With the exception mentioned in my last post, I managed to go through the holidays D&D free and my plan worked. I have found that my little bout of RPG abstinence has left me with a renewed interest in not only D&D, 4e in particular, but gaming in general.
I have campaign ideas seeping out my ears, I can't write them down fast enough. I also have been energized and can't wait to set up a D&D, Hollow Earth Expedition, Dead Reign or Serenity/BSG game. I don't think that it was just the lack of gaming that recharged my batteries, but what I did during my time off. What did I do? Well with the exception of spending a lot of time on my PSP (see previous post) I read some books, surfed the net and watched some movies, all of which I think were contributing factors.
First let's start with the books.
"Hollow Earth: The long and curious history of imagining strand lands, fantstical creatures, advanced civilizations and marvelous machins below the earth's surface" by David Standish and while the title may be long the book itself is just about 300 pages and a pretty quick read. It tells the story of where the idea of hollow earth came from, the real life people who believed in it and tried to find it, what people believed they would find there, as well as the stories written about it. It is a very interesting book which inspired me to do some googling to learn more. The hollow earth is a topic overflowing with gaming potential and I can't wait to get into it.
"World War Z" by Max Brooks is another book I managed to finally finish during this time which has me itching to run Dead Reign or throw a bunch of zombies in my next D&D game. If only they had the Necromancer class up and running.
"Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth" by Max McCoy is the book I'm reading now which is only feeding my desire to run a hollow earth/pulp game. I can't wait to put some PCs up against Nazis in the center of the earth.
Dreseden Files by Jim Butcher, I actually read two more Dresden novels during this time and am eagerly awaiting the release of the the RPG.
I also managed to fit in a Forgotten Realms novel, Mistshore, and have recently gone back to reread the Campaing Setting so guess where my next D&D game is going to take place.
Next are the movies, most of which were directly linked to the books I was reading in some manner. I watched several Zombie movies, Dagon, Call of Cthulhu, all the Mummy movies (#3 was not my favorite BTW), all of the Indiana Jones movies, Serenity, past seasons of BSG, Tombstone (I'm your Huckleberry), and all six Star Wars during this time.
Between the books, the great blogs on RPGBN, and movies I actually had time to enjoy gaming. I know that sounds weird given that I didn't do any, but it did help. I think it was the fact I was able to step back and just be a geek, a fan and not have to worry about coming up with any content. I didn't do many posts on the Gazette so I was able to just be a fanboy for a while. I didn't even do more than an handful of posts on the various RPG forums. I just blocked out all the bad and concentrated on the fun parts of being a gaming geek. The things that attracted me to gaming in the first place.
This may not work for everyone, but I have to say that taking a break worked wonders for me. I'm more jazzed about everything, including 4e, than I have been in a long time. I've also managed to decide on which systems I want to run regularly, a dilema that has plagued me for a while now. For the forseeable future the primary game systems will be D&D 4e, Serenity/BSG, Mutants & Masterminds, Dead Reign and Hollow Earth Expedition. I realized that I spend so much time trying to find systems that had the things I wanted I was overwhelming myself with games. Granted many were very good, but these are the ones I think that offer everything I want to do. I plan to cut back all my gaming purchases to just these systems/games, which I realized cover nearly everything I could want to run. Well maybe with the exception of Dresden Files when it comes out, but that's it.
It's good to be back.
Also I would like to mention the great reviews done by Kurt Wiegel, nearly all of which I have watched over the past month. If you haven't checked out his vidoes on YouTube you definitely should. The reviews are great and give you just about everything you need to know about the games he covers before buying.