Time Keeps On Slippin' Slippin' Slippin'...

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog (there are at least 2 or 3 of you, right??) will notice a distinct lack of posts over the last 3 months or so.  If I were getting paid for this, I'm sure I would have been fired by now.  Between the holidays, work, and some other hobbies, I haven't had time to write.  In fact I haven't even had time to play any games.  So this brings up the point of this post: How do you find time to play?

A couple of posts ago I talked about my new PBEM game.  It fell apart soon after that post.  I take a
huge part of the blame for it, as I  tried to build intrigue and world events before I built any reason for the players to care for their characters.  I also didn't introduce the combat mechanics soon enough, so I think the players weren't sure how to react to events as they didn't know how easily they could die.  Beyond these issues though, was also just a lack of time on everyone's part.  At first everyone posted a response once a day, or occasionally within 48 hours.  By the time I gave up, I was getting one or two responses a week.  I may try again with a simplified introduction in a little while.
In my board-game group things have fallen apart as well.  Other than the wedding I posted about here, there has only been 1 or 2 get togethers of that group, and I missed them due to work.  Actually, thinking about it, work has been the reason I've missed a lot of social engagements lately.  I'm at work right now, typing up this post... (don't tell da boss!).

Even my online RPG dates have fallen by the wayside.  To paraphrase quote another of our players / GM's:

How it feels trying to organize
a game night.
"I want to play a game but honestly I don't even have the time to organize it. If someone else can herd people to a time and place, then I will do my best to be there. ... If we don't have a regular schedule, someone needs to be the cheerleader to organize the game. ... I don't know if I have the drive to overcome the inertia to say 'so when are we playing?' every two or three weeks. Please, someone else take over that responsibility."

As much as we all want to play, none of us has stepped up to organize it yet, and I think it's because we're all just as busy. 

So here's the question of the day: How do YOU make time for gaming?  Do you have a regularly scheduled session? Is there a single person who is the driving force?  Do you cut something else out of your life to fit it in?


  1. Organizing a group of adults to gather anywhere takes a certain logistical flare. I have been running regular Saturday night gaming in my own home for years. Now add in the responsibility to create a unique campaign and all the prep that is required and it is indeed a daunting task. That being said, I use a Facebook group page, text messages and even a phone call (what is that?) to schedule games.

    We just finished part of our basement into a full blown game room (blog post on Ultanya.com about it down the road) so I plan to use a Google Calendar to also schedule events. How do I make time? I decided that real social interaction with a tactile hobby was going to be my thing. In our world of social media and computer based gaming it really is sorely needed. The secret is getting those other gamers in your circle excited enough about tabletop to pry themselves away and make time.

    My advice is don't despair and keep on pushing for the games because a table with empty chairs is a sad thing indeed.

  2. I've read your columns here and I am a fan. It was your talk of play-by-email games that drew me here awhile back.

    First, I want to say that you shouldn't give up on PBEM. It can be really fun and really rewarding. I was wondering if I could offer some recommendations, based on my experience with GMing and DMing PBEM games, as well as (on the other side of things) being a player in a few PBEMs.

    First, I think one of the difficulties with your game was your setting. It was too obscure (no offense intended--the writer has sold way more books than I have). You could have alienated your players outright with the daunting task of having to play characters who live in a world that the players, for the most part, know little about.

    Second, you should use a rules system that everyone knows already, or at least has a rules set that can be easily accessed online. Your best bet is to poll your group or, if you are starting from scratch (i.e. no players lined up), choose a system you know well, has a following, and has been around for at least a little while.

    Third, but related to the first point, you should set your campaign in a very generic world, or at least a world that is easy to explain in a few sentences. In a PBEM, you can send out lots of campaign world info, or not. (As was mentioned in a previous post here, the players can choose to read or not read the voluminous background docs you send to them.)

    That's all I can think of. I'd love to play in one of your games--you guys seem like my kind of players.


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