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Player Preferences Questionnaire

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 10 months ago


"What do you want?"


What's this?

The following is a questionnaire I like to give to new players. It has a few categories of styles of roleplaying. You could easily write your own, with entirely different things listed. The point is not to say "this is how it's done," but to stimulate thought. If you just ask your players, "what do you like in a game?" they'll stare at you blankly and say, "um... to have fun!" If you ask them more specific questions, then you can get a better idea of what they like, put it all together in one campaign, and everyone's happy (we hope).


When the GM is advertising their campaign to potential players, they can rate it in the same way, so that players know what to expect.


Game Style

Rate each of these three pairs according to which side you'd like the campaign to swing most towards. You get 4 points to put into each pair. Rate it like "Cinematic (1), Realistic (3)", which would mean "mostly realistic."

  • Cinematic vs Realistic "Cinematic" is not just whether characters can die, but whether what they do is governed by laws of physics and common sense. Hong Kong Action Theatre is cinematic; Millenium's End is realistic.
  • Hack vs Thesp Hack is not just the kind that goes with "& Slash", but also the depth of characterisation. So the actors in Friends or Seinfeld are Hacks, even though their characters never slay anyone. Thesp is for characters which are realistic, have different personality traits, etc. Hack is for external conflicts, and thesp for internal conflicts.
  • Schtick vs Drama This is laughs vs tears, fooling around vs taking things seriously. Paranoia is schticky, Pendragon is dramatic.



What happens

Rate from 1 to 4 the overall themes of the campaign you'd like. "1" is "hardly ever appears", while "4" is "happens just about every session."

  • Action & Fights These needn't be to the death... Jackie Chan beats lots of people up, but hardly anyone dies.
  • Building This is as in city management computer games, or as in a long tv series... the characters are building something which will last longer than them.
  • Character A focus on personality and relationships.
  • Character Power A focus on the characters improving in their abilities.
  • Destroying The opposite of building, obviously - the characters are going to bring something down.
  • Exploration Discovering new things, a sense of wonder or awe. This is a broad theme, and could include everything from a Call of Cthulu game to a medieval fantasy game where the characters are mapping the far reaches of an empire.



How it's done

Note which of the following character abilities you most enjoy having a character use. Ideally, at least four of the twelve should be significant. This gives the GM the chance to figure out what sort of things to give you to do.


Athletics, Combat, Communication, Detection, Driving, Gadgeteering, Intrusion, Magic, Medical, Persuading, Scholarship, Wilderness




Note here your favourite

  • Movie
  • TV series
  • Fiction book
  • Non-fiction book

This will let the GM know what sorts of settings you enjoy.




Players tend to all rate "character" as important, even if they're munchkins (who should rate "character power" highly). When they're not in a game session, quietly thinking about roleplaying games, they think how nice it'd be to do something deep and meaningful. Once they sit down at the game table and get into the whole noisy-gaming thing, out comes the dice and whooping. So this questionnaire can only be a start to things. Think of it as like a horoscope of play styles, giving you a rough idea of the person.


Lastly, answering this questionnaire is like answering Mr. Morden, above. Careful what you wish for - you may just get it.


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