Monday, December 9, 2013

Looking ahead to 2014

A Long, Hard Season
I had an uncomfortable moment when I looked at my calendar and realized that the last time I played my MHR campaign was in mid-October.  There's been one gathering of my group since then, but we were very short-handed and tried out the FATE character/campaign creation rules instead.
The reason is simple: work, family, and the holidays.  And since my job is deeply connected to the observance of Christmas, it doesn't get any easier.  We schedule our games consistently every other week.  In November I had work on the 1st, gamed on the 15th, and then the 29th was Thanksgiving weekend.
In December, the 13th is when my son is celebrating his birthday (by catching the new Hobbit movie), and the 27th is two days after Christmas.  I'll be free because I will likely not be traveling, but I suspect I'll be the only one.  That means December will be a complete bust.
Going Forward
One of the biggest problems I have is that I will get into the bad habit of screwing with the format of my game.  It's probably something related to an un-diagnosed attention-related disorder, but it also happens when things aren't going quite right.  For example, when the gaming schedule isn't working out, or players' attendance gets iffy, or when we have a bad gaming session.  There's an inclination to start throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping that something will manifest itself that works.  (As a side note, this tends to happen in real life now and then.)
There's a wise voice inside my head that is suggesting that this cycle tends to crop up around December anyways, as indicated by a lot of memories of spending time hanging around my in-laws' house making notes about gaming campaigns.  That same voice suggests that I should just build this into a regular creative cycle: build a campaign that runs January to October, then take two months to re-energize, plan, and build.  It would be like how television series are written and shot mostly during the off-season.  If there's any weekend that miraculously comes up as free in those two months, play board games or something similar.
I also can look more at the calendar and try to find the problem dates.  One of the March dates has a problem with my kids' school schedule. April 18 is Good Friday.  If I know there's going to be a gap in game play, I can try to structure scenarios around it.

This seems like a good line of reasoning.  Your feedback is appreciated.

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