What to do when burned out from life, gaming, etc.?
I’m deviating from what I was originally planning on writing about for today. It’s been a bit of a rough week here… too much going on, not enough time, have a this weekend and I haven’t really had the time to get things in order for it, Tuesday’s post was mysteriously eaten by WordPress and I’m in dire need of a nap.
This all compounds the fact that lately I’ve been getting tired of the games that I regularly play in. Occasionally we all need to switch things up a bit and do something new, outside of the norm, and/or exciting. I’ve been playing in a long-term Mage campaign now for about 3 years and Gamma World for about 2 or so. They’re good games with good people and good GMs but at some point it all starts feeling stale to me.
Even the LARP I’ve been a part of for the past year is beginning to weigh heavily on my shoulders and tire me out before I even get there. I think it’s time for a change….
How long is too long?
Many of us have heard epic tales of long-term RPG campaigns where a bunch of friends played the same characters every weekend for 10 years and somehow it was all glorious. It sounds impressive that they could get so far, do so much, keep creating and finding new adventures and twists, and not get tired of it all.
I know some people with Gamer ADD that are much worse than I am about tiring of games. Some of my friends only play in one-shot adventures in order to try out every RPG system as much and as often as possible. They need to be playing something new every month or few weeks. Other friends of mine can only run a campaign for 3 months before they get tired and need something new. This usual comes out to between 6 – 12 sessions of any game before they decide it’s too much for them.
In my case, both of my regular games have gone on for a couple of years now and I’ve hit a wall. I’m not sure if I’m having fun with them still or if I just need to get out of a rut before it starts becoming exciting again. Some previous games I’ve played in got stale for me after 6 months and some were just downright horrible after the first or second session (but those were more due to the GM’s style and/or my not meshing well with the other players).
Try something new
For some of us, trying out a new game is not so easy. Maybe you have the same core group of friends that play everything with you, maybe it’s just too hard or too expensive to buy all new books to be able to play the game, and maybe you’ve become so entrenched in a system that you’re worried you won’t enjoy or grasp something different.
I have the luck of being part of a Meetup group where there are literally hundreds of members (though it’s usually the same 30-40 that I run across doing anything regularly). This means for me that, if I wanted to do something new, I’m more likely to be able to find a GM who wants to run or plans on running something different that I can try out… It’s more an issue of what day of the week works best for them, if it can fit into my schedule, and if the game will really last beyond a handful of sessions.
My Gamma World GM is planning on wrapping up the game soon since we’re almost at the level cap and even he wants to do something different finally. So I can stick with a GM I’m friendly with and whose style & personality as a GM works great for me. Sometime in the near future it looks like we’ll be switching over to playing the Dragon Age RPG which I have played before but the prior GM for it had work scheduling conflicts.
The regular Mage game I’m in is considering a form of “reboot” to try to get us re-interested. We’re planning on keeping the same characters, bumping up in levels a bit, and moving the characters to a completely new location in order to keep things fresh. But I think I might be tired of the World of Darkness system. I’ve yet to let them know definitively whether I’ll be staying with the game or leaving for something different.
Part of me wants to have more free time to do other things, like running some board game days with the Meetup group and playing more of the Ascension card game. We’ll see how all of that pans out I suppose.
How long do you all stay with your campaigns? Do you like playing different things every few months or have you consistently stuck to one group or system for multiple years? How do you stave off boredom and losing interest after years of the same characters and similar stories?