More peering into Microscope RPG.
Riding the feels of my previous, serious high school game, I asked we come up with something that explores the more fantastical for my next game of Microscope.
After a few ideas, we settled on "Post-apocalyptic Oregon Trail across the US" with a look at the downfall of civilization to the arrival of whatever into the promised land of "New Oregon." We didn't know why we're travelling to this New Oregon (or what/where it was). At this point we didn't even establish a palette yet, but we were excited to figure out what it all means.
The best part of Microscope is acknowledging the beauty of the unknown. Like a Lovecraftian character, you have to stare into that abyss and embrace this primordial fiction and whatever spawn that comes out from the palette.
We had zombies, giant monsters, necromancers, along with no modern firearms and guns and torture.
Fictionally, after a botched transport job of a Zombie specimen wound up at the White House, President Elizabeth Warren and her cabinet were taken to Area 51 where they shockingly discovered that America had been breeding giant monsters and having them sleep in the ocean as weapons.
Unwilling to use the monsters to prevent the zombies, America sat at a crossroads. What will they do about the zombie infested east coast? Well, with a great amount of help from the assistant chief of the Department of the Interior and the First Nations, America had a plan to deal with the zombie herds: Buffalo. A massive, corralled herd of over 1 million buffalo came down like the Roharim over the forces of Sarumon driving the zombies into the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the combined zombie and buffalo in the Atlantic ocean woke up the monsters anyways! Dun-Dun-Dunnnn!
Thinking we spent enough time discussing the preapocalypse and the monsters, we started examining the trail West. We saw New New York founded on the ruins of St. Louis and Park Rangers continuing their duties in Monster ridden national park zones. Apparently monsters are attracted to major national landmarks!
Speaking of national landmarks. It appears that the last president of the US, Elizabeth Warren wrote a book and the book heavily inspired and formed the Constitution of New Oregon. New Oregon was still nebulous, but it was quickly becoming the site of many, many monuments.
Near the end of the game, we began exploring New New York City and the return of the Monsters. Apparently the monsters for a time were lulled away or grew weak. Humanity began rebuilding. Upon the return of the monsters, humanity was much more prepared to fight them. Towards the very very end we learned that other parts of the world were being attacked as well as telegrams came flooding in to the US!
My final thoughts are that this game was more true to your average game of Microscope than compared to my high school drama game. This game was 4 people each with the opportunity to be the lens and with such a wide palette, you definitely get a bizarre ending. The game felt less about the actual journey across the west that our concept was originally about and more about the monsters and pre-apocalypse. Is that a good thing? I think so.
Microscope continues to be my favorite game as of late because of how diverse the stories you make from it can be. It's a framework for fictional reverse entropy. You take anything and form it into an ordered mess of beauty. I cannot wait to play again.
I hide in a cubicle all day until the night time where I play RPGs and other games and stuff.