Wayfarer's League

Where we play. Where we connect.

Games/Dungeon Master Burn out… it’s ok

Hey guys…. how’s it going?

You’ve been playing D&D a long time? Yeah… me too. It’s pretty fun most of the time. I’m looking forward to playing other systems more, though….

You really enjoy your group and the story? Yeah, I’ve got some great groups. I really love playing with them.

Struggling with prep? That’s a familiar story. I realise that I’m running a game and have to jump at my notes the day-of….. or write everything right then. Oops!

Oh… you’re just not excited anymore? Not having fun? Feeling lost, frustrated, and it’s all feeling like a chore?

You know what? That’s ok too.

Burn-out is a real thing in this hobby, especially as a GM. Being a GM takes a lot of work; coordinating the players, the characters, keeping in mind backstory of your characters to bring into the story (if that’s your thing), prepping the encounters – social, combat, etc – puzzles, bad guys, compelling story hooks, and on and on and on…..

We may love it…but it is a LOT of work.

There’s no reason you can’t take a break.

So, should you need it (but you really don’t), you have my persmission to step away from the table entirely to refresh the brain. Watch your favourite movies, read a book, go enjoy the outdoors, play video games, cook… etc etc etc. If you’re playing a long-running campaign, you can say “Guys, I need a break.” Maybe someone at the table would like to try their hand at running something. Maybe you need time as a player?

You could be bored of the story you’re telling or maybe the system entirely. You could try a different system or finding a fun pre-written one-shot. However, it’s more likely that you just need some time off. Your players should understand.

Alternatively, it could be that you DO work so hard and you DO love it, but are absolutely under appreciated. It’s hard to run a game for players that take it all for granted. So… players? Please show lots of support to your Friendly Neighbourhood GM. They work really hard, especially if it’s homebrew! They’re making everything up for you to go on crazy adventures! Tell them how much you enjoy it and how much you appreciate it.

My on-going mantra is “It is a game and it should be fun for ALL players.” (This includes the GM. The GM is a player as well, just with a different role.) If it isn’t fun, take a moment to examine why. No D&D is better than bad D&D (and any other TTRPG for that matter).

If you are a forever GM, come check out our Events page and see about getting in a game as a player! If you need a new story to run, we’ve got players to fill your table. And if you need a break, our Discord server is full of people who are enthused about boardgames, video games, books, and more. Whatever you choose to do, we’re happy to be part of it, even if it’s just waiting. It’s going to be ok.

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