5E 2016 5th edition D&D Dungeon Master Survey
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  1. #1

    2016 5th edition D&D Dungeon Master Survey

    Hello! I am conducting a survey for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons dungeon masters to get a better idea how DMs prepare and run their D&D games. If you are a 5th edition Dungeon Master and have a few minutes to spare, I would greatly appreciate your response.

    You can take the survey at:


    Thank you very much!

    Mike Shea

  2. #2

    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Meridian, ID
    Every question in this survey fails to have an accurate answer for me as an option by being entirely "this" or "that" with no "some of both" types of answers. As a result, I feel the information gained by the answers that I can select will not actually provide the stated desired idea of how I prepare and run my D&D games.

    Further, some of the questions are ambiguously worded. I cannot be sure if "For each session, how much time do you spend on developing the story of the adventure?" is meaning to ask me how much time I spend doing prep work that develops the story (next to none) or is meaning to ask me how much time during a session of play gets spent developing the story (basically all of it, in one way or another).

    So I've answered assuming all ambiguous questions were talking about prep time rather than play time, and limiting my answers only to one of the three distinctly different ways in which I prepare for sessions and selecting the nearest matching answer for questions about how I run games (though the nearest match was often very far away, much like rounding 1.5 to 10 rather than 2 because the choices for answers are all 10 or larger values).

  3. #3
    I also had a bit of difficulty, in that the answers to the questions are not the same for every session I run. A lot depends on how far we made it in the previous session, and what seeds I have sown have taken effect at any given point.

  4. #4

    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Redmond, WA
    I get a feeling that some DMs spend way too much time preparing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    darjr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I do both grid, non-grid, and map but griddless combat styles. My preference is totm but I often run on the grid for player preference.
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  6. #6

    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    Plaguescarred's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Montral, Qubec
    I filled your survey Mike. In short i run a GREYHAWK campaign using published and homebrewed adventures twice a month with maps and miniatures with about an hour preparation (this reduce prep time before a session to only a couple of minutes). Many of this time goes on thinkering and can run longer when i need preraring props and handouts.

    Things to i find helpful to run a D&D game apart from maps and minis are condition cards, an initiative board and Sly Flourish Building Encounter Guidelines

    Things i find that help run great D&D game is to be overly descriptive and making voices help make NPC and monsters more alive and fun to interact with.

  7. #7

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    New York
    I answered as best I could. The trickiest question for me was about the setting...I essentially could have answered "all of the above" because my game consists of 5 prime material worlds (Oerth, Toril, Athas, Golarion, and a homebrew world, Arta) and all of them are connected by the planes, where Sigil tends to be the major hub.

    I put homebrew for lack of a more specific answer. I imagine that a lot of other folks will struggle with this one. The prep time question had the word "about" so I ball parked all of that easily enough.

  8. #8

    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Hardest part of the survey was the parsing out of specific preparation. Most times, these parsed events are interrelated and they are conceived and developed at the same time.

    Although, one of the misrepresentation of workload involves some of my favorite tools. They save me tons of time producing quality materials for the players and myself during the game. However, much of the work was done long before the adventure began.
    XP Hathorym gave XP for this post

  9. #9

    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Basically just answered the option which was "most like" when I'd have wanted to check two options

  10. #10

    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    Blue's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Cedar Grove, NJ 07009
    There was questions about prep-time on world/setting building - when you publish the results I'd love to see how that varied for homebrew vs. published settings.

    Oh, and a question not asked: What tool would I most like to have for preparation but don't: PDFs I can cut-n-paste to my prep. Spell descriptions, an uncommon condition that's going to come up, monster stat blocks, etc. Having that handy without cracking books (or cracking them for other things without losing the main stuff I need) would be a huge help.

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