Burnout

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
I am approaching GM burnout.
How's everyone else in the cycle of enthusiasm, planning, running, burning out, recovery, repeat..
 
I am lucky that I have two long-term groups that I am part of: a group of four and one of six including myself in each case. There are three people shared to both groups, and we all GM on a regular basis. The group of six has another regular GM and an irregular GM. So that is 4.5 GMs in total. The really good thing about this is that each GM will only ever be running in one of the groups and usually be a player in a second group at the same time. That means we can recharge our RPG batteries by being a player at the same time, and it isn’t a never-ending slog of GMing either.

Which isn’t very actionable advice - “have more groups and more GMs”.

Looking at your sig @Guvnor it looks like you have some playing opportunities in parallel with GMing? Is the balance right? Can it be adjusted?

Would a GM holiday of a few weeks board gaming instead help give breathing space? We operate a ‘no-stress’ policy since we all have busy lives and busy work. If the GM can’t run a session then everyone is supportive and understanding and we do something else fun with the time like a board game. We have some ‘big box’ games which need 8-10 hours to play and they rarely get a table outing so these unscheduled board game sessions can be great fun, too.
 
I've recently wrapped up a 16 week campaign and that seems to be the point at which it's time for me to stop and take a break. I was still enjoying it at the end but I wasn't sad it ended.

The 8 week blocks at MK-RPG seem to be a good length, particularly since they're broken up by the short blocks so GMs for long campaigns can take a break. I did a longer campaign there (3 long blocks). Having a set end date seems to help as well.

My home group is significantly less structured, but we do rotate GMs fairly regularly depending on who's keen, has ideas, and has time to prep.

I have been overdoing it a bit with the one-shots recently. Fortunately it's pretty easy to dial things back there. Only do the stuff I'm super enthusiastic about.
 
I am approaching GM burnout.
How's everyone else in the cycle of enthusiasm, planning, running, burning out, recovery, repeat..

We know that one, as it cycles, and you will know the way through it that works for you. Good suggestions too from @dbm. I'm glad you are playing in my Conan!

I am currently in that blissful GM stage, where I am running and enjoying, but not intensely due to Summer, and am planning to run some Dragonbane 'professionally' if I get takers. As this progresses I'm manoeuvring for a follow-up game with an alternative group to Wednesdays, as I look forward to the follow-up game that I will play in after Conan.
 
Burned out and recovering as a GM, approaching burnout as a solo player.

I find it helps to change game and/or setting periodically, every 20-30 sessions or so. I have envy and respect for those who run the same campaign year in, year out, but it's just not in my nature.
 
Earlier this year, I faced the fact that I was totally burned out by the glut of online gaming available to me. I realised I was chasing my spreadsheet rather than enjoying the gaming. So I gently started to cut things down. As campaigns ended, I took up a playing position. Where it was viable I stood back from playing altogether. It's done me the world of good.

I have a tendency to overcommit. So from nothing, I quickly end up gathering 3 or 4 campaigns to run and convince myself I can service them. I cannot. That's something I've realised as I have gotten older - ESPECIALLY 'homebrew' campaigns. I have found myself leaning on pre-written adventures more and more.

The real drain for me, to be honest, are one shots. The sheer effort it takes to do something for the Theatre D&D group is easily the equivalent to a whole Saturday group game.

I'm on an upswing and with my Fate Trek game ending soon, I'm looking forward to our f2f STA game
 
I have only run 2 sessions of Curse of Strahd, a session at Revelation and several sessions at North Star, so I'm feeling refreshed and starting to get a hunger to run again.
 
And then suddenly...

Last night's Traveller game was a delight.
A mix of home brew from a key character interest and a quick weaving with a published scenario (Shadow of Sindal). I was supported by my friend Aleks who described and planned a grav speeder grand Prix course on Paal, and my friend Duncan who designed the grav vehicles.
Robbie rocked up, free of the theatre for a month or so, and with Duncan administering the combat stats we had a good mix of roleplaying, foreshadowing the canonical adventure whist we had a mad crazy grav race with heavy machine guns. Lotz of old NPCs turned up or were referenced and holo crews from TNS and Hierate Sagas were there in a lovely mix of cultures, species and roles.

Burnout? What burnout?
 
I think the point made earlier - have a rough end date for the campaign/arc - after which you know you will be playing or running something different can make a huge difference to the way you approach the work of being GM.
 
I have been reinvigorated partly by prepping less and partly by having a clear point at which I shall stop the campaign for a season break, or maybe even campaign finale.. with a new GM ready to run a new campaign.
 
I have been reinvigorated partly by prepping less and partly by having a clear point at which I shall stop the campaign for a season break, or maybe even campaign finale.. with a new GM ready to run a new campaign.

Which reminds me ... Pitch
 
I must admit I’ve had the confidence knocked out of me, especially for GMing.

I haven’t been to a RPG convention since last year and both my on-line groups have come to a stuttering halt as the players can’t get together on the same evening or date.

I have ran an Alien game for a group of non-RPGers at work, a couple of weeks ago. The whole session, played in an old gothic warehouse, went incredibly well and the new players did very well with the Alien setting, the tense nature of the scenario, and the hidden agendas.
That was a blast and has put the wind back into my sails for a bit.

Let’s hope that I can get my on-line groups scheduled soon after the summer holidays.
 
I must admit I’ve had the confidence knocked out of me, especially for GMing.

I haven’t been to a RPG convention since last year and both my on-line groups have come to a stuttering halt as the players can’t get together on the same evening or date.

I have ran an Alien game for a group of non-RPGers at work, a couple of weeks ago. The whole session, played in an old gothic warehouse, went incredibly well and the new players did very well with the Alien setting, the tense nature of the scenario, and the hidden agendas.
That was a blast and has put the wind back into my sails for a bit.

Let’s hope that I can get my on-line groups scheduled soon after the summer holidays.
Oh I do hope so, u are such a good fun GM!
 
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