Monday, July 5, 2021

GM Block

 Does this happen to anyone else? As I prepare to return to gaming after a work-induced break, I find myself feeling less enthusiastic, or so I think, for straight D&D/Pathfinder gaming. I think the real reason is Roll20 burnout more than lack of actual interest. Put simply: the stuff I as GM like to focus on doesn't translate so easily in the VTT environment, and the VTT stuff that works best tends to be more of the maps and minis kind of stuff, so there's an imbalance I am feeling.

So I am about to embark, either this week or maybe next, on resuming live gaming. But in doing so I decided to jump the shark a bit and propose some stuff I normally consider outside my wheelhouse of interest....specifically Luther Arkwright, powered by Mythras. I'm not a salient fan of the series, but I did grab the Arkwright Integral graphic novel and have enjoyed reading it. The campaign book for Mythras is comprehensive and provides a wealth of interesting material, though like so many other books for licensed IPs that don't have "Cthulhu" in the title it's maybe a bit too brief on interesting conflict/foes that the GM can immediately run with. It's got them sure, but I get the impression throwing a Disruptor tactical assault squad at the group first time is probably a bit excessive. There's a sourcebook of eight adventures for the setting which I am trawling through right is providing some good context. It probably doesn't help much that most of the media content suggested for the setting is also outside my wheelhouse of expertise....I am not terribly immersed in the 60's and 70's era espionage fiction that the game seems to spark from, or for that matter Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. But there are other influences mentioned I am more acquainted with (Lovecraft and Planetary are mentioned), so maybe I can find a way to make this game "my own." 

I sort of need to, because I'd like to find something which really "grabs" me but I am loathe to admit I did not do any preparatory work for the game this Tuesday (well, I did write a scenario but I don't like what I wrote, and think it's in desperate need of a redo). Group still needs to make PCs,so maybe we can focus on that, or otherwise put it off to next session....I haven't run Mythras in a few years and it is not the kind of game you can run off the cuff, being just different in key ways from straight BRP/CoC that one can readily get tripped up.

So....yeah. No idea where I am going with all this. I have been feeling less enthusiastic about GMing than I ever have before. I literally have to think back to 1995 as the last time I lost all enthusiasm for gaming, post-graduation and in the midst of turbulence with a troubling relationship that led me moving across a couple states to Washington! I took most of the year off from gaming, and it did me some good I think, as by the time I restarted I had a chance to recharge the creative batteries. It's tough, though, as there aren't many other GMs in the area, and in my group I think traditionally I am the only one who has been happy to default to that role. 

No solutions here --yet-- but time will tell. Either I'll find "it" again or I won't, and at that time I may beg the group for a longer break. We shall see.


  1. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Perhaps you can ask one of your group to run for a few weeks while you decompress? It's pretty relaxing being a player for a while.

    1. Technically I got a break....just not long enough of one (and I guess work dominating the time off is not really a break...) I have been getting some player time in on Fridays though with a Call of Cthulhu game, so definitely agree, being a player is a more relaxing experience!