|A former member||
Brief summary of our Microscope game. I forget a few of the game terms, so forgive me for using generic descriptors.
Our theme was "Two Cultures Assimilate." Our yes/no list was as follows (from memory)
Yes: Cheesemaking, hats, vehicular animals, direct interaction with deities
No: Race (i.e. does not exist as a concept, ala ancient times), full-scale war, sexual reproduction, nations (i.e. civilization must be at the tribal level)
Our beginning was "fall of old civilization" (white) and our end was "Tribes resplit" (also white).
Trying to sort our mass of index cards is beyond me, but here's a rough summary of what happened:
We created a period where tribes were raiding each other for children, then an event (a specific raid) and a scene at that raid: "Why did the god of the White Deer tribe ban the capturing of twins?" After an extended raid scene, the answer emerged: the god of the Red Salmon tribe was able to use twins to create avatars of himself, meaning trying to grab twins was just generally a pretty dumb idea.
Another later period - "the re-introduction of structured education" - was added. Maybe a few other things - at one point the Morichal school is founded. Eventually get around to our lens, which dominates the game time.
The first is "Jenghatai Khan," a character that united the Kang Tay tribe toward the beginning of the timeline. We have a scene at the Morichol school, where a radical historian attempts to re-define Jengheti Khan's legacy (casting it in a negative light) at the Kang Tay dominated school, leading to an argument between Khan's descendant and the apparently-immortal Jenghati about the stagnation of the tribe.
The next lens was "Hats of the Gods," which introduced our most distinctive element. Some related scenes were the Forging of the Nine-Tiered crown around the time on the Unification, the River Tribe burning all the hats, and the marriage of Asagi Khan to Overt Salmon, Chiefain of the White Salmon; the White Salmon have burned their hats, while the Khans still wear theirs, which leads to a heated arguement between the Bearer of Children (a deity that creates children) and Jengheti Khan, with Overt Starling stubbornly refusing to abide by the BoC's request the they must use hats to avoid complicating the child-rearing/heir-choosing process.
The final part of the lens was "Industrialization - Manufacturing Power of Tar discovered" or something like that. We had a period at the end of our timeline (Mass Production of Godly Headwear Possible) and a few events (San Toral begins studying the the properties of the steppe's tar at the Morichal School). Our scene was right before the forging of the nine-tier crown, and covered the surrender of the Blue Heron tribe's chieftain to Jenghetai Khan, who took his god-crown with the intention of melting it and those of his other conquests into a single god-crown with the power of all the deities. Blue Heron requested death rather then see the "one god, one hat" tradition destroyed, and Khan obliged.
Finally, towards the end, we had to answer the question: "When everyone has hats, who needs gods?" during the mass-production period (when gods had come to outnumber followers). An ancient and grumpy Jenghati Khan, fresh out of many years of imprisonment by his descendant, challenge the Tar Smith and the current chief god of the Kang Tay over the abundance of gods, who weren't doing much of anything useful. Seeing that the society had fallen into decadence, and that god-hats did not confer the powers of foresight and wisdom that gods traditional possessed, Jenghati Khan headed east, where he founded a nudist society. Meanwhile, the hat-god civilization splintered into many warring groups.
Accidentally read "When everyone has hats, who needs gods?" out of context and nearly burst out laughing at work! Admittedly it is one of my favorite things about Microscope that seemingly bizarre or incongruous sentences like this can be deeply serious and meaningful. This sounded like an awesome game!