Bad News and Worse News

For about a year now my D&D campaigns have been limping along, unable to gain a lot of traction and beginning to flounder. It has been several months since we’ve had a full game crew present. Each week it is a challenge to get at least two players to show up. This has made for some challenges in story design, which has led to further issues in quality, and the whole delightful mess has begun to spiral ever downwards.

Like any decent Game Master this has been a time for me to take a closer look at what I’ve done wrong to help create this dead-end scenario. I have always struggled with my storylines being overly complicated and that has certainly played a hand in this predicament. Two of my players keep fairly regular watch over the blog and so they have a leg up on what might be happening. But even those updates aren’t terribly helpful unless you are keen to play “who the hell is this guy?” and figure out this week’s mystery contestant. I’ve over-thought the campaigns and it has proved my undoing.

Everything else that has slipped in the game is a direct result from this defective approach. It isn’t feasible to expect five or six players to want to try and figure out what the heck is going on from one game to the next. It is the nature of things that games ought to follow Real Life in terms of priorities, but the allure of the game has always been such that it is flip-flopped for me. I have to deal with the Real Life garbage in order that I might be able to play my games. However, I am the only one that sees it that way. Two of my players are married and have children, a tragic happening that I understand requires a level of nurturing and care that D&D doesn’t necessarily cater to. One of my players is a co-parent to their sister’s children, and also has a good deal of adult responsibility towards their extended friends and family which means they need to focus on these things rather than rolling dice on Sundays. My other players are relatively young and have a multitude of options for spending their time on a weekend. I have a hard time competing with those activities even on my best days. And so it is inevitable that the game begins to taper off as more and more of our collective time and energy is redirected into other pursuits.

For me that qualifies as bad news. Luckily there is even worse news. Without a regular game to plan I can funnel my energy back into my nerd writing. I’ve a few ideas already cooking away and as they get fleshed out I’ll commence with the writing in earnest. Between now and then I will update the blog sporadically with tidbits of information and story background materials. It should be a most fascinating summer for me! For those reading? Well, you’ve been warned.