Your worst GM-ing experience / case of GM fatigue


Gamer Life General Discussion


So, it's been a while I've contributed to the messageboards, in good part because I havent been playing any pathfinder. I've been playing a "Rogue trader" game for the last 6 months, and I am having the worst case of GM fatigue I have ever had... I wont deny I made several mistakes. And the individual elements, in themselves, could be dealt with on their own; but I feel like I'm suffering a death by a thousand cuts...

The system is slightly more elaborate than pathfinder, with a lot of rule systems that come into play frequently. I've had to hand-wave a lot away simply to avoid bogging things down, since the players are just as new to the system as I am, and quite unwilling to put effort outside the game proper.

The system is also... swingy. It's supposed to be a "lower combat" game, with lots of social stuff... which only one player is competent in. Everyone is so specialised that I generally cant get everyone involved in anything unless it's combat. And unfortunately, several of my players disconnect completely when they arent directly involved, going for their phones or getting really moody. And now they've started complaining there is too much combat... ugh.

Add into that a player that still hasnt learned the combat rules, players who are reliably late (despite having adjusted the start time for their sake), players who complain about not being powerful enough, and I am having less and less fun each game.

But, I'm not a ragequitter. I announced at yesterday's game that I am working to finish it (in a few weeks, I provided them their "final mission", and will work to finish it elegantly (though I will avoid such players in the future). Then I will pass to another game, hopefully avoiding those players forevermore.

So I was wondering, what other cases of GM fatigue have made you want to just stop? What has sucked out all the fun of your GM-ing? I usually quite enjoy it, but sometimes, things just dont work out...


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Worst Experience: Discovering that the Skulls & Shackles group I'd been GMing was almost entirely comprised of MRAs. Out of the 5 of us (4 players and me as GM) 3 of the players were highly misogynistic, they just hid it during game time, and the only one I associated with outside of the game was the non-MRA. I'd been a bit sick of the group for a while before that, because some of the players had been giving me grief by trying to game the system for everything it was worth (my personal favourite argument one of them tried was 'I don't believe in rules as intended, only rules as written, so you have to let me do this'... Not a great move, because because after gaming and GMing for as long as I have, I can guarantee I can rules lawyer harder than they can).

Anyway, I eventually found out about their views, because they completely stopped hiding them the day that I introduced a female friend of mine to the group. She gave better than she got (I love a good argument, and even I'm loathe to start something with her, they had no chance), but I was mortified by the fact that I'd invited a friend into what was meant to be a fun, welcoming environment, only to have three people start making pointed comments about fetching them drinks and food, and how she should learn her place. That was the last session for that group.

Worst burnout: GMing Shattered Star. We made it through the first book, and most of the way book 2. Group was going okay, but partway through one of my player's had his boyfriend (who is a friend of mine anyway) join the game. Unfortunately our gaming styles are rather incompatible, at least when it comes to Pathfinder (I can play World of Darkness with him with no issues). He likes to build busted characters and regularly goes with builds that are very hard to GM for, because they tend to just steamroll everything that is level appropriate for the rest of the party, as well as requiring me to be on the ball all the time regarding what he was capable of. In a homebrew game I probably could have rolled with it, but with a set campaign I wasn't really wanting to do the huge amounts of work required to compensate for it (my whole reasoning for doing Shattered Star was to have a nice easy game to run for a while).

Add that to the fact that I was in another pathfinder game (Reign of Winter) as a player with the same group, that really wasn't going in a direction I was enjoying (it went incredibly slapstick, with fratboy talking deer, sorority girl talking ravens, innkeepers with golden exclamation marks above their heads and so on... sometimes I could handle it but mostly it just frustrated me, which I understand is more my issue, it's just not what I thought I was signing up for), where I was the only person without a completely busted build and a serious attempt at character development, and I'd started to seriously sour on the whole Pathfinder thing. I ended up calling it quits shortly afterwards, just couldn't handle the stress, between players in Shattered Star telling me I wasn't doing it right and the frustration from the Reign of Winter game. I haven't played Pathfinder since, Savage Worlds is my main game these days, followed by World of Darkness, and a lot of dabbling in other systems when I need a change of pace.


Yikes Rogue Trader is rough, I had a similar experience with some Dark Heresy players. Anything 40k related people automatically assume kill massive amounts of orcs/chaos rinse repeat it seems.

