Friday, May 18, 2018

Don't Forget To Enjoy Your Game

I ended up in a small twitter conversation the other day. Philgamer mentioned me as someone he'd love to have in an L5R game (so honored by that :D ) but mentioned anxiety being a problem - along with conflicting schedules. The other people tagged all chimed in fairly quickly, and turns out we all suffer varying degrees of anxiety around our GMing. It's fairly normal it seems from other conversations I've had.

How it happens is easy to see. If you're serious about running not just a good game, but the best game you can, then there is a lot of pressure to perform. This gets even bigger when you have a good session - or campaign - and find the next one not quite living up to those same lofty standards.

The trick is, some people get so anxious about this - about needing to make their game better and more fun for everyone - that two things happen: First, the GM doesn't have fun running the game. Second, the game suffers because of this.

Trust me, if you're not having fun running your game, your players will pick up on it and it will curb their enjoyment and enthusiasm as well. Fortunately, there's an easy solution - easy to say that is, anyhow.

Relax, and enjoy your game.

Yep, that easy. The harder version is accept that some sessions will be better than others and that's alright. Some nights your players will be tearing to go, and other nights they might be a bit more lethargic about it. The same is true for you. Some games will be better than others. Some campaigns will be better than others. That's fine. But don't get so worked up trying to make things amazing that you miss all the awesome going on in the game right in front of you.

Find the parts of your PCs you love, and play into them. Do things you like in the game to mix it up. Have fun with your game. Otherwise, what's the point?


  1. Yep.

    I couldn't really enjoy things until I decided to give the players more control. By doing that, I took a lot of the responsibility for their enjoyment off of my own back. With them deciding big parts of what happened to their characters, I could worry less that they would simply push back on, not enjoy, or disengage from what was happening, because they have little or no reason not to make work what they helped create.

  2. Sadly, such siphoned up endeavors can just attempt to impersonate satisfaction, and they may really take you more remote from genuine enjoyment. The basic explanation behind this is more profound enjoyment is associated with mindfulness, and mindfulness is an unobtrusive encounter.koktale