Content of the article: "Narrate from your PC’s POV instead of the General POV"
I currently run a campaign with a Luck-Based Beast Master, a Death Obsessed Doctor, and a Time-Traveling Inventor.
Each of these characters has different goals, benefits, and downsides they give to the party; However, within the first few minutes of a session, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is playing and focused on what is happening in the game at the moment. With that, I try to detail my narration to their specific characters. The goal is to try and capture the player’s attention, move the player into a mindset of focusing on their character, and also increase the level of details that I give when someone is actively inspecting an item.
Let us look at a hypothetical situation where each of the characters above is about to battle a gladiator in an arena in one-on-one combat.
Default: “The Gladiator looks at you with his shield up, and his sword ready to strike. You hear the bell ring and the crowd cheers around you. The battle has begun”
This is a good exposition, and if you left it at this everyone would be happy, but look at what happens when we modify it to focus on a given character.
The Beast Master: “The Gladiator circles around you with his sword revealed like the teeth of a lion. As he ready’s his pounce, you hear the bell roar as the crowd screeches with excitement. The battle has begun.”
The Doctor: “This subject’s muscle structure and memory shows that he has practiced his blade repeatedly, running on pure memory. As the bell rings into your eardrum and the crowds' cheers increase your heart rate. Adrenaline? The battle has begun.”
The Inventor: “The binding of his sword reflects 7th century Roman, but his shield shows 1st century Macedonian. The bell hammer smacks as the bell tells the crowd to start cheering. Your battle bot is informing you that the battle has begun.”
Each of these descriptions is a little tailor-made to the player and help them think about what their characters would be thinking at the moment. It also paints a picture for the other players to see into the mind of the one they are watching.
The real key for this success is for you to get into the minds of your player’s characters. Try to understand how they think and what they would focus on. Instead of having a voice of god describing the situation from a top-down perspective, they have an internal monologue describing what is going on.
Besides that, I also recommend practicing a little if you're bored. Think of a situation (Peasants flea the scene of destruction) and paint it in the hue of your players (The preys' flight response is causing them to flee; the adrenaline running through the subjects is making them try to prevent their death; the peasants' shoes tear at the seems as they try to outrun the danger.) Besides that, it makes narration a little more fun too.
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- Group has forced me to flesh out a pact made early in campaign. Any help?
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