Dungeons & Dragons Online

Room Descriptions: Just descriptive or more capturing?

Hi all,

Throughout the years I've been DMing, I have met various styles of players and DMs. Some like the room descriptions to be purely information packed (what you see, smell, hear), some like the something extra. I always write these descriptions before the sessions, and I want to ask you, fellow DMs, what your preferred way is. For that, I will use an example of a cave room from a cave complex that belongs to an orc tribe, and has a mold situation inside. I just came up with this, so it doesn't really belong in any adventure of mine :). It is not here to win any writing prizes, just to demonstrate what I consider 2 different approaches.

Method 1: Descriptive

This room is made of the same rock as the rest of the cave. Stalagmites can be seen on the ceiling, and a wide corridor on the northern wall leads away from the room. The water dripping from the stalagmites is breaking the eerie silence of the cave. Finally, there is a strong smell of mold invading your noses as you walk in.

Method 2: Descriptive+

This room is made of the same rock as the rest of the cave. Stalagmites can be seen on the ceiling, dripping water at regular intervals, water that is ice cold when it falls on your necks – making you twitch every time it happens. A wide corridor on the northern wall leads away from the room. No light can be seen from within, making one wonder what traps or horrors could be hidden in the darkness. Finally, there is a strong smell of mold invading your noses as you walk in, and you try hard not to bring up the breakfast from this morning.

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So, as you see, the second contains more emotions and pictures. In my opinion, there is no better method. Some players might feel like "hey, why do I try to not bring up my breakfast, my character never vomits, why do you say I do?", While some others might be "Nice. I picture the situation."

What is your opinion? What do you prefer?

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