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I'm planning to run a game of Microscope for the first time with players who've never played it before as well (hello deep end!) and it's going to have to be online as my players of choice are scattered across the country.

I'm planning on using skype and google docs plus possibly a chat interface to make clarifications/spellings for names.

But, since I have no experience with Microscope and it's unlike any game concept I've tried before (Baron Münchhausen is probably the closest thing I've played before) I'm planning on doing some briefs to help with some small examples; but what else can I provide my players to ensure that they are:

a) Enthused b) Clear on the rules c) Prepared

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A couple of suggestions on the chat interface: If you use skype you will have chat on the conference call. We used Mumble as our chat client for our recent game and it worked quite well, it also has a chat component. OR google docs has chat built right in... – wax eagle Apr 5 '12 at 13:17
As a note we used Google Hangouts and a shared Google Doc (using indenting to indicate different periods etc) when we played :) – Rob Jun 19 '12 at 10:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

A few examples go a long way with Microscope. "Clear on the rules" is actually a little less important, as Microscope rules work well if introduced as you go. (Microscope is a very easy game to demo at conventions.) There's some advice at the back of the book (p59-62) on running beginner's games, and I strongly recommend you follow it online.

What will be a little more difficult over the net is establishing a shared basic vision of the world, as you can't pick up on each other's cues as easily. So look for setting ideas; you want your setting and Palette to fill with ideas easily. Once you get through the first few turns, the game will start taking care of itself.

The first source of ideas and examples is the designer's website at Lame Mage Productions, well worth reading for ideas.

Many of the playtest games were blogged in various places; reading those playthroughs should give you ideas. (Although you should ignore the rules comments; most rules have become a lot cleaner and smoother since then.)

Some examples to start with:

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Links, explanations and helpful stuff; nice answer - thanks very much! – Rob Apr 6 '12 at 21:14

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