[Generic Fantasy Settings] Survey What Player Enjoy

edited October 2010 in Story Games
The local library has a copy of the D&D 3.5e DMG 2 (which sounds like something on a Medicare form). I checked it out and have been pleasantly surprised by numerous intriguing ideas.

Foremost, the book opened with a discussion about aspects of the game that players enjoy.

(Despite having no interest in D&D 3.5, I expanded its list and used it as a survey for my wife, whose answers about rating each item 1 to 10 in fun somewhat surprised me. This will help me make my future GM-ing for her more enjoyable!)

Please help me brainstorm yet more items for this list of "What Do Players Enjoy About Fantasy RPGs?"

-Gaining new character abilities
-Gaining new abilities that are not intrinsically part of the character, such as items
-Gaining or learning new ways for abilities to work together
-Gaining new ways to stand out (fame, reputation, social status or uniqueness, etc.)
-Exciting combat
-Variety in reasons combat is suspenseful (types of opponents, abilities used by friend and foe, dramatic locations, etc.)
-Using strategy or advanced planning to accomplish a difficult task more easily
-Solving logic puzzles
-Solving mysteries
-Playing a PC based on a certain theme or concept (pirate, ninja, archer, etc.)
-Playing a PC who is calm, collected, and cool in all situations
-Participation in a story with a catchy and suspenseful/interesting plot
-Participation in a story with memorable NPCs
-Participation in a story that allows developing the life drama of the PC
-Participation in a story with exotic or fantastic places
-Finishing exploring or "clearing out" a place
-Experiencing the freedom to act in a fictional setting in ways I'd never act in real life
-Experiencing the freedom to try different plans or strategies without worrying about the consequences


  • -Revealing something exciting, shocking, or curious about their character
  • Introducing a plot-twist that no one at the table was expecting.
  • -Talking in character
    -Creating backgrounds for their characters
    -Losing themselves in their character
    -Exploring worlds
    -Learning secrets
    -Instigating the other players
    -Taking crazy risks
    -Optimizing character builds
    -Reading game supplements
    -Exploring unsafe ideas
    -Feeling Powerful
    -Doing things they can't in real life
    -Telling stories
    -Helping others
    -Dying in dramatic ways
    -Simulating fiction they love (books, movies, tv)
  • edited October 2010
    -Being in control of something (their PC)
    -Being in control of the other players (as DM)
    -Standing in the spotlight
  • -Killing things and taking their stuff

    ...had to be said.
  • Actually, both DMGs were very good for 3.x-era D&D. They really had a lot of good techniques and helpful stuff. Considering how dreadful I found previous D&D DMGs, it was a welcome surprise.
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