Sometimes, the best move is not to play...

I had to do something really hard this weekend, I had to cancel my monthly tabletop Zoom AD&D game, as well as my bi-weekly online AD&D game. I'm taking a break.

It's been happening for the past couple of weeks now, I don't know if it's unforeseen fallout from the pandemic/quarantine, if it's the explosion of pain and anguish felt by a significant portion of our population that has become so visible, I don't know... but it's gotten extremely difficult for me to even contemplate rolling dice, much less getting myself into the frame of mind to create and play.

We can (hopefully) make more money, get more "stuff", but the one thing we can't make more of is time. That's why I try to take the time we share together seriously. People are spending two to six hours of their lives at a time with me. Sure, it's a shared experience, I'm getting my ya-ya's fulfilled by DM'ing as much as they're enjoying playing, but it's still an investment. I don't ever want to take that for granted.

That's why I had to cancel my June games. I'd much rather risk campaigns going stale than to play a half-assed session, wasting my players' time, and ultimately my own time.

This break will give me some time to self heal. I've been struggling in all aspects of my life, with my family, with my job, hell, just with my own self looking at the reflection in the mirror.

I do worry that the pause can cause disinterest and drift away. But... this has to be done.

So, for June, I'm taking a break from podcasting, DM'ing, writing... just going to work in the yard, do some other things that fuel my creative self and try to reconnect with some joy in my life. This has been far harder than I thought it would be, and the unforeseen toll it's taken on me and my loved ones is a debt that has to be partially paid now.

I am talking about this in partial hopes that perhaps it will help someone else struggling. I can't be the only one who is feeling like they're pushing through a miasma. Maybe I am. But if not... it is OK to tell your friends "I need a break, please be understanding."

The outpouring of support and messages has been uplifting and I'm really grateful. Probably more than I can ever put into words.

Take care of yourselves.


  1. I'm right there with you. Take care of yourself.

  2. There is definitely nothing wrong with taking some time to pause & reflect, hope things work out for you :)

  3. You are definitely not alone. I like to think of it as getting back in touch with my "beingness" and allowing myself to appreciate this very moment. Sending good wishes to you and yours.

  4. A good use of the month of June, surely to pay dividends in the future!

  5. Recharge and find the balance. AD&D will always be there when you decide to return. Greatly enjoyed your podcasts.

  6. Thanks for this post.
    I work in a hospital, and while I think there's a baseline level of GM stress, add to that quarantine/ isolation from humanity, working with COVID at work, finances (we're taking a mandatory) unpaid week twice in the next year) etc etc... I'm burning out more than I recall ever before.

    So thank you,

  7. I've been lurking your blogs for years now and always enjoyed your writing, Michael. Take time to recharge!

    On an unrelated note: I stumbled upon your old Ultima blog again, and after skimming a couple of entries I thought to myself "Hey, I've got all Ultimas installed on this computer, why not boot up Ultima 1?"
    15 seconds later, I'd managed to kill Iolo with a mace after he stole something from me, and then the guards finished me, and the game was over. And I just wanted to talk to him, but I forgot the key mappings, so he got the mace instead of a friendly word...

  8. I happened upon a clip of you at the end of a WebDM video, hope you're doing well. :) Going to keep an ear out for new podcast eps and/or possibly vids in case you pick up again.

  9. When we grow older nearly every RPG turns out to be a game we would have only won, if we had never played it. But then... Cthulhu, Vampire, and some original Warhammer Fantasy had their moments. Or Stormbringer RPG, when we still thought Moorcock a newcomer (LOL, decade older than our own oldest).


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