Hello everyone, today I am going to discuss a problem that I frequently run into, something I like to think of as “The Dm’s Conundrum.”
The Dm’s Conundrum
Basically, the conundrum is that I am constantly getting ideas, inspiration, or excitement over a adventure/campaign idea, booklet, setting, or even gaming system, always before I am anywhere close to finishing my current campaign.Usually this entails me spending several hours reading and thinking about a theoretical situation or group, in which this adventure or story would be amazing, often when I should be planning the very real D&D sessions that are right around the corner. I get really jazzed about a certain idea, and them am less invested in the current story I am running, as I am more excited for the new shiny idea I have just had! Does this happen to anyone else?
This most recent round of Dming waffling came about while I was reading The Curse of Strahd adventure, which I had checked out from my local library. This adventure seems awesome, it is spooky, dark, Gothic, has an awesome blend of social and combat encounters, AND it has an amazing unforgettable villain. It’s the whole package!
I of course wanted to go to my friendly local game store and buy it right away; however, I guiltily looked at my Temple of Elemental Evil adventure, which my party has just entered, but not started, and realized it will be at least a year before I need more material. Resigned that I wouldn’t get to play out the amazing Gothic horror that is Castle Ravenloft I returned the adventure to the library, and went back to reading the Temple of Elemental Evil. Don’t get me wrong, I am PUMPED for the Temple; however, in the moment I was disappointed that I most likely would not get a chance for a very long time to run the Curse of Strahd.
This brings me to my DM Conundrum. Most DMs read a lot of D&D material for inspiration and ideas. The more someone DMs the more they read if this material, and the more they think about theoretical ideas. This inevitably leads to theoretical campaigns, getting off track, and spiraling down the rabbit hole that is scanning thru your adventure collection. This would also lead to the conclusion that the more a person DMs, the more unfulfilled ideas you will have, and the more you will debate running additional games to get your favorite ideas at the game table. This inevitably leads to over commitment and failed campaigns, if over indulged, at least it has for me.
While I won’t stop looking at new material, I am going to make it a goal to read all of the Temple of Elemental Evil before looking at new adventures, that way I get excited for the adventure I am actually on. This particular adventure is quite complicated, so I think I could very much so use some time to not just read, but also map out the social connections within the adventure, as well as adapting the dungeon.
Perhaps this is just a problem I have, who knows :), but I would be interested to see if anyone else has experienced this, and if they have found solutions.