Content of the article: "Worldbuilding and Theater of the Mind Details."
Hey guys! You probably already know very well how to worldbuild, considering this is literally an r/ for dms, but I just wanted to share with you some awesome things I did with my players in my last session to really immerse them.
In my latest session, my players are making their way across the continent to try and find some High Elves, a thought to be extinct species. (One of my players is a High Elf paladin, transported through time after being trapped in ice.) On their way, the group makes their way through several zones.
Picture this: A huge wide valley, maybe 50 miles, sided by huge mountains, then next to the mountains is a strip of old forest, and then further in is a strip of young forest, then a strip in the middle of yellow-brown wheat plains, covered in hills topped with ruins. The valley effectively makes a strip for wind to whip through.
I specifically made it so that the players KNEW what the world was like around them. Little details make a surprisingly big difference, like describing the cracking of hatching dragon eggs, the dew on the stone ruins glistening in the sun, or the rustle of wheat in the wind.
One of my favorite things in my whole dnd world are the totems, strange stone faces carved in stone, that have been there since before the first age, that serve no purpose. They're covered in moss, and when the wind blows across their mouths, they make an eerie whistling sound that echoes throughout the area.
Simple things, that really serve no purpose, can actually make all the difference. What I try to do as a dm, all the way through, is make a VIBE. If you give something an energy specific to that THING, it makes the section of the story memorable. A lot of games I've been in, the DM focuses too much on combat or on worldbuilding, and that makes one or the other boring or tedious.
If your players can picture something so well they feel like they're there, like they can touch the soft wet moss, like they can feel the wheat brushing against their pants, then that's just so cool to me. I love it when my players tell me after a game, "Wow, that was so believable," or, "Damn, that (little thing) was such a cool addition!"
TL:DR: The little things make the game.
- Mod that makes Skyrim’s mountains more smooth, less jagged and so pointy
- Don’t make something up without any idea how it works or what causes it
- Consider having a side campaign
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