Friday, April 14, 2017

Exploring the lost continent via forum

At the end of last year, I got in another game of Microscope, the quirky RPG of building a timeline. I've been meaning to do a write up about it for a while.

While this was the fifth Microscope game I've been in (two successful and two fizzled out), this was the first one I played that wasn't with my old Indie crew from back in Chicago and this was the first time I played via the Boardgame Geek Forum. Although I have corresponded with Avri, the organizer, so it's not like I was playing with complete strangers.

The theme for the game was the Lost Continent, beginning with it rising out of the ocean and ending with it being discovered.

The game also had one of the toughest restrictions I have ever had in the game of Microscope. No fantasy or science fiction elements, although dinosaurs and other extinct creatures were acceptable. The only tougher one I've played with was no colors.

In all of my previous games, we push those elements to the hilt. Heck, in one of the ones that fizzled, I was pushing to have to human/human-equivalent, instead having the dominant race basically be the Mi-Go from Lovecraft's Whisperer In the Dark.

However, unlike that crazy color restriction, no fantasy or science fiction elements was a challenge to step up to. During the course of the game, I spent a lot of time reading about paleontology and archeology in order to try to make it realistic. I even got to introduce a version of the Beaker Culture, who I always thought were neat.

There were a couple hiccups at the start, one of which was me missing that it was my turn at the start and we did have one player disappear (which is happened in other games I've played) However, once we got rolling, the game blazed along.

Seriously, I have never played in a game of Microscope that went so fast. It was awesome.

We were a little under the gun. One of the other players was expecting their first child. Which was one of the reasons (but far from the only!) another of the games I was in fizzled. But in Avri's game, the expecting father TOLD us. You know, as well as actively participating.

In my experience, if everyone gets a chance to be the lens, that is a full game of Microscope. By the time we were done, not only have we done that but we got halfway around the table again. That was awesome.

For my first experience playing an RPG by forum, exploring the history of the lost continent via Microscope was great. I would play another game organized by Avri at the drop of a hat.

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