Worst Experience I was at a local Game Store running a special event for my Deathwatch group. I had a player that actually started to paint at the table and was basically ignoring me. I had never had someone be so blatantly rude to me before, I kinda snapped and had to walk outside for a bit. Needless to say that player never was welcome to play in my game again.

Fatigue I am experiencing some of the worst fatigue right now running a Shadowrun 5th edition game. I love the flavor of Shadowrun, and I really like the character generation, but the combat minutia is excessive.


It's a toss-up:

A) There was a Fate Accelerated PbP supers game that I switched to ICONS because I couldn't handle having to figure out how to create Aspects and Stunts (I can understand Aspects just fine, I just can't make them well), and then cancelled the game because ICONS' attribute system was too granular for me to figure out how to make characters with it and because my attempts to make the story up as I went along felt "wrong" at that point (I actually felt okay about the first two adventures despite them also not going how I thought).

B) Mutants & Masterminds PbP using the Emerald City Knights adventure path in an attempt to not be making the story up as I went. Problem was I didn't like having to be in charge of so many characters during the combats, and the path seemed to have too many combats, many of which felt pointless, as well as pointless story conflict or plot threads. I started making enemies run after a certain amount of "battle progress" so as to shorten things, then cut out almost a whole adventure because it felt like a diversion made of combat, and eventually just burned out during a fight with too many NPC opponents.


GM-Gathrix wrote:
Fatigue I am experiencing some of the worst fatigue right now running a Shadowrun 5th edition game. I love the flavor of Shadowrun, and I really like the character generation, but the combat minutia is excessive.

Yeah, I hear you on that. I picked up that book, noticed that there was a bloody formula to determine how long you can tread water for, promptly put it down, but I'm a massive fan of setting. Thanks to the generosity of another member of the boards, I also have an entire crate full of setting books.

Have you looked at Savage Worlds? Pick up the core book, the fantasy companion and the core rules for the Interface Zero 2.0 cyberpunk setting, put elements together as needed and you've got a pretty solid stand in for Shadowrun with a tiny amount of work on your part (you can even get away without the Fantasy companion by reskinning the Hybrids from Interface Zero as the metahumans and the zeeks, aka psionic characters, as your various magic user types). You lose a few things here and there, spirits are a little harder to do for Shamans, and depending on how accurate you really want to go you might have to build a few things in like how augmentations interact with magic and so on, but it's still somehow far less work than actually running the Shadowrun system.

Sorry, bit of an aside there. If you want to discuss it more, feel free to PM me.


I've been doing 5e lately, and haven't had much in the way of burnout. In the past with 3.5/PF the most likely things to cause burnout were rules debates and players that only wanted to hack n slash.


Case of burn out: Playing Slumbering Tsar. The players had two PCs each and I relaxed a few restrictions on the races etc. One player chose a Minotaur monk with the crane style, crazy AC and able to ignore attacks (before change to crane style) and could effectively solo a huge number of the encounters. We got about half way through he city and the fights just lost their lustre. Never again... Never again.

Worst Experience: my battle oracle character in Rappan Athuk was a protector of my sorceress character. We were about level 6 and some goblins appeared out of nowhere and held a dagger to the sorceress throat. My oracle used his immediate move ability and killed the goblin threatening her. One of the goblins then used slay living on the oracle with a scroll and then a scroll to teleport away the other goblins back stabbed my sorceress who still hadn't gone yet, killing her. To say I was peeved was an understatement. Rolled new characters but then campaign ended soon after.


GM-Gathrix wrote:

Yikes Rogue Trader is rough, I had a similar experience with some Dark Heresy players. Anything 40k related people automatically assume kill massive amounts of orcs/chaos rinse repeat it seems.

Fatigue I am experiencing some of the worst fatigue right now running a Shadowrun 5th edition game. I love the flavor of Shadowrun, and I really like the character generation, but the combat minutia is excessive.

Yeah, for the 40k stuff at least I had 2 players who knew death was more likely than murder. But it wasnt enough...

As for shadowrun 5th, I'm playing a game right now, and boy is it ever complicated... Luckily the GM is experienced AND 2 of the players are also highly experienced palyers/gms, and have taken a lot of the rules workload off the GM (mostly the magic/matrix stuff). I found that really cool. I'll admit, when the players feel as invested in the game as you it's so nice.

