Contest: What do you want in a GM questionnaire?

by Silveressa

Player questionnaires, we’ve all seen them in various incarnations, used by many a GM to gauge  a prospective players’ gaming style, plot interests and overall experience, yet no such tool exists for the GM. What sorts of questions would be ideal to ask a prospective GM, be it about their gaming style, campaign or overall group dynamic?

This two week-long contest is designed to rectify this oversight and ideally give us a community generated GM questionnaire we can all use for future groups. To enter, simply comment with a useful question to put in a GM questionnaire or idea to make it useful.
The prizes for North American entrants are two packs of D&D Heroes minis from Wizards of the Coast, generously supplied by Gator Games. If you are not in North America don’t worry, we will hook you up with an alternate prize. Each comment counts as an entry, so feel free to let the ideas fly!


  1. says

    Q1 – What is your favorite genre of RPG?
    A) Classic Fantasy
    B) Super-Fantasy
    C) Steampunk
    D) Modern
    E) Supers
    F) Cyberpunk
    G) Sci-Fi / Future
    H) Post-apocalyptic
    I) Other:_____________

    Q2 – On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being the lowest) how high do you value control as a GM?

    Q3 – Would you say that you are more of a role-playing focused GM or a Tactics/Optimization focused GM?

  2. says

    Ok i’ll bite. here’s the first question i’d ask my players (assuming we’ed allready picked what system we was going to be using)

    - What Rules about system [x] do you honeslty think are not worth using?

  3. Gilvan Blight says

    What area would you say is your greatest strength as a GM?
    a) Running exciting combats
    b) Memorable NPCs
    c) Epic Storytelling
    d) Detailed Worldbuilding
    e) Rules Knowledge


  4. Palomon says

    Do you prefer to use a home-brew world or a published world? Do you prefer to use your own created adventures or published modules?

  5. Xykon_Fan says

    How is player death handled in your world? Will you only let us die when we do something stupid, or will you let us die because the world is simply a dangerous place and our luck ran out? How will you, or will you at all, be balancing a players’ next character that comes into an already leveled and loot-laden group?

  6. Measle Truly says

    Which do you value higher: Ingenuity, or knowledge of a games rules and setting?

    Which do you spend more time on for prep work: What they Players are sure to see, or covering what might happen?

    Do you usually embrace a Genre’s tropes, or reject and replace them?

  7. says

    What’s your preferred system? If my players wanted to try another system would you be open? Do you prefer that each system has their own sourcebook?

  8. Xykon_Fan says

    What sort of mood do you expect the players to have at the table (serious, silly, etc.)? How open are you to a mixing of moods or an entirely different mood?

  9. Xykon_Fan says

    What is your stance on metagaming? How much of it, if any, is allowed? Additionally, what are your basic rules regarding player disputes, rules issues, unwanted players, cheating, etc.?

  10. Palomon says

    Do you have any restrictions regarding the races/classes/feats/spells are available in your game?

  11. Palomon says

    What books, tiles/mats, miniatures, snacks, and other supplies do you expect the players to provide?

  12. Tudy says

    my questions for a GM-questionaire (am i’m right in assuming this questionaire is for players to give it out to the GM, such that the players know what the GM is going to do?):

    About what length is the fist adventure/campaign, given in estimated number of 4 hour sessions?

    How many players are expected from you as GM to sit on the table minimum and maximum for a session?

    Will the game proceed or paused if one, two, or more players can not make it to the session?

    Who is responsible for playing characters of absent players?

    How is your opinion about Co-GMs?

    How is your opinion about players contributing in the world-building-progress/players informing themself about the published setting?

    How is your opinion abour regular or irregular GM switches during campaign?

    How strict do you take the “said = done”-Rule?

  13. Xykon_Fan says

    What is your stance in involving players in the creation of the world? How much responsibility are the players expected/allowed to have in creation of cities, NPCs, or scenarios? Do you expect the players to be putting in time between sessions thinking of things and managing the party?

  14. says

    On a scale from one to ten, with one being completely plotted and two being completely sandboxy, where would you place your GMing style?

    What’s your stance on player-created mechanics?

    Is your GMing style proactive or reactive?

    What sort of theme and mood are you planning for this particular game?

  15. Palomon says

    Would you be willing to host the game sessions, or would one of the players have to host? Would it be possible to play at a public place such as a gaming store, library, etc.?

  16. says

    Is your game more tactically driven or character driven? For example do you use miniatures to give an idea of the combat or are they supposed to be an exact representation of the field.

  17. says

    What is your stance on Player knowledge vs Character knowledge? For example if my character has an above way average intelligence am I as a player expected to know everything that my character does? When it comes to the World that the game is played in am I expected to just know the proper way to address the city guard because my character would or would I be informed of things that my character would know before making mistakes such as addressing the guard a Constable vs Inspector?

  18. Silveressa says

    The contest is over with some great ideas by everyone that will help make for a great Gm questionnaire.

    Without further ado, the contest winner is: Justin!

    Congrads and I hope you enjoy your new minis! 8)

    You’ll be contacted by email shortly to work out the details on shipping your prize. :D