Hunter
 member, 1378 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 07:36
When  to GM and not GM
I'm putting this thread out here because I finally seem to have reached the point where creativity isn't keeping up with ideas.   I admit that I enjoy GMing, and that I enjoy customizing settings.   However, it seems the past year or two...I've finally reached the point where I can't get the ideas flowing past the point of character creation (as a GM).

Is it finally time for me to hang up the GM hat and just be a player?
engine
 member, 378 posts
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 08:18
When  to GM and not GM
Could you clarify what you mean? Are you saying that you develop NPCs but have trouble beyond that?

Are you willing to involve your players in the creation process? Are they willing to be involved?
nuric
 member, 2940 posts
 Love D&D,superhero games
 Not very computer savvy
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 08:24
When  to GM and not GM
In reply to Hunter (msg # 1):

Being a GM and being a Player take similar, but subtly different kinds of creativity and ambition, so I actually know what you mean about being burned out on one or the other.

I've had ups and downs with my GMing, with months or years where ideas are flowing like a raging river, and months and years where the riverbed is dry and muddy.
I'd say that if you're not feeling the urge the GM, then don't.  Few things are less fun than forced creativity, when you feel like running a game is more of a job than a hobby.
Take some time off from one, or both, and recharge your creative batteries.
horus
 member, 208 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 11:47
When  to GM and not GM
I would echo nuric's sentiment, but propose a different path round the difficulty:  Instead of feeling pressed to develop, build a new game but don't invite anyone to play right away.  Take the time to do some fundamental world building, that is, create a coherent background for your game.  Let your ideas flow from that wellspring.

Ideally such a world will be a place you would want to live, work, and play.  It will have its own cultures, languages, political alliances, art, magick, science, and/or technology.  It will also have its own over-arching conflicts and intrigues, all of which bring flavor to the setting.

Take the time off, but put that time to good use.  Think, consider, evaluate, and re-evaluate.  If this is in relation to an existing game, then keep what makes the game work, and prune out what doesn't.  Add to your base to accomplish your vision for the world.

Game settings are like good home-made spaghetti sauces - better if left to simmer for a long time before serving.

In closing, let me say no particular path around this problem is intrinsically better than any other.  What works best is what works for you.  All we're doing here is giving you options to consider.
facemaker329
 member, 6951 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 18:49
When  to GM and not GM
My take on it?  This is something we do for fun.  When it ceases to be fun and becomes a chore, it's time to take a break, or change things up.  Much as I enjoy gaming, I've never really enjoyed being the GM, even when I've got ideas for the story, so I try to avoid it, because it makes me feel like gaming, in general, is a chore.
Hunter
 member, 1379 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 23:42
When  to GM and not GM
Addendum:  I've found world build to be easy, I've always had issues with campaign building.   I tend to underestimate how long the content lasts.
Talon
 member, 360 posts
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 23:50
When  to GM and not GM
Everyone else has covered it pretty well. If your GMing passion has gone dormant, it's tough to wake it up with force. Sometimes you can coax it from lethargy by forcing a dramatic scene change or brushing past the parts that are boring you, but that's far from guaranteed to cure it.

It's true, world building tends to be easy, keeping a game running is the hard part. It's why I've adopted the approach of 'throw the game together and get it running' I've actually found the more effort a GM has put into world building prior to the game launch the lower the odds it'll be successful. Strange correlation, but there it is!
engine
 member, 379 posts
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 01:45
Re: When  to GM and not GM
Talon:
It's true, world building tends to be easy, keeping a game running is the hard part. It's why I've adopted the approach of 'throw the game together and get it running' I've actually found the more effort a GM has put into world building prior to the game launch the lower the odds it'll be successful. Strange correlation, but there it is!
That has been my experience too, and I've tried to improve my ability to run "right now" rather than make something perfect. Not all potential players are attracted to that, but there are plenty who would rather play than play a work of art.
GreyGriffin
 member, 128 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sat 5 Aug 2017
at 03:05
Re: When  to GM and not GM
I think it's also important to acknowledge your GMing style.

I, for instance, rely on props and tools and devices that just don't work in an online, PbP setting, so I confine my games to tabletop.  I also tend to run either short story games, or episodic games, with breaks in between, so I don't lose motivation and energy during that long middle plot.

Some GMs can sustain the long haul, and breaks in the story break their game.  Some GMs really thrive in the environment of PbP, and their bags of tricks work here.  Some GMs can run amazing, tightly run one shots that end with a bang, and others can plot over years of campaigning that burn slow but intense for the whole time.

Running the type of games you do best at, the ones you have fun running, and the ones that spin out the best games is the best way to GM.  It's important to acknowledge that having preferences isn't the same thing as being "bad" at something, and running the best game in your own preferred style is almost always going to be better than trying to run a game in a style you know you hate.

That said, it's worth experimenting with different approaches to different styles, but it's also good to be up-front with your players.  If that style isn't working out, pull the ripcord and refigure, or step out from behind the screen to regroup.
V_V
 member, 600 posts
Mon 7 Aug 2017
at 08:08
When  to GM and not GM

This message was deleted by the user at 13:49, Mon 07 Aug.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1175 posts
Mon 7 Aug 2017
at 08:57
When  to GM and not GM
I'm not sure of your GMing style, but I would suggest making a game with nothing prepped. Start with a seed of an idea or theme for the world, just enough for the players to make characters. Then let them loose and improvise everything.

Roll encounters randomly, and then tie them together. Let the players explore where they will, and as you describe each scene, possibly randomly generated as needed, you tie things back to what has already come up. Eventually you might have an idea for something to add, say a bandit king, then eventually you get a full blown campaign.

Heck, that is my standard modus operandi.

Once you are ready to get back to prepped play, read these articles,
http://thealexandrian.net/word...ames/dont-prep-plots
http://thealexandrian.net/word...the-plotted-approach

Plots are failure waiting to happen. Node based design is rather good for preparation, as you can build small discrete parts and do them in detail, and build them at your own pace.
Hunter
 member, 1380 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 23:14
When  to GM and not GM
Thank you, everyone.   I appreciate your thoughts on the subject.