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Organized Play Burnout: Advice?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild


Hey all, I'm not super-knowledgeable about the forums, so if this post belongs someplace else, let me know or move it at your leisure.

I've played smatterings of PFS (and a single game of SFS)for the past couple of years, and I love it. Way too many hours have been devoted to character creation, reading guides, exploring archetypes, etc.

That said, I've had a strange degree of burnout regarding organized play. It may just be that I am decently introverted and find it subconsciously draining, but I have a difficult time returning to Society on a regular basis.

I have the time, I have the characters, and my local community is amazing, yet I still have this burnout.

Any tips or advice to help alleviate this? Anyone else experience what I'm feeling?

Liberty's Edge *

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe try online or PbP?

Summon Gm HMM!!

Liberty's Edge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the benefits of the PFS system is the ability to take a break and hop back in whenever you want to. No need to feel obligated to keep up with anything. I took a four year break from PFS and just decided to check it out again. It's pretty easy to get back into the swing of it.

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gary Bush wrote:

Maybe try online or PbP?

Summon Gm HMM!!

GM Hmm appears in a puff of smoke, glaring down at Gary. "You dared summon me, mortal?"

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey Speckledorf --

As much as I love Play-by-Post, and love telling people about Play-by-Post, I don't think that it is a solution to Organized Play Burnout. What it can do is give you a whole new way to play that is super immersive and very conducive to roleplay.

However, I believe that Githzilla is right here that if you feel at all burned out, take a break. Maybe tell yourself that you are going to take a week or two off and go do some soul-satisfying things with people you love. It's a beautiful time of year to get in one last bike ride or to walk outside, or catch up on reading something that does not have stat blocks in it.

I take small breaks regularly. Sometimes, just knowing that I can take a break makes me refreshed and enthusiastic when I come back.

You deserve a break today! We'll all welcome you with open arms when you come back.

Yours,
Hmm

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Speckle:

Burnout is not only a thing, it's a natural thing. ESPECIALLY when we have a hard time dealing with large groups of people over an extended time.

How do I know?

I've burnt out on no less than three different organized play groups, and 'went back' to one of them before I had 'fully recharged'.

Much as Hilary says above, it's a balance of the Self and the Selfless.

Take some personal time, do other things, don't let the focus be on one thing. When one focuses on one thing, after a while it loses the very essential core that keeps one in the Enjoyment Phase and it turns one to the Work/Duty Phase.

When that starts happening, it's time to take a half-step back and determine if the Work/Duty and Enjoyment are overlapping, or if it has reached a level of Tedious.

Asking about such a thing is the first step to recognizing that the signs of burn-out are there, and now one can take pro-active and healthy action to preserve the Self.

May you find the wisdom and sobriety you seek.

**

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to disagree with Hmm about one thing: If your burnout is caused by being an introvert, then PBP may be the fix. In PBP, you can enjoy the game, without being drained by being around other people. I am an introvert, and I find PBP games to be refreshing rather than draining.

Liberty's Edge *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I have to admit that when I've felt burnout, often staying away from the forums helps a lot....

But, yeah, generally it happens when I'm too busy in life generally and I stack too many games on top of it. Take a break, or reduce the amount of PFS gaming you do -- perhaps adding in something completely different to replace it. (By which I mean a wholly different RPG, or video games, or fantasy football, or knitting, or something else....)


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Thanks to everyone so far with the support and ideas!

I've literally never given Play-by-post any thought, but I would probably enjoy the living Hell out of it.

I know that some of my problem stems from being an "alt-oholic". For those that don't know, that basically means that I really like making new characters but have a hard time sticking with one or two for extended periods of time. This probably means that I get a lot of the level 1-2 experience, and not much at higher levels, so the scenarios can feel a bit repetitive.

I'm glad (but not really surprised) that I'm not the only one who feels this way or has experience with such a topic.

Maybe I'll go play this Wednesday with a new-found vigor!

****

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Redelia wrote:
I have to disagree with Hmm about one thing: If your burnout is caused by being an introvert, then PBP may be the fix. In PBP, you can enjoy the game, without being drained by being around other people. I am an introvert, and I find PBP games to be refreshing rather than draining.

Redelia, what is this 'introversion' that you speak of?

Just kidding! I do realize that although I adore Play-by-Post, I am far from introverted... As those who saw me skipping into Sagamore at GenCon singing show tunes can likely attest. You are right that could make a big difference.

Speckledorf wrote:

Thanks to everyone so far with the support and ideas!

I've literally never given Play-by-post any thought, but I would probably enjoy the living Hell out of it.

You likely would!

Speckledorf wrote:
I know that some of my problem stems from being an "alt-oholic". For those that don't know, that basically means that I really like making new characters but have a hard time sticking with one or two for extended periods of time. This probably means that I get a lot of the level 1-2 experience, and not much at higher levels, so the scenarios can feel a bit repetitive.

That's one aspect of PbP could be dangerous for you. You could literally play all your alts at once. (Not recommended if you want to stay sane!)