Sovereign Court

I'm just suffering from an enormous case of GM fatigue right now.

It's been building up for years.

And I'm also so, so sick of my standard gaming group.

One player cannot but optimize, and he is also always looking at everything from a gamist standpoint, cannot roleplay well, and always argues that his view is the correct one.

Another player is a lesser version of the first one.

Third is a girl who always thinks she is right in whatever she says and pouts whenever her character is inconvenienced.

And the second girl is just...meh about everything. She doesn't really care. She doesn't drag the party down, but she doesn't care about the game, about her character, I think she's just there for the company.

Sovereign Court

I'm actually starting a new game, playing Dungeon World, and I'm gonna GM for a friend who is 15 and she's bringing some friends over. So I hope for a fresh batch of players who are all new to give me motivation.


Hama wrote:

I'm just suffering from an enormous case of GM fatigue right now.

It's been building up for years.

And I'm also so, so sick of my standard gaming group.

One player cannot but optimize, and he is also always looking at everything from a gamist standpoint, cannot roleplay well, and always argues that his view is the correct one.

Another player is a lesser version of the first one.

Third is a girl who always thinks she is right in whatever she says and pouts whenever her character is inconvenienced.

And the second girl is just...meh about everything. She doesn't really care. She doesn't drag the party down, but she doesn't care about the game, about her character, I think she's just there for the company.

The first two sound like the guys I play GURPS with when I try to DM a Pathfinder game for them. We've had a lot more fun playing GURPS and the last time I DM'd for them wasn't all bad, but it burned me out completely. It's actually kinda put me off being a DM in general for said group.

Sovereign Court

I'm kinda sick of GMing all the time, honestly. But whenever we talk about someone else GMing, I get chills, because most of the players I know are not good at GMing. Other GMs I know are mostly sadists or run systems that I don't play.
And whenever I play, i feel the need of grabbing the reins.

Lose lose.


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Hama wrote:

I'm kinda sick of GMing all the time, honestly. But whenever we talk about someone else GMing, I get chills, because most of the players I know are not good at GMing. Other GMs I know are mostly sadists or run systems that I don't play.

And whenever I play, i feel the need of grabbing the reins.

Lose lose.

I've felt this way a lot as well. Whenever I would have an opportunity to be a player, the GMs wouldn't put enough time into the game. It would often turn out to be a very railroaded experience.

I just recently got into a group as a player, and the DM seems to be very invested in it. I'm hoping it will turn out well.


Right now is the worst case of GM & PnP gaming fatigue I've experienced. In a way it's a novelty since until this past late summer/fall PnP held great appeal despite awesome electronic games.

Right now, had I my druthers, I'd toss the lot of books...


Finding a good group seems to be a big difficulty. When you are sick of your players, there is a major problem.


I've been the GM for D&D and now PF for 30 years now, and I get really tired of not being a player. I get to play about 3 to 5 times a year, and it's not nearly enough. I've gotten burned out several times as a GM and had a campaign die on the vine, though one of them was because I was sliding into a deep depression/anxiety cycle that caused me to take over a year off gaming because I couldn't function in social situations and coming up with adventures was right out. No one else in my group wants to GM, except one guy who'll run a handful of games then drop his campaign, so it's back to me.

I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it. We only get to play once to twice a month, and sometimes a month or more goes by w/out a game because of commitments on the part of myself or other players, so I do get a break sometimes which allows me to keep going. I know that if this campaign burns out it'll be our last, so I'm doing my best to keep it going.

As far as being a player more often goes I've tried PbP and I SUCKED at it. I need face to face interaction for my games to work, either as a GM or a player it seems.


I ran a game of one of my absolute favorite Pathfinder Society adventures over Roll20/Hangout. I was a pretty experienced PFS GM at the time, but this was my second game ever over VTT and the first one I was running. I had open signups on some website or other and got a full party of six players.

Two of the players clearly had played together before: one ran a witch, the other ran a magus, which probably should have made an alarm go off in my head when we entered the first combat. This was high-level stuff, so the witch had the Ice Tomb hex, and this took place before it received errata to have a duration and range. Therefore, the player of the witch declared that since it did not have a duration or range, both were "forever". Essentially, if an NPC failed a save against the hex, it was combat over immediately.

