View Full Version : Poll: DM or player?

2007-01-04, 03:53 PM
I was personally wondering what people enjoy doing more, DMing or playing. I personally like playing more, mostly when there's a good DM, but I think playing with a mediocre DM is better even than being a DM with good players. However, I know opinions vary on this subject, so I've come to ask.

2007-01-04, 04:11 PM
For me its all about being the player, I have Dm'd before but it just wasn't the same as being part of the group. I would have to say that every player appreciates a good DM.

2007-01-04, 04:13 PM
We rotate DMing in our group.

I love world building, and I don't mind running a game, but I enjoy playing much more.

2007-01-04, 04:17 PM
DMing has its fun moments. I love creating quirky characters for the players to interact with, thinking up odd twists and gruesome things that can happen. But really, I like playing so much more. You can be so much more spontaneous while playing. Its like one huge improv session, with a few boundaries.

2007-01-04, 04:18 PM
I didn't actually respond to the poll because I haven't really had an opportunity to cut my teeth as a DM yet. Nonetheless, the I'm really enjoying all of the preparation that goes into creating the world, the adventures, and the encounters that a team of players will face. I expect that when I get to put all of the material I've prepared to use, it's going to be a blast. I enjoy playing, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm more exited about the prospect of running a game than I ever was about playing in one.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-04, 04:19 PM
Neither. I like world-building and class/prc/creature/item/monster creation the best.

2007-01-04, 04:35 PM
I answered player. I like being DM, designing NPCs, seeing what the PCs do... It is just that all the designing and trying to come up with something unique* each time can once in a while cause burnout and then all I need is a few sessions of being able to play...

*I know everything I will design has already been done, possibly in every way I can think of, too. However, my players haven't played everything ever invented in every way yet, so it is new and unique for them.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-01-04, 04:37 PM
It depends on the instance, but mostly I'd have to say it is pretty even. It has to be a good game before I prefer playing over DMing.

And yes, the sheer creating of things are at least as fun as well :smallwink:

2007-01-04, 04:38 PM
Being a player is SO much less stressful - I get to just relax and have fun. Plus, when I'm DMing I have to pay attention to every player in the group. When I'm a player I only have to pay attention to the DM. Much easier.

Unfortunately, good DMs are always in short supply . . .

- Saph

2007-01-04, 04:39 PM
Once, I dreaded the thought of DMing. Now, I'm gradually becoming addicted to the power.

2007-01-04, 04:39 PM
I definitely like being DM better. Who doesn't like being a god? :smallwink:

2007-01-04, 04:41 PM
Very tough question. I like both just about evenly I chose DMing though because I enjoy world and adventure creation.

2007-01-04, 04:47 PM
I prefer being a player. I don't have the dedication to create long campaings- most of my DM stints tend to be either short (One major task running about five to ten sessions at most) or done intermittantly (I'll run a campaign for X sessions, then someone else will move in and I'll bring my campaign back up front in a month or so)

Gives me more 1 on 1 time with a particularly awesome character I like, too- the hardest part of being a DM is phasing that super-cool guy you made back into the background after having them do what they needed to do.

2007-01-04, 05:01 PM
I like the responses. I find it interesting that some people wanted to DM at first but got into it and didn't like it, and one other person dreaded it until he got used to it. I was one of the former, and had a very clever world and all built and I thought it would be great till I realized that, well, the players determine what happens in the game, not the DM. The DM can present whatever he wants, but it's up to the players to interperet events and make their own way in them. You can lead a PC to water, but you can't stop it from casting fireball at it :-D .

2007-01-04, 05:19 PM
Bah!! Bah!! I never get a chance to be a player, I have to be a DM all the time.

I like being the DM though

Lithgon the Crazy
2007-01-04, 05:27 PM
I like being a DM better. I love trying to outsmart the Players and having all the power of a god. :biggrin:

2007-01-04, 05:37 PM
I like the world-building part.

