Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gavel Nazing

I had planned a post for last night, but then Real Life (tm) got in the way and I had all of an hour for NaNoWriMo, packing my lunch, showering, some personal correspondence, reading and some prep for the old school session I'm running Saturday. Needless to say, the post fell by the wayside.

And that's kind of the point of what I was going to write.

Behold, the Gazing Navel!

On the train ride home last night, I listed all of the tabletop gaming projects I have going on - including the zine and this blog. There are sixteen. Sixteen. 

I readily admit I have gamer ADD, but I didn't realize it was quite that bad. 

Now you may have more or you may have less, but it's not the number that matters - what matters is, are you giving all of them the time you want to? Any of them? What's that expression? Jack of all trades, master of none?

Not that you have to be a master of anything hobby related - if you have to do it, it probably isn't a hobby  -but wouldn't I make more progress if I focused on one project at time (or say, 4 or 6)? No wonder it takes forever to get an army on the table or another trip back into the dungeon!

We only live once and we can't do it all. How, then, to spend the time we reserve for hobbies in general and gaming in particular? Assuming that hobbies are somehow essential  (from my perspective they seem to be, but it really depends on your culture, socioeconomic status, etc.) Is this too introspective? It feels like I'm asking "How can we live a good life?" (we all know what is best in life*)

Here they are - this includes campaigns, playing, painting minis, reading, writing, researching etc. - in no particular order:

  1. Six Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer
  2. this blog
  3. Assembling solo rpg tips/systems into one document
  4. The Ever Expanding Dungeon
  5. Solo-RPG outside of TEED.
  6. Samurai social game
  7. Heroclix
  8. The Wastelands: USR social game
  9. Dungeon crawl social one-shots (b/x. one Saturday, one in December, hopefully to be replaced by a campaign in 2014)
  10. Great Northern War
  11. 28mm Fantasy
  12. WWII 1/32 (Europe, Eastern Front)
  13. WWII 1/72 (Pacific)
  14. Flames of War: Open Fire! (Europe)
  15. Helvetica Campagin (VSF/Imaginations)
  16. Save a Dead Tree
I wasn't sure about including some things, like my Sci Fi games. These are sporadic at best. But there are no minis to paint, no rules to study and no ongoing campaign; just set up and play. So I left it off the list.

Let's add NaNoWriMo which isn't necessarily related to gaming, but in my case it is, in  part. So that makes 17 things, but at least NaNoWriMo is over by the end of the month (at least officially).

*To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.


  1. Having two kids now, I had to decide to cut down ALL my hobby projects to sporadic level, at least until my older one grows enough to join the fun.
    When I am not in the office I need to be father first.
    So enjoy it all while it lasts :)

    1. Ditto on be a father first! Mine's 2, so he's usually asleep by 9pm (the process starts at 7:30!) but with being required to work in the office now, and taking an early schedule so i can get home in time to spend time with him before the bedtime routine begins, I've gone from 4 hours to 2 hours a night of "free time" for everything else (fun and not fun stuff). Which isn't a complaint - I'm employed and I get to spend time with my son -but it is definitely is causing me to consider how I spend that time.

  2. Less than twenty, John? You are a slacker, sir. Why I have far more than that without even counting . . . of course I don't even begin to have time for them but I DO want to play all of them.

    Why right now I have large numbers of English Civil War, War of Spanish Succession, British Colonial, Seven Years War and Fantasy armies on my painting table, not to mention twenty-odd Pre-Dreadnought ships each in two different scales (1/1000 and 1/2400).

    And the above figures (well over 1,000) doesn't even count the several large Ancients armies waiting in the lead pile. Nor does it include all of the fully painted but yet-to-be-played WWI aircraft, 17th century sailing ships, nor space fleet armies sitting on the shelf . . . and I'm not even counting the 30-odd painted Ancients armies which haven't seen the tabletop in over 20 years.

    And then there are all of my FRP projects . . . *sigh*, just thinking about them languishing is depressing.

    Aye, John, you're a slacker indeed . . . but I know that you are in good company with so many of us who find ourselves in similar situations.

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for putting some perspective on things!

      Given my current time limitations, I'll still be putting some thought into where to spend my time,but maybe I won't cut back the projects quite so much.


  3. Oh, and a postscript:

    Every time I see that you've posted something new, my first thought is a hope that it is a new Ever-Expanding-Dungeon post. So that is one of your projects that I DO hope you keep up with.

    -- Jeff

    1. This is on the "definitely" list. It is by far the longest running continuous RPG campaign I've ever run and I've barely scratched the surface of the dungeon. With a little prep work, at home, I can squeeze in a session during my lunch break. True, it's only an hour, but that is one of the joys of solo gaming: I don't need a 2-4 hour block of time scheduled well ahead of time.