Last week I posted an informal survey across my social media, “What is the one thing you wish your DM did?”
The question came up after I had watched a video with the same question, but that was focused on 5th Edition players. I figured that, given my social media audience, the responses I received would be different.
Boy, was I right.
By far, the overwhelming response I got was “I wish I had a DM” (or words to that effect). A distant second was the notion that they were the DM all the time, and would like a chance to be a player. So, essentially a variation on the same theme.
This was obviously not a scientific survey, but the implications are very interesting if the trend is true across the OSR/AD&D community. Can it be true that there is such a shortage of AD&D or OSR game masters out there? I see studies about the games that are most popular on online tabletop services like Roll20, and 5th edition D&D outpaces all the other choices by a wide margin. Could that be simply because there aren’t enough people running AD&D or OSR games like Labyrinth Lord, Old School Essentials, or Swords & Wizardry?
Would it be useful to set up a website that would let gamers find gamers in face-to-face games? Something where you could plug in your ZIP code, click the games you were interested in playing (or running) and let players find DMs?
One would need to do some proper research before sinking any money into such a thing (even preliminarily), but I would imagine the coding would be pretty simple, using off-the-shelf modules for logging in, tracking games by location and system, filtering by your own location, and sending messages. Let the players and the DM work out the meetings on their own, just leave this as a game finder website.
Just an idle thought I had when I started to tally the results of my question. I know I’m guilty of it; I pretty much only run a game when I need to playtest something these days. What do you think?