Sunday, October 21, 2012

Game Day Microscope

So I got another chance to play in a game of Microscope yesterday at the October Game Day.  Once again I had a ton of fun and we managed to produce an amazing setting with tons of potential and great stories.

We had four players for the game, though they changed slightly over the course of it, and we had John facilitating the game for most of it.  The players starting out were myself, Tristan, Chris, and Bobby.  Tristan dropped out late in the game, so John stepped in and actually played for the last little bit.

We decided to focus on telling the story of humanity coming into a Golden Age through technology.  We ended up going alternate history really quick.  I started things off and framed a scene at the United African People's secret Extraterrestrial Research Facility hidden deep in the jungles of the Congo.  The U.A.P. were preparing for the first manned mission to Mars.  Oh and this was in the 1920s.  Doesn't sound much like our normal timeline does it?  Of course it was the Secret History of the Space Race, so it could all be happening in the shadows, but things went quickly into left field.

We had solar system exploration, psychic murders, the Psychic Wars, and humanity expanding out beyond our system into the stars.  There were tons of cool stories that we looked at and that we did not.  One of the more interesting ones was the first psychic murder, very old school detective story.  Could be a very fun story to flesh out and write up.

I love this game.  It definitely scratches a different itch than most other roleplaying games, and that is fine.  It speaks to the writer and worldbuilder in me, and is an incredible tool for creating fun and interesting stories.  I look forward to even more games in the future.

Here are all the details of our game:

Seed:  Technology brings humanity into a Golden Age

Bookend 1:  Secret History of the Space Race (dark)
- Event:  First Manned Mission to Mars (dark)
- - Scene:  Why Do The World Superpowers Want to Stop the Mission?  (Setting:  1920s, the United African People's secret Extraterrestrial Research Facility, hidden in the Congo jungles.) (Resolution:  Because the mission will give the U.A.P. favored status with an alien race) (bright)
- - Scene:  How did Issac Karazamov die?  (Setting:  U.A.P. Extraterrestrial Resarch Facility at the launch of the Mars mission) (Resolution:  Elijah activates the Omega Contingency) (dark)
- - Scene:  Why did the first Mars mission fail?  (Setting:  Mars lander before landing) (Resolution:  Sabotage of Ship) (dark)
- - Scene:  Does Victor Karazamov take revenge?  (Resolution:  Using his position Viktor avenges his son by crushing Africa's economic standing) (dark)
- Event:  Sheva's Research Arrives on Mars (bright)
- - Scene:  How doe Sheva's research help humans to make colony ships great?  (Setting:  Mars after knowledge of Sheva's research is examined) (Resolution:  Mars starts growing vegetation that is clear) (bright)

Era:  The Singularity (bright)
- Event:  The First Psychic Murder (dark)
- - Scene:  How Did They Discover That the Murder Was Done by a Psychic? (Setting:  The murder scene in a hotel above a speakeasy) (Resolution:  G-man rules the murderer was a psychic) (bright)
- - Scene:  How Did the Psychic Community React to the Murder?  (Setting:  Psychic Secret Hideout) (Resolution:  First the outrage, then the War) (dark)
- Event:  The FBI Psy-Division is Founded (bright)
- Event:  Veluxia, the first A.I., is created in response to the "Psychic Problem" (bright)
- - Scene:  What causes the Psychic Wars?  (Setting:  Veluxia's Command Room) (Resolution:  Veluxia advises "control" of the psychics)
- - Scene:  What does Veluxia suggest as an idea to Control Pyschics?  (Setting:  Veluxia's command room) (Resolution:  Effect of Sheva's research vegetation produces "null" psychics offspring from people that consume it.  Veluxia based off of Sheva's mind after she died) (bright)

Era:  Humanity Settles the Solar System (bright)
- Event:  Alien Contact (bright)
- Event:  Mars becomes the breadbasket of the Solar System (bright)
- Event:  The first "null" psychic is born (bright)

Era:  The Psychic Wars (dark)
- Event:  The First Null Psychic Regiment Enters the War (bright)
- Event:  The Last Psychic is Executed (dark)
- - Scene:  Are "null" psychics included in the last psychic executed?  (Setting:  Execution) (Resolution:  Yes, the nulls purpose has been served) (dark)

Era:  Mankind Expands to the Stars (dark)
- Event:  The HMS Excalibur, Earth's first colony ship, launches; commanded by a descendant of the first manned mission to Mars (bright)
- Event:  The original Commander of the Excalibur passes of Old Age in the 50th year of the ship's journey (dark)
- - Scene:  Who was the next Commander of the Excalibur? (Setting:  The Bridge of the Excalibur) (Resolution:  Veluxia becomes the co-pilot, guiding the commander's son to New Avalon) (bright)

Bookend 2:  End of the Earth (bright)
- Event:  Humanity's Colony Fleet Harnesses Sol's Supernova to Follow the Excalibur to New Avalon (bright)
- Event:  The Human Colony Fleet reaches New Avalon only to find it deserted (dark)

Focus 1:  First Manned Mission to Mars
- Legacy:  Effect of Sheva's Research (Legacy Event:  Sheva's Research arrives on Mars) (bright)
Focus 2:  The First Psychic Murder
- Legacy:  Veluxia, the first A.I. (Legacy Scene:  What causes the Psychic War?)
Focus 3:  Life Aboard the Colony Ship Excalibur
- Legacy:  New Avalon (Legacy Event:  Mars becomes the breadbasket of the Solar System (tied into Sheva's Research))
Focus 4:  Null Psychics
- Legacy:  Martian Beefsteak (Legacy Scene:  Who was the next Commander of the Excalibur? (tied to Veluxia))

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