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Just finished the third consecutive D&D session without any cancellations, which is probably a first for this year. Young child, new jobs, illness, other committments (I like football, but even I reckon Real Life Ninja S takes it to extraordinary lengths with all the club functions, fundraisers, committee meetings etc he's going to all the time) and not least me being a lump of depressed immobile goo for much of the first half of the year have taken their toll. But starting to get back into it.

The cleric PC just kicked off La Noche Triste (with the mild complications of time travel, extra added demons, serial killers variously well-meaning, brutal, de-boned and possessed, and a sidetrip to the lovecraftian regions of spacetime in the company of a dwarf lich and a renegade githyanki on a red dragon) by trying to sneak off to the Aztec Emperor's harem. Good session!

Not to say there haven't been some bad ones lately. I'm at my best as a GM (or at least rhe game I run turn out best) when I'm forcing the issue, when things are happening all over the place and the PCs have to react. I have a tendency to be too slow, to be too cautious, to be unwilling to resolve plotlines, relieve tension, or reveal secrets even when, with hindsight, things had crossed the line from 'tense' to 'static and boring' and it was time to progress the plot. Hey [livejournal.com profile] gamerchick - bear this in mind when I send you plot emails!

Of course this hasn't been helped by the tendency of my players to, when given a sandbox situation, spend the whole time either trying to research every single plot element in the campaign or else trying to buy magic items, rather than actually DOING anything! But I've known this for a long time, I really should have adapted to it better by now. But while my mini-depressiony thing is vastly better than it used to be, it is still there, and it does tend to exaggerate my inclination towards stasis, lack of preparation, and unwillingness to move from my comfort zone. Something I have to bear in mind.

This'll probably be the last campaign I run. Dunno how much longer it has to last, depends on how regularly the group can meet, depends on how by-the-book I run the rest of ther campaign and how freely I give the PCs sandbox time or leeway to ignore the (rather railroady) plot as written. Real Life Ninja S is running the next campaign, probably using Pathfinder, though how he's going to reconcile the extra prep time that comes with GMing with his football committments I have no idea. But I'd just kinda like to be able to play an RPG again, after years of solely running them. I'll be able to focus my creative energy (and control-freak tendencies) more on my writing, and just enjoy the hobby rather than stressing about the half-dozen 2-page highlevel D&D3e stat blocks I have to put together before next Wednesday. Will be good to get back to basics, after running the whole show for something like 6 years now.

Next week, Cortez locks the cleric up with Montezuma, la Malinche chooses sides (for the sake of love...) but might well choose poorly, the elf gets in touch with his non-Euclidian side, the wizard discovers that pretending to be Quetzalcoatl reborn has its bad points as well as it good points, and the PCs launch a full-blown assault on the temple of Mictlanteceutli in an all-out effort to kill the one person who is actually on their side. Should be fun!
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February 2012

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