Walking across the school yard this morning, I had my hands in my pockets and felt the three six-sided dice I usually carry drop into my hand. As I sensed the dice it also occurred to me that it’s been several weeks since I rolled them in a game. The sense of loss and sadness was suddenly overwhelming: I need to roll these dice!
As I have entered into a deeper and deeper hibernation within my hobby, I’ve also felt myself increasingly saddened by the loss of enjoyment that ceasing to play causes. On the one hand, I don’t have the energy and interest to drive my motivation – especially given how hard running a game can be – but on the other hand I am drawn towards the dice, maps, and imaginary worlds that I love.
The answer, as I have mentioned before, is not to rely on motivation and energy. The need to play is strong but you have to find easier and simpler ways to do it. In a huge shift in the way I generally prefer to enjoy my roleplaying games, this equates to using simpler game engines and classically familiar tools. At the school club, for example, I found great joy in presenting an introduction to D&D using the much simpler 1981 Basic Rules rather than trying to motivate myself to run 5e.
As I approach another weekend, I am keen to roll those 3d6… or, at least to find some way to get myself a few minutes of light solo play. It’s fortuitous that I have a conversation with a very experienced solo GM, the awesome Simon from Legend of the Bones, scheduled… and I am hoping to pick his brains.
In the end, what I am realising is that in a hibernation – even in the depths of an emotional winter – you can still poke your nose out of your cave and go explore the territory, if only for a short while. There’s nothing wrong with taking a simple turn around the metaphorical block and play something simple. We don’t have to give up our whole hobby, even when we are struggling to maintain it.
Hi there. As you ruminate on your dice, bear in mind that I ordered all the Castles and Crusades rulebooks from the US today, to be sent to Belgium. I also ordered Ironsworn. You are a motivator and a damn good one. So, play on !!!!!
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