I had a bunch of completed polls queuing up. Sit back and enjoy the collective opinions of those opinionated readers that choose to reply. (There was a recent AD&D rules poll, too, but those results warrant their own post).
HAVE YOU DRAWN A CARD FROM THE DECK OF MANY THINGS?
Hell yeah! I'd draw a card right now! (58%), Only as a last resort. (10%) I would not, could not draw a card. (3%) It's never come up in a game.(27%)
Let's ignore the poor 27% of disadvantaged gamers that never encountered The Deck. Here's some advice - go chastise your DM's for depriving you. Of the remainder, 82% of you would draw a card - gamers like to gamble! Then again, I have one of those 3% percent folks that would never draw a card, sitting in my home game.
DO YOU NERF TURN UNDEAD IN YOUR GAME?
We use it as is; clerics are awesome(40%). We use mixed groups of high and low undead(24%). I limit its daily use (like LOTFP)(21%). We don't use clerics(7%). House rules - see comments(6%).
The cleric is the best class in D&D, and Turn Undead puts it over the top. I like the LOTFP approach - converting it into a 1st level spell - but in the current game we're running mostly AD&D style and clerics get to be totally awesome and dominant. The AD&D optional rule of mixing undead levels is a good way around the high level clerics.
HOW DO USE LEVEL DRAIN IN YOUR D&D GAME?
We use energy drain as written (44%). We use it, but undead are rare (4%). We use alternate abilities instead of energy drain(20%). We've applied a house rule(22%). We've made Restoration easier to get(4%). Something else (see comments)(6%) .
Considering how many folks complain about energy drain, it's interesting to see 44% use it as written. Blog readers seem heavily skewed towards DMs. I'm in the group that's applied a House Rule (characters can "heal" drained levels with sufficient rest) but it's actually not a great rule for players, so I'll give them a vote to remove it.
WHAT LEVEL CAN NEW PLAYERS JOIN THE GAME?
Always as first level. (16%). A few levels below the other guys. (8%) One level below the lowest party member. (41%) At the average party level. (25%) Same as the highest level guys. (0%) Something different. (8%)
I'm firmly in the "majority", such as it is - the 41% that start folks a level below everyone else. Areas like this, where the DMG doesn't give a hard and fast rule, tend to have the most spread in the results as folks figure out what works for their table. A more nuanced approach is something like "during levels 1-3, new guys always start at 1st level, but once the lowest group member is level 4, new guys start a level below the lowest party member".