Friday, July 9, 2010

Gamer ADD

 My name is Brutorz Bill and I have Gamer A.D.D.  (Attention Deficit Disorder).
I've tried to deny it, but anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time can surely tell.
I blame it on my gaming roots!  : )
Back oh so many years ago, when I first got into gaming we rotated DMing in our group.  That was back when you could go to the local Sears & Roebuck and pick up the latest RPG. Whoever had picked up the latest gaming product; Top Secret, Star Frontiers, Traveller, Chill, D&D module or whatever would run it for us, we'd play it until we got bored with it or more likely someone else showed up with a shiney new game to try out.  We did some long term campaigns, in fact we even did a Gamma World meets Traveller meets D&D, wherein we took our Gamma World characters into Imperial Space raised Heck in the Traveller universe and eventually crashed our stolen starship on a fantasy world where we trounced the Slavelords and set up our own kingdoms (hey it was Junior High, and we had a blast!) all with the same characters, well mostly  the same, a couple died (I got to Play and DM in that saga over the many sessions).  But most of our campaigns were short term affairs.  Other than a years long Gamma World Campaign that I ran for my cousin when he came into town on holidays the longest Campaign I ever ran was a 3.0 game that ran for quite a long time and that was a special group of folks.
  I think part of the reason I played Rifts so long back in the day wasn't a love for the system, but the fact that I could switch gears and try something new without it affecting the story/players. Its not that I dislike long term campaigns, or can't stick to something, its just that I like to play different things.  While some folks can play in different games on different nights to get their fix, that just isn't an option with my schedule.
I've set down a few times over the years to start up a new Campaign and have shuddered to myself when a few of the players say,"Awesome I can see us playing this Campaign for years and years, can't wait for my character to be 18th level!"...That kinda makes me go "Yikes!" for lots of reasons. One, lets worry about first level for now, 18th is a long ways off (course Prestige Classes sort of encourage some of this forward meta-gaming thinking) and then I didn't know I had signed up for a "Years and Years" DMing this commitment.
I know I've cheesed some folks off in the past when I've gotten tired of running something and wanted to run something else,"Whatta ya mean you've got burn-out and want to play something else??, We are only 5th level!  That's not high enough for you to quit this Campaign!"  HUH?? 
I've found it harder, at least in my area to find others who will run something.  Remember, my roots consisted of a whole group of folks who couldn't wait for their turn to DM, now it seems like DM's are few and far between, at least in my area. 
So what's the  point of this post? I guess it is an attempt to look at myself and my gaming style to see if I need to work on my DMing behaviors. I hope to start up a new Campaign when I finish school in a few months and I want to do it right. 
So what have you guys done to help deal with the dangers of Gamer ADD??


  1. I get where you are coming from. When I was the perpetual DM, I got burned out all the time and struggled to stay with a game very long. I was notorious for two and three session efforts.

    These days taking a break seems key, as does playing something new and fun. Co-Storytelling has helped with World of Darkness and Ptolus is going to add a creative boost to D&D.

    But yeah, you need to game, too, once in a while and to share the GMing duties now and again.

    When in doubt, run somehting with Commando Apes or Space Gorillas.

  2. Every member of my gaming goup has gamer ADD. We struggle at full-on campaigns and have more success with episodic play/scenarios/missions. Co-DMing does help a lot though.

  3. I feel your pain, Bill. We tended to play very simiarly in my youth.

    Now, my group can get together so rarely that the campaigns feel long to me, even with very few sessions.

    I tend to resolve this by "moving on" creatively and beginning to work on the next thing I want to run while I'm still playing the old, but that's an imperfect solution, at best.

  4. What, you had a 3.0 campaign that went longer than the glorious SDC-megaverse-based, near-future Recon/Ninjas And SuperSpies/TMNT/Heroes-Unlimited mish mash that you put us through? Boy, I'm jealous. :)

    I'm so glad many of you guys took good notes when I was GM, or I'd never have known what I ran. As Mr. Short Term memory man, it was so cool to hear years later about some interesting campaign that I supposedly ran and had no recollection of, LOL.

    I guess that was why I had such a low opinion of myself as a GM...I couldn't remember. Not like I didn't prepare, but with you guys it only took about 20 minutes to be off the prepared grid and having to wing it.