The Alexandrian

Microscope is a fractal storytelling game by Ben Robbins which allows you and your friends to collaboratively create vast, fictional histories: The rise and fall of galactic empires; the vast sweep of barbarian hordes; the byzantine rule of magical emperors.

The core of the game focuses on the creation of Periods, Events, and Scenes: Periods describe large swaths of time. Events are specific things that happen within each Period. And Scenes are designed to answer specific questions about particular Events.

This isn’t a review, so I’m not going to go into a great amount of detail. But what makes the game work is that it mechanically disrupts both planning (thus forcing you to improvise) and creative ownership (so that players don’t split up and all work in their own private turfs). I highly recommend it.

What I’m presenting here today is the “log” from the first session of Microscope I ever played, back from when the game was still in playtest. (As a tip: I would recommend not including ubiquitous time travel in your first game of Microscope. It was fun, but it also broke our brains.)

THE TIME PORTALS OF MARS

TIME PORTALS OPEN ON MARS

  • Titanic Machines emerge from the Portals and begin killing off native fauna.
  • The Qzelti, a group of native martians, evade machines and travel through Time Portals to Earth.

THE CLOSING OF THE TIME PORTALS WAR

  • Creation of a coalition between native and immigrant populations to study the portals.
  • Defector from Qzelti discloses to Martian scientist that the only way to close time portals is through suicide attack.
  • Time portals destroyed through kamikaze strikes.

ERA OF CRYSTALLINE CITY-STATES

  • Time echo kamikaze ghost utters technomantic prophecies of crystalline machines
  • Titanic Machines construct the crystalline cities.
  • In search of immortality, the native martian population integrate biological life with Titanic Machines.
  • Anti-immortalists in native martian population, after proests of creation of bitanicals fail, head underground to start new civilization in ancient underground cities.
  • Schizoid meme plague strands early bitanicals in narcissistic virtual worlds born out of self-destructive mental dominance wars. Rusting hulks litter the Dust Seas where they migrate aimlessly.
  • Kamikaze Cult, in a martiatarian effort, genetically engineer dinosaurs as cheap slave labor.
  • The kamikaze‚Äôs dinosaur slaves stage global riot, shaking all crystalline cities to the ground.

AGE OF THE DINOSAUR EMPIRE UNDER THE GOD-KINGS

  • Martian-machine bitanicals become sentient and the new dinosaur populist lords begin to worship them.
  • Kamikaze cultists declared anathema by Ulric I, founder of the Dinosaur Empire.
  • Lone bitanical rescues last Qzelti from Dinosaur prisons and they retreat to caverns in the Deep South.

ERA OF UNDERGROUND CITIES (THE PRESERVING WARMTH)

  • Dinosaur scholars discover time portal research notes 5,000 feet underground.

RENAISSANCE OF TIME PORTAL TECHNOLOGY

  • Scientists discover time portals have created run-away planetary cooling.
  • Anti-Global Cooling Fanatics invent Titanic Machines and send them to assassinate time portal scientists.
  • Fringe scientists discover proof that ancient Kamikaze strikers did, in fact, survive the destruction of time portals.
  • Dr. Kimchee is surprised to discover a time ghost of his favorite guinea pig appear in his lab after sending him through a time portal!
  • Bitanical assistance to Dr. Kimchee infuses time portal with decelerated muon gel causing time rifts to rupture, sending all underground cities to the distant past.
  • Kamikaze anathemists emerge from Shard Sea (remnants of crystal cities) leading the temporally tri-furcated army of cloned time ghosts to heal temporal rifts.
  • Resusciated bitanicals mindwipe remaining dinosaurs of the empire and throw them through time portals to ancient Earth.

REMAINS OF EMPIRE ESCAPE FREEZING PLANET

2 Responses to “Microscope: The Time Portals of Mars”

  1. John R says:

    You and your friends are, apparently, insane. And I love it!

  2. Chris S says:

    I’ll see your bull in a china shop, and raise you a dinosaur riot in a crystalline city!

Leave a Reply

Archives

Pages


Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Twitter

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © The Alexandrian. All rights reserved.