Saturday, July 18, 2009

Playing vs. DMing

I really want to be a player. I've mentioned before that I've never even got a character to name level. I never get to play as much as I would like. And yet, somehow this leads to me being the DM. I've always got the game brewing on the back of my mind, thinking of cool scenarios or monsters.

I think even if I got my fill of playing (probably multiple times a week, every week), that I would create my own dungeons and items and such. So maybe it isn't just that I want to play, but I want to play in what I envision in my own mind, as impossible as that is.

I've long been on a quest for solo play because of this, from geomorphic map systems, to cards, to randomized danger rooms for DC Heroes. Still at work on this in fact.

Anyway, I wonder what the constitutional connection between playing and DMing is. It seems as if all you bloggers are DMs. I don't remember running across a blog of someone who is solely a roleplayer, though I'm sure they must exist.

And it isn't that I don't enjoy DMing. The last two experiences were exhilerating in a way playing could never be, for me. But it feels more like an act of creation than recreation. More work than play.

So what's the connection for you? And if you had a choice for a weekend of fun with your group of friends, would you rather play with them or run the game for them as DM?


  1. I've been running a little one on one LL game with a friend via Skype (considering moving to a more S&W game though), but I've been just been invited to play in an OSRIC/1e game and have to say I'm really looking forward to it. The biggest problem has been committing to a time where we can really play for a solid few hours once a week.

    So I'm really glad to be able to have it both ways at the moment. I think if/when I don't have players I'll still enjoy designing adventures, items, and worlds - that's actually a huge attraction the game holds for me. If I really had to make a choice, I'd go with being a player at least for the next couple of months, but I really do like being on both sides of the screen.

  2. Yes, scheduling is the enemy of our hobby. And the design part of the hobby is located behind the screen. It's such an odd hobby with two roles like this. Is there anything analogous? I can't think of anything.