Secondly, the magus had the hexcrafter archetype, so he also had hexes. During a conversation with an NPC, he declared he was going to slumber hex the NPC. I replied that that was fine, rolled, the NPC made the save. I declared combat would ensue since hey, they'd just done an offensive action towards the NPC. Both the witch and magus players then started yelling at me about witch hexes not having any components and not being recognizable via a skill, and if a character succeeds at a Will save they shouldn't notice they did, ergo there was no way for the NPC to have known they were being acted towards.

He and the player of the magus then continued to insist these were the correct rulings, essentially browbeating me into giving up and letting them do whatever they wanted with the scenario. Unsurprisingly, they steamrolled through it.

I haven't run VTT games since, partially because it's very tiring for me to have to focus on something for six hours without having people to focus on (I'm a little attention deficit), partially because timezones are too difficult for me to work around, and partially because I'm afraid of getting another table that will bully me into submission.


Rei wrote:
...because I'm afraid of getting another table that will bully me into submission.

That's unfortunate. As the GM, you should never accept players trying to dictate to you. It's important to be receptive to other viewpoints, and to try to have an open mind, but at the end of the day, it's the GM's call.

I've seen several campaigns cave because of a weak-willed GM. As soon as certain players realized that browbeating or pleading would allow them to get their way, everything quickly unraveled.

Sovereign Court

Good thing about VTT though is if they start trying to browbeat you you simply disconnect.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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I'm having it right now. GM-fatigue, that is.

Like Cal, I've been doing this for over 30 years, most of it DM/GM'ing. A few years ago, I took a break from my homebrew to run an AP for the first time. I chose Legacy of Fire. I wanted to run it as close to RAW and as close to AP as written as possible.

A few sessions into it, a few people dropped out, a few joined, and we had a revolving cast with no continuity for a few sessions, which stabilized shortly after. We had 1 person left from the original party, or at least who joined in the first couple sessions. I gave the newcomers an abbreviated synopsis, but they never got fully invested in the setup, which included their NPC patron. So that relationship kind of died on the vine.

I also had to nudge them a few times in the adventure because of it, and it gave the storyline a kind of forced feel. LoF is not horribly linear within each individual module, but to get from one book to the next, there are a couple of gateway points that have to happen for the series to work. As I said, I wanted to run it as close to AP text as I could. Revising whole sections of the AP was exactly why I put down my home game. I didn't have that kind of time.

About a year into it I had some very serious personal issues come up with made me put down gaming almost completely for about six months. The game group was willing to stick it out for the break but their investment suffered even more.

We got back together and continued, and even with our every-other-week schedule, we had many weeks where we had to postpone the game. Eventually I realized I'd been running the game for something like 3 years and we were only halfway done. I made some shortcuts on the 4th module, then we got into the fifth. Three sessions into the fifth, we broke for the various winter holidays. Last month, I realized that I was dreading picking it back up again. I realized that for a while, I'd been running it just because I didn't want to disappoint the players. But they weren't really that into it anyway. They'd probably play whatever I chose to run for them, and they didn't care about my RAW experiment with the AP itself.

I told my wife I was dreading it and she told me something that never actually occurred to me. "So don't." I let that stew for a day or two and realized I was so burned out on that AP, and I would love to continue to see how it ends, but the players don't know what's REALLY going on by the 5th book, and when I drop exposition and background, they forget it by the week after they hear it. I could hand out notes on what they've learned, but if they're not retaining the information, it means that they don't really care that much.

So I told them they were welcome to come up with a new game to play, and here are some things I'd like to do, but I'm done with LOF and would like to take a break from running games at all. They all said that was fine.

As a footnote, the 3rd module is very scant on details. The players are to spend 2 weeks in the most interesting city on Golarion with almost no planned encounters. I pulled from a bunch of resources and made encounters to keep them busy for 2 (in-game) weeks. After I said I was ending it, they all said that was their favorite part, but I hadn't told them I had made that part up. So that was flattering.

We started Slumbering Tsar last week. We had a blast.


I've never run an AP and less than a handful of printed modules over the years. I'm hardcore homebrew, and quite frankly would be totally lost trying to run something published. The couple of times I tried with my group (and we've been together a very long time) they didn't enjoy it as much as our homebrew, so we just don't use them, despite the good reviews so many of them get.

And that's where the fatigue comes in; trying to keep things interesting and the story arc moving along in a coherent, believable fashion. I suppose running a module or two would help break the tedium of having to come up with new routines as the the chief clown in the little car, but my players would balk at them so I'm sorta trapped.

