I'm terrible with logistics, and my prep is a constant weak spot in my GMing, but that leadership role is the hardest. It requires confidence; confidence in yourself, in the game you're running, in just believing that everyone is going to have a great time, yourself included. I know there are a lot of GMs out there who don't take the leadership role at all; they just play the game like everyone else, only doing it from the other side of the GM's screen. For whatever reason, I can't do that. Perhaps it's because I just GM by force of personality, rather than through intelligence or careful prep. What I mean by that is I often feel like a session goes well when I believe it's going well, and they go poorly when I believe they aren't. Very rare is the time that everyone except me had a good time playing an RPG; likewise, if I had a great time, I can tell everyone else did, too.
I haven't been playing many RPGs these days because my confidence hasn't been very high. My confidence hasn't been very high because of the personal stuff I've talked about already. For the past couple of weeks, just getting out of bed has taken about all the spirit I have. This is also why I've been leaning on boardgames so much these past few weeks; they give me the social connection without needing to assume that pro-active, leadership position I need to have to run an RPG.
Problem now is, I'm starting to miss 'em. In the world of tabletop entertainment, there is nothing like a good role-playing game. The intersection of creativity and logic and communication and camaraderie is unrivaled by any other tabletop game out there. Yes, the games can take awhile to learn; yes, they can be a pain to prep for; yes, they can require a commitment that can leave out just about anyone who can't make a weekly obligation. But, as I've said before, the juice is worth the squeeze.
So how do I get back in the saddle? Where do I get the confidence to step behind the screen again and start running a game? Here are some of my ideas:
1. Zombies. As I've said before, I've got a thing for zombies. Zombies are comfortable. They fit me, like an undead sweater. Perhaps playing an RPG about/involving zombies would engage me on an interest level high enough to raise my morale and give me the confidence to lead. I know a few of my players are kinda done with the whole zombie craze (for the record: I was into zombies BEFORE they were cool, alright? Long before The Walking Dead), but it might be worth it just to go there with whomever is willing to go there with me. I play a zombie game or two, get my mojo back, then move on to something less-played-out.
2. Low-prep. Since prep is such a big issue with me, something with little to no prep would be a nice way to ease back in. So, why not my zombie apocalypse hack World Gone Mad? That's a possibility, but then I run into this...
3. Shiny and new. I really geek out over brand new RPGs (whether they just came out or have been out and are merely new to me). So being able to dive into a new RPG and try it out, one that's simple enough to understand and have low-prep for, but deep enough to qualify as a "complete RPG" and not some mini-game, would be great.
4. By invite only. My nerd rolodex (Nerdolex?) is pretty deep now from a year+ of playing for the public. So maybe, rather than chancing a bad crew (or, even worse, no crew) in a public meetup, maybe I just send out email invites to those I want to play the game.
If you, Dear Reader, can think of ways for me to get my groove back, I am, as always, all ears.