5 Ways to Get out of Your Gaming Rut

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We’ve all been there:  it’s Friday night and no one is feeling the game. Your GM hasn’t had a fresh idea for the game in weeks and it feels like you’ve been here and done that. You rack your brain for a way to make it better, but nothing helps. Here are five great ways to pull your group out of their gaming rut.

Start a new campaign

Sometimes your characters get too overpowered or the GM has run out of big bad guys to throw at you. It’s time to go back to when a fight with a pack of goblins caused you to sweat and worry about your character’s ability to survive. I know you put a lot of time and effort into that super high level character, but trust me, the next one might be even better.

Take a break with a one shot

Play a character like you’re in a John Woo film. Who cares that they might not live through the session? This character only has tonight to live so make the most of it. This is all about having crazy fun without worrying about the repercussions on a beloved character.
There are a ton of games that lend themselves to one shots. Call of Cthulhu has you investigate Lovecraftian horrors and lose your sanity. Toon recreate Saturday morning cartoons and have some silly fun. Who doesn’t want to shoot their buddy in the back. Paranoia XP has you do just that and see how fast you can rip through your clones. Just remember: the Computer is your friend. If you want to check out how a game works, you can see how long some of your favorite Geek & Sundry personalities survive in our own one-shot.

Try a new system

Maybe it’s time to try something completely different. Everyone knows the perfect synergy of their D&D group, but what works best if you’re playing a pirate crew or you’re thrust into a post apocalyptic world? Shouldn’t someone know how to drive this thing?

New systems that lend themselves to great gaming adventures could start with Savage Worlds. A great system that lends itself to flexibility. Play anything from pirates to superheroes. Who doesn’t like duels for slights to their honor? Legend of the Five Rings allows you to play as samurai in pseudo-feudal Japan. Vampire the Masquerade wants you to get caught up in the politics of living forever. Just don’t get staked. Find yourself out in the ‘Verse with Firefly. It’s time to get your ship and your crew and find some work. Dresden Files -asks the question of what is real.  It is urban fantasy, pure and simple.  Magic is real and normal people just don’t notice.

A new spin on an old classic

You’ve tried other systems and just can’t give up on d20 or you have that one friend who refuses to play anything else. That’s cool; there are tons of new skins you can toss onto the system. You could play until the apocalypse and probably not run out of material due to the open game license.

Here are some D20 games to give a spin: World of Warcraft joins the fight between the Horde or Alliance for Azeroth! While not super different from regular D&D on the surface, the lore helps switch up the game. It’s time to take your game to the modern world with D20 Modern. Play a long time ago in a galaxy far away with Star Wars.

Have everyone make a character they wouldn’t normally play

We all have that one friend that makes a cleric then complains that they always have to be the healer. For a session or a campaign, have someone else make a healer so they can get a break and play something different. Friends don’t let friends get stuck playing the healer or courtier for every game. Be a good friend and take the hated class for a bit, make it your own and maybe you’ll find out it’s not so bad.

Every group is different in what they want out of a gaming session or campaign. I hope I’ve given you a few ideas to bring to the table and get out of your gaming rut. Make Friday night (or whenever you game) fresh and fun to be at again.  No one needs to dread their gaming session.

What’s your favorite way to get out of your gaming rut? Share in the comments!

Featured Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Other Image Credit: Chaosium, AEG, Wizards of the Coast

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