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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: Matt Gwinn on March 29, 2005, 09:53:28 AM



Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Matt Gwinn on March 29, 2005, 09:53:28 AM
hey everyone.  I just hooked up with a bunch of gamers in Ann Arbor through dnd.meetup.com.  Well, we have quite a few people in the group with a wide variety of styles of play and expectations.  A good number of us in the group joined with the intent of finding gamers similar to themselves.

I want to put together a survey to try to help the members of the group figure out who they are most compatable with in regards to playing D&D without having to play a month or more worth of hodgpodge game session with no focus.  Kind of like a gamer dating service.

Any suggestions on what i should include?

,Matt Gwinn


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Matt Gwinn on March 29, 2005, 11:18:57 AM
Ok, here is what i've put together so far using a survey Matt Snyder did a while back as a starting point.

BESIDES the social aspects of being with friends, etc. what do you specifically look forward to when you play? What most excites you about playing? Be as specific as possible.To think about that question in another way, what rewards do you look forward to the most after play?

a.   I like advancing my character's abilities, with interesting items, experience, etc.
b.   I like "role-playing," i.e. getting into my character and seeing how I react to conflict.
c.   Promoting the campaign story along is the greatest reward.
d.   Other (please explain):

Do you enjoy combat when playing?

a.   Yes, it's my favorite aspect of playing.
b.   Somewhat. It's fun, but I like other aspects of the game just as much.
c.   Not particularly. Other aspects of playing are just as important, if not more so.
d.   Other (please explain):


Experience Points aside, what ratio of combat to roleplaying do you prefer?

a.   (90/10) Mostly combat with minimal roleplaying
b.   (70/30) More combat, less roleplaying
c.   (50/50) Equal amounts of both
d.   (30/70) More roleplaying, less combat
e.   (10/90) Mostly roleplaying with minimal combat


When play focuses on a character other than your own do you usually


a.   Get bored and/or distracted
b.   Wait patiently until the focus moves back towards your character
c.   Pay attention and try to involve your character in some way
d.   Pay attention to what's going on even if the scene has no effect on your character


When incorporating NPCs and/or setting to a campaign do you...

a.   Prefer that the DM do all the work.
b.   Like to make suggestions, but prefer that the DM do most of the work.
c.   Like to help with setting and NPC creation before play begins but think the DM should take care of things once play begins.
d.   Prefer to have a great deal of input into the creation/control of the setting and NPCs before and during play.


When Making characters do you...

a.   Prefer making them on your own without outside help or influence.
b.   Like making characters in a group, but pretty much design your character yourself.
c.   Like creating characters as a group effort with lots of input and suggestions from others.
d.   Prefer to play pregenerated character.


When Making a character do you...

a.   Try to maximize your character's effectiveness regardless of story/setting.
b.   Try to maximize your character's effectiveness within the confines of the story/setting.
c.   Pay no special attention to making your character more or less effective
d.   Try to make an interesting character regardless of effectiveness.


When choosing a character class do you...

a.   Pretty much play the same kind of character you always play
b.   Pick the class no one else picked
c.   Don't put much thought into it
d.   Prefer to play something out of the ordinary regardless of what everyone else is playing.


Think about how you make decisions during play for you character. Do you:

a.   Make decisions based on the best strategy for you character's survival and advancement?
b.   Make descisions based on "what your character would do," even if the group sometimes might not like it?
c.   Make decisions based on what's most interesting in terms of excitement and drama?
d.   Other (please explain):


Keep thinking in that mode. When you make decisions about you character, do you:

a.   Completely ignore "out of character" knowledge (like a map showing a secret door, for example) to keep play more realistic?
b.   Stay "in character" as much as possible, but sometimes use outside information to direct your character's actions?
c.   Frequently use "out of character" knowledge and rules not only to use the best strategies, but also to promote the best "story."
d.   Other (please explain):


How much freedom do you like your player character to have?

a.   I don't mind "finding the plot-line." It's usually fun and rewarding.
b.   I prefer to be able to do anything, and let the GM handle our decisions as players.
c.   I wish I had a lot of power, even to the point where I could add details outside of my character.
d.   Other (please explain):


What do you like about the worlds in which you play (regardless of genre)?

a.   I like very fleshed-out and rich settings. The more "believeable," the better, especially.
b.   I donít need a lot of world-wide setting details, but it's nice to have a rich environment for my character to explore.
c.   I'd rather focus on the here-and-now of my character and interesting NPCs than get caught up in the details of the setting.
d.   Other (please explain):


Which settings do you seem to enjoy the most?

a.   Published settings seem to work better in play
b.   I like exploring new settings that are a bit different from the norm.
c.   I prefer to contribute to the creation of a "homebrew" setting by playing in it
d.   Other (please explain):



,Matt


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Vaxalon on March 29, 2005, 11:52:49 AM
Quote from: Matt Gwinn
Ok, here is what i've put together so far using a survey Matt Snyder did a while back as a starting point.

