GM Burn Out….NOT
by, 03-13-2011 at 07:40 PM (4759 Views)
A few months ago I was getting psyched for my I have run a campaign for nearly a year GM burn-out. Astoundingly, I found myself NOT burned out or even anywhere near it. I said to myself Why not? I still work full time and put in over-time maybe more frequently than before while still refusing to give up my weekends (Yup-I’ll get to work on a weekday at 7 AM and put in the OT then without regret but with OT pay). What changed? – Many things I guess.
1. Less frequency: I used to push myself as a GM to run a game every week (more power to those who can). Nowadays, I run the game twice a month and discuss the schedule with the players with a lot of advance planning. I like the game to be more of an event than a routine. It’s great hearing that if a game date falls on an “everyone is busy that day” time, folks push for a reschedule and not a cancellation because they really want to play.
2. Style match: Over the years, I’ve played many games with many GMs. I admit that if I liked something they did, I adopted it be it style, rules or whatever. However, everyone has a certain style as a player and GM. Some styles don’t match so don’t force it just leave it with no hard feelings. In other words, you can’t please everyone so go with what you know and what you do best.
3. No BS tolerance: My two personal pet peeves are flakiness and out of character so I don’t put up with it as a GM.
Flakiness: A lot of last minute cancellations. Sure, it happens at times but when a player consistently does this, I tell them to come back once they have mastered their schedule. Advance notice is fine. I myself had to take a hiatus from a game that I enjoy as a player but is a weeknight that goes till late. The 7 AM work schedule conflicted so I told my GM and friend exactly what was going on and he completely understood – friendship intact.
Out of Character: Yes it happens but I spend about three hours prepping for each game session not to mention all the reading of the rules and stuff before even starting a campaign. If players just want to BS around and not game I tell them that I can use my hours for much more constructive purposes.
In conclusion, I GM with a group of players where all of the above are agreed upon. We have fun. We hang outside of game. I think all of that prevents burn out.
Anyone else have similar? How do other GMs avoid burn out?
PS - The picture inspired an adventure idea or rather a new form of opponent for my players Mwaw..ha...ha...ha!