2007-01-04, 06:21 PM
I usually am the DM, but I like being a player far more. Being the DM is sometimes like building a big lego castle then having people kick it over. Which gets annoying after a while. Also, I find it easier to relax as a player, and as I mostly play for recreation...

2007-01-04, 06:57 PM
Most of the time, I prefer to DM. I like being able to share my creations with my players, and while one can do that as a player, the opportunities are much more prevalent as a DM.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-04, 07:04 PM
Player. In particular, I like creating cool characters and doing some seriously dedicated roleplaying and testing the DM. I also enjoy playing off of the personalities of the other players, dragging them into RPing whether they'd ordinarily like to or not.

That said, if no one around is a very good DM, I'd prefer to be the DM as I couldn't enjoy the game as a player in that instance.

2007-01-04, 07:05 PM
I'm torn really... I DM most often but I do so enjoy playing. I'm arguably the best storyteller in our group and I have a penchant for making PCs jump through hoops. I'd love to be a Player, but hate it if I'm my own DM.

2007-01-04, 07:07 PM
I like to play and I like to DM. A bad game can ruin either experience while a great game does just the opposite.

2007-01-04, 07:08 PM
Whoa, I was expecting it to be more even. I said DM cause I enjoy it. For playing I just have a tendency to just write a story.

2007-01-04, 07:14 PM
I personally like playing more, mostly when there's a good DM, but I think playing with a mediocre DM is better even than being a DM with good players.

I prefer playing but I have a real problem with mediocre or even poor DMs. This is how I usually get roped into DMing. Honestly, some of the DMs I've seen in action, it's like watching a train wreck.

2007-01-04, 07:21 PM
I go for player. There's so much less stress involved, you can sit back and let the plot take it's shape. It's much more fun to react to the things the DM has in store for you than to plan them all out.

2007-01-04, 07:27 PM
Definately DM. It's so much fun leading the PC's around like puppets. As a player I have one characters, I have to worry about him. As a DM I have millions of characters! I can play dragons and gelatinous cubes, orc warchiefs and rip-off characters! All the things I not allow for my players :) Also, it's less stressful, since you know what awatis theparty in the next room :)

2007-01-04, 07:35 PM
Playing is more fun for me, but DMing is more gratifying.

2007-01-04, 07:41 PM
player, i'm a very evil DM so i like be a player, it's much more fun

Dark Knight Renee
2007-01-04, 07:42 PM
I very much prefer to be player. In fact, I outright hate having to DM, and am not very good at it. Alas that I have no alternatives... -_-

2007-01-04, 08:23 PM
I really wasn't expecting it to be even, there have to be more players than DMs or the game wouldn't function. also...

It's so much fun leading the PC's around like puppets.

Man, I wish I could do that. My PC's do what they like and I can't make them do anything else because I feel like I'm railroading them if I do. Still, though, I think open ended stories are more fun. It's harder on the DM, but it's more satisfying as a player.

2007-01-04, 08:31 PM
I prefer playing because the group I DM for has so ludicrously optimized themselves for killing with magic, in particular will saves (though some fort saves as well) that anything I send that is weak in that respect is annihilated and anything strong in that respect annihilates them. It just makes DM'ing a real hassle sometimes.

2007-01-04, 08:35 PM
I am like Roy's sister.

2007-01-04, 09:20 PM
I was just thinking of making a poll like this but oh well.

I voted for player but I like them about the same it is like 49% to 51%. However the main reason I voted player is because I really want to be player. Unfortunately I am the only DM that is any good but it is okay because I still have lots of fun.

2007-01-04, 10:06 PM
I am like Roy's sister.
*laughs* That took me a minute. ^^;

Well, I'm new to my group and to D&D, so I need a lot more experience before I can DM (thus I've abstained from voting). But I'm eager to try, and I've been pushed by just about every other DM I know in that direction -- apparently they think I'd be into it.

I'll wait until I've played a few more games.

