Counter Burnout (or How did I Get my Game Back?)

The past few months have been poor gaming.  Between my work schedule, stuff going on with my Players’ families, and illness on my part, I’ve not ran a game, since March.  At first, it wasn’t too bad.  I reread the modules that I wanted to mix and run for my Pellham campaign.  I figured out how to connect the Tower of the Heavens to the Brotherhood of Brie.  I developed the powers for the Florist-Madam Fescue and the Emerald Eye.  I worked on the Zentlan map.  Then, things began to slow done.  I had ideas that I wanted work on, but I had no energy to do so.  I had all the symptoms of burnout, but I hadn’t done anything to burn out upon.  I have, this day, dubbed my malady counter burnout.

I didn’t burn out because I had too much of doing something, I burnt out because I didn’t do enough of something.  I was all prepped up to run a game; heck, I was prepped up to run two different games.  “They also serve who stand and wait,” but I waited so long, I ran out of interest in anything related to gaming.  It was only by getting bad news and keeping a promise that I got my game back.

A good friend  __, the assistant manager at my place of employment, has cancer and has been in a drug trial to counter the lesions in his brain.  This Friday past, he was taken off the trial; because the treatment isn’t working for him anymore.  That was the bad news.  I promised Russell Newquist that I would review Ghost of the Frost Giant King.  His request came at a time when my home life and work life were getting out of control; then came the counter burnout.  With __’s news, I really started seeing things in a new light.  I had people who respected me enough to want my opinion of their creativity and my support in promoting it.  About the time my counter burnout went full bore, Joe the Revelator asked me to submit material for  I hadn’t done that, either.  I was not happy with where I was, so I decided to do something about it.

I started my review of Ghost of the Frost Giant King.  When I began my review, I was looking for negatives and I was unhappy.  My wife asked me what I would do, if I had been asked to review a Monte Cook title and I realized that I would be looking at the product as a whole and seeing how I could adapt it to my game.  Between that and __’s positive outlook on his upcoming radiation and chemo treatments, I went back, started at the beginning, reread, and reevaluated Ghost of the Frost Giant King.  Looking at the work as a whole and seeing the complexity layered into it, it reignited my gaming desires.  Completing and posting my review, both on my blog and on, has refueled my game.  I submitted an article for review at  I can’t wait to alter Ghost of the Frost Giant King and make use of it in my game.  I am looking forward to  reviewing The Blacksmith and the Ice Elves, a short story written by Morgan Newquist and set in Ghost of the Frost Giant King setting.  I never suspected that not gaming could burn me out, as easily as over playing could.  I am glad that I have friends that look out for me, even when they do not know that they are doing so.

Game On!