Three board/card games for the RPG soul

Let’s face it, being an adult can take too much time away from gaming. Well, I have some more games for you to squeeze in.

The benefit of these games is that they can play as quickly as 30-60 minutes, or you can set them aside and pick them up later to carry on the fun. This is where having a dedicated gaming table comes in handy!

miceandmysticsMice & Mystics
A cooperative storytelling adventure for 1-4 mice (players)

  • Play time: 1 hour to 1 year; a single chapter takes only an hour or two, but the whole campaign can expand over multiple sessions.
  • Co-op level: Work together to overcome obstacles and defeat the villain. Go team!
  • Feels like: A table top RPG in board game format. Think D&D but with less prep time and more mice.

 

talismanTalisman: The Magical Quest Game
A classic fantasy adventure board game for 2-6 players

  • Play time: 1 hour to 1 weekend; playing the base game can take only an hour or two, but add on all the expansions and you can be adventuring all weekend. Hope you have a big table!
  • Co-op level: Combat the board and each other; it’s every adventurer for themselves!
  • Feels like: An immersion into the classic fantasy theme. Your very own Tolkien adventure awaits!

 

netrunnerAndroid: Netrunner The Card Game
A living card game for 2 players set in a dystopian, cyberpunk future

  • Play time: 30-60 minutes. The game itself is relatively quick, but as a living card game, most of the fun is in the deck-building beforehand.
  • Co-op level: Take on one of two roles and face off with your opponent. It’s you vs. me!
  • Feels like: You got sucked into a cyberpunk future where you’ve suddenly become super important. No pressure.

 

Expand your gaming medium; claim it as a breadth requirement.

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What is blues dancing?

The first question people sometimes ask when I say I blues dance is “What’s booze dancing?” I’ve never been accused of slurring or having a thick accent, but apparently “blues dancing” is not something people’s ears are perked to hear.

After clarifying that there’s no alcohol involved, their question is corrected to “What’s blues dancing?”

Blues dancing is hard to describe. In its simplest form, it’s a type of partner dancing done to blues music.

My community views blues dancing as a collection of dances (such as Ballroomin’, Jukin’, and Drag Blues) that are done to a variety of music. The dance originates and evolved from vernacular African dances, rhythms, and movements. It values grounded body posture and improvisation between the dancers and the music. Blues music, and therefore blues dancing, varies from slow and sensual to fast and funky.

Check out these videos to get a sense of blues dancing:

  • Ballroomin’ blues – characterized as a slower, fluid, but highly rhythmic dance with expressive body movements.
  • Jukin’ blues – a more energetic style of blues dancing, characterized by a downward pulse and combining many solo blues/jazz steps.
  • Drag blues – a modern variation of Ballroomin’ and Slow Drag, this style is danced to the swinging rhythms found in Blues music.

The blues dance community, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is a great place to connect with wonderful humans. If blues music doesn’t drive your soul, try fusion. The fusion dance scene is growing by the minute. More on that later!

Try blues dancing; you just might find your passion.

How it’s different meeting someone through dance

What do you notice first about a new person? Their appearance? The way they walk? The way they laugh? When my first interaction with someone is through a dance, one of the first things I notice is their smell.

Don’t be put off; it’s rarely a bad smell.

Everyone has a smell. Some people douse themselves in odours from a counter, others are ripe with their own natural concoction, and others have such a faint smell that it can only be detected by getting up close and personal.

Has a smell ever hit your nostrils and triggered a memory or an emotion? If it hasn’t, science can show you it’s a thing. Learn how smell triggers memories and emotions.

From what I’ve experienced on the dance floor, meeting someone first through their smell is a powerful way to register them in my memory and elicit an emotional response. Of course, our dance connection also makes a strong (or not-so-strong) statement. I’ve had dances where we’ve connected so strongly with the music and with our bodies, but their smell didn’t invite me in. In contrast, I’ve embraced someone on the dance floor who smells incredible, but our musicality didn’t match up in the slightest. Either way, smell played a part.

We often rely on visual cues to remember people, which is why we probably often forget them. Even if you’re not a dancer, smell the next person you meet; you’ll remember them better.

Why every adult should play Dungeons & Dragons

Every adult has wished at some point that they could be a kid again. Being an adult is hard and full of responsibility. I dare to argue that playing D&D as an adult blends the best of both worlds.

Sure, being a kid was fun. The carefree life; all play and no work. But being an adult is rewarding in its own way – the personal agency, wisdom, intimate connections to people and the world.

Maybe it’s my logically-inclined brain talking, but I have always found creativity difficult. I didn’t read a whole lot as a child, nor did I dream when I slept.

As soon as I started playing D&D the doors to my imagination flew wide open. I started remembering my dreams (often inspiring my next D&D campaign idea), and I started to crave the creative freedom that came with thinking up a new character concept.

Whether you’re a natural at creative thought, or struggle with your imagination, I challenge you to start playing a table top role playing game (TTRPG) like D&D and see if it inspires you. If elves, orcs, and dwarves aren’t your thing, don’t worry; D&D is not the only option. There are countless TTRPG’s out there, with different settings and flavours.

Check out Bryce Duzan’s “10 Tabletop RPGs for Beginners” for ideas of different game systems to try out. The list is divided into light, medium, and heavyweight options to suit any level of proficiency and dedication.

Let your imagination soar; you’ll see a whole new world.

What makes a passion not just a hobby?

I believe a passion is something that inspires you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Physically – drives you to move
  • Mentally – brings happiness to your sense of self
  • Emotionally – connects you to others

Above all, you miss it when it’s gone. You long for it.

Hobbies are activities that you enjoy doing. They may satisfy one or more of your physical, mental, and emotional needs, but they don’t necessarily drive your soul.

Take knitting for example. If you’re into knitting, is it your hobby or your passion? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does knitting drive you to action?
  2. Does the thought of missing the next knitting conference make your gut ache?
  3. Do you feel alone (in a negative way) when you’re not knitting?
  4. Is your answer the question “Do you want to knit?” ever genuinely “No”?

Dance is my passion. It drives me to spend all of my vacation days travelling to other cities to attend dance events. It elicits euphoria and a sense of community. Without dance, I feel disconnected.

I always want to dance. Even when I’m injured, exhausted, distracted, and stressed, I always want to dance. Maybe I can’t right now, for whatever reason, but I always want to.

Thankfully there’s dance videos to satisfy my craving off the dance floor. Like the 2015 BluesSHOUT: All Star Strictly Finals.

Find your passion; you’ll be happier for it.

Why Bohnanza is the greatest game ever invented

bohnanza

Whether you’re a seasoned board game enthusiast, or the occasional traditional family game dabbler, there is one game you should have on your shelf: Bohnanza.

Endearingly nicknamed “BEANS!” in our house, Bohnanza is a card-based game about trading, planting, and harvesting beans. It’s the perfect game, and here’s why:

  • No player elimination. Everyone gets to play the whole game (up to 7 players!)
  • Everyone can do things on all turns. No waiting around while other players take their turn.
  • Highly interactive. Talking is not only encourage, it’s essential. You need to negotiate those trades!
  • Easy to learn; difficult to master. The ultimate characteristic to satisfy the instant gratification monkeys and the long term strategists.
  • High re-playability. No two games are the same. Will you try for the cocoa beans next time?
  • Fun theme. Who doesn’t love beans? Plus, hilarious artwork makes my heart smile.
  • The box is small, and since it’s only cards, you can even ditch that. Bring it anywhere!

I bring Bohnanza to parties, give it as a gift, and treasure it as the game that made me fall in love with international board games.

Spread the beans! Your friends will thank you for it.