Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Do They Do It?

Guys like Jeff Rients, Zak S., James Maliszewski and Taichara amaze me. Not only do they post almost daily (albeit with the occasional brief hiatus) but they consistently deliver quality posts that make me laugh and think (the two most important things you can do in life). I find myself thinking about gaming daily but I often find it hard to come up with a reason to post my thoughts. Generally, I stop myself from generating a new post on the subject I am toying with in my head with five simple words, "Will anyone care but me?"

Anyway, today's post isn't about those creative and prolific masters of the gaming blogsphere I idolize, although it could be. No my misled friends, this post is really about something else...

How do GMs of a given game, keep playing that game and only that game for so long? This primarily applies to my experiences with fellow gamers who play D&D but it could apply to any game. Essentially, I know people who've been gaming for 10, 15 and even 20+ years who only run and/or play D&D.

How is this achieved? What is it about this game that makes that possible? Better yet, I can't even imagine running only Star Trek and that's my favorite. It would be like eating my favorite food three meals a day for years. I would get sick of it after a week.

I do want to run a game more then once a month for a long time but I also want to run a few other games each month that have nothing to do with it. I'd have to in order to keep my sanity. Ideas pop into my head with little rhythm or reason and if I'm running D&D and have an idea better suited for Traveller than I don't want to change it to fit my D&D game, I want to run it in Traveller or perhaps another suitable Sci-Fi game.

For me, gaming works best when you don't dump all your eggs into one creative basket. If I could I'd run one game for my fantasy ideas, one for my superhero ideas and one for my science-fiction ideas. Each would be run once a month, although I could probably run the Sci-Fi one a few times each month as I tend to come up with more concepts for that genre.

Anyone want to share their experiences with this sort of thing or am I alone in my need for multi-flavored madness?

Barking Alien


  1. "Will anyone care but me?"

    Stop worrying about this, please. There's a gazillion people on the internets, all of whome have access to google. If you keep posting your audience will eventually find you.

    As far as the many body of your post goes, there are days where I *seriously* consider going exclusively with Encounter Critical because it pretty much does all genres equally horribly. That way one session could be a Traveller-esque adventure and the next involve hobbits and magic rings.

  2. True but there in lies the rub (and perhaps the subject of yet another post!). I'm kind of a genre snob. I don't like hobbits in my Traveller or too much tech in my D&D. Or rather, I will indeed put tech in my D&D 'cause D&D is like that but not in my Ars Magica and so forth.

    If I establish from that get go that "this campaign is about magical giant robot insects and takes place in another realm of reality" then I'm good to go. My players can say, "Can I be a mutant technowizard? Sure! If I say, "this is a game about Sci-Fi combat robots ala Battletech" then it the answer to the previous player inquiry is no.

    I'm just like that and so are most of my players (though less so in my current group).

    By the way Jeff, thanks for the advice. It means a lot.

  3. I don't know if it's just because we're all busy and can only play once a week, but D&D's been all we play for the past six months, which is the longest time, I think, that I've played only one game at a time, with no alternating. Honestly, I couldn't have imagined not toggling between Star Trek, Gamma World, and Champions years ago, but maybe times have changed.

    I'm also the DM and really getting into world-building, so maybe that has something to do with it as well.

  4. So really, now that I think about it, we've only played about 30-some times, which isn't all that many...maybe I'm kind of mulling a little Mutant Future?

  5. I don't know how they do it, but for me, it keeps me out of trouble. The discipline to get up, check email, drink a cup of coffee, make a post and read through several blogs each and every day is fun, even on the days when I would rather get like six hours of sleep.

  6. Oh if only I had that problem. I have clinical insomnia. I don't do sleep.