Campaign Preferences Survey

[This is an exact COPY/PASTE from one of the first posts I add to my forum on my Obsidian Portal Campaign pages. I do not claim rights to the questions as I’m relatively certain the ideas were borrowed from other players on other websites, I just used or added the parts I needed. I have left it in its original form seen on my OP so it may reference things that will need to be edited to suit your needs. Feel free to do so. Do what you want with it, I believe in sharing with the community and I hope you do too.]

The following survey is meant to both help determine if new players will enjoy our campaign and also to ensure we’re getting the most out of our sessions. 

One of the big three rules of DMing (and playing really) is to Know Your Players. This survey helps a DM understand what others desire most in their games.

Done in the reverse, with the answers provided by the DM as he sees a campaign’s history, it can also offer potential players entering a long-standing group a glimpse into what the group prefers and so they might quickly see that a game is or is not for them.  

NOTE: Most players will inevitably feel that they hover between one or more of the options. If you do, but you can only select one, choose the preference that comes closest to your desire. It’s better that way. The comment section can be used to offer further explanation. 


Player Name: 
Email or OP Username: 
Preferred Starting Character Level: 

1. Combat’s place in a campaign:

a] Most of my enjoyment comes from the story and role-playing, and combat can be a distraction.

b] I like some combat, but too much can be a speed bump in the story and role-playing.

c] A good storyline is fun, but the game can drag on without plenty of combat.

d] My character lives to fight monsters and thugs; the more combat, the better.


2. Challenge level of combat:

a] I prefer stomping on the weak. If a fight is difficult, we’re probably in over our heads.

b] I expect to win most fights handily, with difficult fights coming at dramatic moments.

c] Most combats should be hard, where we frequently win only by the skin of our teeth.

d] Death of our characters should be common place unless we stand together and use brilliant tactics.


3. Character wealth and magic items, assuming game balance was not an issue:

a] An abundance of magical gear lets me customize my character beyond its abilities and background.

b] By the time we’re powerful enough to use it, powerful equipment should be more common.

c] Some magical items should be attainable if we’re successful, but powerful gear should be rare.

d] All magical gear should be rare, even among experienced adventurers, making every piece special.


4. The storyline should have mostly…

a] … straight forward enemies with clear goals and methods of operation.

b] … complicated enemies but with clearly highlighted objectives and solutions.

c] … twists at every turn, never sure of friend or foe, players sometimes left to puzzle over challenges and solutions almost entirely on their own.


5. Characters should have to make mostly…

a] … clear moral choices between right and wrong. Ambiguity should be rare.

b] … morally conflicting choices with unforeseen consequences. The world is rarely black and white.


6. I’d prefer the DM to follow the rules…

a] … to the letter, and he should not change or substitute any of the written rules for any reason.

b] … mostly as written and only bend the rules for expediency when unexpected situations arise.

c] … wisely, but bend rules and add some elements where it may make the game more colorful.

d] … as loose guidelines, left to make some things up as he goes, but still keeping to the spirit of the game.


7. I’d prefer the campaign’s plot to…

a] … play out like a novel where I and the party are the main protagonists and making the right decisions will advance us to the next chapters that the DM has written out. If the PC’s fail in a decision they will have to try a new tactic until they find the correct way for the plot to continue. The game will be like a book with a fixed plot that the players advance through with each session.

b] … take the PC’s decisions and actions into account, adjusting constantly to ensure the party gets from point A to point B in the story. The DM will place the correct hooks before the PC’s wherever they choose to go. The game will be like a book with a fixed plot but the events and locations change to some degree to align to the actions of the PC’s.

c] … build around the PC’s actions. As some doorways close, others open. The PC’s decisions and actions will make differences to the plot so much that they can affect the decisions and actions of the NPC’s they encounter. The game will be like a book that is writing itself with each session based on what the PC’s and NPC’s do.


8. I’d like a mix of these themes (pick three that most interest you to be included in a DnD campaign):

a] Tolkien style fantasy
b] Strategic warfare
c] Hack ‘n’ slash
d] Comedy and humor
e] Horror and tension
f] Dungeon crawl
g] Pirates and swashbuckling 
h] Intrigue and subterfuge
i] Laws and justice
j] Investigation of mysteries
k] Exotic travel/exploration
l] Nation building
m] Treasure hunting
n] Steam-punk fantasy
o] Dark/gritty fantasy
p] Monster hunting
q] Post apocalypse survival
r] Other: (please specify)


9. I’m comfortable with the following elements and feel they can positively contribute to, or at least do not negatively impact, the game (pick all that apply):

a] Sexual themes, encounters (described only)
b] Sexual themes, encounters (sometimes visually represented, PG-rated visuals only)
c] Sexual themes, encounters (used when applicable, visuals can be R-rated)
d] Racism demonstrated by in-game characters
e] Sexism demonstrated by in-game characters
f] Sexual Orientation discrimination demonstrated by in-game characters
g] In-game use of drugs and alcohol 
h] Player use of drugs or alcohol during play
i] Player use of electronic devices for activities related to the game
j] Player use of electronic devices for activities not related to the game
k] Profanity (out of game)
l] Profanity (in-game)
m] Themes related to demons, devils, or the occult
n] Themes related to murder
o] Themes related to rape
p] Themes related to stealing
q] Themes related to abuse or murder of children or innocents
r] Conflict between characters of different players
s] Apparent conflict between players that they manage to funnel into the narrative of the game
t] Playing for 2-4 hours at a time
u] Playing for 4-6 hours at a time
v] Playing for 6-8 hours at a time
w] Playing for longer than 8 hours (marathon games)
x] Playing during the morning
y] Playing during the afternoon
z] Playing during the evening
-] Playing late nights, possibly into morning



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