How do YOU decide what to run?


log in or register to remove this ad


Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
The Voices in my Head tell me what to play or I get the hose again.

More seriously, I run what I find exciting AFTER I've discussed it with the players. Because we all have to want to play it or it's an uphill slog for me on ice skates.
 

Guess I'll answer my own question. I keep a small list of things I'm interested in running, typically organized by the system I'd use to run it. My groups is not narratively focused, or story-first, or emerging story, or whatever you want to call it. We are pretty solidly mid-high crunch table the likes tactical combat. That said I find alot of inspiration in some of the story first world. I'd really like to run a more traditional version of Blades in the Dark for instance. My current list:
Games to Run
  • Savage Worlds - High action games with loose rules
    • Savage Pathfinder
      • Iron Gods
      • Mummy's Mask
      • Curse of the Crimson Throne
    • Achtung Cthulu/Pulp Call of Cthulu type games
      • Achtung Cthulu
    • Numenera - Science Fantasy
      • Super Powers Science Fantasy
    • Shadowrun
      • Chicag0 Missions based
    • Savage Blades in the Dark
      • Street Gangs
    • Coriolis
      • Corruption
      • Space Ship Combat
    • Masks of Nyarlathotep
      • Pick up after the TPK
    • Dracula Dossier/Zalozhniy Quartet
      • Nights Black Agents/Agent of Oblivion
      • Zalozhniy Quartet picks up where the prior group left off
    • Savage Symbaroum
      • Savage Pathfinder Hack
      • Gritty Damage
      • Corruption
    • Savage Starfinder
  • Pathfinder - Because I love Pathfinder/3.x D&D
    • Wrath of the Righteous
    • Curse of the Crimson Throne
    • Shattered Star
    • Iron Gods
    • Mummy's Mask
  • PF2 - Because it's a living, high fantasy, heavy crunch game
    • Abomination Vaults
    • Fist of the Ruby Phoenix
    • Outlaws of Alkenstar
    • I'd take a look at Age of Ashes as well, with some work
  • Warhammer Fantasy 4e Grim and Perilous gaming
  • Dark Heresy/Imperium Maledictum
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
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.
Well, there’s 2 factors that are key:

1) what are the systems I think best support the campaign I want to run?

2) what systems are my players willing to play?

I will then pick a system from those in the overlap between those two sets. If none exist, I probably won’t run anything.
 

loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
I mostly just decide. I tend to run short-ish campaigns, 4-8 sessions, so it's not that big of a commitment.

That said, the decision is extra simple for me because I mostly run my own games, so there's not many options to pick.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I'm a fairly service-oriented GM. If my players told me they strongly wanted to play a particular game, that'd be what I run.

They never do that though.

So, I have a conversation with my players, sometimes with a survey, to find out what genre and playstyle they want, and I look at my shelves and choose what I want that fits the player's desires.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I'm a fairly service-oriented GM. If my players told me they strongly wanted to play a particular game, that'd be what I run.

They never do that though.

Yeah, they are never that helpful. I think most of them don't even realize they have that as an option. Also, almost none of my players are really that looped into the rest of the hobby, except for the ones who actually also want to GM games - and in that case, they just run what they want themselves...

So, I have a conversation with my players, sometimes with a survey, to find out what genre and playstyle they want, and I look at my shelves and choose what I want that fits the player's desires.
That's what I have done in the past on a group by group basis - presented 3 or 4 options, with some pulled-from-Pinterest images, and asked for them to vote and veto.

Here's the most recent version of this from 2020. We ended up going with Stars Without Number

This time though, all my groups are mid-campaign, but I have space for one. more. game. (Famous last words eh?) So in this case, I can choose what I want to run, and then try to pull players together...
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Its usually a three-part process:

1. What sort of genres have run recently? I'm almost always going to want a change.
2. Among the systems I have that at all appeal to me, which seem best for running the genre (and if I'm that far along, the specific campaign idea) I'm looking for?
3. Are my players at all interested in the above?

If it fails #3, I back up and make a second pass at #1 and #2.

Edit: Note that its possible to exhaust my available options in the first two; while I'm willing to try and support my players, if I'm just burned out on particular genres and/or dislike certain mechanics, they're not going to get a good game out of me doing those, so I won't even try.
 


AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Upcoming Releases

Top