I'm actually getting to be a player this weekend in a module being run by a friend and sometimes gamer at my table. I don't know the name of the module, but I'm having fun just being able to sit on the other side of the screen for once. The rest of the guys complain to me about how much fun they're not having playing in a published module. So I don't get much of a break.


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Christopher Dudley wrote:
...

The players have a hell of a lot of influence. Player investment has a huge effect on my motivation in-game.


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williamoak wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
...
The players have a hell of a lot of influence. Player investment has a huge effect on my motivation in-game.

This is very true. I've been playing with some of the same people for between 25 and 30 years, and their influence has has gone back and forth many times in this span of years. When interest is low they don't offer as much input, but if the campaign is more compelling they offer more insight and ideas that help fuel the game.


I was running LoF in 2014 and about Christmas time I decided I didn't want to continue. The setup was we were using the Mythic rules from level 3 onward.We found that applying Mythic rules prior to level 20 is a very bad situation for us. So we took a couple of weeks off to think of what they wanted to play in next. They asked for Rappan Athuk. We started in January 2015. It's been a year and there have been good and frustrating moments. I find myself asking if they are still having fun and the answers I get are yes. Even when I have killed two of one players PC's. I don't feel I am very good with sandbox style games so I find ways of getting around that.

I can appreciate the stories of GM Burnout. Thanks for letting me rant on. Good gaming.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it.

Hmm, is it possible to delegate some work to the players? Like drawing maps, giving summaries, organizing game times, organizing food, building NPCs etc.?


SheepishEidolon wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it.
Hmm, is it possible to delegate some work to the players? Like drawing maps, giving summaries, organizing game times, organizing food, building NPCs etc.?

Out of all the suggestions you gave me there is one viable option: drawing maps. I HATE drawing maps and one of the guys has offered to help me do it. As far as anything else goes, it's a lost cause. I'm the leader of this merry band and most of them are doing good to update their characters before game night. I recently regained my best player ever after she lost a job and moved back home, but she's moving again in a couple of weeks. I could always count on her to help with everything.

So, it's just me. I've tried delegating things out, but to no avail. They enjoy the games I come up with, of that I have no doubt. But they expect me to do all the work, too.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it.
Hmm, is it possible to delegate some work to the players? Like drawing maps, giving summaries, organizing game times, organizing food, building NPCs etc.?

I've done this, and while the result is often hit or miss it does give the players a taste for GMing--meaning you get more chances to play in the long run.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm getting burnout again, but I'm trying to fight it.
Hmm, is it possible to delegate some work to the players? Like drawing maps, giving summaries, organizing game times, organizing food, building NPCs etc.?

I've seen that work in some groups. But it takes heavily invested players. And while I have tried to do it, most (lightly invested) players forget pretty quickly, and the constant reminding is not pleasant.

Sovereign Court

Delegating work never worked for me....


About 8 months ago I just burnt out on a thieves guild type game I'd been running for about two years. One of the players dropped out, and so did his replacement, and that always saps my interest a bit. Combined with me not knowing where to take the plot (it was my first homebrew, and a largely disconnected collection of ideas), and I just couldn't work up the interest to continue.

So I didn't. The new game is going nicely and everyone seems to enjoy it well enough, and I'm having a lot more fun with the no-magic (Alchemy, psionics, and tech only) and just making up different cities as I go along.


Sundakan wrote:
...and just making up different cities as I go along.

Monte Cooke (3.0 designer, for those who don't know) said never make up more than you need at the moment. Words I've come to live by in worldbuilding.


The funny thing is the other campaign was largely centered around a single city. Which is part of what contributed to the burn-out. After a while making up thieves guild missions became hard (by level 8 "steal this from this part of the city, shake down these guys for protection, assassinate these dudes" gets both repetitive and kinda trivial), and the players wanted to branch out into their own enterprises, running businesses, setting up a rival guild, etc., which sounded great! And I had no idea of how to accomplish.

The current one is simultaneously more open and more focused. I started them off on a simple treasure hunt, and then asked "Where do you want to go from here?". Once that was determined (hunt down the sonuvab@%~$ that owned the character's familiar before her and cut his balls off), I could then plan a single mini-adventure, and it's working out to be much less stressful and more fun for me than the almost pure sandbox (but in a smaller area) the previous game was. Hopefully that will continue into the future.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
...and just making up different cities as I go along.
Monte Cooke (3.0 designer, for those who don't know) said never make up more than you need at the moment. Words I've come to live by in worldbuilding.

