7) PATHFINDER/DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. These two games are role-playing games, or RPG's. These two are classic fantasy themed-I'm sure the dragons part was a big giveaway--but a ton of other themes, like zombies, vampires, Star Wars, horror, western, steampunk, etc are thriving as well. A LOT more complicated than any of the board games above, both Pathfinder and D&D consist of many thick rule books, although you can start with just the core rule books or the even simpler beginner box sets they both offer. When you play an RPG, a Game (or Dungeon) Master leads the game and sets up the story. Sometimes your GM will create the story from scratch but frequently they will use published adventure story lines to provide frame work. Games can be several hours but frequently are played over several to many months. You and your group of fellow adventurers create characters starting with race (like human, elf, or gnome) and class (your profession, like Cleric, Rogue, or Fighter) and then can individualize yourself with hundreds upon hundreds of different traits, feats, styles, race bonuses and the like. Your characters are then led through the story by the GM, but you have to act as the character you created would act in any situation. You solve puzzles, work your way through landscapes and dungeons and of course fight bad guys and monsters. Frequently, when you have battles, out comes a big gridded mat and little miniatures so that's where it ties into the whole board game thing. You use dice to resolve situations such as to see if an attack hits a monster and to roll for damage. And don't worry, you don't have to talk in a silly voice if you don't want to, but that can add to the fun of it too.
When I was first teaching myself the how-to's of role playing, I stumbled upon a great Youtube show from Geek and Sundry called CRITICAL ROLE, where voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. It gave me a lot of ideas and input on how to get started.
It took us a while to find people who were in interested in trying out these more complicated games. Many people we knew were too interested in microbrews and cocktail hours to bother spending a whole evening playing games. Frequently, I think a lot of people are too self-conscious or afraid to look silly while playing a game. But we've carved out a gaming group of our own and we've also joined some local meet up groups that have us playing several times a month.
If you want to discover even more games than what I listed above, skip the big box stores and check out your local game shops. Often, they will have games open for you to try out before you buy it and can give you recommendations based on other games that you already know and love. You can also check out Wil Wheaton's Youtube show (another Geek and Sundry production), TABLETOP, to watch him and his friends having fun playing new games. Pro-tip: Watch the show on Amazon Prime to get the uncensored shows!
Remember, not all games are for all people. I am not overly fond of deck building games but tons of people are and they are worth checking out. If you don't like one game, move on and find another!
Game on! //Jennevieve