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Priorities and Scheduling

Now that I’m past yesterday’s minor bout of depression, let me have a look at what’s on my plate at the moment and how I want to organise it:

  • First and foremost, as always, is Vickie. Our recent lack of readies means we’ve not been getting out much. This weekend we’re turning that around by going out to see Wild Hogs, as I mentioned. I don’t want that trip to be a flash in the pan, though, and after going over our income and budget again, we’ll be able to afford to go out more often. We have some friends who we’ve not seen in a little while, so it’s about time we made some phone calls.

My other priorities are, in no particular order:

  • Our home. After today’s rain I’m pretty sure I’m going to be mowing the lawn again this weekend, or at least whipper-snippering. Vickie also wants to get out and weed the back-end of our yard, and I want to get stuck into the weeding as well. Okay, okay, you can stop laughing, maybe “want” is too strong a word, but you get my drift; the garden needs care, and I need to do my share of it. Then there are the other renovations that remain to be done, namely the bedrooms and the computer room (we want to put new shelves and a single desk for our PCs in). Before we start those, we need that loan extension I wrote about in a prior post.
  • The car. I’ve got her booked in for her 60,000Km service on Thursday the 15th, and I still need to organise the check up of her antilock braking system with Trinity Ford – which is also reliant on that loan. On top of those, I want to set up a serious maintenance routine, doing all the weekly things I’ve been neglecting for – well, really, for two years. Most of the time, I get home from work and don’t even think about the car until the next day. That must change.
  • My mentee. We’ve decided that learning to fish is a good use of our two-hours-per-fortnight. We get together next on Saturday the 17th, but the time is dependent on local tides, so I don’t really want to queue anything up on mentor days unless it’s in the evening.
  • My PC. I’ve been doing okay without it, mainly by borrrowing Vickie’s and Brook’s PCs when they’re not using them. Still, I want it fixed up; I’m still keen on some Dark Crusade with the lads in Sydney, and my mentee recently bought the game as well. As it stands, there’s no pressing need for me to have my PC back before the car’s service; quite possibly it can wait until early April.
  • Gaming. This one I intentionally left until last because I’m usually thinking about it most of the time. Now I’m looking at it as one of the parts of my life, not the dominant portion. Simon’s MegaTraveller game is on Saturday, Tracey’s made a Savage Worlds campaign pitch, Burning Empires has just gone on hold until I can get another player and I really want to do something with Vickie, who wants to do Heavy Gear. I’d like to be part of a game session at least once a month, and the selfish part of me wants to run a bi-weekly game. Simon’s planning MegaTraveller as a monthly game, and Vickie would prefer Heavy Gear no more frequently than once a month herself.

Let me prove the point about how much I think about gaming by developing a gaming schedule. MegaTraveller and Heavy Gear are pretty safely weekends only. Thus every weekend would alternate – for me, anyway – between gaming and mentoring; I’d be driving into Cairns three weekends out of four. I’d only really be able to run Burning Empires on a weeknight; in terms of the game, that wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker (a two-hour session would see the start and completion of one manoeuvre) but there are two problems: (a) the person I wanted to bring in to fill the third player's seat is only available on Saturdays, and (b) it's even more time away from Vickie.

I’m also not fond of the idea of trying to cram two days of gaming into one weekend. Okay, I am fond of the idea, but I recognise that it's not sensible; there’s simply too much other stuff that I should be getting done instead. I might be able to get some of it out of the way of a weeknight, but I’ll definitely see how everything shakes out before I start making any gaming plans outside of MegaTraveller and Heavy Gear. Hell, I'm way overdue to be organising the March gamers' get-together! I think it might have to wait until April; we're having trouble finding a kid-friendly venue.

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Well it sounds like a good thing you didn't sell the Heavy Gear Books if you are going to be running it. I wish I could join you. I really did enjoy that campaign.

I am sorry I hadn't gotten back to on the books. Lesley's computer is on the way out so the extra funds will have to go there.

Hi Dan! It's interesting how things turn out, eh? I honestly didn't think I'd be running Heavy Gear again. I must confess, though, when I started checking the books over to write summaries up, I started getting a bit possessive - I guess I'm still invested in all that gorgeous art and setting detail! So no worries that you couldn’t buy them, and I utterly understand Lesley being your first priority; that’s as it should be, mate!

Anyway, the reason why I didn't think I'd run Heavy Gear again was because, in that last campaign, I couldn't really figure out how to ensure you guys had fun whilst still having fun myself, as a GM. My experiences of Black Talon were largely dominated by confusion, uncertainty and frustration. The things that I was doing as a GM seemed to me to be as dull as heck, and I wasn't interested in putting myself through that again.

Now, though, I think I have a handle on how I go about creating fun for everyone at the table, myself included. I'll detail the nature of that understanding in another post sometime soon, but I will say that it's largely inspired by the procedures detailed in Burning Empires and the suggestions and recommendations of the guys on the Burning Wheel forum.

If I can do it, it’ll be fucking wonderful to running an enjoyable game that Vickie is also confident and happy with. I remember when I was organising the auction, Vickie protested "But you love Heavy Gear!" I think she was really saying, "But I love Heavy Gear!" :-)

Yep...and I do too!

Well, I look forward to the response. I know it is important to get an understanding of the game system and do have fun running it. Thanks for understanding about the books.

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