Taking another break

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The roleplaying games hobby can be pretty frustrating at times, especially if you’re a game master. One issue I’ve had all my life is that I quickly burn out on the games I run. I lose interest or I inadvertently steer the campaign into a bad position which makes it extremely hard to fix it. The number of campaigns I’ve run into the ground is pretty staggering. Sometimes I wonder why my players keep coming back…

I’ve struggled with self-doubt a lot and it has currently reached a point where I am hesistant to offer anything to my players. I don’t want to disappoint them any more. A part of my problem is probably related to what I call GM attention deficit disorder. As soon as I start running game A I start thinking about how cool it would be to play game B. You can guess how things end.

Another part of the problem is that I often have phases when I am just too tired, too stressed to run a game properly. But in order not to skip a session I more often than not run the game anyway and make mistakes which quickly derail the campaign. Or at least that’s how it feels to me.

At the moment I think the best thing I can do is take another break. Not from roleplaying games in general but from being in the GM’s chair. This allows me to just play for a while without having a GM’s responsibility on my shoulders and it also gives other people in my group the opportunity to take over the GM’s mantle.

During this time I will probably continue to read many different games, think about the campaigns I could run, but I won’t make concrete plans or something like that. At this moment being a GM doesn’t make me happy and that’s actually the only way how you can play roleplaying games wrongly. If you’re not having fun, something’s amiss!

Still alive …

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Usually I avoid this kind of posts, but since I haven’t really written anything since May, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to send a few life signs…

In May I returned to work after being  on sick leave for about one and a half years. My coworkers and – to my surprise – my superiors are really helping me out a lot right now and I am slowly getting back into the routine – and it’s actually good to be back!

But this also has it’s drawbacks. At the moment 8 hours of work are still pretty draining. Especially in May I felt emotionally exhausted and tired all the time. That has directly affected my ability to write blog posts and to run roleplaying games on a regular basis.

Often I just don’t have the energy to do anything more complicated than watching movies or playing on my Playstation. Things are slowly getting better, as I get back into the routine, but at the moment I prefer to chill instead of forcing me to be creative.

So what does that mean for the blog? I will probably write more regularly in the future. But at the moment I don’t actually have that much to write about. There are a few products I want to review, but I haven’t had the opportunity to read everything properly yet. But I’ll eventually get to it.

I hope you don’t mind the hiatus.

New Traveller Starter Set

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Sometimes I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of the people working at Mongoose. Recently they released the digital version of a Starter Set for their 2nd Edition Traveller game – or as they call it “New Traveller”. There will be a boxed set in the near future. So far, so good. Unfortunately this starter set sets you back $39.99 for the PDF version, and I don’t really want to know what the printed version will cost.

Starter Sets are made to get new players interested in a game. They are usually inexpensive and include simplified rules for newbie players and GMs alike. Especially FFG has released a couple of great Star Wars Starter Sets which provided you with a lot of bang for your buck. Wizards of the Coast has done so as well with their D&D Starter Sets.

To Mongoose’s credit I have to mention that their Starter Set basically includes the complete Core Rules. It’s not simplified or restricted in any way. BUT in my opinion this defeats the purpose of a starter set. Their core rules book is sold at their website for £35.99 which is about $46. If the upcoming boxed set is similarly priced, it will cost about $60. Wow, that’s a lot of dough.

In my opinion a Traveller Starter Set should consist of a boxed set including dice, a couple of pregenerated characters, simplified rules in small booklets (reminiscent of the LBBs), perhaps a map of the Spinward Marches and a couple of deckplans. And all this should be sold for a more reasonable price.

What are your thoughts on Mongoose’s latest Traveller product? Do you think it was the right move or another bad decision? Please share your thoughts below.

 

A Roleplaying Games blog