I have an issue and, since I hope that I’m not alone, I’m doing what any American with issues does: sharing with the entire Internet.
The issue in my case is Attention Deficit Disorder, particularly as applies to my tabletop RPG hobby. In short, I’m infamous in my game group for my habit of catching a bug to run a particular game, talking it up to my friends and getting them on-board, even creating characters and running a session (or even two!) and then… oooh, shiny! A new game idea comes along, and the previous one gets tossed aside like yesterday’s news.
The prior Crisis on Infinite Campaigns blog entry is one example: I really liked the idea of mixing-and-matching my old superhero campaigns when I wrote it. Now, after the holiday, I’m not so excited, so I have no idea if anything will ever come of it. It’s my issue live and in real time right there: Sometimes I’ve got no staying power (where games are concerned people, just games).
Truth be told, I think one of the reasons why I got into game design and writing is because of my gaming ADD (or G.A.D.D., as we may call it – I’d go with Campaign Attention Deficit Disorder, but then I would be a C.A.D.D.).
I can channel some of those random ideas for games, settings, characters, ad infinitum, into various articles, freelance projects, and whatnot, as I have over the years. I keep a running journal of the things that come to me during the day; originally in various notebooks, nowadays via PlainText on my iPhone (synced to my DropBox – ain’t the future grand?)
Still, it’s not enough. This past week alone, I’ve toyed with ideas for running:
- Gamma World: Extending the “Cavern of the Sub-Train” adventure I started into a full-fledged campaign.
- Space 1889: Red Sands: The Savage Worlds setting and plot point campaign I picked up at GenCon.
- Torg: Starting up some sort of Torg game based off either the original system, or by adapting the setting to a modified version of the system and/or Savage Worlds (a good 2–3 ideas bouncing around in there).
- Thrilling Tales: Starting my old “Thrilling Tales of the Midnight Society” game back up, based on getting some new Adamant and Triple Ace Games products.
- Mutants & Masterminds: As a playtest for an upcoming Green Ronin product.
… and on, and on. It never stops. Add to it the fact that my game group can only manage to meet about once a month these days, making game-time even harder to come by and you can start to see the challenge.
I’ve on occasion tried to manage things by going with campaign frameworks allowing for a variety of different ideas, such as my “Agents of Fate” series based around universe-hopping heroes inserted into various dramatic situations in different realities: gaslit Victorian London one week, post-Apocalypse America the next, and so on. Even that campaign approach didn’t last too long. I suspect part of the appeal for superhero settings for me is their “anything goes” attitude, allowing me to do sci-fi, fantasy, and a variety of other things in the same campaign from week to week.
In fact, part of starting up this blog was as a strategy for dealing with my G.A.D.D., one reason I’m thinking of renaming it something based on the term: eGADDS? I dunno…
So, do you experience Gaming Attention Deficit Disorder? How do you deal with it? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or add a comment to this post and let me know.