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Games


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Here's an idea for a game: Drinkin' Dragons. Just a name, nothing else. Dragons drink from flagons.


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

He likes it.


 
 
 
 
 
 

Actually this turned very quickly into a real game, although probably a fatally flawed one. It hits my buttons, I really want it to work, and I might try it on Christmas. It would be a family game that's not exactly appropriate for children, with a lot of co-operation.

There are a bunch of mostly exotic drinks. Your dragon can fly after drinking 15 or so drinks, as well as some other criteria. The different dragons, probably three, have a list of dietary considerations. During your turn you draw a flagon card, you can make a trade with another player, and you can drink one drink by putting your card down with your line of drinks.

The dietary considerations are
A) Alcoholic - you want to have three or so alcoholic drinks, but nobody can drink and fly, so things have to be acquired and timed. Also the alcoholic can't avoid drinking alcohol. The coffee addict has to drink a couple of cups of coffee, and can't drink anything until having the first coffee. The behaviour is going to be thematic. The weight watcher can't drink if the last three turns involved too many calories.
B) Doesn't drink alcohol / coffee / tea.
C) Allergies (including peanut, banana, dandelion), lactose intolerant, celiac, can't have strong spices.

A player has a list of three drinks he likes, maybe banana milk and cinotto and tea, and must drink some combination of three before flying off. This will also be thematic - mmm, I want that.

What happens when an alcoholic can't drink alcohol? The former is abandoned and the latter takes over. But ... if the player drinks an alcoholic drink (puts down a card) and nobody catches this before someone else drinks, the drink stands. Not really fair, but very thematic.

Should a die be used to determine whose turn it is? It is simpler without the die, but trading might break down at the end. I'm thinking do normal turns until "late in the evening" you switch to using a die.

Hmm ..
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

I've been debating whether to make this. It would be educational for kids, counting calories and sorting out this gluten business (see below) and perhaps seeing the trouble with addictions. The tactics of this game are all about trading. I estimate a player will make four trades in a game, so six trades en entier for all three players. Will the game play itself?
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

It looks like I will not do it. I'll spend my pre-Christmas time working on the long-planned and long-procrastinated Bestiary, a set of funny animal drawings.

How could Drinkin' Dragons be improved? There is card drafting, whatever that means. There is also bidding, where players bid with their 50 coins in a mini auction when the next card is turned over.

Bidding is thematically better than trading drinks. It might be tricky for little kids. Say goodbye to the co-operative trades and say hello to competition, including bids just to bankrupt someone. The dice dilemma is gone. So it looks like the bidding mechanism might (or might not) make things more interesting and tactical. A player's turn is when it's his turn to draw and reveal the next card. A player may consume one drink during his turn. You still put down a line of cards (including blanks). Can you get a drink from another player?

Hmm ..
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

Back to trading. Maybe the number of favourite drinks should be increased, to increase the amount of trading. Another approach that will certainly shake things up is you have to get all six types of favourite drinks, which would become increasingly tricky.
 
 
 
 

Back to bidding. The problem is that most cards mostly don't matter to most people. A bug fix is to have a bartender lay out three drinks, and players bid for who gets all three. You have to keep puttin' 'em back, birch juice would be all right, and gurana is one of your favourites. You actually can't have the caffè latte because you're lactose intolerant, and the coffee addict will bid high.

I'm not sure if I should keep water as a drink.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Another approach is to have each player with 15 cards (we could tinker with the numbers). When the game begins you can look at your dietary requirements and your drinks, then join the brief blitz of trading until somebody has met their dietary requirements. Some special rules for alcohol, coffee and peanut allergy are out the window because they depend on turns.
 
 
 
 

There are many ways of doing this. The good news is it is good for getting creative ideas, but the bad news is none of them work. It should be said that designing and even playing these types of games is new to me.

How about there is a communal set of fifteen or maybe ten cards that all players use together. For a player's turn three (chosen? random? next in sequence?) cards are taken from this set and three cards are taken from the top of the slush pile. The player decides whether to switch the three cards with the other three cards. When the 15 cards meet a player's requirements, that dragon can fly off. Are the diets secret? Does the alcoholic have no choice when alcohol is offered?

In addition to the three classic players - alcoholic, coffee addict and weight watcher - there could be a completionist, who must drink all three types of favourite drinks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Natural History


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Caecilians are amphibians.

True or false?

A: True


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Science


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Language and Culture


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Military / History


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Food and Drink (mostly drink)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fireball
 

Can a celiac drink Fireball? Does it contain glutens?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Music, film, television


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I'm a big fan of Western animated shows, mostly the heavy hitters. I like the animated shows and have no use for live fiction shows. I also have basically no use for the modern computer animated movies, and I can't really explain why that is.

I like the Simpsons, the most digestable of these shows. Family Guy, a show I avoided for some time, is one I like to watch a lot (I'm glossing over how these shows have changed over time). There's Ren and Stimpy, there's Futurama. Home Movies is officially my favourite of these shows. There is Bromwell High from Britain (and Canada). The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is for kids, and I like it. There's Bob and Margaret. There's Undergrads. Mission Hill, particularly the science fiction convention episode. Other shows are worth a few episodes here and there. Some are for kids, and some are really weird. I almost forgot about Duck Dodgers.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

There are other animated productions out there, from '30s animation to NFB Canadian shorts. A whole bunch of various stuff, but let's not complicate things.

Interestingly, different animated shows have different qualities. Simpsons has fabulous voice work. H Jon Benjamin as coach in Home Movies is a great character, but he is nothing when it comes to doing different voices (he has the same voice in Archer and Bob's Burgers). Behind all the craziness of Ren and Stimpy there is great art work. Meanwhile South Park started out with simple paper cutouts. Home Movies has a lot of edited improvisation, which gives it its peculiar character. Family Guy can have musical bits, adventurous stories including science fiction, and daring humour. Futurama has a variety of qualities, more than The Simpsons, but I think a big strength might quietly be its wordplay. Some shows have nice intro or interstitial music, like Home Movies, or Odd Job Jack. Sometimes I wonder if Canadian productions have more emphasis on word humour.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

Weirdly, other than the shows I like, I'm like oil and water with other shows, and that includes the ones I've seen and the ones I have not seen. I've never been a fan of South Park. I don't have an objection to it, it's full of quality satire and humour, but it has never been for me. American Dad won't stick with me, although I like Family Guy. Bob's Burgers is not for me, and I've basically not seen Archer. King of the Hill does not appeal to me.

There is a lot of negativity in these shows, and I really do object to that. That's a whole complex topic with bathroom humour, ugliness, shock and nihilism. Suicide has been casually popping up. Lots of red flags there. Family Guy writers will regularly think of a handicap and have a scene making fun of the handicapped person. I'm sure lots of university papers have been written about that. Characters will show that they don't care about other people who are suffering. This happens over and over, and this is supposed to be funny. I can only speculate what's going on there.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

These shows that I like were made during the 1990s into the 2000s. And then .. nothing. If there is a nice animated show out there, I don't know what it is (well, actually there is one, which is the point here, stay tuned).
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gizmos


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Other


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Q: What is the fourth most populous state in the U.S.A.?

A: New York source

(Canada has 36.7 million)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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