Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Circle of (Gaming) Life

Who says games don't help you in practical application of living your real, honest to goodness life?

I've done a much better job in the last few months, after getting some issues with my ex and our daughter squared away, in spending some actual quality time on my campaigns and what goes into them, and not winging it quite as much as was happening last year when I actually could make time for gaming.

That having been said, I'm still pushing back my gaming and gaming related activities  (like blogging about games, and posting summaries) back to the last minute.  I'm not thrilled with that, but upon doing the old "root cause analysis," I realize a lot of this had to do with the fact that non-gaming life is more chaotic now than it was, even with things settled down.

I once heard that more animals went extinct as the Ice Age ended then during the Ice Age, due to hyper-adaptation.  For some reason that's always stuck with me.

Sometimes you just let go of things you used to be on top of, because Big Deals come up, and after the Big Deal happens, you never get a hold of the reins that were once firmly in your hand.  And when I don't sweat the small stuff, at least organizationally, it makes me feel like I'm not giving my all to my games  (since this is my gaming blog, we aren't even going to start in on family, spiritual, or work aspects here), and that ups my stress level to the point where something has to give.

I'm very energized in my gaming life right now.  I'm running a DC Adventures game, and I still have a pretty good idea of where the campaign is going, and what's going to happen, even with incorporating the curve balls my players throw me  (and they are such good curve balls, I have to incorporate them). I'm running a Rogue Trader game, for which I've been building a ton of ideas ever since my gaming pals got me hooked into the 40K universe, so I've got a head of steam build up there.

Now, I might be starting to run a Pathfinder game.  I know that Pathfinder has burned me out in the past, but I also realize that situation, adventure, and circumstance of life play a big part in this, as I also crashed and burned with my Hellfrost campaign using Savage Worlds, which causes me very minimal stress from the GM side of the screen.

Long story short, I have to get back into habits that I used to take for granted, and some of them don't always seem like they relate to gaming.

1.  I need to get back into walking, because a lot of good ideas occur to me on long walks by myself.

2.  I need to get back into getting a good night's sleep, because I need to know that my brain is able to do the mental acrobatics that the player curve balls will require of me.

3.  I need to specifically schedule quality time with my wife and family, and friends  (away from gaming), so that I don't feel like I'm neglecting anyone when I get to game night and realize I don't know what's going on with my wife's work or my friend's kids or the like.

4.  I need to make sure that when I am working on my campaigns, I take some time to actually enjoy the genres and related hobbies that make me want to run games in the first place.  Sometimes it makes for a better GM if he can remember to watch a cheesy super hero flick or play a sci-fi video game and get better immersed in the tropes and trappings of what he's running.

I realized a lot of this, but it wasn't until I tried to do one of the things I've been wanting to get back to doing, in this case, reading up on GMing advice on Gnome Stew, that I was reminded of taking a step back and thinking about the process and the whole, not just what my gaze is focused on.

And if anyone actually is concerned about such, I'll have my posts about my DC game on Tuesday and my Pathfinder player experience up by the end of the weekend, barring any world ending events, or my dog eating my notes.


  1. First, and least importantly, yes some of us do care about your wrap ups. It lets us know if we are playing out characters in the way we meant to or if we are falling into the trap of just thinking we are. As one gamer I heard once said, "I know my character is easy to get along with; I know what's on his sheet." This is a good example of the latter.

    Second, I will do my best to aid you in your quest by getting in my car and leaving the parking lot shortly after session. Thus any lack of sleep will be less my fault.

  2. To be honest, it's less the game night late nights, and more the rest of the week poorly planned out late nights. But I probably should head home sooner and yak less . . . ;)

  3. Also . . . yeah, it is kind of weird when you think that people see your character the way you see them, and then you hear comments here and there that make you really wonder if you've really left out a lot of characterization and motivation behind your character's actions.