Prep isn’t play

November 19, 2023 rpgs prep

There are lots of similarities between the note taking/productivity communities and the rpg hobby. Namely that an obsession with tools and methods of prep can overwhelm and overtake the actual doing of the thing.

In the case of notebooks and organization there are all sorts of sub hobbies. Fountain pens, notebooks, journaling, calligraphy, personal knowledge management, productivity, etc. but all of these hobbies presume a life worth cataloguing or things that need to be done or words that should be written.

The hobbies serve those things first. But overtime they become an end in themselves. Notebooks and pens that pile up and never get used. Complex systems to keep track of tasks that never get done. It’s a real problem particularly for someone like me who is always wondering if the reason I’m not getting as much done as I’d like is because of the system I’m using rather than my ability to focus or sustain periods of work.

I have a similar issue when it comes to RPGs and the hobbies of blogging and discourse. And it makes sense because if you are limited to engaging with the hobby only in the hours you are playing for many people the hobby wouldn’t exist at all. I haven’t played D&D in over a year. A game that I think about at least as often as most men think about the Roman Empire.

I’d like to pour more of my available energy into schedule a game. Into running it. Just like I’d like to spend more time writing rather than notemaking.

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