TLDR: I’m tired of doing everything. This is mostly an off my chest rant but if you have any advice, I will take it.
COVID hit. My family decided we would all quarantine together and my son (11) needed a creative outlet. So, I decided WTH. I ran lost mines of Phandelver. Me (39), wife (41), mother (70), brother (47), and my son (10). Lost mines went just fine. They never went after the dragon, but they did the mine which I spiced up a little. Everyone had a lot of fun. Even my elderly mother really loved the whole thing. Even saying: “I would never have believed I would love this so much if you had told me”.
My brother returned to his state and a little bit of time passed. My son wanted to play more and it was approaching Halloween at the time and everyone was in a spooky mood. I though we will do a real campaign and we picked Curse of Strahd. It just so happened at the same time my son’s best friends(11)(15) who he hadn’t seen since the beginning of COVID, caught COVID. I thought to myself, they would be safe to be around once they got over it so after two weeks, we invited them to join our campaign. Come to find out, their father (35) has always wanted to play D&D and never had a chance to, so we invited him too.
I am just sick of everything. I purchased all the books. Nobody could get into the game or keep things straight with candy, beads etc. as characters, so I purchased mini’s for everyone. They couldn’t tell their unpainted miniatures apart, but nobody wanted to paint their minis, so I painted all the minis myself. I have purchased 90% of all the snacks consumed over the last 12 play sessions. I’ve purchased 90% of all the alcohol the adults have consumed during these play sessions.
I’ve read the CoS module all the way through twice. I’ve given all the kids homebrewed magic items for fun and to help them since the module is so tough. I’ve stolen the High Rollers DND Vistani idea. Making my son a Vistani who does the fortune telling for the group and has deep general knowledge of Barvoia so that he can help me lead the group. I created a one of a kind physical Tarroka deck for my son to use. I created a Discord server so the players can communicate amongst themselves between sessions.
Every week it’s the same thing. I have to coordinate the play times. I have to constantly track down everyone to see if they can play this week. Nobody shows up on time. Nobody remembers what happened 7-14 days ago. Despite previous game time (for my family) and being level 5 with approximately 12 play sessions behind use, nobody has any clue how to play the game. I constantly have to remind people about; spell slots, plus to attacks/saving throws, proficiency. I’ve tried everything. I’ve come up with numerous examples for them. Like proficiency is skill and the dice roll luck.
Yesterday’s session was one combat which took 3 ½ hours to kill Izek and 10 towns guards. At the start of a player's turn I would remind the next two people that it was their turn next. Every player’s turn was like 5 minutes long. Like, Oh? It’s my turn??? Let me look over every single spell I have. People can’t remember that they can move after an attack. Then everybody tells me how slow combat is, how it’s so boring waiting for their turns. Nobody knows their class or racial features.
I have at this point invested probably $800-$1000 into this campaign. Countless hours memorizing the book and creating unique cool things for the players to have. Shopping, painting, and planning time. Nobody even thanks me. Just grab an extra packaged snack from the snack table and walk out of the house.
I don’t know what else I can do. I’ve loaned out the PHB constantly. I’ve copied it and given them copies. Unique RL items and in game magic items. Story telling based on their characters.
I expect this behavior from the kids, their kids. But the adults have literally killed any enthusiasm I have. After the session yesterday I went and fell asleep for 14 hours depressed when I went to bed and depressed when I woke up. I do everything for everyone. They spend zero time or energy into the game.
- Trial for Faster Combat
- My players never stay focused and will start talking about out of game stuff mid combat, and this makes it take FOREVER to progress through the campaign. Any tips?
- Fellow DMs who only have a session once every several weeks/once a month, how do you keep yourself motivated?
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "I want to quit. Any advice is appreciated." specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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