Dec 302010

Resolutions or not, here’s your mission in 2011:

Play More. Run More. Share More.

Sounds simple, and it is simple, but just because something is simple does not mean it’s easy.

Play More because playing more makes you happy, and your happiness is important. Own that, make time for it, make it a priority, and engage the people who are a part of your life in this mission. Be honest that it’s about your happiness, and ask them how you can help them with THEIR happiness by finding ways so that they can Play More too.

Run More because the biggest enemy of Play More is inertia, and everyone is looking for the guy to run the game they want to play as the way to beat that inertia. If you’re looking for that guy too and nobody’s stepping up, you’re that guy. And other people will be that guy, too, but you’ve gotta get the ball rolling. Do it.

Share More because our hobby is social, and is only improved by putting more energy into the social side of it. If you love a game, show other people why. Organize an event at your local game store. And importantly, play with people you don’t play with right now.

That last bit, in a lot of ways, has been the lynchpin in my recent revitalization of my own gaming. It might be in yours. It was a big block: I had a lot of time going on where gaming wasn’t happening and, yes, some of it was because I was “busy” (I had to make time for it), and some of it was because I was waiting for that guy to run it (I was that guy), but more than anything I was wanting gaming to happen with the same people that it’s always happened with … and the reality was that within that small circle our schedules were just not working out. Breaking past that sacred-cow barrier in my thinking about my own gaming is what limbered up the rest.

Your situation might be different. You might have a different sacred-cow barrier. Be merciless in identifying that cow and shipping it off to the meat plant. It’s standing between you and your happiness, your deeper satisfaction with your hobby, and through you it’s shaving off just a little of the vitality of your hobby itself. The solution is simple, but that simple solution is going to take a little work. Identify that work. Comment below and tell me what that work will be for you.

Then get off the damn computer and do the damn work.

Your year will look all the brighter for it.


  26 Responses to “Not a Resolution, A Mission.”

  1. Luckily, I’m already working on all three of these, and many of the new folks I’m playing with also GM, so hopefully 2011 will be quite gameful.

  2. No worries. It’s happening come hell or high water πŸ™‚

  3. My only barrier is my 60 hour work week.

  4. 2011 is going to be a year for attending more local gaming conventions and both playing in and running more games. I’ve also discovered that I’m not happy with running open-ended games anymore, and my solution is to focus on a set number of stories up front, like a limited series with clear goals and expectations.

  5. I should do some of this. In fact, I’m scribbling notes for a Life (2011) Plan, let’s add a leisure category.

  6. Yeah, you nailed the situation on the head with that share more. There aren’t a lot of gamers about in the city in which I live, which makes our small circle even smaller. I’m usually THAT GUY to run things, so that’s not been an issue, but when one player is sick or out of town or has to finish a project for work/school they’ve been putting off, the game falls through for the night because a large portion of the party is missing.

    I think I’ll run something episodic this year. InSpectres or Hunter: the Vigil or Eclipse Phase. Related one shots about groups of people who handle problems. If someone new shows up, he’s a new hire or new to the group. If someone can’t make it, the company assigned them someplace different. It could be a different party every week and, in theory, still work.

  7. I live in Charlotte, NC now, which is pretty much a gaming dead zone. I’m trying to cobble together a group to play some Fate, but it’s been slow going (lived here for 18 months now and still no group…)

    I have managed to get my fiance to try some of my “fancy” boardgames (Settlers, Carcassonne), however, and she’s interested in trying more. So there is some hope. πŸ˜‰

  8. I’m trying to do that, although I’m not catching on fast enough to the rules of roleplaying. I hope that eventually I’ll have the courage and the time to read through the entire Pathfinders Core Rulebook. But for now, I’m just following the pack, slowly.

  9. I completely accept your mission and hope that my store and I can help you accomplish your mission! I can definitely say I am MUCH, MUCH happier than I’ve ever been! Happy New Year, Fred!!!

  10. Not entirely related to this post, but I can’t find any contact info for you, Mr. Hicks, so here goes.

    Tremendous fan here — Fate has changed my gaming life COMPLETELY. Can’t wait for Fate Generic… which is why I’m writing a blog on my own Fate system hack and campaign setting, a kind of cross-dimensional fantasy setting. If you would consider taking a look at my blog (, and possibly making a mention of it here, I would consider it an honor unparalleled.



  11. 2010 was a banner year for my gaming, and 2011 looks to be more of the amazing same. My goal is to have peak experiences (or near enough) in the 3 categories of tabletop geek gaming: wargames, role-playing games, and boardgames.

  12. […] Play More. Run More. Share More. […]

  13. Thanks for the post Fred, I’m adopting these too.

  14. Wise advices, really πŸ™‚
    I think what you wrote down here could be the right direction for me too. In the past years I’ve found the third step very difficult anyway, because I’ve found that approaching people and ask “do you want to/can I play … with my/in your group?” is something I can’t be familiar with.

    Probably I can try to focus more on “running the games” and search for the games my group is looking for.

    Just a question, to understand more about this.
    When you started to think about playing with other people outside you group, didn’t it feel like a betrayal?

    Thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  15. […] my humble opinion we all should make this mission our own: Play More. Run More. Share More. Thanks again to Fred Hicks for reminding me what’s REALLY […]

  16. I agree completely. 2010 started off well for me and then sort of went down hill as our little group wandered about, I think trying too many varied games, just sort of fragmented our group. So this year am starting off right by kicking off a new campaign using Risus (steampunk/alt history setting) and I just found a group here on my base (stationed in iraq at the moment) that plays D&D 4e and I was invited to sit in and learn. Could be a banner year for ol’snik. Here’s to hoping!

  17. I was talking with my wife the other day about doing more gaming (boardgames and getting into table top RPGs more seriously) and she suggested that I start taking games to work every week and offering to teach them to and run them for my co-workers.

    This suggestion was spawned from the fact that I missed my office Christmas party due to the earlier than expected birth of my daughter. People have found out that I like games of all sorts and have come to expect that I will provide some sort of entertainment for the group. During these yearly celebrations, I’ve got them to go pretty far afield of their norm of Pictionary and Taboo and got them to play (and later request) games of “Are You A Werewolf?”

    Anyway, today is the first day of gaming with some of my co-workers in a public place, a snack area at the university where we work. I want to get them interested in hobby board games and plan to sneak role playing games into the mix as little one shots as we go along.

    My hope is to get my co-workers, and hopefully some passers by interested in gaming (board and RPGs) as a viable hobby.

    I’m starting with accessible, but off the beaten path, games and hope to move up from there.

    This week is Forbidden Island. Easy, accessible and available for them to pick up at local bookstores and Target for $15 to $20. Hopefully some of them will get it to play with their families.

    That’s my gaming resolution for this year.

    Who knows, perhaps I can run them through a Call of Cthulhu RPG one shot (a game I just re-acquired over Christmas) during the month of October or maybe a Spirit of the Century adventure by next December.

  18. Fred – this post is spot on; but I have to ask – are you channeling Seth Godin here? you mention cows (although not purple ones), lynchpins, and you put quotes around “busy”. Just saying… =D

  19. Tribes FTW! Such a great book. (… Godin’s works have had a major influence on my own professional career as well as evolution of Nevermet Press …)

  20. […] in all, I’ve been fulfilling Fred Hicks’ New Years Mission from last January (play more, run more, share more), and it’s been awesome. So today, I […]

  21. […] in all, I’ve been fulfilling Fred Hicks’ New Years Mission from last January (play more, run more, share more), and it’s been awesome. So today, I […]

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