"Its January 1st. You wake up covered in confetti, wearing a tophat, and all you can smell is fake peach flavoring. You look at your forearm, and like in the movie Memento, there's a numbered list of things you need to remember.
Your resolutions for 2024."
Pandemonium Resolutions for 2024
- Use Lost Time - While we don't recommend stealing time from yourself, we do recommend stealing time back from things that are already stealing time from you. Its a victimless crime, taking your morning commute to thumb through the latest N. K. Jemisen, or pouring over some Jason Pargin while the washing machine eats your socks.
- Eat Smaller Meals - Novellas and short stories are great ways to exercise your reading muscles and build your reading stamina. Getting in those quick reps with anthologies like The Gathering Dark, or quick reads like Nothing But Blackened Teeth helps people build confidence with the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something.
- Pick a Theme - Whether its to compare and contrast, or to get a better sense of a community, choosing books within a theme can be a satisfying and compelling way to propel yourself in your reading journey. Maybe you want to read more fantasy from a queer perspective, or some sci-fi from API authors, or just a whole bunch of books about vampires; choosing a theme that's important to you can lend meaning to your reading goals, not to mention giving you direction for what to read next.
- Forgive Yourself - If you find the pace that you're reading books to still be too slow, here's a quick reminder; in this digital age, you are reading all the time. You're reading right now if you can believe it. As it turns out, you do read quite a lot, even if it isn't what you want to be reading, and maybe this reminder is the universe's way of saying "hey, be nice to yourself. You do a lot and its ok to not knock every goal out of the park."
- Mix it Up - It can be monotonous painting the same blue armor day-in day-out. Perhaps the reason you haven't been painting is that you are bored, and could use a palette cleanser so to speak. A remedy for humdrum could be to paint something you don't usually paint, a model for a different game, an already finished puzzle, or a canvas that was white and is now whatever color that is. You might try getting a new brush, or a new color of paint and see what opportunities you cant imagine with that new tool by your side. Have you ever painted an Ork Bubblegum Pink? No, but you could, and that's almost like self-expression, which is rad.
- Mini Goalposts - A lot of wargames or rpgs have a high model count for the cinematic campaign conclusions, or particularly epic models to really sell the importance of the moment. Breaking these larger goals into smaller parts wont just help with your sanity save, but also can be used strategically to make the most use of your projects over a longer period of time. Maybe you can play a smaller version of the game with just a few of your units, or perhaps there's a prelude encounter that shows off your big bad before they are the big bad. Finding uses for smaller parts of your projects can help expose you to new games even, as you can try mini agnostic games like The Doomed or Dragon Rampant with your half-finished friends.
- Share the Love - Since we live in a modern, connected age, why not make a blog or an instagram to post your progress on? It could be as simple as a diary, detailing your hopes and dreams for your hobby, or it could be a way to engage with your community and learn new techniques along the way. You've gotta get your dopamine from somewhere, so why not add a pic or two to show off your chops and get some feedback?
- Take Inventory - if you have a list of the games you have to play, then you can do things with that list, like make a chore wheel, but one that reminds you to play your games, so its really more of a play wheel. We should copyright that. Also, you can gamify your playing by making little rewards for each milestone you pass. Maybe once you play ten games, you can have a pizza party!
- Accountabilibuddies - Chances are that if you like board games, people you know might also like board games, and they might also face the same challenge of making sure all of their games get played with. Since many games are played with more than one person, you can all get in on the fun, kicking the tires and making sure the games you have are games you'd like to play again. Plus, if you find a game that all of you are mutually fascinated by that has a tournament circuit, you have your build in grind group already assembled.
- What's Next? - Maybe you had the inverse strawman experience, where you've played a game so much that it's lost its shine. You could exercise your game designer muscles and invent some house-rules to zhuzh it up, or see if the game in question has an expansion that's particularly well reviewed on board game geek. If all else fails, maybe its time to swap it at a board game swap meet (I'm sure its a thing,) or donate it to a little free library in your area.
- PMs to DMs - The internet, for better or worse, is a place. You're here right now, believe it or not, and funny thing is, so is everyone else. Whether its facebook, tinder, discord, craigslist, or some other hellsite, chances are there's a place where someone is talking about something you care about, in a town not too far from your own. For apps or social media sites with search bars, you can directly ask for what you're looking for, potentially finding groups or meetups that click with your 4x Eurogame sensibilities or your INQ28 aesthetics. If there isn't such a space yet, you can always make one, so that the next time someone is looking for thing-you-care-about-very-muchly, they have a discord server or a facebook group to go to.
- Did Somebody say Events? - If you want to visit places on the material plane, you can always check out what's happening in near you. This isn't just the obligatory, "we have book clubs, Magic tournaments, and DnD, (which are all very good and you should check our events page,) but also check out the bulletin boards of your local breweries, bars, libraries, and cafes to see what cool stuff they have going on. Somewhere, someone has already done the preliminary work for wrangling cats, and now all they need is a bunch of cats dumped in the mix. Be a cat, simple as that.
- Plenty of Fish - Not every one of these solutions will yield the results you're looking for, and this is a final note to say that this is ok. Sometimes despite our best efforts, a gaming group or a local scene won't feel like a good fit, and while it can be a huge bummer, it is imperative that we do not give up hope. It takes time to cultivate friendship and community, and unlike with some games, there isn't really a way to speedrun finding your people. Hopefully with a little patience and self-reflection, you'll find what you need in time.
With all of that said, we'd like to leave you with this weird little wish; that your 2024 will be better than your 2023, and that you find plenty of reasons to look forward to the future.
Thank you for being part of our community, for driving us nuts, and for keeping us sane. From all of us here at Pandemonium, we appreciate you.
Happy New Year.