I'll admit, I'm rather iffy on that. I tend to design a lot more than I need, because I like to feel like I have a complete and coherent world; though adventures themselves tend to involve less preparation. (also, I love world-building, so I get a lot of fun out of it. I have basic worldbuilding prep ready for MANY potential campaigns, that will probably never be played).


williamoak wrote:
I love world-building, so I get a lot of fun out of it. I have basic worldbuilding prep ready for MANY potential campaigns, that will probably never be played).

I used to LOVE world building, but then it just more and more tedious and I grew to enjoy it less and less. Now I just prep the regions needed for the immediate games (though the players are aware of other countries, they're not really on the map as they've not been to them).


Sundakan wrote:

The funny thing is the other campaign was largely centered around a single city. Which is part of what contributed to the burn-out. After a while making up thieves guild missions became hard (by level 8 "steal this from this part of the city, shake down these guys for protection, assassinate these dudes" gets both repetitive and kinda trivial), and the players wanted to branch out into their own enterprises, running businesses, setting up a rival guild, etc., which sounded great! And I had no idea of how to accomplish.

The current one is simultaneously more open and more focused. I started them off on a simple treasure hunt, and then asked "Where do you want to go from here?". Once that was determined (hunt down the sonuvab~++* that owned the character's familiar before her and cut his balls off), I could then plan a single mini-adventure, and it's working out to be much less stressful and more fun for me than the almost pure sandbox (but in a smaller area) the previous game was. Hopefully that will continue into the future.

My group did the opposite. After decades of traveling around and looting tombs, they wanted an urban setting for the current game. It's been tough. They're 11th level now with Mythic tiers and it's harder and harder to find "in city" game ideas, so I begun to make them movers and shakers among the city elite. We've had a few out of town adventures (for my sanity) and now they're about to appointed ambassadors to the Hobgoblin Kingdoms. We'll see how well that turns out soon.


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williamoak wrote:
I'll admit, I'm rather iffy on that. I tend to design a lot more than I need, because I like to feel like I have a complete and coherent world; though adventures themselves tend to involve less preparation. (also, I love world-building, so I get a lot of fun out of it. I have basic worldbuilding prep ready for MANY potential campaigns, that will probably never be played).

I used to spend 100-200 hours designing a world and preparing things before a campaign actually started. Often even before I had players lined up.

I enjoy world building as well, so I didn't really ever consider this wasted time. I did come upon a lot of advice online that spoke to the contrary though. The two main points of this advice that stick with me are:


  • Your players are never going to care about your world like you care about your world. What you think is cool, interesting, or makes your world unique, is often viewed by the players with disinterest.
  • When you spend a lot of time creating content, you subconsciously want to make sure your content is used. This often results in unintentional railroading to ensure that the content isn't wasted.

Based on this, I've tried to minimize what I actually create ahead of time, often only having the smallest hint of an idea of where the group is going to go next session, and what they're going to encounter.

So far it has worked out, and I know that if the campaign falls apart (which can often happen due to people's schedules and such,) I won't feel like I wasted much time.


Tormsskull wrote:
...

Eh, for the moment I havent felt like I have wasted any time. Nor do I feel forced to push them. But I will admit I do feel good when they go somewheres where I already have a bit of planning done. (though this may change with time)


I haven't felt burned out since my early high school games. We could never continue a story past a single session, and nobody ever bothered to learn the systems. They couldn't even keep a character sheet for the month or so between sessions. They'd ask if they could use a "character from another game", which inevitably meant some ridiculously super-powered beast. I learned to run gonzo over the top games just to keep up. Not to mention the in-fighting.

That was exhausting, and I took my entire senior year off from running.

Then, at university I found players who wanted to play regularly and could handle it. Stories lasted months, even years. Characters were made specifically for a game, and were appropriate. I was running a game five nights of the week. I've never had burn out since. As long as I have players, I have ideas.

I run less often now, once a week, but that's been close on to two decades of running games, and it hasn't been a problem for me. I've played from time to time, but honestly I prefer running.

It's like the Sims. I'd much rather be the all-powerful being that controls the world than the individual townsperson who needs help to find the restroom. :P

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