It happens to everyone and it’s no surprise that it finally happened to me. I’ve been GMing for 15 years and have been going over a year strong without any substantial breaks. GM burnout finally hit me.
Rather than keep limping along and GM while unenthused by what we are doing I’ve decided that I will be taking a sabbatical from GMing for a few months (most likely start back up in January).
What is exciting is that one of my friends/players will be running his own campaign once a month and for shits and giggles he is running a Gamma Worlds campaign on Sunday. This will be the first time I’ve been a player in over 10 years.. It really has been that long. No wonder I have burnout.
What I HOPE to Accomplish
While I am taking a break from GMing and easing up on my RPG obsession a little bit for 3 months I am still working on improving my GMing and looking at what exactly I want from my table experiences.
What I Want to Improve
Feel free to offer any advice or thoughts.
I want to improve my take on NPC personality. I think I do a good job most of the time, but I really want to make each and every NPC (the important ones) shine and be different.
I want to look at the way I craft my combat and start introducing complications that provoke thought and strategy and not just hack and slash mentality. I plan to have skills play rolls in combat and allowing varying outcomes.
I also am excited to try the E6 system with my Pathfinder game. I plan to have the Class Cap for class abilities be level 10. My players seem to be in favor of that and I don’t that it will make them extremely OP. I am tired of how sluggish things get at higher levels and I like E6’s approach.
To be Fair and Not Fair
I GM a large group. There are 10 of us, including myself. Now while I am comfortable GMing such a large group, I know it comes with some sacrifice. With this many players you tend to give up “Spotlight” time and have to speed things along. A trip to town to lounge around, restock, and further your character can be a whole 6 hour session with 10 players. And it usually is in my group.
There is a big part of me that misses GMing 5-6 people. Each person having adequate time to attempt to accomplish what they want. There is no player sitting around for extended periods of time, and there is WAY less booking for myself.
However this isn’t fair to my players. We all enjoy each others company and have fun. While I would like to run a smaller group- I also do not want to exclude any of my friends from joining in with us and having a good time.
I’ve rambled enough for today. I will be making changes and striving to reignite my spark for GMing (I honestly think I just needed a break) and see if I can’t push myself further than I have in the past.
Will I cut down my group size for the Pirate game, I’m not sure.. There is the possibility… It is something I am still meandering.
What about you? How do you deal with GM burnout? How do you deal with large groups? How do you handle combat?
Look forward to your thoughts!