Questions tagged [narration]

For questions primarily about narration, the act of describing the events that unfold in the game world, either as player or gamemaster.

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21
votes
5answers
3k views

How to design and run cinematic combats that move between zones?

I've been running D&D for a few years now, and I just want a little more from my combats. I've already got a very solid handle on designing environments to make combat more dynamic, but what I can'...
7
votes
3answers
618 views

Pros and cons of 2nd person narration?

As a GM, I'm not sure whether should I try to avoid 2nd person narration whenever possible. For example, instead of saying, "You feel a chill in the air," would it be better to say, "The air grows ...
50
votes
5answers
8k views

Punishing a player for instant-actioning

I GM a home-made D&D-style game which my friends and I play, and we had a scenario go as follows: After a player-character threw something at the wall, the players rolled a one and I was ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I be more descriptive about actions and events in my game?

Whenever I'm running or playing a game, I consistently run into an issue of setting atmosphere. I've realized the best way to do this is through more effective, engaging descriptions of settings, ...
12
votes
5answers
940 views

How to convey the tone of Shadowrun?

Reading the core book I realized how different Shadowrun is from my usual game of Dungeons & Dragons. We usually play the good guys saving a village from a tribe of goblins. Most of the time we ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

How to deal with the differences in perception between group characters?

I struggle with the following : You enter the room and a dark, old man dressed with a humble and threadbare mantle is prattling in a corner. When he sees you, he stands up and comes forward, ...
74
votes
13answers
8k views

How do I narrate a player's PC's actions without causing unintended consequences for the PC?

Daxius: "I'd like to roll an investigate check on Statue 1." Rolls. "Solid... 19." DM: "You walk around the statue, gliding your fingers along the rough outlines of it's crisp, defined ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

What techniques can I use to improve flavor text?

I've been improving my GM skills lately, but there is one area in which my skills are very weak, and that is flavor text. For example, if my players go into the woods, I tend to say something stupid ...
37
votes
9answers
10k views

How to improve my descriptions of the health status of monsters

A bit of background; I'm a new GM to two players, one of whom played a bit of 3.5e and 4e while the other is a complete newbie. The veteran is used to knowing when creatures are "bloodied", as per 4e, ...
33
votes
14answers
2k views

Narrativist Gaming: How do you transition more traditionally-trained players into them?

This was obviously inspired by the corresponding question on GM-less gaming. For the past couple of years I've become really interested in RPGs that are less about dungeon-crawling and combat and ...
31
votes
13answers
4k views

How to begin a role-playing scenario in medias res?

If I am running a pre-planned role-playing scenario, how and when can it work to start the session in medias res? The narrative technique can work so well in literature, film and video to increase ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Fantasy and magic in a primarily realistic setting

I'm running a game that's best described as "medieval fantasy," in the sense that we're actually trying to have the lives of people in the setting strongly resemble the historical Middle Ages. There ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

Third-Person Limited Narration or Third-Person Omniscient Narration?

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using either a kind of "Limited Narration" or an "Omniscient Narration" style when running a game? i.e. Does saying... None of the characters notice the ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I describe hit point damage without talking about wounds?

The PHB's description of hit points (p. 196) says: Hit points represent a combination of physical and mental durability, the will to live, and luck. Creatures with more hit points are more ...
38
votes
8answers
6k views

How do I narratively explain how in-game circumstances do not mechanically allow a PC to instantly kill an NPC?

Inspired by this question, in particular this aspect: . . . how do I handle realism and one-shotting bosses out of combat? My understanding is that any creature, even a "normal person", cannot be ...
37
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I communicate feelings to players without impacting their agency?

As a Game Master I'd occasionally like to communicate premonitions or sensation to my characters, as a benefit of their backstory, or as a means to give them opportunity to be deeper tied into the ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

How to become better at descriptions of what your character is doing?

A (very) common GM question is "What is your character doing?" How do you, as a player, describe effectively what you character is doing? What techniques do you use to evoke wonder and spark ...
18
votes
3answers
492 views

How can I limit my second-person POV narration?

I have come to the conclusion that in materials I am preparing myself, I want to add more variety to narration by introducing information to the players without using second person point-of-view ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

How to deal with an overly-specific GM

So we started a new game tonight, and only an hour in I was bored out of my brain. The GM kept ranting about where each of our characters were from, the heritage of the area, etc. It could be argued ...
10
votes
1answer
249 views

What was the first adventure to use boxed text?

James Introcaso recently wrote a blog post titled, "We Can Do Better Than Boxed Text", where he outlines the benefits and drawbacks of boxed text. This has raised the question, who started it and how ...