Friday, August 28, 2009

Too Many Games, Not Enough Gaming

Another quick Friday morning coffee break post here.

Since the beginning of April, in no particular order, I've bought the following RPG products and Wargaming supplements:

- StarSIEGE boxed set

- Delta Green CoC sourcebook

- Grim Tales D20 Modern sourcebook

- Damnation Decade D20 Modern sourcebook

- Savage Worlds core rulebook

- Vampire: the Masquerade 2nd Edition rulebook

- Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2nd Edition rulebook

- Rise of Rome supplement for Field of Glory

- Legions Triumphant supplement for Field of Glory

- Swifter Than Eagles supplement for Field of Glory

- 5th Edition Space Marine Codex for Warhammer 40K

And the saddest part of all this? Since April, I've probably only gotten in maybe 2-3 RPGing sessions and 2-3 wargaming sessions. All told, it's maybe barely averaged one RPG/wargaming session a month.

Picking up new games and new gaming products is a lot of fun. Loads of ideas new and old go swimming through your head and fire you up to want to try new systems, new settings, and new adventures and/or campaigns. Unfortunately, as often happens, either you lack the time and ability to get these idea in play, or your gaming group isn't interested in trying out something new, either out of disintrest or fear that their current game will go by the wayside and be ignored.

So, this being a casual Friday conversation, how do you all deal with the issue of having too many games, but not enough gaming?


VBWyrde said...

It's a tough question. The only thing I could think of to do is join a local Meetup group and start scheduling or joining more games. We use both Meetups and Yahoo Groups. It has helped to expand my player-base so I can find different folks for different strokes. Want a D&D 3.5? Got a group of people who are into it. Want a oneshot of Dogs in the Vineyard? I schedule it and people either join or they don't. But at least it gives me a wider set of people to appeal to. Beware: you may turn the problem into it's opposite. Too many games, too little time! heh.

Anonymous said...

My own solution is that I've sold all of the gaming items I don't actually use. Now my RPG collection takes up a mere 18" or so of shelf space. And it's easy to find things now!

Timeshadows said...

I may own a lot of RPG material, but most of it is used only for reference and idea-mining/inspiration.
--I've purged my collection two or three times, and always buy a few thing over again, so, I've decided not to get rid of the stuff I never play. Just saves money.

As far as playing: Play more often, if possible, or play different games in a non-continuity sort of fashion, like switching channels on the TV. --that is, provided your players can deal with that.

Brunomac said...

It has always been thus for me. Games I never got to run/play enough of back in the day included Gamma World, Metamorph Alpha, and Boot Hill.

In the early 90's I had gotten a new group together, that amazingly consisted mostly of girls. They loved my D&D, but I wanted to also do Champions and Call of Cthulhu. Both were a hard sell to these chicks, but after I introduced both finally, they loved them (even Champs with all it's crunch). They often preferred the non-D&D stuff.

In my recent return to gaming last year after several years off, things are different. No more 6 hour weekend games, just three hours on a Wed night twice a month. It really is not enough time to move into other games, but I'm holding out hope. Not tired of my D&D, but I was always used to having a couple of different genre campaigns to choose from.

PatrickWR said...

I tend to have a pretty high churn rate re: gaming material. My rule of thumb is that I will only allow myself to buy shiny new RPG products if I can sell a similar amount of my existing collection on ebay or something to fund the acquisition.

eriochrome said...

I totally know where you are coming from. I pretty much gave up rpg's a move ago when I lost my group and new I had a little one on the way. Picked up more wargaming but even it is hard to get out for more than once a month. Wife is really not happy with the Blood Bowl league I joined recently. Even a game every other week is hard to schedule around adult life with work, house, wife and toddler.

This was one of the things holding me back on Space Hulk but it look to good to pass up. Always wished I had got a copy back in the day.

Uthred said...

I've experienced the same problem with my group. I know this solution is not for all, but I have finally convinced some of them to engage in using virtual RPG tabletop software. There are many great products out there that simulate the RPG pen and paper experience over the net. Some are free, but I chose to purchase Fantasy Grounds, since it allows for more story-oriented adventure creation (as opposed to others which are mostly battle mats for use with digital miniatures). You can also buy pre-built rule sets for FG, like Savage Worlds and Call of Cthulhu which are very well done and inexpensive. Together with VOIP software like Ventrillo, it allows for very good RPG sessions. Of course, this is by no means a replacement for face-to-face gaming, but definitely allows for many more RPG sessions than trying to coordinate schedules among a busy group. Especially when said group is separated by a fair distance. It also allows you to join or run games with others in the online community, expanding the opportunities for gaming.

