I only know one way to love things: throw myself into completely, maybe even obsessively.
That has an obvious dark side to it: at some point, I often tire of the thing and cast it aside, at least temporarily, once I’ve finished devouring it intellectually. I crave that sense of newness, of exploration. (Earlier in life, I feared that would apply to relationships too, but we recently celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.)
I usually come back to the thing I love once some time has passed. At some point, either the subject has grown and changed to the point where I can expect to enjoy the freshness, or maybe I have changed and am ready to experience it with deepened appreciation. This shows up most prominently for me in gaming, although it occasionally shows up in my career too. Some threads remain constant, like my genre preferences (role-playing and strategy). Others wax and wane, like the specific computer games occupying my time and attention.
So when I returned to playing D&D more actively after nearly a year*, I already recognized this has happened before and will happen again. Right now, I’m still riding that high – I don’t plan to stop playing anytime soon. Thoughtful management can extend this, but at the beginning of this stretch some mistakes already bode poorly. I kicked off two parallel AL campaigns on Roll20, in addition to playing in a game with friends every other Sunday and trying to go to to Wednesday Night D&D at an FLGS. And now my 10-year-old son has asked me to restart our family campaign.
I should combine the AL campaigns and manage how often I run them. Then I won’t have to feel like there’s some choice required. My campaign with friends will probably draw to a close at the end of the summer, and it’s 50/50 whether we keep playing with me as DM. That will definitely not occur under AL auspices.
So, if I do this, I’ll end up with the following:
- Weyward Scions (player): Biweekly D&D 5e online game with friends
- Family Game Night (DM): Literally what it says, a home game with my kids. Likely either D&D 5e or Swords & Wizardry.
- Roll20 AL (DM): Once a week or so, using Tales from the Yawning Portal and Rage of Demons content.
- Scarlet Heroes (solo): Keeping that alive for when I travel or just need some alone time.
That feels like plenty, at least for now. I just need to fix #3, and when I look at it that way, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting.
*: At some point, I’ll write more about why I stopped playing for a while. But that has lots of emotion wrapped up that requires unpacking in my own mind first.