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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Rocks fall. Everyone dies. (Microscope)

Rocks fall. Everyone dies. (Microscope)

A former member
Post #: 42
We set out to play what Caroline pitched as a "lighthearted, fairytale" game of Microscope. I don't think we really achieved that tone. Our game divided into two sections which didn't really interact with each other. In one half, four magic rocks, operating for some reason out of a fairy pawnshop owned by a dragon, tried to get various humans to do various things. Generally they were unsuccessful, since though they were talking rocks, they were too mysterious and aloof to engage in real conversation. In the second half, a group of children who apparently dreamed the first world into existence decided to stop dreaming it, and start dreaming another world where there were no fairies and humanity was ruled by a ghost king who was in some sense also a rock. This process apparently involved earthquakes, and a lot of tearful declarations of love.

This game didn't come together well. It reinforced for me the importance of having non-mysterious motives and actors in Microscope. When we had scenes where the majority of the characters were talking rocks who wanted ineffable secret things, or quirky fairy functionaries who didn't seem to want anything but to be quirky, the thread of the story was completely lost. One scene followed another, but with no identifiable human elements that sequence of scenes didn't feel like an emerging story.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 387
Arthur: "Who would want a motorized rock?"
Ford: "Another motorized rock?"


Yeah, that's trouble. It's no accident that the instructions for scenes tell players to describe what your character does and says but also what they *think*. Expose those secrets to the other players, reveal those agendas and get everyone at the table on firm ground -- or reveal when you don't have an agenda, when you are intentionally leaving something blank for others to fill in. There's also a whole section in the appendix about the potential pitfalls of not being sure whether someone has an actual idea they're working towards. If we all know we don't know we're a lot better off than if we aren't sure whether a player is going somewhere with an idea or not.

But yeah, role-playing a rock: extra bonus difficulty.
Caroline
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 68
Oh man but I totally brought the push mechanics in and it ROCKED
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 388
Did you win the vote by a landslide?
Caroline
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 69
Boooooo. I won by using my stalag*might*
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 389
Dude, stretching. I'll be geo-nerous and let that one go.
A former member
Post #: 43
We tend to take player agreement for granite in our games, it's true. Actually using the conflict resolution mechanic lets players offer boulder ideas, knowing the other players have a mechanism for keeping them grounded.

Puns aside: yeah, we had the rocks do initial scene thoughts, but they were always "No one must interfere with my plan!" I think the thing to realize is that if no one cares enough to decide what the rocks want, no one cares about them and we should stop talking about them rather than keep trying to make it work. And Caroline's uses of push were cool, although really no one pushed back.
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