Microscope Dungeon Creation

I was just thinking about how the game asks you to prep a dungeon by creating the place first and establishing a lot of fact about its use before the place is ruined and abandoned.

Has anybody tried using Microscope to create a torchbearer dungeon? You just set your start points for the place being discovered or settled upon and the end point with the abandonment of the settlement and you could have a group of players create a full history for the place.

It may be better to have a different group play it rather than the same one but hey ho.

I think you could definitely use Microscope for this, though it seems more suited to building a very large (possibly even a mega-)dungeon. The different Periods would reflect the different inhabitants and uses of the place.

Not sure if you know about it, but Tony Dowler’s How to Host a Dungeon is a solo-game for the GM that leads to a nifty dungeon. In fact, TB’s creation process was pretty heavily inspired by the process. Check it out!

Our group tried out John Wick’s “Dirty Dungeons” with World of Dungeons - I’m sure it would work just as well with Torchbearer.

This might be a little off topic, but what is microscope?

Microscope is a GMless RPG where the players semi-collaboratively build the timeline of an era of some sort, and zoom in to play scenes to explore key events. It’s very cool, and a common feeling after playing it is, “I want to game in this world!” The rules are carefully structured to prevent people lobbying and cajoling each other in a way that lags the game (e.g. “Well, wait, what if the king was actually sick?”) so it’s very neat and tidy, despite being seemingly collaborative.

Microscope is one of my very favorite games. It is mad fun, portable, and infinitely replayable.

Use Microscope to burn your world (if it even needs it: these are murderhobos, not scholars!) and HTHAD for individual dungeon histories within that world. Then let the world history help you pick elements during dungeon hosting.

… what is HTHAD?

How to Host a Dungeon, already mentioned (though I guess it’s not well known by its initialism).

wow, I did not even know that these kind of games existed! I really want to try that out… These are great game ideas… This is really an armchair comment, but I suspect they might have great pedagogical (is that a word in English?) value when it comes to co-create universes… One of my greatest fun as a GM was world-building, and I still love doing it, but the problem with that is that it kind of created a “constraint” the imagination of other Players to “fit” with the world of the GM. Well, if course, in a way, that constraint is what the player ask from the GM (to propose a setting inspired by a combination of tropes, etc…). Yet a lot of times this constraint turned out to be “creative castration” for the players in my gaming experiences. They where really frustrating moments, because sometimes players where “destroying” my “ideas” and I was no longer having fun with my “creation”, yet I realised that, well, the games where all about those interactions by the players in the game world… It did not happen all the time, but enough for me to remember them… Of course, everything changed once I discovered games like BW, but I suppose things like Microscope could have improved my gaming perspective when I was playing GM-heavy games like 3.5.

I highly recommend trying out Microscope, Kingdom, and Fiasco. They’re not to every taste, but they ask serious questions about what RPGs are and how they are played. Along with Burning Wheel and Fate they’ve made me a better player and GM even when I’m playing a more traditional game.

Alright, I finally broke down and bought Microscope, now to find the time to look at it…

I’m going to play Microscope this evening for the first time… What’s Kingdom? Is it a lot like Microscope? What’s the difference between the two games?

Kingdom is the latest game by Ben Robbins who wrote Microscope. It’s similar in concept but more linear, more character based, and limited to a single organization (a kingdom, a space ship, a police precinct, etc).

I know I’m necrothreading here, but we could play Microscope by-post or email or something to build a cool Torchbearer setting. I had played some in another forum and it was a cool experience (though we never finished it). I have to finish reading the game but it was fund as far as I got.

Stay cool :cool: