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View Full Version : How do I bring back the spark?



Bloody Peasant!
2014-10-15, 02:21 AM
I was first exposed to D&D 3.5e roughly four years ago, while I was still in High School, and for the large part of my high school experience I was fanatical about the game- I became consistently involved in two campaigns in real life (one of which I was DMing, the other I played), and later found these and other forums (different account) and regularly participated in discussions about rules and other stuff and play-by-post campaigns. One such campaign in particular has gone on for nearly three years now. But over the last several months I've become rapidly disenfranchised with the game and with roleplaying as a whole- my group still meets up but only every couple of months, and then more as a social gathering than for the purpose of the game itself. I stopped participating in the forums and I started losing interest in the wonderful PbP campaign I had spent years enjoying. Now I can't help but feel like I've lost a part of who I was not so long ago, and it's somewhat distressing. Is this just a natural step back from burning myself out on nerdity over the last few years, or am I just in a slump? Or am I genuinely done with D&D roleplaying as a whole? Have you guys had similar experiences? Does the urge to roleplay come and go in phases? Part of me I think still wants to get back into it, but I never seem to be able to devote the same amount of care and attention that I used to regularly invest in gaming.

Sorry, it's quite late and that turned into a bit of a venting session- I hope I made myself reasonably clear anyway. I'd appreciate any input into my little dilemma.

Sajiri
2014-10-15, 04:17 AM
Maybe you just need a break. I have felt this way with many different hobbies Ive enjoyed over the years, particularly things I was into in high school. There's less stress then and you have more time to enjoy the things you love doing. Trying to force yourself back into these things seems to just make it worse when you're trying to relive the experiences you had when it was new.

Taking a break, finding something else to do, maybe trying a new game or system or a totally different playstyle could all help

Thrawn4
2014-10-15, 04:50 AM
useful advise
Basically that.

I needed a break once, too. Just do what you like. Eventually roleplaying will come back to you.

BWR
2014-10-15, 05:45 AM
It could be that you just need a break.
It could also be that you have lost interest in RPGs for good. I've seen several people who used to be avid gamers lose interest and move on to other stuff.

In short, as others have said, if it's not fun and just a pain to do, excuse yourself from your groups and say it has stopped being fun. If at some point you regain the spark, make a come back. Most people should be understanding and let you back in your old games with a minimum of fuss. If you don't feel the desire to get back in, don't try to. If gaming was your only form of social interaction, you should either make an effort to stick with it or find something else. Humans are social creatures and some regular interaction with people in meat-space that isn't work-related is good for your mental health.

prufock
2014-10-15, 06:28 AM
Take some time off. If you start to miss it, pick up the game again.

Play a different system/setting. My group normally plays D&D 3.5, but we mix it up every few months with Mutants and Masterminds, Paranoia, Star Wars Saga, etc. I've created a few different settings (Weird West, Pirates) to keep things fresh.

Finally, you may just be getting older and outgrowing the hobby. It happens. While you might miss the feeling you once had with it, that's just nostalgia. If you aren't currently enjoying it, there is no reason to play.

TheCountAlucard
2014-10-15, 08:37 AM
Return to the source.

By which I mean borrow a time machine, go back to your high school days, and steal younger-you's game!

Er, wait, no, by which I mean do a bit of light reading. Several sources served as inspiration for the original D&D - it's not all Tolkein. :smalltongue: The Scarlet Citadel by Robert E. Howard, the Elric saga by Michael Moorcock, there's plenty out there. :smallsmile:

NikitaDarkstar
2014-10-15, 08:53 AM
Take a break and look over your life.

No seriously, while a break may be needed (I just took one that ended up being about 5 months long myself, and even now I'm choosy about games I try to get into) I'd still suggest looking over the rest of your life while you're at it. See, rapidly loosing interest in something you know you enjoy can be a sign of trouble elsewhere, high stress from other sources that you may need to address. Of course it could just be that you're burnt out on RP'ing and need a break to come back refreshed. And of course you could be losing interest in it for good, but either way I'd suggest stepping back for a while and getting your bearings, and if the and when the itch to RP comes back, well get back into it.

jedipotter
2014-10-15, 02:09 PM
Odd how everyone says you should ''take a break'' when you are ''on a break'' right now...



Gaming, like anything, often goes in cycles. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is not and sometimes it is fun again and then not again.

Sometimes people do change. What you liked years ago, you might not like today.

I see a lot of gamers get disillusioned. They play under the ''agreed modern way'' of gaming, and just have a luke warm time. They are so obsessed with making the game ''fair and balanced'', that they take away all the fun from the game. Then the game is very dull. And soon enough, they just stop playing. After all why play something dull and boring?

I also see a lot of bad DM's turn people away from the game.

Sajiri
2014-10-15, 03:12 PM
Odd how everyone says you should ''take a break'' when you are ''on a break'' right now...



Gaming, like anything, often goes in cycles. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is not and sometimes it is fun again and then not again.

Sometimes people do change. What you liked years ago, you might not like today.

I see a lot of gamers get disillusioned. They play under the ''agreed modern way'' of gaming, and just have a luke warm time. They are so obsessed with making the game ''fair and balanced'', that they take away all the fun from the game. Then the game is very dull. And soon enough, they just stop playing. After all why play something dull and boring?

I also see a lot of bad DM's turn people away from the game.

If you're on a break but still trying to get back into it and thinking of it, it's not really a break :p

Knaight
2014-10-15, 03:12 PM
Maybe your interests are permanently changing. Maybe you're just not in the mood for roleplaying right now. Maybe you're just burnt out on D&D specifically.

I'd recommend checking out some of the more esoteric RPGs. Give Microscope a try. Test Fiasco out. Maybe hit up something heavily futuristic. If those don't interest you either, you're probably best off just not playing RPGs for a while.

As for this: "Now I can't help but feel like I've lost a part of who I was not so long ago, and it's somewhat distressing."

I'd advise just looking at things differently. It's not losing a part of who you were, it's changing the cycle of activities you participate in. Sure, sometimes you'll miss the old stuff, but it's hardly a matter of identity in any way.

DireSickFish
2014-10-15, 03:13 PM
If you can't get into PnP and still want to hang out with your D&D friends board gaming can be a great outlet. Still a nerdy get together, but there is a lot less to keep track of and no responsibility on a DM.

I've had much more problem finding a game to play. I am starting to suffer some burning from DMing behind the screen.

Tengu_temp
2014-10-15, 05:36 PM
What I suggest is trying another game than DND. If you play the same system for years, of course it's going to get stale eventually; pick another game, the more different from DND, the better. See how do you feel after reading its book; do you get an influx of fresh ideas and a newfound desire to play, or just same old meh?

It might be that you really need to rest from RPGs, too. In which case, I second the board games suggestion.



I see a lot of gamers get disillusioned. They play under the ''agreed modern way'' of gaming, and just have a luke warm time. They are so obsessed with making the game ''fair and balanced'', that they take away all the fun from the game. Then the game is very dull. And soon enough, they just stop playing. After all why play something dull and boring?


I think someone who runs a bad game when it's fair and balanced wouldn't do a very good job with a "fun" unfair and unbalanced one, either. Especially when they mash several playing gamestyles into a single strawman of Doing It Wrong.

Mark Hall
2014-10-15, 06:37 PM
Like others have said, do something else. Not necessarily stop gaming, but play different games and spend time together. There's something special about the early time of gaming, IMO, but there's also a lot to be said for the later years of gaming, when you know the game well and start flexing your increased design ability.

Nagash
2014-10-15, 06:57 PM
I was first exposed to D&D 3.5e roughly four years ago, while I was still in High School, and for the large part of my high school experience I was fanatical about the game- I became consistently involved in two campaigns in real life (one of which I was DMing, the other I played), and later found these and other forums (different account) and regularly participated in discussions about rules and other stuff and play-by-post campaigns. One such campaign in particular has gone on for nearly three years now. But over the last several months I've become rapidly disenfranchised with the game and with roleplaying as a whole- my group still meets up but only every couple of months, and then more as a social gathering than for the purpose of the game itself. I stopped participating in the forums and I started losing interest in the wonderful PbP campaign I had spent years enjoying. Now I can't help but feel like I've lost a part of who I was not so long ago, and it's somewhat distressing. Is this just a natural step back from burning myself out on nerdity over the last few years, or am I just in a slump? Or am I genuinely done with D&D roleplaying as a whole? Have you guys had similar experiences? Does the urge to roleplay come and go in phases? Part of me I think still wants to get back into it, but I never seem to be able to devote the same amount of care and attention that I used to regularly invest in gaming.

Sorry, it's quite late and that turned into a bit of a venting session- I hope I made myself reasonably clear anyway. I'd appreciate any input into my little dilemma.


If your only playing every few months that could be a problem right there. Its hard to really get into a hobby that you indulge in so seldom. I dont think PbP is really a good substitute either at least its never done it for me.

Maybe you should try a different style of game with a more active group and see if that rejuices you. Or switch up what you were doing. If you were DM'ing before then try being a player. Or find another GM to switch off with each week. Thats what I do and its kept me from burning out since I started doing it, which is a problem i used to have every year or so.

valadil
2014-10-15, 07:02 PM
Nthing the break idea. I've taken many breaks from RPing. Whenever I've come back to the hobby it's been when I'm hungry for it, instead of jaded, and it shows in my characters.

jedipotter
2014-10-15, 07:09 PM
I think someone who runs a bad game when it's fair and balanced wouldn't do a very good job with a "fun" unfair and unbalanced one, either. Especially when they mash several playing gamestyles into a single strawman of Doing It Wrong.

I see a lot of people obsessively locked into the idea that they must play the game this one way and we can not talk about it or discuss it as the way we think is always right.

And then, some times, the game is no fun. Though they think it was ''something else'', and not the way they played the game. They don't even want to talk about all the Unwritten Rules they feel they Must Follow.

And soon enough, they don't even feel like playing the game. But not because of the game, it's just the way they play it.

Tengu_temp
2014-10-15, 08:21 PM
If your only playing every few months that could be a problem right there. Its hard to really get into a hobby that you indulge in so seldom. I dont think PbP is really a good substitute either at least its never done it for me.


I think the meetings once every few months are a result of losing the spark, not the cause. They used to play much more often in the past, but the games became more sparse as everyone started to lose interest. But yeah, playing once every few months is no way to play a game and keep interest in it. Even once a month is not often enough.

And PbP is good if you play with friends and not randoms, and not on a forum where most games go nowhere as people drop them at the drop of a hat (read: not the GitP forum).


I see a lot of people obsessively locked into the idea that they must play the game this one way and we can not talk about it or discuss it as the way we think is always right.

We all know what you said. "Kids these days are playing the game too safe, and that's Not The Right Way to do things - the only right way to play is the oldschool way, with high lethality and randomness" - even if you didn't state this openly, that was clearly the message between the lines.
Nevermind that there's like half a dozen different playstyles here, which only have the fact that they're less lethal than oldschool gaming (and what isn't?) in common. They're all the Agreed Modern Way.

jedipotter
2014-10-15, 09:00 PM
We all know what you said. "Kids these days are playing the game too safe, and that's Not The Right Way to do things - the only right way to play is the oldschool way, with high lethality and randomness" - even if you didn't state this openly, that was clearly the message between the lines.
Nevermind that there's like half a dozen different playstyles here, which only have the fact that they're less lethal than oldschool gaming (and what isn't?) in common. They're all the Agreed Modern Way.

My bigger point is some people use a play style that does not let them have fun. The style does not matter. Say the style is a very fast paced highly lethal old school game. Now the player likes a much more slow paced game where their character can only be killed with their express full consent and wants to be able to take up huge amounts of game time endlessly rolling knowledge checks to ''remember'' everything. That person won't have any fun in that game.

kellbyb
2014-10-15, 09:06 PM
My bigger point is some people use a play style that does not let them have fun. The style does not matter. Say the style is a very fast paced highly lethal old school game. Now the player likes a much more slow paced game where their character can only be killed with their express full consent and wants to be able to take up huge amounts of game time endlessly rolling knowledge checks to ''remember'' everything. That person won't have any fun in that game.

There IS a middle ground between those two styles, you know.

Garimeth
2014-10-16, 12:02 PM
Take a break and look over your life.

No seriously, while a break may be needed (I just took one that ended up being about 5 months long myself, and even now I'm choosy about games I try to get into) I'd still suggest looking over the rest of your life while you're at it. See, rapidly loosing interest in something you know you enjoy can be a sign of trouble elsewhere, high stress from other sources that you may need to address. Of course it could just be that you're burnt out on RP'ing and need a break to come back refreshed. And of course you could be losing interest in it for good, but either way I'd suggest stepping back for a while and getting your bearings, and if the and when the itch to RP comes back, well get back into it.

OP, this is good advice. Your post doesn't read like you are bored with gaming. It reads like you are depressed and losing interest in things that used to interest you - or maybe that the process of things growing older and losing interest in something that was a large part of your high school experience is causing you to be depressed. How long ago for high school for you? Take a moment to evaluate if at its heart this is really about the RPGs, or missing a certain time period/social group in your life.

If its the games, then plenty of advice has been given, but if its the other stuff, then maybe its time to try some new hobbies to give you something new experiences, or maybe even make new friends if old ones have moved away, or strengthen friendships that have grown distant.