My friend Alexis over at Tao of D&D posted the survey below with his own answers in the hopes of both providing some perspective on his own game and encouraging others to seek the same. Thus encouraged, these are my results.
1. How long has this present campaign been in existence?
Really tough to say. I returned to the general area of my youth and reconnected with friends about 10 years ago. We've played off and on together over that time with the past four or five years being in games run by me. The current campaign kicked off right on the heels of the previous one with me in the role of DM for both and the game being D&D in one form or another. If I count both campaigns, then 4 or 5 years. If just the latter, about a year.
I have also spent the past decade forming and quitting a marginally serious rock band, attending and quitting school, starting a family and getting involved in the lives of my kids, one of whom has some special needs. The point is I've got a lot going on and don't play as often as I or my players would like despite the apparent longevity of the game.
2. How many players do you have, and how many right now were present at the beginning of the campaign?
There are five core players that are at almost every session. All five have been here from the start of the current game and four of those from before that. In addition we've got at least one other part-time player and two players that might be part or full time were they not currently away at college.
3. How many of your players are family members?
Zero, but I do run a separate and sporadic solo game for my wife.
4. How many of your present players began playing after the halfway point in the existence of your campaign? How many in the last year (if that applies)?
5. How many long-term players (played for more than a third of the campaign) have you had that dropped out? Were any reasons given?
One. Sort of. The part-time player was once a full-time player but work and life commitments keep him away from the table. My sense is that he enjoys the game and the people playing, but there are other things in his life that take much greater precedence. He has specifically asked to be kept on our e-mail distribution list and showed up at the last session.
6. How many short term players have you had since the campaign started who did not come back? How many of them gave a reason?
Two. The aforementioned students. The reason given for leaving was going off to school. In both cases I believe my game was their very first tabletop experience so I hope at least they caught the bug and have found or formed groups of their own. They'd certainly be welcome back at our table during breaks.
7. How many of the players in your world have never played a role playing game before?
One of the current core players had only played once before and dismsised it as a bad experience. He went decades before playing again and is now as or more enthusiastic as anybody else about playing. My wife never played before I introduced it to her. I believe our part-timer also never played a table-top RPG prior to ours.
8. Estimate the appearance rate of your players. How often does your campaign run?
The appearance rate of the core five is above 90%. We schedule to run twice a month but manage that only half the time, probably 18 to 20 sessions a year. When a game night is canceled it is almost always due to my availability, which I often feel a bit guilty about.
9. Name the three principle reasons for people not appearing in your campaign.
Me not being able to play or some work/ familial commitment
10. How often is it that players in your campaign do not appear without having given a reason?
The initial blog by Alexis had to do with micromanaging DMs. I don't believe I micromanage and any criticism I've received from the players usually has had to do with me being too hands-off at times. While we've gotten a little bit of new blood at our table only one of the five players began after the rest of us and that was over a few years ago now. By now he's almost an old hand at this. We don't get a lot of drop out but there's not a lot of drop in. There is a comfort level and intimacy amongst us that I value and a lot of people moving in and out would disrupt that, but maybe more effort should be made to bring people in. I'll bring it up when we play next week and see what the group thinks.