As a dungeon grasp, your narration stops when gamers perceive sufficient of a scenario to decide or to behave. The most effective narration invitations motion, which circles again to the purpose of shorter descriptions that result in extra back-and-forth with gamers. The faster an outline baits gamers to behave, the earlier DMs can cease speaking and gamers can do one thing. Most gamers like their flip to speak greatest. This offers the screenplay for Your D&D Sport—The Film an optimum form, with numerous back-and-forth dialog.
When the gamers enter a brand new location, I withhold some simple discoveries from my first description. This offers gamers extra to be taught as they discuss and examine. This rewards motion and results in a extra interactive sport. For instance, if the room has a mosaic, I’ll skip an in depth description, and as an alternative assume somebody will take a better look.
A lot of the important thing to having shorter descriptions comes from baiting brief descriptions with particulars that encourage motion or no less than follow-up questions. For improbable places, the bait comes simple, however for extra atypical locations embody one or two sudden particulars that may lead gamers to intact. A kitchen might sound wholly uninteresting, but when the chef snores on the ground and birds have entered an open window to peck at bread, then the gamers take an curiosity. Even one thing like a burning pan spurs motion. In additional atypical conditions, purpose for 2 sudden particulars which may curiosity gamers. This doubles the bait and offers gamers a selection.
When gamers take the bait and look nearer, attempt to reward their curiosity with some tidbit of knowledge, maybe a helpful clue or a number of the story behind the journey. Actually any discovery irrespective of how small will encourage curiosity. Generally although, if you need gamers to really feel uneasy otherwise you purpose to construct a way of thriller, you possibly can elevate questions with out solutions.
How effectively such tantalizing descriptions result in motion will depend on the gamers. Some teams eagerly observe each reveal with exercise or no less than with sufficient curiosity to ask observe up questions. Different teams simply hear patiently for the phrases, “Roll initiative!” For these teams, you should regulate by giving longer descriptions that skip the small decisions and as an alternative cease on the massive choices that steer the journey. Gamers: In case your DM retains giving monologues, that may very well be your fault. Maybe your character ought to change into extra desirous to work together.
A superb introduction to a scene begins with an invite to motion, so an outline that fails to encourage motion would possibly predict a weak scene. You could have a boring location if it’s important to ask, “What do you do?” Some places deserve two attention-grabbing particulars that encourage motion, however many places solely deserve a abstract.
Historically D&D gamers discover places room by room, so we DMs dutifully let a celebration poke by way of all of the numbered places in a website, even when none embody obstacles or require choices. If the characters kill the monster within the attic, after which begin exploring the remainder of the home, and if you realize the investigation requires no significant decisions, then simply summarize and skip to the following selection. “You search the home and solely discover garbage and cobwebs, however a scroll case from the library captures your curiosity.”
One other warning signal comes when an outline ends with a selection that leaves gamers detached. A easy choice between two, interchangeable doorways seems like no selection in any respect. The gamers don’t have any foundation for a choice. Worst case, they talk about the non-choice for 5 minutes as a result of nobody needs accountability for selecting heads or tails. However describe metallic scraping previous one door and water seeping from beneath the opposite, and the small particulars make the selection attention-grabbing.
Ending descriptions with the one or two belongings you count on to encourage motion offers insightful gamers metagame clues about what’s essential. This matches with how DMs give extra description to issues of curiosity or significance. This isn’t a bug. Consider this nearly as good and helpful. That focus retains adventures from changing into mired in trivia.
Generally you would possibly deliberately use metagame clues to attract consideration. If you would like somebody to note the key door, you would possibly even make eye contact with the dwarf as you describe some newer stonework. To gamers, the clue looks like the reward of getting a dwarf’s eager eye for masonry. Even when the get together lacks a dwarf, a lavish description of bricks will seemingly lead a participant to look nearer. Your descriptions acknowledge that the characters reside within the sport world and produce expertise and notion that the gamers and your mere phrases can’t match—even whenever you embody all 5 senses.
Subsequent: Describing the outcomes of actions.