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Old Jun 24th, 2019, 01:05 PM
Aelius Aelius is offline
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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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Old Jun 27th, 2019, 08:39 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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Old Jul 11th, 2019, 09:26 PM
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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.

"arE yoU ReAdy To PlaY a GaMe?"

Last edited by Silk; Jul 11th, 2019 at 09:28 PM.
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Old Jul 16th, 2019, 02:48 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 Jan 1st, 2020, 12:24 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 Jan 14th, 2020, 02:31 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; Jan 14th, 2020 at 02:36 AM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 08:27 AM
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Telcontar Telcontar is offline
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Originally Posted by Aelius View Post
Are there any other DMs and/or players that have suffered from a burnout ? How has you experience been ? How did you recover ?
I, and almost every DM I've ever played with, experience burnout at some stage. And sometimes it's fatal. They either stop DM-ing and play only, or they leave the hobby altogether.

It takes a remarkable person to continue DM-ing for decades.

My own reaction to burnout was to self-reflect. Why was I experiencing burnout? In my particular case, I realised it was because the group had wildly differing ideas as to what an RPG even was (or should be). I know this sounds odd... but it can happen. An RPG is not just one thing. It is a stack of things all mashed together. Rules and structure. Roleplaying a character. Exploring a setting. Creating a collaborative story. Having an exciting adventure. These are all fundamentally different things.

So, I recalibrated my expectations of my existing group downwards, and sought out a place to play the kind of game I like playing. I hope that can be RPG Crossing!

As to my recommendation to you -- don't DM for a while. Just be a player. Find a few games here at RPG Crossing which seem to be the type of game you'd like. (And by type, I don't mean 'genre', I mean how the elements of an RPG are balanced.)

And if you recover your enthusiasm... then start DM-ing again.

Last edited by Telcontar; Jan 21st, 2020 at 08:34 AM.
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Old Feb 6th, 2020, 05:41 PM
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The Fifth Baldwin The Fifth Baldwin is offline
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Yeah, I run my share of PbP games and it can sometimes be daunting. But just like in real life, it often comes down to the group you’re playing with. I’ve played with some wonderful groups, and some less than wonderful groups. I’ve learned that rules lite is good for PbP. Complex systems usually just aren’t well suited to the format.
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Old Feb 26th, 2020, 12:43 AM
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I've only ever done 2-3 one shots in person. The hobby for me has always been PbP or questing style. I've been burned out a lot. But I've also had some stellar experiences that I'll remember for the rest of my life.

When I've been at my truest lows, I've just taken a break. Time recuperates all things. Most of all, engage with the media that inspire you. Whether that's reading books you love, finding new series to bingewatch that tick all the right boxes, or viewing artwork or playing games that stir your emotions, do it. The mind is like a generator. Creative powers flow out, but you do have to get it started or restarted with fuel.
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Old Mar 25th, 2020, 08:53 AM
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Exactly, time heals all wounds. I have DMed for 26 years and just had a burnout like 2 months ago. I took a month off, changed my games and found new players. Sometimes, Time with Change is all you need. I actually don't enjoy playing, I always prefer to DM. So its in my blood, but even my blood needs a break time to time.
My name is Tim, I'm a lesser known character...
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Old Mar 28th, 2020, 08:46 PM
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infooriginal post redacted.

Playing this game online is pretty frustrating. I know the feeling.
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Last edited by DeepFriedWyzard; Mar 29th, 2020 at 01:27 AM. Reason: [REDACTED]
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 01:21 AM
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Yeah burnout happens man, I had it too for awhile and it just takes a break for a bit, like a month or so, and then you get the cravings again lol.
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Old May 31st, 2020, 11:09 AM
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Symbelmynė Symbelmynė is offline
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I can really relate to a lot of what’s been expressed here. I spend months planning an epic campaign, mapping out a metropolis here, writing a novella length NPC backstory there, only to have the game die on its arse before the party has even scratched the surface. I think a lot of players do just want to kill stuff, preferably each other if my players are anything to go by. Or they want to disrupt the game world - there’s kind of a power trip in exploiting the kind of freedom PnP role playing offers, and I guess a good DM would facilitate this in such a way that the overall group experience doesn’t suffer.

I have had players who relish getting into their roles, but as already mentioned, players can be a varied bunch. I’ve noticed a lot of voice acting influence on newer groups, from an obvious source. I don’t know what my opinion on this is yet, but I’m sure this has already been discussed extensively. I played with one DM who referred to lore and backstory as “fluff” which was an eye opener for me. The game worlds, histories and character arcs are what excites me so much about RPing, the rules and special abilities offering a kind of metric framework providing structural realism and limitations. Perhaps the priority is the other way round for some.

I may have gone a little off topic, but I too have lowered my expectations. I plan only to run occasional one shots for the time being and see how fulfilling I find this in comparison to past efforts. Burnout leaves you with a real fatigue and a distaste for gaming, which can be difficult to recover from.

Last edited by Symbelmynė; May 31st, 2020 at 11:12 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 03:27 AM
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Dicky dm's that's it I quit one really screwed up action and I'm gone for good. I come to play my ch not to be forced to be something else or into changing everything to suit a dm's idea of screw everyone cause it's funny . It's not fun to make a ch then be forced changed or not allowed to play it instead have the dm turn it into their personal Nov that you roll for.. .
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Old Oct 20th, 2021, 05:41 AM
Deadly Treadly Deadly Treadly is offline
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My problem is that as I have gotten older my friends and I have diverged markedly in personalities, politics, play styles and preferred games.

One of the most unpleasant things about internet gaming is that people will feel they don't have to give you the basic respect that they do to a person they know in meat-space. Like yourself I have had players vanish, behave in a way they never would face to face or exhibit behaviours that are unacceptable. There's a basic rule I follow:

No Gaming is better than Bad Gaming

However, some players are gems. They are worth coming back for. Sure, they can be annoying but that's life. Curate your player list and carefully nurture the good players while ruthlessly cutting out the ones who diminish the experience. I'm getting together a Roll20 hard sci-fi game and I've already marked a player who's too demanding of attention to be a good fit and I'm easing him out soon. The other three are great players and I'll be looking after them.
However some of them will drop out, it's the nature of the beast. I consistently gauge how much enjoyment is being had how much commitment players can give. If a player starts looking a bit unreliable I prepare the game to be able to add a new player if required.

It's all a bit unhappy but I don't see any other way to do it.

I do hope your enjoyment comes back soon, it always has for me in the past and I wish you the same luck.
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