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%

Thomas Shey

Legend
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.

I think in my personal experience there's more negative influence on both sides. In other words, its easier for the group as a whole or the GM individually to kill a game, but not to make one happen. That's because it requires both sides to be present in the end. (I'm assuming for purposes of this that just shopping another GM or more players is impractical or undesirable).
 

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RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
The person in our group who chooses to DM next/is next in rotation to DM chooses the game and campaign. Our group sticks to D&D but one member is a fan of Pathfinder as well, and another enjoys a variety of TTRPGs with different groups, so there is always the option to try something else.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I think in my personal experience there's more negative influence on both sides. In other words, its easier for the group as a whole or the GM individually to kill a game, but not to make one happen. That's because it requires both sides to be present in the end. (I'm assuming for purposes of this that just shopping another GM or more players is impractical or undesirable).
That's probably a reasonable way of looking at it. And I don't really have a problem with the GM effectively having a bit more say than the players. After all, they're the ones who are going to have the extra burden of administering the rules and prepping whatever needs to be prepped. If there's a recipe for a bad time in RPGs, it's a GM running something they don't want to run.
 

dbm

Savage!
Option 3 was the closest to my circumstance. We have four rotating GMs so when one campaign finishes one or two of the other GMs will offer a system & campaign combo (maybe more than one) and we will see what the group is up for.
 

I select 5-6 options from my staring potential games document and send them to players to vote on blindly. My selection note game, setting, and since I run mostly canned materials what campaign/modules/adventures I’m interested in running.

I always allow them the option to suggest something else but no one else ver does.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I voted the option that's been most frequent in my experience: established group where the GM chooses game system and group chooses the campaign (often from a list of suggestions, if players aren't proactive).

But I've also done a fair bit (perhaps one-quarter or so) of "GM chooses game and campaign and invites players." Usually this is for relatively short and/or experimental campaigns.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Our D&D gaming group consists of 6 people, and four of us take turns sitting in the DM chair. It is understood and accepted among the whole group that the new DM will decide what game we will be playing. The new DM decides everything: which game and edition we play, which resources are allowed, which VTT platform we will be using, the overall style and tone, the whole deal. We don't put it to a vote or committee or anything like that, we just trust our friends and fellow DMs.

A typical stint in the chair lasts about 12-24 months. We are currently 10 months into my third turn in the DM chair, and I decided we would be playing a swashbuckling, "Age of Sail" campaign, using 5E D&D rules, played over Roll20. Our next DM has already announced their next campaign--a sci-fi campaign, set in the Star Wars universe, using 5E D&D rules and Foundry VTT--which should be ready to play in 2025.
 
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Kannik

Hero
Like many others, in our main group we take turns GMing and rotate through different games and campaigns. One of the players will propose some game/campaign they'd be interested in running, and the rest will either say yea or nay. (It's almost always all yeas.) We have no set time we'll switch over, and sometimes we alternate between campaigns week by week. We just kind of vibe it. :)

In my other group it's all D&D, all the time. We only play once per month, so someone will offer to DM and we'll play that campaign for 6-12 months before either completing it or putting it on pause for someone else to run a campaign for a while.
 

MGibster

Legend
Someone in my group, typically me, pitches several games along with a campaign idea for each system. I typically give them anywhere between 3-5 campaign ideas and they decide which one to play. On one occasion, I asked them to give tme their choices in order of preference and assigned points to their choices. i.e. Their first pick was worth 4 points, their second 3, and so on and so forth. I don't remember which campaign we ended up playing, but it wasn't anyone's first pick.
 

We usually have a discussion with a bit more input from whoever wants to GM. When I'm GMing, sometimes I'll post a couple of ideas to our discord and see which one gets the most positive reactions. None of us are likely to veto anything, honestly.
 

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