Add Details With Panache And Choice


Details are important for vibrant roleplay. But making them up all the time becomes difficult.

Previously, @CasualOnesRay and @ExileInParadise tipped us about inviting players to provide details to help the GM out.

Ask questions like:

  • What does that look like?
  • How do you go about doing that?
  • Can you tell us the story of that?

I often like to take this a step further. It depends on the group and each player. But imagine this scenario: the party cannot open a stuck door and are blocked.

I’ll ask them to provide the details but then turn it into a choice:

Roghan: I bash it with my shoulder. I’m in plate, so that should help!

Johnn: Roll for it.

Roghan: A three. Crap. What now? I look around for something to help us beat this cursed door into the abyssal plane.

Johnn: There is indeed something useful to help with the stuck door! It’s your choice what it is as long as it’s worth less than 5 gold.

This turns it into a bit of a puzzle, while also being a reward, because most players will try to pick something cool with future use in mind.

Building on this further, encourage players to give details with some panache. This is often a matter of giving permission as a clear signal to run with it:

Roghan: A three. Crap. What now? I look around for something to help us beat this cursed door into the abyssal plane.

Johnn: There is indeed something useful to help with the stuck door! It’s actually been used for this purpose before and perhaps left here…by a fellow warrior it looks like. A small sharp weapon to take the hinges off maybe? You choose as long as its worth less than 5 gold.

Our goal here is for one or more characters to attach themselves to the detail so the detail is activated and likely to come up again in the future.

You can play with materials, colors, origin story, notable qualities, and other enhancements to encourage players to add such flourishes to their details, making roleplay even richer.

Try this approach out next session and let me know how it goes.

Cheers,
Johnn
roleplayingtips.com
Have more fun at every game!

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