Ok, this might sound silly, but I've seen several examples of descriptions from both players and GMs that actually illustrate a cinematographic technique, such as:

GM: The camera pans out to reveal X, with Y in the background

Player: Cut to my frightened expression as Z happens

GM: Fade to black as John slowly turns and exits the room

Do such descriptions hurt or improve the game?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Without a baseline for us to gauge what kind of effect you'd see as helpful or harmful to the game, we can't answer this usefully; every answer will be equally right. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Jun 1 '15 at 11:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you mean does it help or harm in-character immersion, as you hinted in the title? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jun 1 '15 at 11:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like that this question addresses this style of narration, but it is pretty vague as far as what should be considered good or bad as far as your or anyone's game is concerned. If it was a game in which the players decided to emulate awesome kung-fu movies it might be great. If they were trying for a different feel, maybe not. \$\endgroup\$ – HighlandRat Jun 1 '15 at 14:55

I've seen it work before.

I watch a youtube series where the GM uses them occasionally, and as a show, it improves the immersion for the viewer. The players on the show do get excited by it, but I cannot speak for the immersion of the players.

As for personal experiences, I'm a player in a Rogue Trader campaign (previously an Only War campaign) where the intro and outro of each session is done as the intro and outro scenes of a TV show, with everything in between (the actual gameplay) being the TV show. It works pretty well for us, but the cinematigraphic descriptions are kept to a minimum during play.

Overall, it depends heavily on how much you use the descriptions, and on how receptive your players are to this, as well as the style of game you're looking to play. I suggest trying it out, you can always stop doing it if it doesn't work for your game. Remember to ask for feedback on it if you try it.


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