Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microscope: Who Colonizes the Colonizers?

It turns out we were short a key person for our scheduled gaming session this weekend, so instead we pulled out Microscope.  It was an awesome session with the usual suspects.

At the outset, everyone wrote down two ideas for the Big Picture on index cards, and we compared them to see where there may be synergy. After four of five players suggested themes dealing with colonialism, we decided the big picture would be "Colonizers from a different world displace the native inhabitants."

It's hard to give a narrative of a Microscope game, since it really captures historical snapshots more than a consistent story. But here are some of the interesting moments we encountered along the way:

  • The colonizers, who arrived in generation ships, had super-human powers, and at least the colonial council (known as the League of the New Dawn) seemed to be dominated by super villains. This is what gave rise to the session's tagline: "Who colonizes the colonizers?"
  • We eventually determined that the natives were smallish, fuzzy and purple with flying squirrel-like membranes, vestigial displacer beast tentacles, and six fingers per hand. The supers derisively call them Lemmings, but we never came up with any other name. They are not exceedingly bright, but eventually learned how to imbue themselves with super traits which they used to massacre the colonists.
  • The colonists had names like Blue Duke, Hollow Johnny, Crystal Gale, and Neurolock. The "Lemmings" had terrible names that roughly paralleled those of their colonizers: Gut Hornet, Lt. Agent Orange Jar, and Mustard Love, for example. 
I'm freakin' Picasso.

  • While the poor Lemmings sat on hoards of unobtainium, which they made into beautiful jewelry, the supers needed it to enhance their abilities and ward off the dreaded Elker Plague. The Trail of Lemming Tears inevitably ensued.
  • One time the Lemmings managed to hijack a generation ship, only to crash it into a mountain! Lulz!

As is inevitable in Microscope, we discussed which eras we would like to run games in. Risus Monkey wanted to play in the Age of Exploration, when the supers arrive on the new world. Oddysey wanted to play during the war the Lemmings and humans fought against the supers. Personally, I'd like to explore the era when the Lemmings somehow get their own powers and seriously fight back against the colonists. Clearly the Monkey is in the idealized Marvel 1602 camp and while I'm over reading Orientalism with Oddysey.

Yeah, our group is kinda awesome like that.

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