Who Decides What You Play?

Who decides what to play?

  • Existing group: The GM chooses the game and the campaign

    Votes: 19 43.2%
  • Existing group: the GM chooses the game but the group chooses the campaign

    Votes: 1 2.3%
  • Existing group: the groups decides on both the game and the campaign

    Votes: 18 40.9%
  • New(ish) group: the GM decides on the game and campaign and invites players

    Votes: 5 11.4%
  • New(ish) group: the GM invites players and the group decides on the campaign

    Votes: 1 2.3%
  • New(ish) group: the group forms to play a game/campaign and recruits a GM

    Votes: 0 0.0%


When it is time to start a new campaign, how do you and your group decide what to play? I have included as many poll options as I can think of, but I am sure I missed some, so feel free to explain in the thread.

Note that I tried to separate it into existing groups and new (or new-ish) groups. The difference I am getting at is between the same 6 people playing together for years or decades, versus a group formed specifically for a game.

Also note that I limited it to one answer, so choose the option that is most common for you.

For my part, I usually decide I want to run something and then wrangle players. The difficulty of doing so is usually proportional to how close to 5E D&D I am proposing to run.


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Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
The majority of my groups (3 out of 4) have rotating DMs. So if you want to take a turn DMing, you lay out what you're interested in running. Oftentimes, there's 2 or more people who have ideas, so there's general discussion on which idea the group is more interested in pursuing for the next campaign.

We keep our campaigns relatively short (generally no more than 2 years max, and often much less) so everyone gets a turn trying out their ideas.


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
We're usually pretty easy-going in the campaigns I'm in. Most players will go along with whatever's on offer, whether it's from the GM or a player with a notable hankering for a particular campaign/game. We've rarely had much of a dispute and, if there are multiple things a lot of people want to do, we'll set up alternating weeks for play in order to have 2 ongoing games.

Also note that I limited it to one answer, so choose the option that is most common for you.
That's the tricky part for me. New-ish tables are very different than getting together with people I've been gaming with for decades - although at this point the "old grognard" games are almost never an actual campaign, more one-shots and short arcs instead. I voted category four because it's probably where I spend the most time now, but even ten years ago getting together with any of several clumps of old-time gamers made up more of my time.
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He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
My long term group was half always players, and half sometimes GM (with me being GM at least 50% of the time). Our process was to have an interested GM submit a few options and the group discussed it until the appropriate level of interest was reached.

With online play I have taken to being a bit more specific. If I GM I lay down exactly what I am looking for and discuss with potential members. As a player, I have had some luck tossing out an add saying im looking for x,y,z specifically.

Thomas Shey

These days there's some degree of collective decision; even though I'd presented my next campaign idea (13th Age, pretty standard version) I made sure my players were interested before I did any work on it.


When our current game wraps up, we have a vote for the next game. The person who wants to DM/GM a game proposes it to the group, we vote and then that person runs the game. We do this around once every six months to a year, depending on how long it takes to complete the current campaign (or TPK or we get dog tired of the game).

My reality is much less binary than the poll implies.

For example, the GM vs the group choosing the campaign. For the last three campaigns I've been a part of, there was an active discussion. But not a discussion among equals. The players got input, but the GM got more input. The players talked about preferences, but the GM had power say yes or no at a level the players didn't have. So I can't say the group decided, but I also can't say the GM decided.

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