Ryan said...

I hoard and hoard and hoard, and then blog about what I horde. :P

I've always been a big buyer when it comes to gaming products. When I see something shiny and new and unfamiliar, I've got to at least have a look, and when I come across something old and used and vintage, I almost always buy it. I think I'm just stuck with a collector's urge that is hard for me to suppress.

AWizardInDallas said...

Our household (a total of six, two adults and four children, all gamers) suffers from the same affliction upon occasion. It really didn't occur to me how we deal with this until I saw your post, so let me return the favor by offering some suggestions that work for us:

1. We'll use whatever time we do have to play other, usually war, games. My eldest and I will play Interceptor, Kings & Things, Ogre/G.E.V. or on a rare occasion we'll whip out with Risk 2210.

2. My wife and I sometimes play chess at a rate of 1-2 moves a day with a D&D chess set we have set up just for that purpose.

3. We also talk about games and gaming, share opinions, even "talk trash" about system X or player Y. We also remember past glories and even roll dice for our cats to play with (hmm, was my household gamer count off?). We love games so much that it's a part of our lifestyle.

4. My eldest is interested in a few systems I've not played and it turns out to be a really good exchange of ideas because there's no "edition war" stuff to get in the way.

5. I'll plug in Ladyhawke or Willow or some other movie from our established little collection. I'll also find some good sci-fi/fantasy "cheese" on Netflix.

6. This one's a potpourri: roll up PCs/NPCs, make maps, write little 1-4 room dungeons or tiny encounters, prep for when you do play, read (even if it's just a few pages a day). Heck, use dice to decide whether you want pepperoni or sausage on your pizza!

7. This is the most important one and one I had to learn over time: focus. Try not to be a collector, because that's what some gamers are or become. You don't have to sell your collection, but try and identify difference between the all-too-American compulsion of just buying and buying for your true hobby.

Excellent question! Good luck!

MJ Harnish said...

Been there and still am there kind of... I have more than 50 RPGs alone and playing them all is near impossible. One solution we've come up with recently is that although we're trying to meet up every Sunday, we have a rotating schedule of games depending on which Sunday of the month it is.
1st - Warmachine/Hordes
2nd - Mutants & Masterminds ongoing campaign
3rd - Burning Wheel ongoing campaign
4th - one short RPG or board game

Months that have a 5th Sunday are then "off" weeks so everyone has an occasional Sunday evening free for other activities. So far it's worked quite well - last Sunday was our one-shot week and we played Masters of the Desert Nomads in a one-shot Labyrinth Lord campaign. I really want the group to try out A Penny for My Thoughts next month.

r4 said...

Hi all...
I am playing games on pc and i like to know more about gaming...
I like this article because it's provide lot's of fun and knowledge...

r4 said...

Hi all...
I am playing games on pc and i like to know more about gaming...
I like this article because it's provide lot's of fun and knowledge...

Tim Shorts said...

I am guilty. I recently wrote about this same problem. I use the books for inspiration and if written well, I just like to read them. I do need to thin my collection, get rid of some books I no longer read or were just horrible.

The Badger King said...

I too have been buying more than playing. I have played in exactly one (ONE!) RPG session in the past... or..... 15 years? However, in the past 2 months, I have bought...

Cyberpunk V3 rulebook
The Savage World of Solomon Kane RPG
The Elmore D&D Basic Box Set
The 20th Anniversary CoC leatherbound harcover RPG (Thanks James! 8)
Dark Heresy rulebook, GM screen and Disciples of the Dark Gods books
2nd Edition WH40K Tyranid codex
Star Wars d6 RPG Best of Classic Adventures Vol. 3 and 5

Too much spare money on my hands. 8)

Matthew James Stanham said...

I also own a lot of stuff I barely play; however, I find my interest and time goes round in cycles. There will come a point where I will suddenly get a hankering to play a lot, and I often get the urge to read things again to refresh my memory of them.

Badelaire said...

Some really great comments here, and very telling that I'm not alone in my predicament.

Because of all the great feedback, I'm going to have a follow-up post in the next day or two regarding this issue, so stay tuned...

Martina said...

I appreciate your views and I find it confused to which game to play and which not.This situation may halt the revenue generation of the gaming world.