Results of the Campaign Poll: What’s Your Campaign Style?

Below is my current office and where Roleplaying Tips happens. Highly festive with a string of lights, eh?

You can’t see it well on my laptop, but it’s an animated graphic I bring up in my browser if I don’t want any distractions on a screen. Some days it’s on one of the large monitors as well.

Out of Office Next Week

A quick admin note: Jochen and I will be out of office next week, though we’ll be checking daily for any support tickets.

Graphic of section divider

Results of the Campaign Poll: What’s Your Campaign Style?

A talent show + wrestling RPG? To the GM who let me know that’s their current game in the recent campaign style poll, please tell me more!

Thanks to everyone who entered the poll. While the poll isn’t scientific, I found the results fascinating and helpful.

Last week, while working on a secret new project (and it’s not the The Simple AI Guide to Adventure-Building I just released), I got to thinking about the many campaign approaches there are. And, despite the variety, we still all want one thing: to have more fun at every game.

Note that I believe there’s no wrong approach or perfect campaign style. If everyone at your table is having fun, that’s a win. I use my Box + Crawl + Path approach because it helps me run deeper, more plot-driven campaigns, with less prep required between sessions. You do you.

So thank you again for letting me know. Here are the results.

The poll asked one question:

What’s Your Campaign’s Style?

Multiple types could be chosen because some GMs run multiple campaigns, and I also felt my choices weren’t mutually exclusive.

The answer options were:

  • Dungeoncrawl
  • Story-Based, more Narrative-Based
  • Sandbox
  • Hexcrawl
  • West Marches
  • Point Crawl
  • Open Table
  • I don’t know what I’m running!
  • I’m not running a campaign right now
  • Other

Many GMs reached out to say they didn’t know the definitions and struggled to answer. My apologies — I’ll fix that in 2024 with some commentary about each style, plus some styles supplied in the Other box that I forgot to add!

1,319 Roleplaying Tips subscribers responded. And 2,420 answers in total were selected in the multi-answer poll.

Key Takeaways

Story/Narrative dominated with 37% of total answers.

The next most popular was Sandbox. That’s fantastic. Well met, sandbox GMs!

Third place goes to Dungeoncrawl.

Only 7% responded with “I’m not running a campaign right now”. Note that the poll question might’ve created survivorship bias, as I suspect the ratio is actually higher. I hope my upcoming secret project, launching January 1st, will help any GM struggling to get a campaign started or any GM who feels like they need a campaign reboot.

Campaign types that punched higher than I expected included Hexcrawl and West Marches. Nice.

Other Styles

There were 167 responses in the Other option. Here are a few comments that stood out at me as I read through each one:

  • ‘Dungeons’ (Points of Interest) within a Hex-Sandbox with Event Clock/Trigger Point Crawl (like a PLOT MACHINE)
  • 1 hour sessions for colleagues at work, usually repeated 3 times to accommodate all players. Each group experiences the same story beats to allow for variation in party composition every session.
  • Solo play / GM-less
  • I run two campaigns via email
  • Character-driven
  • Episodic
  • Kingdom building
  • Investigative
  • Mission-based
  • One-shots, Convention games
  • Open world

Again, I’ll leave definitions for another day. These are just the raw answers.

Graphic of section divider

Thanks again to everyone who responded!

I also received 264 questions in the questions box. I’ll be reviewing those soon and responding throughout 2024. Thank you for all the questions and tip requests.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas! I’ll see you next in 2024.

Happy holidays!

Have more fun at every game!

P.S. When you are ready, here are +4 vorpal ways I can help you with your campaign:

+1 Take the Free GM Organization Challenge
Stop the confusion and frustration of not having what you need to prep and run games at your finger tips. Become an organized GM in just one week:
Enroll at no charge here and start getting organized.

+2 Use Campaign Logger to Make Prep & GMing Easier
With features like automagic tagging and instant linking, use my web app to make logging sessions and prepping campaign details quick and easy:
Get your unlimited time free trial here.

+3 Get the Demonplague (with 62 5-Star Ratings so far)
A complete level 1-20 campaign D&D 5E adventure path that offers intense roleplay, sandbox and hexcrawl play, cunning combats, and fiendish monsters.
Click here to see more details and to order.

+4 Get More GM Loot
Visit the Roleplaying Tips DriveThruRPG store, or browse books and courses to level up your GMing at the store.

Join a private community with Johnn