Currently I’m running 4 players through Fever Swamp (an excellent hex-crawl) using Cairn (a hack of Into the Odd by Yochai Gal) and I feel things have stagnated (and not in the swampy sense!) a little. By this I mean that it feels like the players and myself are kind of “going through the motions”: we pick up where we left off, they decide what they want to do next/which hex they want to travel to, there’s perhaps a random encounter or an encounter with a rival adventuring group, etc, etc.
I think it’s me. I think I have lost inspiration and interest in the game. I’m pretty sure that if I was more “into it” and excited about the things I have prepped for the game, the game would come alive. I like the rules and the Fever Swamp setting, there just doesn’t seem to a satisfying or cohesive narrative emerging. Maybe I should go back to a game where narrative is more baked into the rules (I ran a lot of Dungeon World a while back and it delivered here)?
And I think I get to this position reasonably often. If I could just do some good prep, prep that I felt happy with and inspired by, we’d be ok. And maybe this is at the heart of it: I’ve never enjoyed prep much (I’ve been GM’ing for over 30 years), and I’ve never found a style of prep that I’ve liked (and boy I’ve been around the houses with this!). (Perhaps related, I never found techniques for exam revision that worked for me, which seems related to me, although that was decades ago!)
We are playing remotely over discord, audio only, in the evenings (the only option for us currently) and I guess we can all get a bit tired.
Sorry to ramble there. I’m just looking to see if these are issues people here can relate to. Ideas and advice are bonuses.