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> An Introspective Thought about Creativity and Energy, Just some words bouncing around in my head about gaming in 2020
post Dec 23 2020, 07:27 PM
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So, an interesting observation recently. TLdr is that creativity and drive definitely do not come from an inexhaustible well.

Since Covid quarantine started, I turned to tabletop gaming(and especially GMing) for much of my creative outlet, as well as regular social contact with friends. There were weeks of no games due to life and schedules, sure, but most of the time this was 2 and sometimes 3 days a week. Towards the end of last month until last week, I ended up running 2 games in the same game(Shadowrun across 2 editions, for those curious). And it was great, I had fun, the players had fun. But man, when that well of creativity and mental energy is dry, it hits HARD.

So I decided to cancel my last session, and take a couple weeks off until next year. And yeah, Christmas certainly makes that easier since people are busy anyways, but honestly? The break just feels AMAZING. Not having any weekly recurring pressure to write and come up with ideas and plots and NPCs and everything is just...a huge load off my mind right now. And clearly it's working, because I'm already having ideas for future plots and missions seeping into my brain. But I actually feel excited about writing them down again. I guess this break was more sorely needed than I thought.

So in summary, for any GMs out there, give yourself a break every now and then. You'll definitely feel your creative batteries recharged after a while, which makes you more excited for your game, which makes for a better game and happier GM and players.

And for the players? Rolling dice is great, but taking breaks is also good, as I'll be damned if you're not even more pumped to get back into character after not playing them for a few weeks. And after all, that's why we play together for months and years anyway, right? Gotta respect the codependent tabletop ecosystem.

In the wise words of Red Green, "I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."

Here's to rolling dice and going on more incredible adventures in 2021. 🙂
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Kren Cooper
post Dec 25 2020, 08:51 AM
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100% agree with you - I hit that point earlier in the year - I had enough mental capacity to keep my smuggler game going, but I was struggling with my pink mohawk game. I think adding on to the stress/effort/burden of the game itself in terms of NPCs, plots, encounters etc - there's also the out of game logistics, organising players, sorting out downtime, even working out time slots and juggling lives and schedules - tend to fall on the GM as well.

Fortunately, one of the players volunteered to run a couple of sessions of other games - so I got to have a bit of a break, while we played WFRP, D&D and some Scum and Villany, and had a chance to just do the player thing, recharge the batteries and recuperate. I'd strongly recommend that for other GMs as well - encourage some of your players to step up and try GMing for a session or two, to stretch them a little. It can also have the bonus knock on effect of letting people see how challenging it can be sometimes, and they may think about how they play and act in the group / towards the GM once they've seen it from the other side of the fence. Maybe...
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post Dec 26 2020, 06:06 PM
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I find the same in my fanfic writing. Sometimes I'll have a streak where I can't stop because the ideas keep flowing and the story keeps moving, but then everything suddenly runs out like I've just gone over a waterfall and it could be a week or more before something sparks again. I've also ended up having multiple different stories going as at times the creativity completely changes direction at times (semi-angsty teenager entering the shadows, or gloomy fomori that hates magic in general...).

And real life is a frequent interference. Things that are said to me or that happen can really upset this mental balance for me, and it can sometimes take days before it passes and I make no progress whatsoever.
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post Dec 28 2020, 01:08 AM
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Great Dragon

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QUOTE (Magnaric @ Dec 23 2020, 08:27 PM) *
Not having any weekly recurring pressure to write and come up with ideas and plots and NPCs and everything is just...a huge load off my mind right now.

Wait, that's news? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

However personally, I still like to scribble down random stuff when having such a downtime. Not because I have to come up with something but simply because I can, and it will certainly be useful when players go completely off the rails again some time in the future.
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