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Patrick Zoch
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A question suggested by

Michael Ink
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What little sacrifices do you make regularly to play or run an ongoing RPG?


Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Alain Curato
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I often go straight from my place of work to rpg playing when it lands on a day I have too much road to do.

Also, these days I am the one buying the snacks, because literally nobody else has the time or the money it seems. I am also the one calling everyone because the gm's phone is out.
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Alex Bokser
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Guess What?
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I had to leave my last IRL group because the resulting sleep deprivation nearly killed me, quite literally.
We used to play until well past midnight, on weekdays, and by the time we were finally done, I'd be utterly exhausted. Having a baby boy at home didn't help much, either.
I remember driving back home and waking up just in time to get back to my lane and avoid a head-on collision.
Sometimes, the sacrifices you make to keep playing are simply not worth it.

*Playing by forum has proven to be much safer, by the way.
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Doctor Tom
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When I used to play D&D with a regular group: money. Usually because we would spend too much on food for the sessions, but also books etc.

When I then played mostly PbF: time I should have spent working.

When I now (rarely) get a chance to play anything: time I should spend studying, or which I could use for another activity or hanging out generally.

See also: spending money on books, modules, and other items such as tiles I will never use.

In the end, it's always been time and/or money.
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Lev
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I never really thought about it as sacrifices. There's always some cost to doing business. Periodically I spend too much money (by my own estimation) on books. I prefer to play in the evenings and nights and I like long sessions, but usually settle for a few hours playing on weekend mornings. But is that a sacrifice? At least I get to play. I give away sets of dice to players who need them but I buy my dice in bulk at GenCon so the cost is negligible. I don't think I make any true, legitimate sacrifices.
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Club Squirrel
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Time with my wife. My game on a Wednesday means I'm in the house for no more than 45 minutes before rushing out.
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I've made many a deal with my wife just to play games. The coupons take much work.
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Rebus Carnival
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Nothing smaller than a cat.
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DMSamuel
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This is a bit of a hot button issue for me. I feel like gaming is looked down upon and seen as a "child's" hobby that is not worth sacrificing for. So I am touchy about this and therefore about to ramble...

I'll start with the fact that I don't really consider the things I do as sacrifices. It is more appropriate to call them choices I have made. I choose to organize my time for the most efficient use and include gaming time in that set of hours per week.

I choose to spend my time prepping and running games rather than doing something else during that time (watch TV, go to the movies, sit in a pub drinking).

I choose to spend my money on gaming materials (books, dice, pencils, maps, accessories, etc) and on organizational equipment (bags, plastic containers, bookcases) to help store them efficiently.

I choose to spend time driving to reach a gaming location rather than staying at home. Conversely, I choose to spend time prepping for an online game rather than doing something else during that time.

If I wasn't spending this time and effort on RPGs, I would be spending it on some other hobby or activity. I wouldn't consider it a sacrifice then either - just different choices about where to put my resources. And if it wasn't 'gaming' it would be seen as more adult. Since it is gaming, it is seen as "kid's stuff" and not worth the effort. I disagree with this, but it IS a prevailing attitude even now, despite the recent popularity of 5e D&D in mainstream pop culture.

I have not had to choose between my wife (or family) and my gaming group. My wife understands that gaming is my main hobby. She also plays boardgames with me (though she doesn't RPG) and so she respects the hopbby, understands that it is an adult hobby, and doesn't ask me to choose between her and games. I know this is a great luxury, and I must admit it took me several years to figure out that I needed to cultivate a relationship with someone like-minded who would appreciate my gaming proclivities. This was also a choice I made - it became a deal-breaker for me, in terms of relationships, to be with someone who despised my gaming hobby, or who wanted to isolate me and reduce the time I spend on my main hobby.

I have never gamed so much that it was detrimental to my health or well-being. I have never spent so much time and energy on gaming that it was detrimental to my work. I choose to put limits on myself that makes it so that I can maintain my life outside of gaming, but also include gaming as a large part of my life.

I have friends/family who spend a lot of time and money going out twice a week and drinking at a bar or pub or sporting event. I have friends/family who spend their evenings sitting in front of a television and their weekends going to movie theaters. I have friends/family that go shopping every weekend. One of my family members buys a new car every 2 years. I have friends/family that spend way more money and time on ski equipment and lift tickets than I spend on gaming. I am not saying this to judge them or shame them - they have made choices and so have I. Their choices are not more or less sacrificial than mine, and they are not more adult than mine. There is nothing about drinking or skiing that makes them more worthy than RPGing.

