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November 8, 2008 / jadettman

I've gotten rusty

[FYI, this post is entirely for my benefit. Feel free to ignore it completely.]

As a GM, I think I’ve gotten lazy. Also, I think the GMing part of my brain has atrophied a little and, in combination, this is not good.

The laziness is my own damn fault, of course. I spent almost fifteen years running Amber games and that was where things started going down hill. I started using shorthand descriptions because everyone I was running the game for already knew my descriptions pretty well. Then, I think I just stopped doing much description at all. If anything, I might give a little descriptive flourishes to outline the a scene but I wasn’t really describing things in any detail.

On top of this, I’m no good at prep. I used to do prep for a game but even when I did it wasn’t like what I hear some folks do, like an hour or more of work getting ready for the game. No, even when I did prep it was little more than thinking about what the NPCs were up to, their plans and machinations. Now, though, it seems like I don’t even take the time to do that as often as I used to.

I want to be clear here, I’m not looking for someone to tell me I’m wrong, that I’m a good GM, or that I just need to do some work to get back to where I want to be. I know I’m a good GM and I know what I need to do to get where I want to be. This is just me putting it out there because, sometimes, I’ve just got to kick myself in the face if I want to accomplish something.



Leave a Comment
  1. Britt / Nov 12 2008 3:59 pm

    Funny you should mention this… I was thinking the other day about how I basically have no imagination left to speak of.

    I used to spend lots of time daydreaming, either constructing epic adventures, or fantasizing about how cool my character is in various games 😉 (i.e. player prep work), and now I just … don’t.

    I definitely feel like my work work work work omigod why aren’t you working lifestyle has lead to less consumption of various sources of inspiration—particularly gaming. Possibly also it’s just that I’ve gotten old.

  2. J.A. Dettman / Nov 14 2008 8:54 am

    I’m going to disagree with you here.

    I don’t think that it’s that you have no imagination left. I think it’s that you have no time left for imagination.

    Just like you have to make time to draw, knit, or play games, it is also necessary to make time to daydream. Which means that the ‘OMG why aren’t you working?!?’ reflex sets in.

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