jkci's blog

The Best Family Board Games for the Holidays

No one wants to play Monopoly, but finding games that are easy and accessible for the entire family can be a challenge. Avid board gamers tend to get a little too optimistic ("Why not try a game of Eldritch Horror?") while Target-exclusives tend to be a mixed bag. But there's value in family-style board games during the holiday season: it gives you something to do besides fighting.

Is the Board Game Bubble Bursting in 2019? Rising Costs a Growing Concern

To say that board games is in a bubble needs to be qualified first: it isn't the act of playing games that's in a bubble. To some extent, it's not even the act of publishing games that's in a bubble. It is a specific type of publishing -- rapid, small print projects -- that is in a bubble, in addition to some of the culture that surrounds board games. Board game developers, publishers, and distributors are all feeling a crunch right now, as board games become more expensive to produce and yield a smaller piece of the pie to each one.

In-Depth: Hasbro Appeals to Millennials With New Board Game Parody Line

Games like "Clue: What Happened Last Night?" and "Botched Operation" have hit Target in time for the holiday season, in a new move by Hasbro to reach the millennial audience. These parody games aren't just re-skins of the old classics: they include different game mechanics that are meant to appeal to those who have already played these games countless times with their family.

Roll20 Co-Founder Faces Reddit's Wrath After Banning User from Roll20 Subreddit

It's a case of mistaken identity that might go down in history as a textbook example of poorly run PR. On Tuesday evening Reddit user u/ApostleO posted the following: "After 5 Years On Roll20, I Just Cancelled and DELETED My Account." What followed was a lengthy story that boils down to this: ApostleO was banned from the r/Roll20 subreddit by u/NolanT because he had a username similar to another previously banned user.

7 of the Best D&D Alignment Charts Featuring Inanimate Objects

DND alignment. What is it and how does it work? Truth is, no one really knows, which is probably why 5e stopped leaning so hard on it. The D&D alignment system is really a character building mechanic which gives you an interesting little shorthand to define what your character is all about. It's not perfect, but when it does fit, it just fits.

Women in Board Game Development: All About My Workshop

I have a tendency to do things that are both spontaneous and inadvisable. Recently, I wondered why there weren't more women in board game development. From pure anecdotal evidence, about 20% of the people I see at game shops are women, but only about 6% of the top 100 games are by women. When women do create games, few are solo designers; most are co-designers and usually with a man. But I didn't want to draw any conclusions, I wanted to find out more. So I decided to run a women's development workshop -- and the results were pretty illuminating in a way I didn't expect.

Tips for Building Homebrew Settings vs. Established Settings in D&D/Roleplaying

In the past, I've written about roleplaying as a service to the player: how roleplaying is, essentially, a mechanism by which a DM or GM allows cool things to happen. The more complex, dynamic, interesting, and unique these things are, the more rewarding -- and the more solid the framework is, the more complex and dynamic it will be.

Tales from the Worst Adventurer's League Game Ever

6:00 PM - There are three other people at the table and they all seem incredibly cool, this is looking good.

6:12 PM - He hasn't looked at my character sheet at all, but I assume that's alright. My randomly generated name is Sidney "Coxswain" Chaos. I may change my real name to this.

6:30 PM - Wait. Did he just tell that girl she can't use chill touch because it's melee? He also called all her spells useless non-melee spells but she has both chill touch and witch bolt. 

Women in Board Gaming and Tabletop: a Personal Perspective

As a video gamer and long time DND player, I'm accustomed to being a part of communities that weren't made for me. I've long argued that the lack of female perspective in gaming isn't indicative of inherent sexism, but rather market share -- and that the industry will change over time as women continue purchasing and engaging. But none of that purchasing and engagement happens if we don't all work together, understand each other's perspectives, and show compassion -- and even as a woman I can struggle with that. 

CEO Christian Petersen Announces Retirement from Asmodee NA

Christian Petersen, designer of Twilight Imperium and founder of Fantasy Flight Games, will be stepping down as CEO of Asmodee NA by the end of 2018. Petersen assumed the role in 2014, following Asmodee's acquisition of Fantasy Flight. During his career with Fantasy Flight he published over 400 games and was personally involved in A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, World of Warcraft: The Board Game, the Lord of the Rings Trivia Game, and many others.

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