All of these things are choices that are made and I, as an RPGer, also make choices about what to do with my time and money. Because I made these choices, I don't consider them sacrifices. Gaming is often seen as a "childish" pursuit that is not worth sacrificing for, not worth focusing on, not worth time or money spent... I disagree.
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Harry Lee
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I agree pretty much completely with DMSamuel’s post. Playing games doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, because it enriches my life, both as an activity I enjoy and as time spent with people I care about.
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William Hostman
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22 miles each way.

Putting up with "significant other" and "hanging out" players.
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Caroline Berg
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I'm with DMSamuel, what I make are choices, not sacrifices, and I do it willingly so I can have a steady stream of delicious RPGs.

I find time to read RPGs while reading other books, so I can count them towards my overall books read for the year, as well as plan for the next game I'm going to run.

I host face-to-face games at my apartment, which is partly for my benefit, but it also means cleaning before company comes over.

I am already researching games since I make games...

The biggest use of my time is doing the game write-ups, I'm the designated writer in both of my face-to-face groups. I usually enjoy it, but it does get in the way of writing other things - like more recently, doing my coding assignments... but I'm all caught up today!
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Doug Hook
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Wife doesn't particularly like me going off (5-6 hour bi-weekly sessions) or having a group here for RPG sessions (2-3 hours sessions); board games are okay though. The sacrifice is that I dropped the long away trips and increased PbFs.
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Ryan Ahr
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I work 4 AM to noon at my job, and I usually bring my netbook with me and write until about 2 afterward.
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Roger Hobden
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None, but if I did, it would be to the Lares and Penates of my household.
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Dan Conley
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Go, DMSamuel, go! I’m glad you chimed in before I did because you said it a great deal more eloquently than I would have. While I’ve definitely given up time and resources over the years to run campaigns and attend conventions, I saw none of it as “sacrifice”. As you said, these were simply choices I made about how to spend my time and money. Without gaming, I would surely have found other areas in which to invest those.
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Clark Timmins
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So stop your cheap comment, 'Cause we know what we feel...
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My soul, if you believe some people. devil

Since about the 1980s, there has been a concerted effort among elements of esp. Christianity to condemn roleplaying (which always is conflated with Dungeons & Dragons). In the earliest efforts, playing D&D was equated to Satan worship (A Christian Response to Dungeons & Dragons, the Catechism of the New Age). As RPGs continued to infiltrate society, most people figured out that it was not leading to mass child sacrifice, etc. Next, efforts were aimed around psychological dissociation - roleplaying would make you suicidal and/or crazy (Mazes and Monsters). This angle is still occasionally trotted out for reconsideration, but not many people take it seriously anymore. Because the children of the 1980s grew up and collectively were not more suicidal nor crazy than other cohorts.

Next, efforts were made to establish that RPGs inflamed antisocial behavior and caused serious crime. This was tested out in the courts as the "D&D Defense" (I'm not guilty because I played D&D) - that never, not once, panned out in court and so the "legal" aspect was abandoned (more or less - sometimes it's still tossed in there). And if the courts uniformly say it just ain't so, then there's not much point to pursuing it further.

Eventually, the anti-RPG crowd settled down on three angles of attack that have been persistently pursued for at least the last two decades.

First, many RPGs include sorcery and the worship of strange gods - these practices are definitively condemned in the Bible. To "correct" this, there are various "Christian" RPGs that avoid these problems (DragonRaid, Holy Lands (1st Edition), and a couple others) - in these games, the characters a) always worship Christ, b) never use sorcery, and c) always are the equivalent of Lawful-Good Paladin Heroes. In any event, I think we gamers realize that we are not casting spells and that we are not worshiping Nyarlathotep. Even though our characters might. However, products like Authentic Thaumaturgy (First Edition) are still trotted out as the ne plus ultra of proof (even though I'd wager most of us have never seen a copy and many of us don't even know it exists).

Second, playing RPGs causes many to conflate reality with fantasy. Whether this is true or not is (IMHO) still an open question. I personally, along with dozens of other players, have never experienced anything like this. But I've gamed with one person who seemed, at times, not to understand the difference. My argument is that people who experience this in roleplaying don't experience it because of roleplaying, but because they have a psychological issue - and they happen to roleplay. The same person would have the same issues with television, a novel, or whatever. Too, there is an undeniable negative media focus on D&D so that anytime somebody is doing something crazy and in any way can be associated with D&D/RPG, the connection will be stressed.

