Hello and welcome to Only On Tuesdays! This week I will be discussing burnout, and how you can manage it and help yourself to overcome it. As fun of a game as Dnd is, sometimes the game just stops being fun and setting up sessions becomes more of a chore than a hobby. Handling that burnout in a healthy way can allow you to revitalize that passion for Dnd, and come back to the game more ready to play than ever.
It’s hard to tell yourself that you aren’t enjoying this game. You’re entertaining your friends, and creating an epic story, how could you not be enjoying it? Admitting to burnout can also be hard because it might mean disappointing your friends. But the problem with burnout is that the longer you force yourself to keep playing, the less you will enjoy the game, which in turn makes it harder to create a good experience for your players. Recognizing burnout and taking care of it before it becomes a bigger problem is important for not only your enjoyment of the game but also for your players.
So what exactly causes burnout? When I asked /u/DeathMcGunz about burnout he said: “I think the only reason for burnout is not taking in as much as you’re giving.” As the DM you have to give a lot in order to play the game. You create the world, the characters, the conflicts, and almost anything else you can imagine. Giving all of this to the players can be a great creative outlet, but it can also be very draining.
As far as I’m concerned burnout is inevitable for a long time DM. You give out so much as a Dungeon Master that eventually you are just going to be tired of the game. Ideas aren’t going to come as easily, sessions are going to drag on, and it might be hard to motivate yourself for your world and players. Handling this burnout in a positive way is important for long time enjoyment of Dnd. So what can we do to help alleviate feelings of burnout?
According to /u/DeathMcGunz in order to recover from burnout, “you need to be absorbing things all the time. Shows, movies, books, music. Devour everything you can to refill your tank and don’t be too hard on yourself about it. This is part of the process.” Burnout sucks. But sometimes you can beat it and continue to enjoy playing if you are able to consume enough media. Media is powerful for you as the Dungeon Master because it can give you brand new ideas that you would otherwise never have thought of. It also is just a good way to take a step back and relax with something that is fun.
This doesn’t work all the time though. Sometimes, you could be consuming a ton of media and still feel bored to play Dnd. That’s perfectly fine as well. As fun as Dnd is, you can always have too much of a good thing. Occasionally, the correct answer to dealing with burnout is to step away from DMing altogether. Try asking one of your players if they would like do some DMing for a while so that you can spend some time recharging. Often, you may find that being a player for a while will not only recharge you but reignite your passion for the game. And if that doesn’t work it’s perfectly ok to just not play any Dnd for a while. Board game night is always a lot of fun, and a good way to avoid burnout.
Burnout can be a tough thing to deal with. If not handled well it can potentially ruin any enjoyment of the game and sink otherwise amazing campaigns. Dnd is meant to be fun, and you should never feel forced to play the game because your players need you to DM. Communicate with your players and let them know how you are feeling. If they are disappointed that you can no longer DM that’s a good thing! That shows that your players were having fun. But pressing on in the face of burnout, and trying to put on a show for your players will do more harm than good. If you are feeling the effects of burnout, take a break and treat yourself. You more than deserve it. Thank you for reading, and have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!