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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40
votes
7answers
7k views

As a GM, how to react to players challenging contradictions in your narration?

As with any position of power, responsibility is bestowed onto a GM when running a game. Because good GMing has a lot of impact on overall enjoyment, the GM carries a certain amount of weight behind ...
5
votes
1answer
390 views

How can I deal with PC access to myriad sources of subtly conflicting information in a game where those conflicts matter? [closed]

I have been running a solo game for a friend in a system I created several years ago. I have encountered a GMing problem that I have not previously had to deal with, because real-life time ...
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, ...
10
votes
2answers
381 views

How do you convey the feeling of a crowded area?

Recently, one of my players suggested that streets and buildings felt too empty when we are playing Shadowrun. Other than many RPG, a lot of Shadowrun takes place in crowded cities, with the ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Can giving players “target numbers” like AC improve narration, and with what side-effects?

My players aren't narrating their actions as much as I want them to. Oftentimes, the narration is left solely up to me, the DM, and it's exhausting to come up with every successful (and failed) ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

Do cinema/film-like descriptions ruin immersion or do they improve games? [closed]

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
442 views

How much creative and descriptive power should I offer my players? Is it different for sandbox campaigns? [closed]

I know that as a GM you have to have some skill with your words to make the descriptions really come to life. However, as I think more and more about my next sessions, which are probably going to be ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
619 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
509 views

What game made leading questions a GM technique?

I am looking at history of gaming to understand the range of RPGs that are being played today. In the context of sharing some influence on narration between players and game masters, loaded or ...
11
votes
3answers
896 views

Properly describing enemies: how much detail to provide?

Faced with a group of enemies, players in our group tend to ask for enemy descriptions in some detail--the kind of armour/clothing they're wearing (to get an idea of who are the casters, the nimble ...
11
votes
1answer
862 views

Are there any sources more concretely describing the Shield spell?

This question stems from an exercise in rule interpretation that happened in a friendly brawl after our game ended. A Dragonborn blasted an acid breath at a mage player who blurted out "I use the ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Being Descriptive [duplicate]

I realise the title is somewhat ironic. I have started playing a new game, it is exciting, well-paced, suspenseful; everything an rpg-er like me could ask for. The issue is the description of, well, ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

How do I keep the narrative alive during combats?

For years, I've had trouble keeping the players engaged in the narrative of combat and what happens during their turns. After the first 4 turns or so, it becomes hard to imagine what everyone does ...
9
votes
6answers
24k views

How to run a D&D urban campaign

I'm currently in the middle of DM'ing a city campaign. I've found it's quite a bit more difficult than a dungeon. I have the city mostly planned out (type of city, the ruler, the districts, centers of ...
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 ...
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, ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Balance between planning and improvising [closed]

What is the ideal balance between planning out an entire session of playing, complete with music scoring and conversation detailing, and winging the entire thing? As an example, I'll cite one of the ...
8
votes
2answers
331 views

Mechanics and methods for playing a quantum-superposition of worlds [closed]

I'm looking for game mechanics and story telling methods that convey the atmosphere that characters don't just live in one world, but in a multiverse adhering to something similar to the many-worlds ...
12
votes
5answers
941 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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
471 views

How to fight the unseen, and still keep things interesting?

In a horror themed campaign with a Lovecraftian feeling, a big part of the game is a constant feeling of threat, but without any visual stimuli other than glimpses, or sounds vaguely heard of things ...
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Co-operative story-telling mechanics

What are some existing or potential game mechanics that encourage players to "take the reins" a bit more and involve themselves in a story-telling perspective? Specifically, are there any examples of ...
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
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
890 views

Tricks allowing continuous narration during a fight [closed]

I used a lot of tricks that allowed to skip the counting of every swing and blow and dodge. I think people should share such solutions. My favourite tricks: Roll a bunch of dice and just take look at ...
25
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 ...

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