GMs, how do you get feedback from your players on what they like or don't like?

thaen
thaen

GMs, how do you get feedback from your players on what they like or don't like?

Do you have any formal ways of asking if they are enjoying the Campaign, or any informal ways? 

Or does what the Players like or not like even matter for your Campaign?

Any particular feedback that you got that you found surprising or particularly helpful?

Obsidian Portal Developer

Comments

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 279

    For me it's a bit contextual really. If people appear to be having fun then I don't feel the need to ask as the answer is evident. When in doubt though I just straight out ask if folks are enjoying things. Usually the only times I wonder if folks are enjoying the game is when things get puzzle heavy, because those sessions are a slog no matter what I do to try to make things easier.

    Regarding puzzles: It's sort of like the temple run at the end of each episode of Legend of the Hidden Temple; it doesn't seem to matter that the monkey statue only has three pieces to stack it still takes the player 18x longer than expected to build it. Add the TTRPG "life or death" situations on top of the puzzle and things slow to a crawl. Maybe that's just me though.

    Back to your question: The way the sessions are structured and the sorts of encounters presented depend on the players enjoyment levels, but the plot of the storyline generally doesn't unless the players just have no interest in it whatsoever. At that point the plot changes accordingly. Our group tends to be very dungeon-crawl oriented so the validation they get from defeating monsters and surviving traps tends to weigh in more heavily than, say, political intrigue or Machiavellian scheming. That may be a direct result of the system though, D&D 3.5(ish) itself just isn't that RP oriented from a system perspective when compared to many of the other popular systems available. That's one of the reasons why I love adding in new systems on top of the existing D&D 3.5 framework, like RP/Fate Points, Paths, Runic, etc.; they all stress RP a bit more heavily in a system that is essentially a combat simulator.

    Regarding particular feedback: The best feedback that I've received is the usefulness of a session 0 prior to the start of a campaign and a wrap up session after the conclusion of a campaign.

     

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 942

    When you "straight out ask", is this in person at a session, or outside of the game via email or something?  If in person ... do you just pause the session?

    I've had similar issues with puzzles in games I've GMed.  Even what seems like a simple puzzle can just suck the fun out of the game if the Players aren't into puzzles.  When it looks like that's happening, I have had them all roll an intelligence or wisdom check and then start giving clues or hints.  Though I can't say that really made it better.

    Interesting about plot and dungeoncrawling.  If I was guessing, I'd say your group just prefers the dungeoncrawl stuff.  I remember playing some very RP heavy Campaigns in 3.5 ... so it seems like any system can be leaned toward dungeoncrawl or RP as the group desires.

    "The best feedback that I've received is the usefulness of a session 0 prior to the start of a campaign and a wrap up session after the conclusion of a campaign."

    Oooh!  I'll pose separate questions on those at some point.  I don't want to derail this question in case anyone else has a perspective they'd like to share ... but those are great teasers.

     

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Frak_Lou_Elmo
    Frak_Lou_Elmo
    Posts: 170

    I am constantly freaking out on whether my players are having fun cheeky 



    They tend to be vocal enough to say they enjoyed it. I would like more detailed feedback and sometimes have privately messages individuals to ask how they think a mechanic or social encounter could be improved. 



    I am seriously thinking of making an anonymous survey for them at the end of this current campaign arc to ask questions like "what did you like most? what did you like least? what can be improved? do you want more or less battle/traps/social/puzzles etc?"



    twitter: @Frak_Lou_Elmo

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,957

    We have a very active private discord for game discussions- we propose rule changes, new spells, skills, etc, have a section for hooks and plats, and just are very involved.

    The players know regardless of who the gm is in our group (5 of the 6 have run at some point) that we listen and incorporate things from the players.

    Just trying to help out.

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,901

    We usually talk about things after the game and players are fairly vocal about saying what they like.  Nobody really says what the DON'T like but I guess, I think I pick that up.  Our group generally likes combat and rarely takes prisoners.  We DO have conversations too, but these are usually NPC meets.  They rarely have conversations with "monsters in combat".

    With regard to puzzles, if it is going slow, I always add clues, or d20 rolls to speed things up a bit.  We sometimes have "debriefing" sessions at the next "dungeon day", so things are reiterated there.

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 942

    @Frak_Lou_Elmo, if you do the anonymous survey, please do report back how it goes.  I'd be curious to know.

    @GamingMegaverse, that's awesome that you have such an involved group!  I wonder if it's just because most of y'all have been GM at some point, or if this can be achieved with a group that is "just Players"?  Do you have thoughts on that?  Did you do anything at the start of the group to encourage more participation/engagement?

    @twiggyleaf, that's nice that you can get the feedback in a positive manner.  The "rarely takes prisoners" made me think of a Campaign I'm playing in where the PCs aren't able to kill the monster, but they beat it into submission ... and then stuffed it in a milking pail, and took it with them so it wouldn't heal up and start attacking things in the area again.  So, we "took a prisoner", but we didn't really want to.  : )

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • Abersade
    Abersade
    Posts: 279

    Gotta watch out for those micro-Trolls. XD

    When I ask, it's usually in person but not during the session.

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 942

    Thanks for that clarification!

    Obsidian Portal Developer

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,957

    Rewards help participation!  Talk to your players, find out what would motivate them to participate, and give it to them!!

    Just trying to help out.

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,901

    @thaen, your "monster in a milking pail" made me laugh!

    devil

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 942

    Ha! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Obsidian Portal Developer

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