Taking time away from the table.

Hello all and welcome to a weekend post where I wanted to talk briefly around my thoughts on that I, and maybe we, spend just that little bit too much time focusing on the tabletop.

Now, coming from someone who writes content for a TTRPG daily, pending when I fail to publish it correctly, who is surrounded by four Warhammer armies worth of models and has too many dice all together this may not be a surprise that I spend a lot of time on table top. I have friends who stay up until the early hours of the night, every night, painting miniatures that are beautiful, simply beautiful. I also have players (old and new) who have requested to have weekly TTRPG sessions instead of the normal fortnightly because they can’t quite get enough of the sweet table top, but I generally try and have a hour or two, outside of work and father & husband roles, that I set aside where I do not think about table top.

The reason is quite simple, I love this hobby and I don’t want to get burnt out on it. Now not every night is a dream when I am typing up content for that evening and sometimes what normally flows out of me like fire from a red dragon is more of a dribble, like a mage learning how to shape water for the first time. These nights probably show with content that is, perhaps not as thorough as what I may be used to but for me this project, the adventure a week (well every day there is parts of an adventure), is something that I put to myself to really hone these dungeon master skills that I have been building for many years and to test myself to see if I could write about my DMing approach.

Now, I don’t think saying to yourself ‘I don’t feel like it tonight’ or ‘I’ve got a block, I can’t think of anything’ is a bad thing, not in the tiniest bit but I want to stress that you should be able to say this to your players and peers too. Going to your party “I just need a break for this week/fortnight/month” isn’t a bad thing and your players will understand, like mine have in the past. They know its a lot of effort and a big commitment to play a TTRPG game and even more so if you are the Game Master as you have to prepare the adventure, create the NPCs, the encounters, the puzzles, traps, maps, twists, turns and what ever else goes into your adventure – they understand if you need time.

For some you may feel like you don’t need to pause, no breaks, no half time, nothing. And this is fine too but I would caution to look for the signs that you need to step away from your fantasy or Sci-fi world for a bit and just take a night off. Watch a movie, read a book, go out to dinner or drinks. Play a game tabletop or electronic (a different tabletop game still counts as time off!).

Lately I have been playing online with an old friend of mine, having a few beers and playing or a few hours to just reset the clock, or, exploring a game that my new PC can actually run (unlike my old PC that couldn’t run it…) and strangely enough, some elements of my table top are being influenced by these games, movies and TV shows that I use as my downtime from table top. For me, its just becoming part of the process.

So, after all that’s said and done – I am off to find some legendary Storm drake and build a castle or sit down with my wife and watch a movie we have been putting off for a few weeks now and who knows, if a future adventure involves the harvesting of raw materials to build a fort then you know what inspired that adventure.

So, don’t forget to look after yourself, watch for the signs of hobby fatigue and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe