Saturday, August 22, 2009

An Unusual Situation

Last week I played a little 4e for the first time. I've DM'd it before, but never sat down and ran my own character. It was pretty fun, especially considering that it was Maggie's first shot behind the table for us. So the pacing was a little rough, and we didn't have time get to the "real" part of the adventure, but what we did do was fun; I was particularly impressed by her combat descriptions, and renewed my resolve to work on my own skills in that area.

As I was getting ready for the game (using the Character Builder to make a half-elf bard, "Fiona Trollkin," and a longtooth shifter warden as a back-up in case we needed a defender) I thought to myself, as I often do in such situations, "Man, it'll be nice to get a chance to finally play." It took me a moment to realize that no, wait, I play all the time now. This summer there've been a couple times where I played four sessions in a single week. Sessions that often last up to eight hours. I'm not even running a game of my own right now. It's all play.

What's really weird is that I don't even have much desire to start running a game again. I'm pretty happy just playing. That's never happened to me before, and I don't know how long it'll last, but for now I'm enjoying it. Being able to game, and be really happy with the game, without the work? It's nice. (Not that I'm not doing a bit ofwork for the game, but not nearly as much as I would be were I DM. My main contribution is thinking up setting questions that Trollsmyth then answers.) Partly this is because the games I'm in right now are really good, and fit me in a way most of the games I've played in before didn't quite. But I suspect it's also partly because I've gotten really frustrated, in various ways, with most of the game mastering I've done in the past year or two. Not really sure why that is yet, but luckily I don't have a huge need to figure it out immediately. I've got time to let the answer come to me, and in the mean time, I can play.

And while I'm on the subject -- not running a game of my own is part of why the blog's been so quiet lately. I've been thinking about game stuff a lot, but mainly stuff that has no business being on the blog, or that Trollsmyth's already covered. I've also been trying to take care of my hands, since they've been acting up a little and there's other stuff I need to do on the computer that's more important, but the main of it is that I haven't had a whole lot I wanted to write about. I'm still keeping up with the blogosphere, but things may continue to be quiet around here for the time being, particularly since I'm going back to school soon.


  1. The GM-mojo will get fired up in its own good time; like most muses, it will show up, not when forced, but when least expected.

    Oh, and I hope whatever is troubling your hands gets better soon.

  2. I honestly think that playing 4th edition D&D is significantly more work than DMing it, but it's good that you are enjoying yourself anyhow.

  3. Knightsky: Thanks. My hands are getting better, since I've been using the computer less lately. ;p Last summer I stuffed 1000 envelopes in two days and they've twinged on and off ever since.

    Anonymous: Yeah, in some ways I think it is. Mechanically, definitely. Not that you can't muck about with mechanics as a DM, but if you wan't you can ignore a lot of what players have to deal with on a regular basis. Monsters are, at their basic level, much simpler.