Third, and to the point of this QotD, roleplaying is a resource sink and a time consumer. Ironically, the industry that consistently advertises "all you need is a pencil and imagination" excels at soaking up all our free money in exchange for products that they constantly advertise we don't need. It's undeniably true that roleplayers spend a lot of money on game stuff. It's also undeniably true that <insert any hobby pursuit> spend a lot of money on <their hobby>. And I know a lot of gamers that do not spend money on the hobby, creating everything they use (but not using everything they create).

Time, however... time... It's undeniable that standard roleplaying sessions take hours. And occur regularly. There's no two ways about it, roleplaying uses up lots of time. The arguments against roleplaying that center on the time-consuming aspect are difficult to refute. Mostly, the Christian objections along this line are Pauline based (Phil. 4:8; 1 Cor. 10:23; etc.) but even some sociological reviews conclude that roleplayers usually spend more time pursuing their hobby than other hobbyist spend in their pursuits.

Finally, to answer the QotD. Yes, I choose to invest some money in RPGs and considerable time in RPGs. Obviously, were I not to do that those funds and that time would be available for something else. To wit, I sacrifice that "something else" in order to roleplay. But I don't begrudge it, because it's my choice and I enjoy roleplaying. A lot.

I also sacrifice a lot of time to work. Which I do begrudge, because I'd rather be roleplaying. But, that's another QotD.
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Paul Unwin
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I sacrifice time with family and friends, honestly.

None of my family or friends play RPGs, and while I am friendly with most of those with whom I play, I can't say I'm really friends with them, mostly because I play by forum and never meet them. I've considered finding another local group to play with, but honestly I feel like that would take up more time while producing less actual gaming of the kind I enjoy and probably wouldn't involve people who I'd feel I could become friends with. Perhaps fortunately, I very much doubt anyone local plays the game I like to play.

But, all in all, it's similar to simply engaging in a solitary activity. Reading a book or exercising also requires me to sacrifice time spent with family and friends.
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Chuck Dee
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Nothing really. My family understands that it's my hobby, and is the same time as any other hobby.
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Family time mostly. But it's not like giving up gaming would actually result in more family time, because it is hard to have family time when one is locked up in the looney bin.
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William Hostman
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ctimmins wrote:

Eventually, the anti-RPG crowd settled down on three angles of attack that have been persistently pursued for at least the last two decades.

First, many RPGs include sorcery and the worship of strange gods - these practices are definitively condemned in the Bible.

Second, playing RPGs causes many to conflate reality with fantasy.

Third, and to the point of this QotD, roleplaying is a resource sink and a time consumer.

You missed an important one...
fourth, Roleplaying is a therapeutic technique in Psychology and Psychiatry, and thus is unlicensed practice. It's not made much press, but it has been quietly used in several schools to justify bans.
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Mark Wilson
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Many good responses. And yes, I've given up other hobbies, which allows me to be more invested in RPGs (and other endeavors). As Sam rightly points out, it's a choice, not a sacrifice. But that doesn't mean it's always easy. If you listed the 25 most important things to you (in order of importance), but couldn't focus on your #'s 1, 2 and 3 because of 4-25, it would hurt to remove some of those latter ones. But it would ultimately be a good choice.
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Jessica Catalan
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Hmmm... Time and other hobbies.

Playing RPGs is fun and something that I most often do with my family. My husband, my kids, and I find time to game once a weekend for a few hours together. It's great fun, and we all love it. But the prep work for it is time consuming. And the time I spend doing that is time that I'm not spending with my kids, or husband, or doing housework, or any of the other things I probably should be doing.

That's my choice, of course, and worth it. But definitely time is sacrificed.

I've also given up other hobbies. RPGs take time, particularly for GMs, and with all of my other responsibilities, I had to choose between RPGs and other hobbies. RPGs won, but that means I no longer draw. I no longer play video games. I don't even read non-RPG books anymore, and I LOVE to read.

Other hobbies, definitely, were sacrificed to make time for playing regular RPG sessions.
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Peter Robben
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I choose to sink a boat of money and time into it. OTOH, I don't have Facebook or drug/gambling/vice habits, so I can...
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Paul Dale
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Not much anymore, but I wish I could play more and would make sacrifices to do so.

Pauli
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