What other techniques or tricks have people used for large play groups?

3)Lastly, this is the second time I've played with my wife, and she is super creative and wants to add on and interject with everyone's ideas as they're speaking, which is one of the cardinal no-nos in Microscope. I've had to rein her back in and that's hurt her feelings. During play-testing, what was the risk of free-style collaboration? I know extroverts can sometimes steal the show from introverts and undermine the chance for their contributions to flourish. But if you have a group of longtime friends that want to encourage each other's ideas, could it possibly help to let them talk freely and debate across turns?

Hi All, When you play Microscope online, what software/app do you use to keep track of the layout? Thanks!
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