Friday, July 10, 2009

Insomnia Sucks

Yes, in a revelation that is sure to shock no-one, insomnia sucks. Not only am I wide awake at the ungodly hour of 4am, having had very little sleep since I went to bed a little before midnight, but I can't even muster enough enthusiasm or inspiration to come up with a witty title for this post. Instead, I'm just being blunt and to the point. Also, expect numerous grammatical errors and incorrect spelling.

I'm not usually the one to suffer from insomnia. As soon as I crawl into bed, I can be out like a light in minutes, especially if I attempt to read anything in bed. It's like a Pavlov's Dog effect at this point. Bed+reading=sleep, guaranteed. Usually. This is probably the first time in recent memory that I've been so bad I just had to get up and do something. Normally it's Claire that wakes me from my deep slumber to tell me she can't sleep and is going to get up, to which I do my best Frankensteins Monster impression, reply "mmmurrhhh" and roll over.

So, what's keeping me up this morning? I could easily blame poetic justice. Just a few hours ago, after finishing up playing DS at Robs place, I mocked Neill for his inability to sleep the night before. In response to "I got to sleep at 6am and was awake again at 9", I said "I got to sleep around 11pm and wandered out of bed just before 10 this morning. Hah!" So... yeah. I totally deserve this to be honest.

But based on my erratic, yet speedy, heart rate I'm going to go out on a limb here and blame the Mars bar and one-and-a-half liters of Lucozade I had while playing DS at Robs place for my currently alert but unstable status. Yup. Yeah. That'll do it all right.

On the upside, my sleep deprived state has driven me to insane, yet crystal-clear thoughts. I have decided to entirely kill my attempted Tuesday evening RPG for the time being. I shall have to wait until a far more sane hour to text my players regarding this fact. Chances are, a few of them will read this before they get that text anyway. On the other hand, I am now considering running not one, not two, but three RPGs over not four, not three, but two days!! Yes. That means running two games on one day. Insanity, I hear you cry!! Allow me to explain.

Previously to this early mornings events, I had offered to run an RPG on Monday evenings for Kris, Neill and Gar, though this has yet to be confirmed. Recent Mondays have found us sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, either playing Xbox out of boredom, or watching a movie, also out of boredom. The biggest issues with these are that Xbox ends up excluding some of the people present, and movies are a very passive activity, at a time that I would be much happier doing something with. So an RPG fits nicely. Also, the prospective players have been turning up when there has been nothing of interest on, so surely when there is an RPG on (which will hopefully be interesting), they will continue to be around.

A similar situation has grown around our Sunday afternoon group. Meeting for breakfast in town is great, and I do love getting together to catch up with the weeks news, but afterwords, we've been at a loss with what to do. As with the Monday group, the Xbox has been fired up out of boredom, but it doesn't last long. It seems that everyone apart from myself has grown tired of Rock Band already. Card games and board games got dragged out, but I'm fairly sick of replaying Battlestar Galactica and Fluxx (both awesome games, but I need an extended break for a while), and it's hard to get everyone to agree on a game with just a few minutes notice. So I got thinking, why not run an RPG? I usually think of RPGs as evening events, running after dinner, from seven until late, but that's not really necessary unless it's mid-week. On a weekend, why not start at, say, two, and finish at six. In fact, that would seem to suit my friends better. They still get home nice and early for work on Monday morning.

And that's where the third game comes in. Some of the players from my first Spirit of the Century campaign (have I mentioned before what a huge success that was?!? I have? Oh... well... it was. Huge!) can't really make it mid-week, due to a variety of commitments. But a Sunday evening game might suit them nicely. Say, from seven until half ten, eleven o'clock? That gives me an hour leeway between games, time to grab dinner and re-energise (without Luzoade from now on), and get the two player groups swapped around. Easy.

I think I could totally do it. Yes, it is now creeping towards 6am as I continue to write, so that may have more than a little to do with my hyperactive state, but my games are very much player driven, requiring very little work on my part. Events are moved forward by what they want, expect or make happen. Apart from a small number of special event sessions, my previous Spirit of the Century game (huge!) required almost no preparation between sessions, and I usually only worried about what I was going to do each evening an hour or two before everyone turned up. To quote Mythbusters, I think two games in one day, and three games a week is... "Plausible!" And we all know that it'll only be through scientific testing that we can learn if this myth is "Proven", or "Busted".

The next thing to decide is what game when. Currently, I'm happy to attempt a second run at my Spirit of the Century game, Mouse Guard and Dogs In The Vineyard, three dramatically differing games, but each based on the episodic style of play; adventures are usually wrapped up in a single evening rather than extending over several play sessions. I'd love to run a superhero game, but I find it unusually difficult to come up with an arc, which is usually where I start with my campaigns, breaking it down into sessions, or events. Whenever I try to think of an arc, I just end up with one I've read in comics already. Dammit! Why must I be such a comic nerd?!?

So there we have it. A kind of manifesto against boredom, and in support of creativity and hyperactiveness. Now all I have to do is gauge interest of everyone apart from myself. Unfortunately, I'm not actually around this weekend, which would be the perfect time to start asking, while my excitement towards such a big undertaking is at a high, and my brain has failed to truly realise how completely, utterly, stupidly insane it's being.

Insomnia sucks but it can be strangely productive.

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