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  #1  
Old 06-24-2019, 02:05 PM
Aelius Aelius is offline
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Aelius Aelius
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Burnout

Having all of my friends give up on the hobby with getting older, I had to resort to play online with strangers to have my weekly fix (roll20, Fantasy Grounds). The experience has been excruciating for me as a DM: lot of work and pressure, having to constantly mediate dramas, prevent people from disappearing, little to no recognition, and an overall mediocre in game experience. It reached a point where just thinking about anything D&D gave me serious anxiety, I felt depleted physically and morally. I learnt my lesson that pushing it isn't worth the trouble, better to feel frustrated than burnt out. So now I'm slowly rekindling my passion for the game as a player.

Are there any other DMs and/or players that have suffered from a burnout ? How has you experience been ? How did you recover ?

What's you're experience been with playing online overall ?
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:39 PM
Thunderstruck Thunderstruck is offline
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I started DMing for a group of friends who were looking to play. Had a nice idea for a homebrew setting, some open sandbox style quests. After a few months I was absolutely exhausted. Trying to fit in all prep alongside the rest of life was proving so difficult with the result that my enthusiasm waned and the quality of the games went of a cliff. I wrapped the active quest up as qickly as possible, which didnt seem to bother any of the players and took a break from DMing.
During the break I played as a PC and slowly regained some storytelling spark. After about 6 months I went back to the campaign and picked it up. Started off much slower, incorporating prexisting modules into my setting. This freed me up from having to plan out combat encounters and design NPCs from scratch. Honestly, taking away some of the heavier burdens helped me so much and the campaign is still running today, a mixture of carefully prepared homebrew content and reskinned modules.

TLDR: Bit off too much as a newbie DM, burned out. Returned after a break mixing modules and homebrew.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2019, 10:26 PM
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Silk Silk is offline
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Just started DM'ing a game for the first time here on RPG Crossing about six months ago. I've DMed before in a Table Top setting, so I figured why not. My mistake was in DMing a game that I didn't quite have a full grasp of the game mechanics And Shadowrun 5th Edition is much more complicated than your average game.in. I've felt frazzled and stupid as I keep forgetting things and have to reread the book almost every round of combat or whenever a player does an action. The slow pace of one post a week is also a cause for some stress on my part as I don't have the best of memories and there is no telling what I will forget since my last post.

While I wouldn't say I am burned out, or even close to burning out, I realize that the potential is there. I am really glad to have started the game with a Module and not something homebrew. So far, my players and I have been having fun, and there are no complaints as of yet. But I have this worry in the back of my mind that maybe one day, it'll be too much.

Just my experience as a DM so far.
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Last edited by Silk; 07-11-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:48 PM
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My experience there, Silk, has been that it gets easier with time (probably obvious) and it's very helpful to have players who are willing to help out and be forgiving (also probably obvious). Stick with it! I think it gets better! And I'm sure the players are happy as heck to have a DM willing to run a game in a less popular system.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:24 AM
Ceredyn Ceredyn is offline
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Oh yes! I feel much the same way you do. Love the game. But it can be mentally trying at times. Especially when gaming philosophies can differ so much. I am more of a pretty realistic grit kind of dungeon master. Many of the new players I run into really like super powerful characters with lots and lots of magic. That kind of detracts from my vision of what the game is about.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:31 AM
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Definite yes to the original post--this has been on my mind for a while now. Though in my case, not because of mediating dramas. My irl groups have been pretty okay with with inter-player social conflicts and bridging between player styles and gaming philosophies. (As a side note, this is an interesting/challenging transition to go from GM mediating disconnections and facilitating conversation on the one hand, and then being a player and figuring out where my place is in other players/GM conflicts, if any.)

I struggle/d with matching my level of commitment and expectations as a GM in table-top RPGs to the players. Some friends/players seem to struggle in differentiating "I want to play a long-term tabletop RPG" from "I want to play a limited-duration tabletop RPG" from "I want to have non-committal game nights." And each of those things are perfectly okay. Just different from the others. My players all got along great and were were compatible in their casual gaming style, but I realized as a GM I wanted more and it was my own style that was out of sync. (E.g. players made their own characters and X sessions in, for the Yth session in a row: "what's my character's name? what's my backstory again?" All the patience in the world for learning mechanics and group dynamics, but...). I needed to recharge yes but more importantly, I think, to reevaluate how I can better manage and communicate (my) commitment and expectations.

I think, similar to the original post, I forget that I as the GM get to/should be enjoying the work of GMing as much as any player enjoys playing. And general play styles aside, my personal GM perspective is that the players are/can be as responsible for gamer cohesion, creativity, and investment as the GM, even if the gaming roles and effort levels can be different between GM and players. And conversely, I as the GM am responsible for sharing what makes GMing fun for me.

tl;dr "I want and enjoy" =/= "I commit". It's taken me years to articulate this both in and out of gaming and it'll probably take me as long to progress at applying it.

To answer the original questions, I haven't really recovered the energy to GM, though I've identified where I've been running into bumps. I don't expect to GM irl in any foreseeable future at this point, just as part of my own recharging and reflecting taking all the time it needs. But I will at some point, and I'll have a better approach to the intangibles of it, and I'll love it as much as I have in the past. My experiences with RPGX have been relatively short so far but overwhelmingly positive--very knowledgeable, helpful, and available staff and veterans, few and far between issues that cause player/GM dropouts or conflict in my experience. It all takes work from everyone of course. My biggest adaptation to RPGX has been in gauging post-size with the sort of rolling sense of time in the pbp format, but because of the pbp format, it seems easier for me to gauge players/GMs degree of investment. RPGX is my first experience playing tabletop RPGs with strangers, and I've only ever played with roll20 with people I know irl.
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Last edited by cottontailwind; 01-14-2020 at 03:36 AM.
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