play, run, prep, dip

Gaming, or rather, wanting to game, takes up too much time in my life.  I’m trying to do some spring cleaning, and trying to limit myself to one game in the four categories of Play, Run, Prep, and Dip.

Play – Hard (and socially unfair!) to pick just one game!  There are two excellent but very different Dungeons & Dragons campaigns being run by Tavis and Eric right now.  Unfortunately I’m not sure I can commit to either due to scheduling difficulties.  So here I’m kind of stuck.  I’ve got a long post brewing about this but I don’t know when it’ll get finished.

RunWith Great Power… set in the Silver Age of Marvel Comics.  Good times if you are as insane as I am on this subject.

Prep – Oooh, another difficult category to pick just one game.  I’ve wanted to cobble something together out of TSR’s old Alternity game for about a year now, but it’s a lot of effort to beat a scenario into shape.  Instead I am going to work up a Companion-level “Endgame” D&D play-by-Net set on the Isle of Dread.

Dip – one-shot of Mouse Guard coming up next week.  Not sure what’ll be after that, but that’s what’s fun about the Dip category.  Probably something involved with our public gaming endeavors.

What I like about this approach is that it’s got a little something for every part of a game’s life-cycle.  Once I’m done with the With Great Power… game, I can shift the Companion game into Run.  If the Mouse Guard Dip works out well, I can move that into Prep or Play.  If it works out poorly, well: something else goes into the Dip slot.

I imagine many other gamers are struggling to balance their interests with their available time–and I’d be curious to know how others work out what to do with their gaming time.

3 Responses to “play, run, prep, dip”

  1. 1 Greengoat
    October 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I think most of my choices, in terms of what to play, are determined first by who do I want to play with. Tavis and Eric’s red box games are generally alternating once a week and that takes a sizable chunk of my allotted time. I go with them because the people that show up are generally very high quality and fun to be around.

    Because those two games are kind of epic (at least tragic) continuing campaigns, they have a built in amount of brand loyalty because I want to see what unfolds. I have been in enough successive games that I am now invested in the campaign as a whole instead of just my characters.

    On the burner to run, I would also want to craft something to appeal to the same players with the goal of building my DM skills in a known environment. So I would probably run a basic D&D clone of some sort.

  2. 2 maldoor
    October 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    > I imagine many other gamers are struggling
    > to balance their interests with their available
    > time–and I’d be curious to know how others
    > work out what to do with their gaming time.

    Wish list: to play in a couple of D&D campaings (Tavis’ & Eric’s games). One science fictional-ish game (Traveller or Gamma World). Last, to DM a third D&D game. In James’ terms that is 3 play and 1 run.

    Sadly, I only have disposable time for one of those. Since my long-term goal is to get better at playing and then DM’ing, I figure what time I have is best spent playing and learning in a D&D campaign, expanding to a second game when/as time permits.

    Like Greengoat, I like continuing campaigns, where there is a framework of mythology to hang your short-lived characters on (yes! dual meanings for hang!). I enjoy the actual experience of play and am less interested in experimenting with rulesets, so prep and dip do not really come into my planning. I understand that exposure to different game mechanics will ultimately make me a better, more informed player, but right now my challenge is simply how to get enough time to fully participate in one or more games.

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Past Adventures of the Mule

October 2009

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