I quit! Know when to fold them.

Last month I had to end my regular Monday night gaming group for a few reasons. Foremost is the fact that my schedule has been in a constant state of flux, and I have not been able to get it under control. That being said I did not want to continue to call my players the night before or the day of the game and let them know that it was going to be canceled again.

So when should a DM call it quits? When is the right time to throw in the towel and start again? Every DM has his or her own reasons, I have come across a few in my short time playing games.

  • Schedule changes – as with my last group the DMs schedule has changed or is constantly changing. The frustration and aggravation of constantly calling off or rescheduling games can make many players bitter.
  • Strife amongst the players – Even if a DM does everything in his or her power to put together the perfect group it can go haywire.  Some times the personal conflict and clashing play styles of all the players in the group might not mesh. Some times try as he/she might a DM can’t make everything work out. A fresh start might be needed.
  • Major life changes – Children, new careers, death in the family et al. There can be tons of major changes in the life of a DM that might affect their desire or ability to run a game. If life is taking a huge toll and your game becomes more work than fun it might just be time to step back.
  • Geographic changes – Yeah that’s a wordy way of saying moving. It’s obvious but still needs to be addressed. At one point in my life I moved about 280 miles away from my game group. I was so determined to keep playing with them that I was making the drive twice a month. It was killing me but I didn’t want to give it up. I needed to though, for so many reasons. It might be obvious, but to a DM who loves his game it might not a clear option.
  • Loss of interest – It’s true, some people can actually loose interest in Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Fiasco or what ever game his/her group is playing. Some DMs will solider on even though their interest in the game has waned. I would suggest that a DM who has lost interest might need to take a break, call it quits and recharge. Try different games, join a game as a player or just do something else for a while. This leads me to my final reason.
  • Wandering interests – It might not be that you as a DM have lost interest in the game you are running but that you have been eying other games with a bit of wonder lust. If your group is tied to one game and does not share your interests it might be time to call it. Throw out the option to your players to join you in your new ventures.

Am I saying that when ever you run into any of these problems that you should simply quit your group or your game? Not at all! But some times these problems and a whole host of others are insurmountable and when they are it might be time to part ways. For me my schedule and my building interest in other types of game/settings has brought me to the point that I needed to end my group and start again.

My schedule is again open, and I have time to run a new game. But I’m not going to start up a D&D game, kind of. Randall Walker has often tossed around the idea of running an urban fantasy campaign while using the 4E rule set. I have absolutely fallen in love with that idea. I have been running a mid evil fantasy campaign for the last two years and I need a break (see loss of interest.)

I’m also trying to restructure the group in a way that allows us to try out other games (See wandering interests.) There are so many exciting RPGs out there and so little time in which to play them. I’m forming my new group with the understanding that 4e will not be the only game we play, anyone not wishing to try out new products and ideas need not apply.

It shouldn’t be hard to port 4e to an urban setting. Cross bows would be guns, swords would be swords, most skills still fit. With minor tweaks here and there my game should be very close to the Dungeons and Dragons we have all come to love just different enough for me to try new things and draw new enjoyment from it.

I know many DMs out there have had to end games they loved, I would love to hear form you on why you have ended games in the past. What came between you and your game/group?

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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