Dungeons & Dragons Online

DM burnout and loose ends. Feeling like I am letting players down.

Content of the article: "DM burnout and loose ends. Feeling like I am letting players down."

The Rona put me in a golden age of D&D. Group of 6 newbie friends playing once a week, I was going H.A.M. as a DM. I ran some modules but my group wanted to do stuff off the rails and I was more than happy to oblige. For months I was home-brewing, balancing encounters, finding or making custom battlemats, fitting those maps into Roll20, writing NPC dialogue and responses, etching out dynamic lighting in Roll20, making tokens, anticipating likely arcs basically everyday to be ready for the weeks session.

I LOVE D&D however, after several months, any spare time I had (I am a Dad with 2 children so my spare time is pretty limited) devoted to nothing but D&D I got a little burned out. I was like, man, some nights I just want to play a video game or read a book. I took one "day off" from D&D after each session but the rest of the time was devoted to session prep. I did it this way because if I took more time away from prepping then the days leading up to the session I would stress a little and feel like I was scrambling.

So we wrap up our last module with some loose ends. I tell the players I need a break (maybe one of them could DM? no one did *insert forever DM jpeg). I ask them what their characters are doing during this interlude. Some of them futz around, improve the stronghold, build some stuff. The others want to do cool shit that engages with the world and deals with their background. AWESOME! This is the first time they self direct themselves on an adventure! To influence the world in a unique, non prescriptive way! The essence of what makes TTRPG so cool and NOT a video game!

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But that is my problem, I just do not have the juice in me to slap together 3 small to medium sized adventures. Not in the time-frame that we can start playing again. I do NOT want to delay further because this is how groups fizzle out. I can already feel the fizzling. I cannot find anything on adventure lookup to suit my needs. I now fear that I will have to say "Okay you can do this stuff, but it happens off screen, here are the major decisions you will have to make, what do you pick?" it just feels so laaaaaaame.

In an effort to prevent DM burnout for the next adventure I decided to run a prewritten module Rise of Tiamat. Though it already looks like that adventure is not very straight forward and requires alot of prep as well BUT at least the bones are there. I am also having trouble fitting it into my world and for some portions I have kind of written myself into a corner. There is just alot to unfuck. The players are set on keeping their characters and not starting something new.

Sorry all for the long post. I guess I just needed to vent it somewhere (my poor wife can only take so much D&D talk) and maybe get some guidance. Thanks for you d4's.

Source: reddit.com

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