How do YOU decide what to run?

If your bookshelves and hard drives are anything like mine you have a ton of options on what you'd like to run. Sure some stuff you bought just for inspiration but when staring New Campaign time in the mouth how do you decide what to run?

I find myself in that situation currently. I can't end my PF2 Abomination Vaults game until I have something else ready to go. I'm curious how YOU make that decision.

log in or register to remove this ad


My group only plays D&D 5e so it is easy. We only have time to one game and find it easier to just make new campaigns in 5e then spend the time learning a new game. My brother and son play with some of my cousins in a monthly-ish game where they will play other systems, usually blades in the dark.

If you enjoy PF2 then there must be another campaign there to pick up.


Druid of the Invisible Hand
I keep a list of games I want to run. There are a handful of ideas always on that list-- Super Mario Bros isekai, Street Fighter anything, Spelljammer sandbox, MHR eXiles-- and I've usually got a few more that I'm dying to run, like D&D in a Groundhog Day loop or Terminator RPG in LA in the Summer of 1998.

If you're really tapped, get you a checklist of all of the GURPS supplements for 3rd or 4th edition-- you don't need to own them-- make a random d% chart out of them, and roll to select three or four. Just make sure to run the final results past your players, because Biotech plus Horror plus Bunnies & Burrows can be a little divisive.

edit: Also, don't feel too obligated to the results. If you really don't want to run the mess the dice handed you, it probably either told you the game you'd rather run instead... or you still have the chart to roll again. Maybe instead of a fixed number, just keep rolling the bones until all of your results make sense or they're too borked and you start over.
Last edited:

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I literally have a spreadsheet and some factors such as:
  • Have I played it before?
  • Have I run it before?
  • Do I have it in print?
  • Will group A want to play it? (mostly cozy indy games)
  • Will group B want to play it? (mostly "popular" indy games and trindie games)
  • How much work will it be for me to get it to the table? (If I haven't even read the book, low score, if I've read the book once or twice - high score)
  • And most importantly, how excited am I to play?
I listed all the games/major adventure paths I own and then rated each one using the above criteria and some running the scores through the formula I came up with.

Deep Carbon Observatory won, and Dungeoncaster came in 4th, so I think I'm going to combine the two.

Other contenders include a|state, Starforged co-op, and the Traveller Adventure (using LBB 1981 as the rules, cause that's what I own in print)

Meanwhile, for what it's worth "AD&D homebrew" came in dead last out of 245 games...


For me it’s all about what inspires me, but much to my players chagrin that will probably change several times in the months running up to the campaign starting.

To be honest, until I start the actual prep and get the first adventure or two pinned down and fleshed out, I won’t know whether it’s gonna work for me or not. Hence the flip flopping. so I have to start assembling NPCs, Maps, laying out combats etc first and then I know it’s going to work.


I literally have a spreadsheet
This made my brain explode!

I like to introduce my group to new RPGs that I'm enthusiastic about. As a result we have a number of (semi-)active but not-quite-finished campaigns!

At the moment my enthusiasm is focused on Torchbearer. The next new thing I want to GM is Apocalypse World.


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I am an odd cat in that I like to run and play games. When I do run, I take it pretty serious and expect the campaign to take a few years to play out. I do one shots on occasion too on top of that. So, when I finish running something, I usually recharge my battery by playing for a bit. That period also gets my creative juices flowing and I come up with my next big concept/game.

I am designing a specific system and want to run/play games that are similar to see their strengths and weaknesses.

Besides that, its just what looks like will make for fun stories at the table.

I find myself in that situation currently. I can't end my PF2 Abomination Vaults game until I have something else ready to go. I'm curious how YOU make that decision.
I'm also running PF2e AV and my plan for following it up was to run the Stolen Fate AP since the hook brings them to nearby Absalom and it starts at level 11 so it's perfect.

As for how I decide what to run, AV was probably the only time I just told my group "I want to run this, is that cool?" and didn't present other options. Otherwise I do what I did when I ran the Call of Cthuthu starter set last weekend where I gave them 4 games I was interested in running at least 1 session of to see how the game plays and they decided on CoC. Before we started playing that on Saturday, I left some boxsets I want to run on a table for people to look through. Pendragon and OSE got some interest, so I'll probably offer up whatever scenario is in the Pendragon Starter Set or Winter's Daughter as the next game we try out.

An Advertisement