GM Advice: How to Get Honest Feedback on Your Campaign

The hallmark of a great GM is that he’s always trying to improve his game and campaign. Only an idiot thinks he knows it all and that his game is perfect.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)
By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Gathering feedback from your players is a great way to understand what works and doesn’t work at your table. However, that’s much easier said than done.

Simply asking your players at the end of the session for feedback is unlikely to generate meaningful results. Most people are polite, hate confrontation and don’t want to hurt their friends’ feelings. Thus, they are very unlikely to give a GM a negative (no matter how constructive) feedback to his face. That’s sad as acting on honest feedback — whether negative or positive — is the best way improve.

So what’s a GM to do?

I’ve used SurveyMonkey a couple of times to gather feedback on Raging Swan Press and this blog. (Why not take my blog survey and see how easy it is to use). For our purposes, SurveyMonkey has several advantages for the GM seeking feedback.

  • Its basic service is free.
  • It’s completely customisable. You can ask as many questions as you like and format them in a style to suit your needs.
  • It’s annonymous for the respondants.
  • It’s easy to use both for you and your players.

I’ve used SurveyMonkey to great effect in the past. If you fancy using it to improve your game, here are some more handy resources you should check out:

(Finally, thanks to the reader who suggested this general topic — anonymously — via my blog survey).

Help Fellow GMs

Have you managed to gather meaningful feedback about you game in a different way? Let us know what it is in the comments below and help your fellow GMs improve their game today!




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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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