1. Great post! I also prefer to use simple descriptions that capture an overall view of the area, but I also like to describe the area rather than spell it out plainly. For example, if I want the players to realize they are in a shady part of town, I might mention the run-down buildings, the surly characters, etc. I feel it is better for the players to make their own assumptions based on these quick descriptions to decide that they are in a shady area. However, I won’t go into a 5 minute description of every building. Just enough to prompt their imaginations.

    One thing you bring up that I’m intrigued by… the players adding their own descriptions to certain areas… are these prompted, or is your group just comfortable with adding their own flavor to your descriptions? I’ve tried to open this up to my group and get them to let loose and describe the taste of the ale, the feel of the bar, etc… but a lot of times they are afraid to step on my toes by describing something. Any ideas on how I can get them to let loose and add their parts to the description?

    I’ve considered doing something Dungeon World-esque and just asking them to describe areas as they discover them.

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

      I’m fairly lucky, the group I game with has been in existence for over 15 years in one form or another (I’m the only remaining original member, didn’t start as the GM either) and we are all comfortable adding to the story. It’s something that I think many groups can get to, it requires a familiarity with each other, a willingness to create and collaborate – it takes time to get there.

      Often the player added details are a spur of the moment, mentioned in passing, and often reference something the group has encountered in the past. I say group because the comment may be in relation to something from a previous campaign we’ve all shared. It could be a place, like the article talked about, it could be an event, it could be a favorite NPC (my group will never forget Pix). It’s a by-product of lots of time together at the table, not just gaming but hanging out and getting to know each other.

      My best advice on this – let it come naturally, don’t force it. Maybe asked for your players to give some background details about their characters and then ask questions about what they give you. Get them talking about the game, outside of the game, ask them what they remember, what they enjoyed, is there anything they would like dropped in the future.

      Hope that helps it at least some small way, and thanks again for the comments.

Comments are closed.