Johnny’s Five – New For The New Year

It’s a new year, 2016, and that means it’s a great time to dig in and find something new for your game. The end of the year – with holidays, travel, and multiple obligations – is often tumultuous for a social activity like gaming, but the new year is a time to refresh and rededicate to the hobby in a new way. In the new year, we should all look into new ways to add something unique to our gaming.

Find New Sources Of Inspiration

It’s easy to fall into old tropes and comfortable paths, so use the new year as an excuse to find new sources of inspiration. Run a game in a different setting than your usual fare or find a new place to get inspiration for a campaign. Roll some story cubes and run a game in something completely different, take one idea from each player and mash it together into something unexpected, or pick up some old ideas that never quite came to fruition and find a new way to use them.

Make A Change In The Group Dynamic

Have you been the go-to Game Master for a while? Encourage someone else to take the seat and bring a new perspective. Feeling the familiarity of the old guard in your games? See about adding someone new into the game and get a fresh new feeling for your games. If you’ve gamed with the same group for a long time, it can be easy to fall into familiar ruts. Change things up and get new people taking new roles.

Find One New Tool

Find a new tool to incorporate into your games and get some fresh changes. Use something like Storium or Tabletop Simulator, or pull in something like Artemis to add a new dimension. Use a site like Ambient Mixer to easily incorporate some audio cues into your game. Even if you don’t find continued use of it, try it out for a game as a test. It may change some of the dynamics or reinforce what currently works about your games.

Choose One New Game to Try

Pick a new game that you’re going to try and run a one-shot with it. There are always new and interesting games coming out, and we all benefit by having a diversity of experiences under our GMing hats. Run something that isn’t quiet your style or seek out a new game that teaches you a different type of gaming.

Play a New Character

If you don’t find yourself in the GM’s seat much these days, then dig into a new character or character type. If you’ve always got go-to characters you use, pick something different and commit to it for a spell. There is no reason it has to be permanent, adventurers need breaks and a replacement mercenary with a new personality/skillset isn’t a hard sell in many games. If you are in the GM’s seat, offer the choice up to players to see if they want a bit of something different for a while.

 

The new year is a perfect time to experiment with something new in your games, and if it doesn’t work out, nothing says you have to keep it up. Especially at the beginning of the year, we tend to try out things we think would be good for us. Getting out of old habits or testing new paths is an experience for growth. What are your new year gaming resolutions? Do you have things you do different with the new year? What are some of the best tools you are looking to incorporate into your games, or new games you are looking forward to?