Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

April 14, 2007

Oh no! My energy’s running out!

Filed under: now playing: anything,the renovated life,Uncategorized — lexifab @ 1:11 pm

Whinging about games again. For those of you not interested in such things, I will insert a cut link and the exciting news that we have finished painting the walls in the lounge as of a few minutes ago. Except for several weeks worth of enamel trim work, obviously:

Reading between the lines of recent Lexifab entries, you’d probably deduce that I am a bit keen for roleplaying gaming to take pride of place at the top of my personal stack of escapist diversions. You would be correct. But you might, without great intellectual exertion, also form the impression that at present I am sadly lacking in energy and enthusiam. In this you would again be correct. How wise you are. “But how”, you may ask yourself, “does the former impulsive drive reconcile with the unrelenting resistance of the latter state?”

The answer to your insightful (but clumsily worded) query is: not at all well.

I want to be doing a lot more gaming than I am at the moment. I certainly feel like I have time available to commit to more regular or semi-regular games. Apart from the Tuesday night game with the nerdfarmers and ChrisT and MizEmma, I have that semi-solid commitment to run a game of Spirit of the Century for the local meetup group, a still-in-planning-but-getting-closer Tarshite HeroQuest game that JM will run, some excited talk about Burning Wheel and Burning Empires, and that long-hibernating New Salisbury game with Herr Fellows (which by the way we should maybe just do in email or a wiki or something).

That sure seems like a lot of gaming, but most share a common feature in order for them to make the crucial transition from theoretical to actual. That damp squib of a nexus is, of course, me. I need to make an effort, I need to inject some enthusiasm, I need to get them happening.

And I don’t, and in some ways I can’t. When I organise a game, I tend to assume a certain amount of responsibility to provide that game with fuel, in terms of planning beforehand, scheduling and discussion, and energy at the table. As the GM and driving force, it’s up to me to make sure that everyone’s fired up, everyone’s on the same page, everyone’s involved and having a good time. That’s the way it’s always been, at least from my perspective.

But these days I just don’t have that kind of energy to spare. I have enough for me to be excited, probably more than enough for just me – but I don’t have enough for everyone. What’s more, if a game goes badly or is just “meh” due to a lack of that shared enthusiasm – as has been the case in the past couple of weeks with the Tuesday night SotC, I think – then that just feeds into the downward spiral. The next game, there’s a bit more caution and reticence, and a little less energy – I risk a little less enthusiasm and am rewarded with a little less fun. It’s the same stupid degenerative mindset that I go through periodically at work.

You understand that this is all just going on in my head, right? I know I don’t have sole responsibility for everyone else’s fun, and that if nobody else is contributing to the fun, it’s not actually my fault if the game is lacklustre. But it feels like it’s my problem, because I want so badly for my gaming to be fun.

I’m also not saying that none of the other people at the table on the Tuesday night games are carrying their weight – the fact is that we’re all exhausted at the end of the day, and nobody has any more energy than me to give. We’re all finding it hard to be the one who steps up and buoys up the game. (I’m worried now that after three or four sessions with Spirit that haven’t had quite the boundless energy that should go with a two-fisted pulp action melodrama, we might have spoiled the system for ourselves. Which would be a shame, as I think it’s highly compatible with the sort of gaming that we enjoy as a default).

ChrisT and I talked about this at the pub recently, and, wise as he is, he suggested a solution which I think will work for me, assuming the stars align. Apart from the Tuesday night group, I am going to put plans for me to run games on hold for a little while (a couple of months at least). Instead I’m going to concentrate on being a player, and channel my excitement into being as good a player as possible.

For me that will mean being the one who knows the rules, works hard to make my character proactive and driven, groks the vibe that the GM and other players are going for, and tries to set up situations in play through my character play that lets other players have their space and do the stuff they find fun.

In other words, be supportive and enabling. That is to say, the sort of crap I’m good at at work. Sigh. There’s probably a life lesson in that.


  1. Oooh…….. does that mean you’ll be coming to games? We need to have another InSpectres game or something to help enable you to be enabling. Or something.
    (I thought of InSpectres because the PussyCat Dolls reality show is on, and they’re doing a confessional, only straddling a chair backwards. Because they’re so classy.)

    Comment by emmajeans — April 15, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

  2. Well, mainly it means that I am going to stop trying to get new games going by passively agreeing to GM them. I will play, or nothing (Tuesday nights excepted, where I will at least finish the current Spirit adventure).

    I may have to draw the line at a Pussycat Dolls-themed InSpectres game, because I could see it going south really fast. I you take my meaning.

    Comment by lexifab — April 16, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  3. Ahh so this is where you hide! 😛

    Have you seen this blog entry about teamwork that may give some guidance on being “as good a player as possible”


    Comment by insmouth — April 17, 2007 @ 9:07 am

  4. hehe wordpress mangled the html in that post – you might have to copy and past the url to get to that site

    Comment by insmouth — April 17, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  5. This isn’t so much where I hide as where I curl up in a ball and wail pathetically at anyone foolish enough to listen. Welcome to the Blog Audience of the Damned, Steve! (Take any seat you want – you’ll find there’s plenty of space).

    Yeah, I think I may have had that blog entry (amongst many other things) rattling around in the back of my head for a while. It’s a good one – it’s a pity there isn’t a discussion about it in the comments.

    Comment by lexifab — April 17, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

  6. Hmmm.. A lot of problems just rattling around in your *head*. Time to *shrink* those problems. Need an *expert* to go and tweak those inner *self talks*.

    Comment by Marco Parigi — April 20, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

  7. I think I’m missing your subtle hidden meaning, Marco 😉

    Comment by lexifab — April 21, 2007 @ 12:10 am

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