Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Which I Whine a Bit, and Then Get Over It

Right now, Athanor is a design exercise. Life has lately dealt me a hand which is not full of lots of extra time. For instance, next week begins my three-week "vacation" -- which is just a vacation from my job. I plan to use most of that time reading, writing, and working on my literature review for my dissertation. By the end of next year I need to have a full lit review, research proposal, and IRB proposal approved, so my free time tends to end up filled with research.

Working full-time while getting your doctorate takes up a lot of time.

At some point, and some point in the fairly near future, I just need to start making time to run this thing. Back when I was an undergraduate (in the mists of the mid-to-late 1980s), finding time for such things was easy. Of course, I had a part-time job, none of my friends worked full-time, I was pretty good at procrastination and just-in-time course completion, I wasn't married, and didn't even have a dog to take care of. I could just have a few friends walk to my door and we'd run a game once a week. Easy.

These days, my gaming friends are scattered across the county and the country, their schedules are hard to coordinate, and everyone has an opinion about what games they will and absolutely will not play. It's a much bigger pain in the butt. And my wife isn't particularly interested in playing either. Sigh.

As a result, I sense that my work Athanor is missing a sense of mission, place and urgency. Designing and organizing a game, while fun and worthwile to watch, is always a bit less satisfying than running the game. Largely, I think, because the real game isn't in what the DM does, but in what the players do, and how they give life and favor to the campaign.