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General DM Pause?

atanakar

Hero
How any times in a year do you take as step back from the DM chair to recharge your batteries and play instead? I'm taking the month of June off. My campaign is starting to get on my nerves. Best to take a step back and return to it later.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
How any times in a year do you take as step back from the DM chair to recharge your batteries and play instead? I'm taking the month of June off. My campaign is starting to get on my nerves. Best to take a step back and come back to it later.
I cant say ''per year'', but a least a month or two per campaign, when I'm getting bored with the adventure (as a DM, I already know the ending, and I my monsters keep losing their battles! :p ). After that time we usually go back or start something new if my players lost their motivation for that campaign.
 

jgsugden

Hero
That is often a factor of a lot of things - some of which have nothing to do with the game. I ran one campaign weekly for 4 years and never missed a week. Others, I ran for 4 sessions before I needed a break (from the players, primarily, that time).

I've found that if I find myself needing a break, it is a good time to reflect why and ask if there needs to be changes to make the situation better.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I DM my regular game every three weeks with two other DMs in our regular group running games in between. Then I run or play in one-shots whenever I feel like it with pickup groups. So I never really take any dedicated time off.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
The two campaigns I'm DMing are every-other week, Saturdays and the following Wednesdays, and the time between sessions have given me time to unwind some and to prep--and for my wife to type up her notes. So far, I haven't needed to specifically miss any sessions (other than dates that interfere with holidays or something).
 


toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Roughly every 2-3 months, we do a board game day, something non-D&D. Refreshes both me and players. When I finish a campaign, I always need a break of 2 sessions or so to again refresh me and players.
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
I DM my regular game every three weeks with two other DMs in our regular group running games in between. Then I run or play in one-shots whenever I feel like it with pickup groups. So I never really take any dedicated time off.
We did something similar back in high school.

So while one DM was running a game, the next DM was readying the next module, etc. so as soon as the one finished, the next would be ready for the following session. We had to give time to update player sheets, buy/sell stuff, etc.

And if the current DM was unavailable, we had a second group of PCs (with a DM ready) so we could still RPG.

This second set was always of lower levels.

Sometimes, if the player's main PC died, they would be allowed to use this secondary PC. They would then have to create a new low level PC to fill its place.

Eventually this second set of PCs would be used for random dungeon adventures. And later would become the main group. My player's loved the world of hack-n-slash back then.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I run 4-7 year campaigns, take 1-2 years off between them. I play with groups besides that which I run for, so I am not the "forever DM", and get to experience the player side of our hobby often.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Do you count when we fall off the wagon? I generally don't take a pause. But between wife and other family activities I do get some down weekends. Some times I play a pc. Most of the time I too busy to even move the game stuff out the den.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
How any times in a year do you take as step back from the DM chair to recharge your batteries and play instead?
In a year? Typically none.

I mean, there are sessions my group does not play, for one reason or another. But what time to play I get is typically elsewhere, and does not mean a hiatus of my GMing.

I am, at the moment, in the middle of the only real hiatus I've had in... a decade or so? One game wrapped up, and one of my players said they'd run a side-game for a while, to give me a bit of time to relax, play, and build my next campaign. I'm about to send out my first "so what do you want to play next" questionnaire. I'll have weeks or months of downtime to work with.
 
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MarkB

Legend
I've currently paused a game that I'd been running for well over a year. It was down to a combination of writer's block and burn-out - I tend to get very down on myself after a session, second-guessing everything I'd done. It got to the point where I can't even envision a next stage of the campaign, and the harder I try, the more I shy away from it.

If I can just put it out of my mind for awhile, I may come back to it with a fresh perspective. Or I may just move onto something totally different.
 


I try and stay relatively consistent through the year but I'll generally cancel a game here and there when Ive hit a block trying to come up an adventure or just dont feel like playing. Summer sees us cancelling here and there as well just so people can go to a concert or some other outdoor activity. Both of these are not the norm. Last few years I started breaking for the holidays, Thanksgiving thru New Years. We may run a pickup game or two during that month and a half but seems enough downtime that Im ready to get back to playing once the holidays are done.
 

the Jester

Legend
I've been DMing since about 1981, and I only recall one time where I needed or voluntarily took a break. That lasted about a month.
 

None of my DM breaks have been voluntary...we once had several scheduling problems in a row that made our once-or-twice-a-month Saturday game go 11 weeks between sessions, but that wasn't me needing a break - it was family vacations, business trips, illnesses, etc. (And at that point I was desperately needing a break from not DMing!) And in recent years my son started up a once-a-week workday evening campaign so I've gotten to be a player as well as a DM.

Johnathan
 

aco175

Hero
We try to play every week and 4-5 times each year there are weeks off from work or sick or whatever. There may be weeks when I'm not feeling it and we talk and goof off for longer before we start and may only get through a few encounters. Can't say that there has been a planned break for a few weeks or month.
 

How any times in a year do you take as step back from the DM chair to recharge your batteries and play instead? I'm taking the month of June off. My campaign is starting to get on my nerves. Best to take a step back and return to it later.
I've never had to do this, like, ever, have run for years on end before, but there are two caveats to that. First off, when I get bored of a campaign, I typically just make people play a different one, and I have pretty reliable players for that, and I also love to play, and so if anyone else wants to DM, I generally let them, which has probably helped this not become an issue.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
In my Sunday group we alternate DMing.
So I'll run a campaign - be it 3 months, 18 months, or whatever - then when that ends someone else will run a campaign. Then either me or yet a different person. The typical pattern though is Me/someone/me/someone else/me....
So my breaks last as long as the other guys campaign does. :)

In my Thur 5e game I'm pretty much the only DM. In-between campaigns there might be several weeks off. Or not.

None of that counts the random/planned weeks where there's no game for whatever reason.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So far my only intentional breaks have come between campaigns, i.e. about once per 10-12 years, during which time I plan out the next one and give the rules system a good long once-over to fix things that didn't work in the campaign just ended.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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