'Speckledorf' wrote:
Maybe I'll go play this Wednesday with a new-found vigor!

Glad to hear it. Do what you need to do, and keep having fun.

Hmm

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
GM Hmm wrote:
I do realize that although I adore Play-by-Post, I am far from introverted... As those who saw me skipping into Sagamore at GenCon singing show tunes can likely attest.

Not necessarily contradictory. Introversion vs. extroversion is more about how you recharge your metaphorical batteries. Extroverts like to hang out with lots of people to feel refreshed, whereas introverts like to retreat to their own space. One can be an introvert and still be exuberant and outgoing.

(This is one thing that was different for me at PaizoCon and GenCon this year from previous years. I was in rooms of 4 people. Particularly at GenCon, I felt like I had no personal space. I coped by retreating every so often -- still in crowds, but in anonymous crowds. E.g., I had lunch by myself most days at GenCon. Previous years at PaizoCon, I had a room to myself, which was very nice (esp. in 2013 when it was only a few doors down, instead of 16 miles out to the end of the hallway), but damn that gets expensive fast.)

Liberty's Edge *

Redelia wrote:
I have to disagree with Hmm about one thing: If your burnout is caused by being an introvert, then PBP may be the fix. In PBP, you can enjoy the game, without being drained by being around other people. I am an introvert, and I find PBP games to be refreshing rather than draining.

This was my point in bring Hmm into the conversation. I have not played PBP but it appears to be a little slower pace.


My personal version of "Organized Play Burnout" is unfortunately just a matter of not being able to avoid a specific person who is very... unpleasant, due to not many options available to me for in-person play. My girlfriend and I like to play PFS together, but neither of us want to deal with this person. We've been having trouble figuring out what to do about it.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

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Kiesman, talk to the Organizer at your venue, and if that doesn't work, talk the local Venture Officers. Be specific about why this person is unpleasant. Are they uncooperative? Unhygienic? Condescending? Bigoted? Harassing to women? Chances are, if you guys are having a problem with this person, others might be too. It's important to bring it up so that the organizers have a chance to talk with the person about their behavior and do something about it.

Hmm


Thanks HMM, I'll see what I can do about that.

Liberty's Edge *

I have found out at my lodge that a person has been banned from playing PFS because of their disruptive nature. The person who is banned told me about what happen.

So I know it can happen.

*****

One reason Lodges have Venture-Officers is to deal with this sort of player (or GM) problem. If there is someone who is driving community away, it can be very hard for the individuals involved to come up with a solution. The V-O is supposed to look out for the community at large, though, and so sometimes it's better to ban one person than to lose a huge number of other players. "Needs of the many..." and all that. This is especially true if the person in question is scaring away GMs. (Not because GMs are more important, but each GM lost means up to 7 players without a game.)

Having said that - it sucks to be the one to do it. Your V-O has access to the other V-Os who can offer support, suggestions, and encouragement.


I have been blessed with the boon of having Regional Coordinator Walter Sheppard running the show here in Pullman, WA (US), so detrimental players don't seem to stick around too much. Either that, or I don't notice them. The community here is pretty welcoming and open to just about anything, so the bad ducks stick out and either change or leave.

In other news, how does one start PbP? From what I looked at, it seemed like there were not that many PbP GMs, so is there some type of queue to play?

**

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Speckledorf, if you have a level 1 character, send me a PM and I can get you into my table of Master of the Fallen Fortress starting October 6. I'll walk you through all the places where play by post is different than in person.

Liberty's Edge *

The most recent blog (this is a link to it) post has the answer to this question!

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Online aka IronHelixx

1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I feel burnout I turn to other things for a bit - Play some Savage Worlds, try Fantasy Flight Star Wars, attempt a Fiasco - play an old school cRPG for a bit - whatever catches your fancy - not only does it give you a change of scene, it opens up new ideas for running/playing org-play sessions when you come back. Diversity is the spice of life after all.

Sovereign Court *

Speckledorf wrote:
In other news, how does one start PbP? From what I looked at, it seemed like there were not that many PbP GMs, so is there some type of queue to play?

There is an online convention going on right now, so a lot of the GMs are tied up with that. Posting in THIS THREAD might get you into a game though :D

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Redelia wrote:
Speckledorf, if you have a level 1 character, send me a PM and I can get you into my table of Master of the Fallen Fortress starting October 6. I'll walk you through all the places where play by post is different than in person.

I ❤ Redelia and all the other welcoming folks in the PbP Community.

This is why I became the Venture Lieutenant of Play-by-Post... Because I really love the community here.

Hmm

**

@Redelia is that an open offer? I've been wanting to try out pbp.

**

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Scott, I wish it was. I recruited a group several months ago, and was just filling one slot that was empty. However, several people told me they were interested, so I'm trying to get them together with a GM here. If you're interested, I suggest you post there.


And even if you're not able to find a table/game right away (PbP Gameday has a lot of GMs tied up), keep an eye on the thread Redelia linked because people will be starting new games more frequently once Gameday is done!

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