Ask The Readers: Gaming dry spell

Dry earth in the Sonoran Desert, Sonora - Mexico (c) Tomas Castelazo I am currently going through another of my gaming dry spells. Since I have cancelled my Legend campaign a while ago, I haven’t run any RPG. At least I played tremulus once, but aside from that I am on a diet consisting of video games, board games and card games. I am not even planning a new roleplaying campaign right now. But the worst thing is that I am currently hesitant to make plans for a new game, because I fear I might cancel it way too early again.

Another problem is that scheduling is a major problem again. Last weekend I played Descent 2nd Edition with my regular gaming group. We had a lot of fun and decided to continue to play through the campaign (we still need one more quest before Act I is finished). Alas the next time we can meet is three weeks away. So it doesn’t look like we won’t be able to return to a more regular roleplaying campaign any time soon. Yeah, things look a bit glum right now.

On the other hand there are a couple of new and upcoming games I am very excited about. I would love to run a few of these (even if it’s just a one-shot adventure) or perhaps even play in someone else’s game for a change. A friend of mine still plans to run a Traveller game alas it’s still in scheduling hell. Do you see the recurring theme here?

At this point I think the best thing I can do is to fight my inner demons and use the time we’re not able to actually play to prepare for a future game. If I finally can make up my mind what I would like to run, I should actually do exactly that.

What do you usually do when you’re going through a gaming dry spell? Do you have any tips for me? As always every comment is highly appreciated!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

12 thoughts on “Ask The Readers: Gaming dry spell”

  1. Hi Michael, I feel your pain! Besides my once a month gaming meet I have no games running. For me once a month is a lot after a dry spell of about a game every 2-3 month. I am hopefull that hangout gaming may turn out to actually work for some regular games when groups form on G+ as I am positive it will be the only way for me to get some extra gaming in.

    generally When I have a dry spell I mostly read RPG books and think about all the awesome games I will never be able to actually play or run. And spend hours with computer games like Skyrim or New Vegas. I tried to use my time more productive than that but my inner lazy bum seems to win rather often.

  2. I had a long period of dry spells in gaming when my 3.5 group broke up and I had to form a new group from scratch. It took months and was challenging. What I settled on is to game every other week on a set day and time and I invite players to participate long-term. When a player drops (it happened a lot at first) I find another one. It took a long time, but I have a steady game now. As players drop out (it happens less now that the game is interesting) I find a new player. Basically, I committed to a game (Rogue Trader) AND a day and time. I also made up my mind that if I ever show up and the other players don’t I’ll just read a novel. I tend to read books (not RPGs) during dry spells to stoke up my enthusiasm when I finally get a good group back together again.

  3. MIchael, what I am hearing might be more “burned out on being the GM”. You’re playing (and enjoying) games you don’t have to be in charge of. So my suggestion is to find someone else’s campaign (or encourage someone else to step up to the plate) and be a player for a while. I speak from experience.

      1. As a GM, Scheduling is the bane of my existence so I fully understand. It isn’t that I dislike running games, although I do get a bit of stage fright from time to time. What kills me is the admin involved in trying to get a group of people together all at the same time. A year or two ago I got together with a group that was working on a serious every other weekend schedule. I washed my hands of the whole thing and have just been letting this group happen since… except for the (very rare) one shot.

  4. I’ve been in a dry spell for a while. I’m just starting to get things moving again, after a couple _years_. It happens. If you burnout, you need to rest. That’s really all there is to it. If you force it, you can cause more permanent forms of burnout.

    Think of it like “I sprained my ankle while running” or “I stress fractured my shin while running”. You have to be very careful about how you treat that injury, so that you can come back better instead of causing permanent damage by trying to force your way through it.

    Hopefully it wont take a couple years 🙂

  5. I’ve been lucky enough to have a weekly game running (minus the usual week or two here for holidays, etc) for over a decade. Unfortunately, we’ve one player off to Texas next week to find employment, another that finally managed to find a job, and a third (new) player who has turned out to be fairly unreliable.

    We’re resorting to attempting a Facetime link on game night to keep the Texican player in the group.

  6. I resorted to taking a page out of Mr. Gygax’s book. There is no set party. Whomever shows up each time plays. Means I’ve had to move more towards one-shot adventures, but that is cool. Means I’m more likely to get through them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.