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Saturday (Microscope) - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Saturday (Microscope) [Jun. 11th, 2012|11:25 pm]
Saturday was a lovely big birthday party for Chris Floyd, to which I brought the gazpacho that I needed the vinegar of my last post for. Lots of socialization with friends, YAY! Also, Kevin was in town for it (well, and for a wedding on Sunday), and I got to play Microscope with him & his girlfriend Melissa and Neal and Nick. (Five is suboptimal, but we made it work.)

We had a really great example of what makes the shared creative agency in Microscope so much fun. One of the things you can do is to create a Scene that answers a particular question and have everyone role-play through it. So I'm setting up a scene. The question is, "how did the isolationists smuggle the Mind Bomb that depopulated Cynosure Station onto it during the Grand Reconnection Celebration?" So it's established that that's going to happen, and we have to collectively improv to figure out how to get there. As the creator of the Scene, you can require or ban particular characters. So I say "I'm going to ban any stargate technicians, and require... the Mind Bomb."

And everybody thinks: "Oh! The Mind Bomb is a person!"

Melissa, to my right, gets to pick her character for the scene first, and says "I'll play the Mind Bomb. Her name is Lilliandra, and she's the master of ceremonies for the Grand Reconnection." And everyone else thinks, "The Mind Bomb is the Emcee?! I... was not expecting that!"

And after everybody has picked characters for the scene, you reveal thoughts, and Lilliandra is thinking that she's glad the isolationists have been more reasonable lately and she really hopes there won't be any trouble and everyone suddenly realizes "Holy shit, she's the Mind Bomb and she doesn't even know it!"

And it's just fun the way you fill in holes and suddenly everything in your mental picture shifts to make room for the new idea.

From: jkusters
2012-06-12 07:02 pm (UTC)
Fascinating. I'll have to look for that at my FLGS.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2012-06-14 04:53 am (UTC)
Do! It's cheap and worth the investment.
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From: walrusjester
2012-06-13 02:33 pm (UTC)
I've read nothing but good stuff about Microscope. The thing I can't quite figure -- having not played it myself -- is whether this is a roleplaying game. Most descriptions of it, including yours, make it sound:

1) Like a lot of fun;
2) Like an exercise in one-shot improv acting;
3) Like a tool for setting creation rather than a framework for interacting inside a setting.

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2012-06-14 04:52 am (UTC)
1) Yes;
2) Mostly (you can come back to the same characters as much as you like, we just haven't had it go that long yet);
3) Sorta both and sorta neither. I suppose you could use the setting for something else later on, but it's the creation itself that's interesting, and interacting inside the setting is how you do a lot of the setting creation.

It's not an RPG in the usual sense, but it's a game with a strong roleplaying element, albeit in the improv mode.
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[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2012-06-13 06:52 pm (UTC)
This is more or less how I write poetry.
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