Content of the article: "Looking for people to fill in a quick survey."
I'm an aspiring DM currently drawing up a new campaign for a group of yet-unrecruited strangers. While drawing up a plot, I found myself wondering a lot of things about how most people play D&D and which things are important to them.
If anyone has a spare five minutes, would you mind filling out a short, anonymous survey on what you want out of a D&D game? Ta!
Edit: Quiz closed! Thanks everyone; hit the cap on responses. 🙂 Here's a summary of the answers I got, for those who are interested:
- Which settings are you most excited to play in?
This allowed multiple ticks. Homebrew was overwhelmingly the most popular (85%). Several people only selected 'homebrew'. Forgotten Realms was a distant second (48%), with Eberron close behind (30%). The other listed settings (Greyhawk, Exandria, Theros and Ravnica) were of interest to less than 20% of respondents. Theros was at the bottom, with a mediocre 10%. Interested in seeing why people answered this way… what's wrong with Theros? Heck, what's wrong with pre-written settings that makes homebrew better? Tell me! 🙂
- How do you feel about the three "pillars" of D&D?
Pretty much everyone liked or loved combat and roleplay. Exploration was interesting; a significant number of people were either ambivalent on, or actively disliked, exploration. I'd love to know the reasons; why do people not like exploration? Has it been managed badly in the past?
- How do you feel about player race restrictions in campaigns?
Most people were comfortable – or mostly comfortable – with player race restrictions if it was part of the setting/story. This is more or less what I expected; most settings don't allow literally all races.
- How do you feel about player class restrictions in campaigns?
This one was (as predicted) way more controversial. 57% of respondents dislike or hate the idea of having their class restricted. 38% didn't mind it if it fit the setting/story. This also makes sense; most games don't restrict classes, for good reason.
- How important is character optimisation to you?
This question had a perfectly symmetrical answer. Exactly 50% of players said it was "somewhat important" (the middle option), with the other 50% equally split between it being more or less important.
- Do you enjoy romance in your games?
This one was interesting, and the answers were very varied. 53% of respondents didn't want any romance at all in their games (for various reasons). 18% definitely wanted some light romantic elements. The remaining 28% weren't sure.
- How do you feel about tackling "heavy" topics like abuse, discrimination and trauma in your games?
Also an interesting one that didn't go the way I thought it would. Majority of players (75%) were happy with some aspects of heavy topics in their games, as long as they're dealt with sensitively and aren't gratuitous. The other 25% was a nearly even split between "no, never" and "give me the dark stories".
- When playing a D&D game, what aspects do you want to experience?
This question was structured as a bunch of tickboxes covering common tropes/aspects of D&D play to see which ones are most universally loved. From most popular to least popular, the answers were:
- Explore an interesting world (85%)
- See the game world evolve and change (78%)
- Be a part of interesting plots and drama (75%)
- Meet interesting NPCs (73%)
- Experience interesting combat encounters (73%)
- Explore dungeons (63%)
- Experience tough combat encounters (58%)
- Deal with moral complexity (58%)
- Feel like a hero (53%)
- See your character form relationships with NPCs (50%)
- Solve puzzles or riddles (48%)
- Feel powerful (43%)
- Build a stronghold/player base (23%)
- Experience survival elements (18%)
- Experience horror elements (15%)
The first three are as close to universal as we're likely to get. Pretty much all players want to live in an awesome world that evolves around them and involves them in cool plots. This is expected, since this is basically what RPGs are!
4 – 8 or so seem to be mostly universal. Diving dungeons, interesting/tough combat (with interesting being a little more popular than tough!), moral problems and interesting NPCs. Again, pretty bread and butter.
9 – 12 are reasonably popular. About half of players enjoy puzzles, it seems. About half of players want to connect with NPCs. About half of players want to feel like a hero.
13 – 15 just weren't very popular. Survival and horror elements are clearly a bit niche among 5E players, which most people could have predicted. Amusingly, stronghold/base-building weren't that popular. I was expecting more.
- Bad games with good/interesting components worth exploring – Which “flawed” titles do you think have salvageable parts?
- Hot Take: You should enforce class restrictions and take away powers.
- 2 to 4 Players Co-op – 2020 Experience
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