We got to play Microscope last night. It was at the Indie Games night at Modern Myths, one of our FLGSs. We had 9 players so we broke up into two groups and played. Both groups seemed to really enjoy the game.
Our group's Big Picture was "Humanity rises up to kill the Gods." Remarkably, we carried through on the premise, in spades. We stayed close to real world mythological sources while combining them. One of the Palette items was that there were other created species than humanity, so we had both Djinn and Angels; one of our periods was the Tower of Babel. A motif that arose and eventually became a Legacy was the family lines of the three thieves who had stolen the tools of the Gods (pulley, sword, fire) to build the Tower. In an early scene the Gods brought the whupass down on the thief who stole the first sword, which smelted the sword into the eon spanning (and later Legacy) Thunder Sword which eventually was used to kill that very God who had inadvertantly created it.
It was satisfyingly epic. The other table's game was similarly so, though space opera rather than antediluvian. An interesting effect of banning elements in the Palette had a wide reaching effect for them: they banned humans. So the story revolved around the robots (from the Big Picture), and then they had a wild time coming up with numberless non-human alien species.
Both our tables played out a lot of scenes, which is pretty different from the experiences of folks in Jason's recent thread
, and Paul T.'s where the main thrust felt like the event and period building. We relished the scenes, and did in fact have one immediate follow-up where we wanted to see what came next in the situation (after the Thunder-Sword was created. Actually, that was the moment when we as a group decided that the sword of the thief would become something important.) Early in the game we clustered our played scenes in one or two early periods so I think we didn't get the full effect of going forward and back in time with the scenes. Though the crafting of the events & periods themselves was all over and did give us that wonderful freedom that I'd hoped for.
Things we did wrong were having a certain amount of table talk. I made sure that we observed the sacrosanct nature of everyone's Period, Event or Scene creation. But at our table, we chit-chatted about the implications of things we'd created and set expectations about what would come later in play based on them in a way that, I believe, stretched the spirit of the rules. But when I run or facilitate, I tend to err on the side of the mood of the group, and we were very happy with that kind of collaboration. I let it go. The other group was being strict about it. I look forward to comparing notes about that with them.
We never pushed. Never even thought about it. We were careful to observe the "your narration ends at the tip of my nose" rule.
There were some very interesting things that happened when there was an outcome in question, like the killing of the last god.I'd like to talk about that more somewhere. Basically, we moved all the way up to almost killing the god, and were all looking for what would push us over the edge--as players and as audience--to buy that we had successfully killed the Goddess Null. When Eppy suggested that his Djinn character who was sacrificing himself guided the sword of the smoke blinded Angel-born sword thief hero, and as a result got him caught up in the blast, turning him into the sun and Null into the moon, we all loved it and were well satisfied that the battle had been fairly won. Though now that I write that, it does mean that it wasn't humans who killed the last god, but the other creations who had come to the side of humanity!
Eppy just had the idea of playing a game of Microscope based around Godzilla appearing. I can't wait to play again...