Pretty much figures. Use the word 'responsibility' in a blog post title and watch a slow day pass on the blogometer.
I have really noticed this past three months a diminished lack of time and motivation to "work" on D&D. The job is a bigger stress this year, with new responsibilities and new angst. I'm getting older and I'm tired more of the time. And I've been running three campaigns, and three campaigns need one fuck load of diagrams, design, plans, preparation, thought and effort.
But you know what? I'm having a blast. I may be spending less time working at macro-D&D, but the micro is going fuckin' great. I know that some people might be concentrating on the player troubles and so on I've had this last three months, but meh ... player troubles are part of this game. Just as actors who pout, or actors who quit, or actors who turn up for rehearsals drunk or having not done the work.
You know, I fired a sound technician once on the eve of a performance I was directing. He was a part-time musician, and did a lot of gigs and a few drugs (what musician doesn't), and I had known him for years. But he didn't show up for any of the tech meetings three weeks prior to dress rehearsal and did not return my calls. For all I knew, he was molding over in a ditch somewhere - so a week before we started, I replaced him. The woman proved a brilliant coup; she was much better at her job, had great ideas and managed to bring the whole show into line in just nine days.
She had set us up, and I was about twenty-five feet above the floor fixing lights, when the old sound man came waltzing in, ready to set up his equipment. This is about 27 hours before performance, you understand.
If you think that a few nasty words between people on the internet disturbs me, you've never participated in a shouting match after firing someone, while hanging from the ceiling rafters. I was not coming down just to kick the asshole out on his ear; and the asshole decided he was going to stage a calculated tantrum because the performance hadn't been organized around his schedule. Naturally, there's about twenty people standing around listening. They don't want to deal with it. They're all goddamn busy, they're excited about the performance, they're anxious to do the dress rehearsal. As ever, though, there's always one self-centered little shit who hasn't done a damn thing to justify whatever behavior or "stand" they've decided to make at this moment that is so fucking convenient for them.
Well, people like that don't worry me. I let it go on about five minutes, then shouted down to the venue owner to call the cops. Turned out, his picking up the phone ended the argument immediately.
Reality is, in D&D or anywhere else, you do what you have to do to make the experience as profitable for everyone involved. I love that the people playing in my games seem to be enjoying a hell of a lot of profit, and I take pride that I'm instrumental in making that profit happen. Oh yes, I know the poor suffering insufferable internet pricks who can't understand why I'm so intolerant, and they must have their moment to scream about my intolerance. The only reason I have comment moderation is because the pricks can't stop themselves. And I'm willing to be the prick if that's what it takes to keep the peace. Obviously, its not understood that someone HAS to be ... despite about a million pieces of evidence in the world.
If you want to be a good DM, you have got to manage yourself and you've got to manage people. You can't be afraid of them. You can't let them push you around. You can't apologize when they bitch and moan about nothing. Develop some principles and stand up to them.
Then give everything you've got to people so fabulous they deserve everything you've got.
This is written in thanks to all the players. I don't thank you enough. You guys are great to DM for.