In which a Gnome departs, and is probably a bit overly-dramatic about the whole thing.

Sometimes, you need to see physical evidence of something that has been under the surface the whole time before you recognize it. When Martin asked me to find my three favorite articles for the Christmas break, I was pretty shocked at how few I had actually written this year.

After the shock and guilt wore off, I realized that I’m just not as into gaming as I once was. Many factors play into this, from three kids under the age of six,to other interests and demands on my time. But the simple fact is that I’m not enjoying being a GM as much as I once did. Sure, I enjoy gaming and even GMing, but the fire I once felt for running a game has faded over the last year or so.

And so I am hanging up my pointy red hat. I’ve been here before, and have even written an article about taking a break, so this is familiar territory. I may someday feel that same fire, and am still planning on contributing however I can to the Stew and to Engine Publishing. To quote a movie some of you might have seen, “I’m not dead yet!”

However, as evidenced by my meager output these days, my time in the kitchen is come to an end,  so I leave you with a few parting thoughts.

  • Talk to each other. Many of my articles and advice over the years have boiled down to “Have you tried talking about it?” We nerdy types sometimes need to make sure that our assumptions are actually everyone else’s assumptions, and often need to be told that it’s okay to discuss things with each other.
  • Have fun. If the game isn’t fun for everyone, find a way to make it so. Not every moment of every session will be fun for every member of the group, but most of them should be. This includes GMs, who are often so busy that they fail to take their own enjoyment into account. The best way to do this is (see previous paragraph).
  • Help out other gamers. Game Masters are imperfect, and all of us have benefited from advice at one time or another. Hang out on forums, G+, and Facebook, and help other gamers when you can. Run a game at your FLGS, and show some of your techniques for running an efficient, fun game. If you play in a bad game, chat (politely) with the GM about how you thought it could be better.

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to thank Martin for putting this crazy idea together and making it work. I’m proud to be your friend, and to have written for the Stew. Thanks also to all the Gnomes past and present, who have inspired me to be a better gamer, writer, and person. Thanks to all the fans and followers of the Stew, without whom none of this would have been possible, or nearly as much fun. And thanks to my wonderful wife, who encourages my gaming, writing, and other nerdy cerebral activities.