About Us / FAQ

Our mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to our customers at the lowest prices possible. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog.

Smiling Pines, LLC is the publisher of Bejinx™ The Game Changer™. John and Kris Ogilvie are the principals of the company and designers of the Bejinx family of game enhancers.

John is Smiling Pines' Lead Game Designer and President. His first game was a version of Martian Chess inspired by the writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs. John enjoys languages, music, math, algorithms, science fiction, being a Dad, games, and other experiences that traverse between abstract and detailed realms.

Kris is Smilng Pines' Marketing Maven and Graphic Designer, with over 25 years of experience in the advertising business. Kris enjoys arts and crafts of all kinds and playing games, both electronic and table top.

 

Bejinx™ FAQ

 

Is Bejinx™ a game?

Not by itself. Bejinx™ cards are designed to be paired with almost any familiar tabletop game to add fun twists, strategic opportunities, and player interactions.

 

Doesn’t Bejinx™ ruin strategy games by making them random games of luck?

No, quite the opposite. There are two different categories of strategy games, and Bejinx™ cards enhance games in both categories:

(a) Some strategy games are games where the best strategic thinking usually wins the game, but luck can also make a difference. Examples include Carcassonne®, Dominion®, Poker, Risk®, Settlers of Catan®, Ticket To Ride®, and many other games. For convenience, call these the “Poker-and-such” strategy games.

(b) Other strategy games are games where strategic thinking is the only thing that pays off – the best strategic thinking always wins. The most familiar examples of these games are probably chess, checkers, go, and peg solitaire, but there are also other examples. Call these the “Chess-and-such” strategy games.

In Poker-and-such strategy games, even though strategic thinking usually pays off, luck is also part of the game. Rolling dice, or drawing from a shuffled deck makes chance a basic part of these strategy games. Adding Bejinx™ cards enhances these strategy games by expanding them to include new strategic challenges. Player strategies already try to account for luck in Poker and similar games. Adding Bejinx™ cards creates additional opportunities to strategize, as you become familiar with the Bejinx™ deck and come to understand what possibilities it can inject into game play. For instance, deciding which hidden cards to reveal to another player, deciding which cards to give another player, and deciding whether to double your score for a turn or take an extra turn instead, are examples of strategic decisions made in response to Bejinx™ cards.

In Chess-and-such strategy games, there is no element of luck because every game starts with the same pieces in the same configuration and there is no dice-rolling or card-shuffling to inject an element of chance. Bejinx™ cards also enhance these games by challenging you to devise new strategies. How would you handle the possibility that an opponent will make three moves in a row, for example? What about the possibility that you might capture two opposing pieces in a single turn? If you were permitted to return any piece to its start-of-game position, which piece would you choose?

In short, when you add Bejinx™ cards to a strategy game, you’re still playing by rules, and your knowledge of the original game is still useful, but those rules and that knowledge get applied in new situations. Play-testing has shown that people really enjoy the twists that Bejinx™ cards add to strategic games.

 

What’s to stop someone from slapping me with a You Just Can’t Win card?

Two things. First, the You Just Can’t Win card applies to the player who draws it – they are the one who just can’t win unless they get rid of that card. Second, the You Just Can’t Win card cannot be held in a player’s hand for use later – it is a NOW card that takes effect as soon as it is drawn.

 

Can I customize my Bejinx™ deck?

Absolutely. Different people like different things, and Bejinx™ cards are designed to give players choices. We encourage freedom of choice. That freedom includes not only the ability to choose different games to pair with Bejinx™ and different ways to play (such as regular or double-choice), but also the ability to choose which Bejinx™ cards to pair with a given game and which Bejinx™ cards to use when playing with a certain group of players. You can customize your Bejinx™ deck by adding cards you love from a Bejinx™ booster pack – you can even design your own cards using Bejinx™ blanks. You can leave out the cards you don’t love.  We won’t be offended. In fact, we want to hear which cards you like most and which ones you don’t, and why, so please give us feedback through the survey link on this website.

 

Updated: 4 August 2014