2007-01-04, 10:15 PM
Truthfully, I prefer being a player, on the basis that it is less stressful and you can really concentrate on your own character and having fun

2007-01-05, 04:07 PM
Man, I wish I could do that. My PC's do what they like and I can't make them do anything else because I feel like I'm railroading them if I do. Still, though, I think open ended stories are more fun. It's harder on the DM, but it's more satisfying as a player.

Not railroading, but leading them the wrong way. The standard issue of the BBEG gives them the quest, accompanies them as an NPC, and the like. Tweak, tweak, tweak, until your players don't know what is the right thing to do. :)

2007-01-05, 05:27 PM
The ratio of players to DM's needs to be about 4:1, so it's a good thing it's not all even ;)

2007-01-05, 06:16 PM
I prefer to be a player verses being DM. As a DM I'm always looking at the players trying to read their emotions to see if the game is going well. Keeping the game moving forward and the players into the game takes work. As a player I concentrate more on roleplaying and just enjoying the ride.

2007-01-05, 06:23 PM
I much prefer being a player. I like to get into the role-playing and developing the character, it's hard to do the same depth as a DM. I also really enjoy solving puzzles and mysteries.
Luckily I also like world-building, because so far I'm the only one in my group that can keep a game going as a DM. I keep trying to get them to switch off DMing, but their games always fall apart after one or two sessions, which is kind of annoying since I've got several characters now that I really want to play, but never get the chance.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-05, 06:24 PM
Makes you wonder- did Walt Disney actually enjoy Disney World?

2007-01-05, 07:42 PM
I prefer playing, but since I know the rules well, have all the books, and have a goodly amount of spare time, I tend to end up being DM


2007-01-09, 01:11 PM
This is really interesting, since i vastly prefer GMing (as DMing is called when using the GURPS system, which i use slightly more often than DnD) to being a player.

Perhaps this is because my group, now i've left a nightmarish one, are getting increasingly good at roleplaying, so i can build up a collection of plotline and watch them grow.

There's nothing a player can do to make himself satisfied in the same way a GM (DM) can when he sees a plot seed he planted over ten or more sessions ago bear fruit.

Fax Celestis
2007-01-09, 01:28 PM
Makes you wonder- did Walt Disney actually enjoy Disney World?

Okay, that's enough of the faux intellectualism for today, thanks.

2007-01-09, 01:41 PM
I can't decide, I suppose it can depend on what I'm doing at the moment; such as when I'm writing my campaign I like being a DM more, but if I'm making a character I like being a character more. The same goes for what I'm doing at a given session, if I'm the DM, I like DMing, and likewise for being a PC. I cannot submit an accurate vote.

Gorbad the Limb Rippa
2007-01-09, 01:43 PM
I throughly enjoy playing but thats mainly due to the fact that I've only been dm twice and that kind of died after the first session because i ran out of ideas

2007-01-09, 02:23 PM
I like to DM, but lately I just haven't the time to make a good story and sessions, darn having a family life. So currently I put I like being a player more, since I don't have the time to be a good DM, it annoys me to try.

2007-01-09, 02:25 PM
Okay, that's enough of the faux intellectualism for today, thanks.

I heart you.

2007-01-09, 02:36 PM
I have a lot of fun thinking up twisting plots but in the end it's just more fun to be a player.

2007-01-09, 02:37 PM
While I enjoy playing, and have gotten burned out from DMing (was purely a DM from '91-'98) I really enjoy being the DM better every year I do it. I like the planning, research and seeing the collaborative effort of a group to work through something I created. I get a lot of satisfaction from it.

Winged One
2007-01-09, 06:02 PM
I adore playing, and don't trust myself to DM.