BESIDES the social aspects of being with friends, etc. what do you specifically look forward to when you play? What most excites you about playing? Be as specific as possible.To think about that question in another way, what rewards do you look forward to the most after play?

a.   I like advancing my character's abilities, with interesting items, experience, etc.
b.   I like "role-playing," i.e. getting into my character and seeing how I react to conflict.
c.   Promoting the campaign story along is the greatest reward.


To this I would add:

d.  I like the visceral, blood-pumping excitement of RPG combat.  I like cheering for criticals and booing the fumbles (or whatever is appropriate to the system).
e.  I like getting into the mind of a character, thinking in ways that I don't ordinarily think.
f.  I like taking my favorite character and seeing him operate in various different situations.

I would also make it clear that more than one answer can be correct.

Can you tell that I think GNS is highly limited?


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Mike Holmes on March 30, 2005, 01:00:53 PM
Quote from: Vaxalon
Can you tell that I think GNS is highly limited?
Yes, you've made that abundantly clear. That said, everybody else agrees with you, so its not a really important observation.

Further, the information you'd be gathering with your other options is actually gathered by other questions in the survey. So why dilute the GNS question with other options? Going by that logic we could just have one big question: what do you like in RPGs? And then have all of the selections listed under it. But that would make grading it somewhat difficult, no?

Mike


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Vaxalon on March 30, 2005, 01:08:40 PM
I didn't see that the other options were really covered by the survey; they seemed, to me, to be more focused on traditional Forge philosophy.

I don't agree that the extra options make grading it difficult.  If four people check off one item, and three people another one, and two a third, and one each to a fourth and fifth, then you know you'll satisfy most of the people most of the time by including the top three vote getters in your preparations.

Putting them in separate questions actually makes them harder to interpret, because then you don't see their relative weight, you see them in a more isolated light.


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Simon Kamber on March 30, 2005, 01:25:38 PM
Quote from: Matt Gwinn
BESIDES the social aspects of being with friends, etc. what do you specifically look forward to when you play? What most excites you about playing? Be as specific as possible.To think about that question in another way, what rewards do you look forward to the most after play?

a.   I like advancing my character's abilities, with interesting items, experience, etc.
b.   I like "role-playing," i.e. getting into my character and seeing how I react to conflict.
c.   Promoting the campaign story along is the greatest reward.
d.   Other (please explain):

The b. answer in that one is a bit confusing. First, using the word "roleplaying" is going to get someone off track. Second, "getting into my character and seeing how I react to conflict" can, in my eyes, be understood in two vastly different ways. One is with focus on the "conflict" (i.e. a narrativistic preference), the other is with focus on "my character" (i.e. a simulationistic preference). Basically, I think that question is only going to be useful for determining the creative agenda of people who know what a creative agenda is, and even then, they might very well have misunderstood CA and be choosing based on that misconception.


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Danny_K on March 30, 2005, 03:51:41 PM
Interesting question, I have to force my research instincts to shut up.  

I think having people mark their "top three" choices can be helpful, otherwise some folks check off everything that sounds good and you don't get any useful information.  After all, what good player doesn't want many different things from their game?

If I were writitng a questionnaire, I would try to sidestep theory entirely and focus right on Actual Play.  Here's a clumsy example to give you the idea:

Which of these sounds like the ideal gaming session to you?
a. Your PC defeats a dangerous foe by clever use of tactics, and reaps a reward of XP and treasure.

b. Your PC gets to kick ass and look cool doing it, and delivers a few great lines along the way.

c. Your PC explores a fascinating ancient culture and discovers things about his world that will make a real difference in future gaming sessions.

d. Your PC is faced with an intense conflict where he must choose between the idealistic and the pragmatic course of action.   Whichever way he chooses will have a real effect on his future and on his relationships with his allies.  

I know, not very inspiring examples -- I haven't played D&D since the Reagan administration -- but hopefully you get the idea.


Title: Creating a Survey
Post by: Vaxalon on March 30, 2005, 06:20:03 PM
That is a good distinction, Danny.  Probably a better worded question.