Play Something Else

Reynard

Legend
I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of playing other TTRPGs than whatever one you have been playing non-stop for years or decades.

I know, that game is like an old sweater. it is so comfy and it smells like your youth. And I am not saying throw it away.

But you absolutely WILL learn things about yourself, your group and your favorite game by trying something new. And I don't mean "try" as in a one shot. i mean play a campaign in a different game. Spend weeks or months delving into a new game and its nuances and quirks.

There is nothing wrong with liking what you like, but there is real value in trying new things and letting them inform you about your own preferences. This goes for food and film and towels and vacation spots and absolutely goes for TTRPGs as well.

How do you pick a new game, though? How do you decide what to play and how do you learn that game?

Luckily, we live ina time of abundance when it comes to both games and ways to learn them. Pick a game based on your other preferences: genres and media you like is an easy one. Or, read one of the ten thousand blog posts about "games that aren't X' and pick one that sounds cool and fun to you and your group*. Then, go to YouTube or other another content platform and look up videos of how to get started, actual play videos, reviews and so on. There is so much content out there, even for relatively obscure TTRPGs.

*But my group won't change games, you say. Okay. I get that. Play solo, then. there are a number of great solo TTRPGs, as well as a huge number of tools for playing any game solo.

Experiencing other TTRPGs is guaranteed to improve your TTRPG experience. Maybe you will find a new favorite game, but even if you don't you will come away with insights you could not possibly have acquired otherwise.
 

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Replace "TTRPG" with "games" and you'd be better off. We're in a Golden Age for board and card games right now, and 3D printing improvements are slowly changing the entire miniatures industry, which is probably going to be almost unrecognizable in ten years, maybe less. Add to that all the thousands upon thousands of games on PCs and consoles and even phones and there are more options for gaming than ever before and the count grows constantly. Even applying Sturgeon's Law there are more games out there than anyone could play in a lifetime. Look around and least be aware of some of the options out there. Even if you never play any of them their mere existence is good for avoiding mono-game burnout and as inspirational idea mines.
 


Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Yup, it really is like learning another language and using it in routine conversation, social media, etc. That illuminates things that seldom or never come up with a single language - what’s easy and quick or hard and slow to see, strengths and gaps in vocabulary, usage for addressing others with regard to age, status, all the rest. And on and on.

If tou’ve only played games with fixed attributes, it’s worth your while to play some with player-defined stats, or none. (A pet project of mine is to play some early D&D, treating the abilities as Over the Edge traits to be customized in “what this ability means most to this character” terms.) likewise with the nature of randomizes, elements of player contributions to setting and events, nature and presence/absence of GM, and so on.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
- T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”, Four Quartets

And it’s perfectly fine - very common, too - to return to what you were doing. But you’ve had a chance to see your game from new angles and to develop a fresh appreciation.

You may decide to move to other games for a while or the long haul, and that’s fine, too. It’s really all fine as long you make a good-faith effort to find what other games do and how they do it.
 
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Not if I am specifically talking about TTRPGs. ;)
I disagree. As I said, widening your horizon to other types of games is still good for avoiding burnout. The TTRPG community talks about buying games they'll never play as idea mines. You can find some rich veins of ore in the broader gaming hobby when you look for it, but you have to go looking in the first place.
 

Reynard

Legend
I disagree.
No. i mean, i was specifically talking about TTRPGs.
As I said, widening your horizon to other types of games is still good for avoiding burnout. The TTRPG community talks about buying games they'll never play as idea mines. You can find some rich veins of ore in the broader gaming hobby when you look for it, but you have to go looking in the first place.
I think I see. i am not talking about "mining for ideas." I am talking about seeing how other TTRPGs are played and do things in order to learn about how TTRPGs can be played and do things, rather than being trapped in our limited experience with TTRPGs.

i am not saying a broad experience of games in general is a bad thing. It's just not what I am talking about here.
 


Faxfire683

Villager
I've been thinking a lot about this, looking through my OSR-clone PDFs and examining more modern-influenced RPGs like Shadowdark, Shadow of the Demon Lord, and 13th Age. I really think the catalyst for me over the past few months was thinking a lot about the MCDM RPG and how I might transition my groups from our current 5e games to try it out. I agree, looking at other games definitely stretches how you think and I'm looking forward to running a full campaign in many of these systems. There's so much creative effort put into so many systems, and part of the fun part of GMing for me is to get a glimpse into someone else's fantastic vision through their own system.
 

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of playing other TTRPGs than whatever one you have been playing non-stop for years or decades.

I know, that game is like an old sweater. it is so comfy and it smells like your youth. And I am not saying throw it away.

But you absolutely WILL learn things about yourself, your group and your favorite game by trying something new. And I don't mean "try" as in a one shot. i mean play a campaign in a different game. Spend weeks or months delving into a new game and its nuances and quirks.

There is nothing wrong with liking what you like, but there is real value in trying new things and letting them inform you about your own preferences. This goes for food and film and towels and vacation spots and absolutely goes for TTRPGs as well.

How do you pick a new game, though? How do you decide what to play and how do you learn that game?

Luckily, we live ina time of abundance when it comes to both games and ways to learn them. Pick a game based on your other preferences: genres and media you like is an easy one. Or, read one of the ten thousand blog posts about "games that aren't X' and pick one that sounds cool and fun to you and your group*. Then, go to YouTube or other another content platform and look up videos of how to get started, actual play videos, reviews and so on. There is so much content out there, even for relatively obscure TTRPGs.

*But my group won't change games, you say. Okay. I get that. Play solo, then. there are a number of great solo TTRPGs, as well as a huge number of tools for playing any game solo.

Experiencing other TTRPGs is guaranteed to improve your TTRPG experience. Maybe you will find a new favorite game, but even if you don't you will come away with insights you could not possibly have acquired otherwise.
Feel free to say what game you tried. I like my comfy sweater but what is your “new coke”
 


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