Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last night, I realized to my horror that I was burned out.

For the last month, you you may have noticed a lack of content on the blog.  It sort of mirrors what's been going on in my head.  Nothing.  Nothing productive about gaming, anyway.

Games have been a problem - both running and playing.  Things are not quite clicking.  In fact, I've been encountering a sense of dread before each game.

It's really depressing to have these thoughts about a type of recreation I love so much.

So, I wrote my gamer group to let them know I am stepping away from RPGs for a while.  I dunno what 'a while' is, but I need to refresh my brain and get into a state where I can enjoy it again.

The Boy has been incredibly supportive.  He's a great kid and I'm very proud of him.

So - does anyone else have any experience with RPG Burnoput?  Advice and anecdotes welcome.

- Ark


  1. I'm lucky enough after 2 1/2 years to not have experienced gaming burnout. Blogging burnout, though, is periodic for me. I figure I need those periods to regenerate the idea well through actual play and wider reading.

    If you're experiencing anxiety it may be that your campaigns have gotten too involved, serious and expectation-heavy. Switch to a lighter form of game - run one-shots - do Descent or Lego Heroica or something that can revive old feelings of fun. Get a B Team going with your current group.

  2. Everyone takes breaks, particularly GM's. My gaming group lasted as long as it did because of rotating GM's, I think. We would switch to board games to mix things up at times. My desire to play and GM has always returned, though sometimes after a long hiatus. Ideas start bubbling up here and there like a tar pit emerging from poorly lain sod at La Brea.

  3. I'd recommend board games. Nice and structured, without the pressure of constant creative output.

  4. Oh, I'd also recommend keeping in touch with your gaming group. As annoying as they can be, they're still your friends.

  5. Yeah, I've burnt myself out GMing as well. After a nice plateau in our 3 1/2 year campaign I've taken a break. Though we've taken breaks on and off during that time, I ran other RPGs. Someone else in the group has taken up the RPG Mastering but I just think I need a break from RPG altogether. What James said above, board games are a nice break from the constant production of campaigning.

  6. Absolutely. I get it on and off and like you I just take a break. Play video games, watch some movies I've been wanting to watch or catch up on a book or two. I think its important to step away now and then.

  7. I step away from the game and gaming very often, usually because of ministry, sometimes because I hit a lull in desire to play. I have never written it off completely, I just know that the fallow periods can lead to great renewals in playing and interest on my part. During those periods I tend to read more, watch more movies, and play board games.

  8. I burn out on life when I am not gaming.

    That is, I find that if I can not game for an extended period of time, I get really depressed and have trouble getting enthused or excited about other things.

    I am a creative person and gaming is my only creative outlet so I find it both fun and theraputic.

  9. I don't game but I can relate to burning out. I was burning out at my crappy pizza shoppe job. Maybe not the same way as a gamer, but burnt out and just needed out.

    Hope you get a good break and return, refreshed.

  10. Hey, you are definitely not alone when it comes to burnout. I myself just stepped away from the GMs chair indefinitely. I've been running games for about a year and a half now, and I was going full speed ahead. I have a cool gaming group with some folks who are now running games, and I'm a player in those games and having a great time. There's nothing wrong with taking a break. Hope all works out for you!

  11. I feel your pain. I am burning out on GMing, and as someone who loves GMing much more than playing, it's unpleasant. What's especially worse is that my players are still digging the game, despite the fact that I've been bringing my D-game to the table for weeks now...

  12. I hit periods like this all the time. As far as I can tell it's normal, and it's totally fine to take a break. What helps for me is to step away from the table, and spend a lot of time reading fantasy books and historical fiction, to get new inspiration. Videogames and movies can also help a lot. So can hiking or camping. For me, there's nothing like a good novel to get me planning campaigns, but any kind of inspiration is good.

    Also, I second the suggestions of one-shots or switching to something lighter for a bit. Something I've also always wanted to do, but never really gotten the chance yet, is to take the time when I don't feel like running games to give a newer DM some practice running the group's games.

    If any of these ideas sound right to you, you should try them out. The main thing to remember is that it's not unusual to feel like this sometimes. Take a break for as long as you need to.