Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Same Old Story, Same Old Song and Dance

I have reached a point of stagnation that I feel is worth discussing, if only to compare this feeling to the lack there of experienced by my fellow gamers.

Through exposure to articles, blogs, Facebook posts, and verbal discussions I have learned that many gamers, perhaps even the majority of us, play the same game year after year. There are GMs who only run some variant of D&D and players who only play Pathfinder. On occasion there are those who play a select set of games and rest assured if they are not partaking in a game of Traveller then they have gone back to D&D, Rolemaster, or any one of a small grouping of titles.

While I can understand this intellectually, the very idea is anathema to me. It goes against the very fabric of my being. It serves only to drain my creativity, harsh my mellow, and give me a case of the melancholy hum-drums. Yes. It's that serious.

At the same time, this is exactly what has been happening to me. 

Over the past year or two I've been jumping back and forth from Traveller to my homebrew D&D setting of Aerth and from there to Star Trek, and so forth. There are perhaps four or five games that I keep bouncing between, occasionally broken up by an experimental one shot here and there. 

At least that's how it feels.

Honestly though, when was the last time I actually ran a Mekton campaign? Space:1889? Paranoia? I've yet to run Tales from the Loop, and I was super stoked to do so not that long ago. 

Oh no...do you realize that means I now...own a game I haven't played or run. Have Mercy! What will become of me?!?


I need out of this funk and I need out of it fast, and the way that's going to happen is by running something...something...different. 

But what?

For those of you who always or at least often play the same game(s), how do you do it? How come you don't get bored? How do you keep it fresh?

For those of you in a similar state to my own, how do you do when you're feeling burnt out on the same old song and dance? 

Barking Alien


  1. Whew! Good question! I was going through much the same thing with my "SUPERTEENS!" Mutants & Masterminds game. I felt that had become stagnant, but my players wanted to continue so I kept running, even though my heart wasn't in it.

    Then one of my players asked me about running a WEG D6 Star Wars game because he had heard good things about it from some guys who had played in it years ago. So I thought about it and said that I would try to work something up. I had been wanting to run a Firefly game for years, so decided to try to mash the two together, a Star Wars game with Firefly feeling. I started writing and felt reinvigorated.

    Which led to me turning my Superteens game on it's head a few weeks ago, by taking away everything the kids were accustomed to, and so far it is working out great. I'm planning on using this as a path to a finale for my Superteens games and that by the time it ends I will have enough stuff ready to start my Star Wars game.

  2. I'll play anything that doesn't require me to emote. I'll emote when I want to, but if it's necessary... I probly won't play.

    My two favorites are FLAILSNAILS D&D and Champions 5th. Sort of opposite ends on the crunch spectrum.

    1. Doesn't require you to emote? Er...not sure you'd like my games or that our styles would gel. If there's not emotion, why play?

      I'm not familiar enough with FLAILSNAILS D&D. Is that more, or less crunchy than say old school, Basic D&D.

  3. I think you are on to something here Tom.

    I need to get back to basics, back to what works, but I can't without shaking this feeling that that's ALL I am good at. All I am able to do.

    I think I will run a 12 session mini-series of something I haven't done in a long time and that my players may never have played.

    Then, once that's completed, I will return to Champions for a new campaign with that old favorite.

    Wish me luck!

    1. Unless the mini-series takes off.

      Or I figure out a way to combine them.