The Game Master Foundation
Where good GMs become legendary.

Help! I’m burned out!

It happens to all of us sooner or later. You have a great group and the story is really unfolding now, you sit down to start planning your next session and the ideas stop coming. You feel a sense of dread about having to plan out another session already when it seems you just finished planning the last one. You begin to resent your players for making it so far and being so good that you have to spend so much time preparing that you feel like you have no time for anything else. You are ready to just throw all your books and notes in the garbage and never play or GM again. Welcome to burnout.

We all reach this point sooner or later, and if you GM long enough you will reach it time and time again. Writer’s block (as thats all that it really is) is a common thing that all writers have at some point. The difference is that professional writers don’t have time for writer’s block because they have deadlines and if they don’t get their writing done then they don’t get paid. Of course few things are great to get rid of writer’s block then a deadline, thus the popularity ofNaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy. These two projects impose deadlines on amateur writers and therefore help them get out those ideas that would otherwise spin around in their heads.

I have found that when I get stuck on planning an adventure for the next week its often helpful to put it aside and begin working on a whole new campaign, this often gets the creative juices flowing and will even give me some great ideas for my adventure that I would not have thought of originally. The truth is simple…you have to get your butt in the chair and just do it. Sure this weeks adventure may not be the best you’ve done, it may not be as good as last weeks, but it has to be done or you will never get the chance to write a better adventure the following week.

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One Response to “Help! I’m burned out!”

  1. I have once experienced GM burnout. Not fun. It happened because I took all the responsibility of the game working to myself. Nowadays, I let my players share some of that. I don’t have a hidden plotline waiting for them. I’m improvising as much or more than they are. Works out wonders to prevent burn-out.


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