Content of the article: "How to deal with DM burnout?"
I am a newish DM who started DMing for my weekly group when our original DM decided he only had the time to DM a game every other week. So now we take turns DMing weekly. I stepped up to DM because it was really important to myself and the players to play every week; we are all kind of isolated right now due to covid and our weekly online sessions are something we look forward to doing together.
That being said, I am not the perfect DM, and I honestly probably wouldn't have stepped up to DM if somebody else had volunteered. I picked a module, Waterdeep Dragonheist, to run as my first campaign, and though myself and the players seem to be enjoying the story, I was disappointed to find that even pre-written modules leave a lot of work for the DM to do, and I have had to homebrew quite a bit. I work 5 days a week without two days off in a row and I spend a good chunk of my spare time preparing for the sessions. I don't mind preparing the stuff related to story and roleplay, I'm a writer so that aspect of DMing is enjoyable for me, however I suck at preparing balanced combat encounters. Some of my players have complained that there isn't enough combat, and then when I added more combat they said that it felt like "filler combat". One of the PCs just straight up refused to join a combat encounter because it wasn't up to his standards or something.
Essentially it seems that I am not able to please all of my players and I'm started to feel really dejected. It makes me want to stop DMing. My players always say that the sessions are fun right after we finish, but I've had two separate players tell me out of game that they don't like the way I'm handling certain things. I don't know what to do because I feel like I'm doing the best I can with the time and resources I have. Should I just lower my expectations, or do I really need to try harder?
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