2007-01-09, 10:41 PM
I DM a minimum of ninety percent of the time that I am playing any RPG, especially D&D. I don't mind, in fact, I have much fun testing interesting or powerful builds against the PC's, weaving a world of my own creation, and thwarting my player's constant attempts at becoming PC's of god-like, munchkiny, Pun-Puny power. Alas, I have more more fun not thwarting people from an omniscient perspective, and while I put little emphasis on roleplaying as a DM or a PC, I would like to be able to be a unique character more often, instead of NPC#57468, who may actually have a name, backstory, and even a character sheet. It would waste the group's time to make the backstory known in/center point of/important to the plot on a major scale the majority of the time, after all he's just a BBEG's servant. In addition, the only legitimate compromise(DMPC or DMNPC in the party) is entirely unacceptable to me.
I suppose then, it's not that I don't have fun DMing(I wouldn't do it nearly as much if I didn't). I prefer the freedom of a PC to the chains of a DM(even though those chains him directly to ultimate power).

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-09, 11:12 PM
My DM Avatars are used as plot devices mostly. They only travel with the group in short bursts, always have better equipment/levels then the party (this is mostly because my usual players would likely kill them on sight like everyone else otherwise), and are tied into the plot in such a way that their very existence offers a variety of potential quests. I rarely use villain DMA's, unless their position was brought about due to the story (like in my current one, the party tried to kill a paladin I sent to direct them to the next major plot point. So in that whole quest's place, they found themselves on the run from not only that paladin, but his entire order).

2007-01-10, 10:09 AM
It's a trade off for me. As a DM the gave is more work, but potentially very rewarding. As a Player I don't have to put as much effort in outside of the game, but still get a great deal of the fun. This is, of course, all assuming the group is itself fun; bad DMs and bad Players greatly lessen the degree of fun, but some people are good Players, but bad DMs and vice versa (Bad and Good are also obviously subjective).

2007-01-14, 12:55 PM
I prefer being DM. I really enjoy creating superpowerful villains for the pc's to fight (actually if anyone has a good idea for a good main villain, let me know as I have been having trouble finding one for my legacy weapon campaign) and getting to hear them talk about the campaign for the whole week until they play again.

2007-01-14, 01:59 PM
I prefer to be a player verses being DM. As a DM I'm always looking at the players trying to read their emotions to see if the game is going well. Keeping the game moving forward and the players into the game takes work. As a player I concentrate more on roleplaying and just enjoying the ride.
This is interesting reasoning. Interesting because it doesn't apply to me at all. ^^;

As the person in the group who would likely have the the highest diplomacy score, I tend to feel like, as a player, I'm still playing peacekeeper and keeping the game going. Which is another reason why I'd rather like to try to DM... I'd still be doing the same thing, but I'd actually have the authority to do it.

2007-01-14, 03:31 PM
I find myself in the DM role more often than that of the player - which is a darn shame because I rather like playing. It's just that only one other guy in our group is able to deal with DMing our group of psychotic munchkins, and he needs a break now and then.

That said, I do like DMing, especially with the smaller group at college as opposed to the larger one at home. The college guys find the roleplaying easier and concentrate on creating a character that is memorable rather than a brutally efficient killing machine. I think the most fun I ever had with DnD was DMing a module that I've been meaning to put up on homebrew for improvement - a Roleplaying "whodunit?" module without a single initiative or attack roll. We had a blast.

The 8th Sin
2007-01-14, 09:42 PM
DMing by far. In my brain there are so many ideas that I love and DMing is a way of sharing them with my friends. Between characters and plotlines I enjoy every part of it. More than anything else however, it's fun just to give them an adventure. I love the thrill of knowing that I am the one providing for them, and that they appriciate it. The DM-PC relationship is symbiotic.

2007-01-15, 02:19 AM
I prefer being a player. Unfortunately, I'm just about the only person around who seems willing to DM. :smallfrown: That said, however, I do enjoy all the creative aspects of DMing - world-building, NPC & monster creation, coming up with challenges and dungeon layouts, designing plot hooks and twists, designing and choosing variant rules to use, etc.

My ideal would be to set up a world, fill it with NPCs, monsters, challenges, and quests, and then have my friends and I create characters to play in that world. Too bad someone would end up having to DM, and it'd most likely be me.