Recently we sent out a survey to Dungeon Masters on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other social media networks to see what problems were facing our community when it comes to running D&D. After collecting more than 200 results over the last month, we finally have the results of the dungeon master survey available for everyone. The infographic below shows our finding. Feel free to pin, share, and repost the infographic freely as is.
We were surprised to find that the largest areas of trouble for the Dungeon Masters surveyed were scheduling and organization. Organizational issues affeced 1 in 3 DMs while scheduling affectednearly 1 in 5. This was surprising to us as these two elements are often the core of a successful D&D group. If you can’t schedule regular sessions it’s very easy for a group to fall apart. If you can’t keep things organized as a DM it’s even easier to lose players from disinterest. Right now we are working on both articles and tools to help address these problems. In the coming weeks we plan on tackling each issue with help tips that we use in our own campaigns. Additionally, we want to get feedback from the community on how they handle these issues.
Troubling Issues with Infighting and Conflict
Player conflict accounted for about 1/8th of the issues that were listed by DMs. Some of these issues were worse than others. In a few cases, we see simple rules disputes cropping up, but more often we see one or more players acting maliciously towards their DM or their Group. While this can be upsetting on it’s own, I think we were most surprised to see that this is a continual issue for some people. We tackle how to deal with problem players in an earlier article here. We want to encourage a friendly and fun D&D community, so remember that if someone is hurting the experience for others, you can always talk to them about it and ask them to consider their actions. Worst case scenario, you may have to eject someone from your group. But that will always be better than letting one person ruin a great experience for everyone else.
Quality and Game Anxiety
We saw a lot of responses centered around game quality. It’s easy to understand why everyone wants to run a quality game. Many DMs said they have issues improvising, role playing NPCs, and providing a quality game experience overall. These are easily some of the hardest things to do when starting out playing D&D. Improving on almost all of these things come from practice. We have an article here on how to be a good DM, but we will be diving back into the topic of quality again soon since it kept cropping up in the survey. Some of these results pointed not to a lack of the DMs skill, but a instead a lack of confidence. A lot of D&D is objectively silly when viewed from the outside, but that’s just part of the game. Part of providing a good experience is having the confidence to act out weird characters and tell crazy stories. We will be diving directly into DM and player anxiety in the coming weeks as it affects game quality directly.
Notes on the Dungeon Master Survey
The results of this survey made us incredibly happy and thankful for all the support and responses we received. Despite this we wanted to talk about how this survey comes off a bit negative. We are focusing on problems in the hopes that we can help solve them. We want to hear from the community more! Currently we plan to have many more surveys in the future, but hopefully they won’t have such negative results. D&D is our passion here at Master the Dungeon and we are striving to help everyone have the best role playing experiences that they can.