Make RPG Experiences Come Alive Through Finely Crafted Boxed Text
My personal Game Master style has been described to me as descriptive and evocative and this greatly pleases me. Whenever I play a tabletop roleplaying game the juice for me is imagining what it is like for a character existing in whatever settings and surroundings the game entails. So when I’m behind the GM screen it’s important to me to elicit the same immersive experience for the other players. Conjuring vivid imagery of people, places and things helps players put themselves in their characters’ perspectives and brings the world and the game itself to more vibrant life. The folks behind dScryb feel the same way and they’ve put together a terrific resource to help GMs free up their time and create a sensory experience to help set the narrative tone, introduce scenes and spotlight what is important in your worlds of epic fantasy.
dScryb your RPG world in vivid detail
I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to describing scenes of places, monsters, spells, creatures and anything else arising during an RPG session. Pinterest is a tremendous aid and I recommend all RPG nerds put a pin in their games. I’ve also been a professional writer for many years so crafting words to convey meaning to others is firmly in my wheelhouse. The former goes a long way towards representing what’s in your imagination and helping you give players a glimpse and when it comes to the latter you’re in luck too.
We recently learned about dScryb — pronounce “describe” — a resource providing boxed text designed for GMs to share with the players in their games. (Eat your heart out James Introcaso!) The team behind dScryb are talented writers and editors offering over 1600 scenes presented like boxed text from your favorite adventures and RPG content and the collection continues to grow. The huge collection focuses on epic fantasy and is designed to enhance the sensory experience for everything participating in the game. Awesome descriptions do a ton of heavy lifting when it comes to setting the tone, introducing scenes and highlighting the important qualities of whatever characters perceive.
Providing vibrant descriptions of what characters see, hear, feel, taste and small in RPG scenarios is so useful no matter what side of the GM screen you’re sitting on. A very common concern for GMs is how to engage players and I’ve got to say one of the best ways to do this is through exciting or intriguing things around them to draw their attention. Not only can a GM highlight the details they expect players to take interest in the more evocative a description is means a high likelihood players discover their own unique interests to explore. This is a gold mine! I can’t tell you how many times after describing something players’ engagement created fantastic new stories.
One example coming to mind is during a new campaign where adventurers toured the countryside of the new land they’d been sent to by their guild they spotted a gigantic tree reaching for the clouds when they crested a ridge. I just thought it sounded cool and the players must have as well since they initiated a thorough investigation leading to an impromptu tree climbing competition to the surprise of the tree’s occupants — a clan of kenku currently in control of the enormous tree via birdfolk traditions.
“The trees rise like a palisade against the sky. Your eyes only penetrate a few yards into the dense, shadowed foliage. Things stir within the deep reaches of the wilds, their rustlings and calls reaching your ears even here on the edge of the forest.”— Finely crafted boxed text to describe the Edge of the Forest from dScryb
Explore dScryb with a special offer
I’ve been poking around the dScryb website for a few days and it looks pretty darn useful for RPG nerds in lots of ways. Obviously there’s the intended GM aid from professional writers virtually sitting beside you during prep time or in the midst of a funny shaped dice rolling session to help bring planned scenarios to life. The huge and continuously growing collection of descriptions can just as easily inspire new ideas of help shape ones already floating around into something spectacular too. The folks at dScryb aim to incorporate even more through characters, items and a cartographer on the roadmap as well plus I see there’s a Character Request option for individuals, which then become part of the collection for others as well. How cool is it to imagine your own original character impacting games elsewhere too?
“Tell us about your character, or a player’s character, and dScryb’s writers and editors will distill the information into an evocative short description. Once published in the Character’s Collection, the character will begin to travel the multiverse, starring in major and minor roles across a multitude of other campaigns in addition to your own.”
The FAQ and other areas of the easy to navigate dScryb site do a terrific job explaining what the resource entails, which I certainly recommend checking out to see if this is the kind of excellent RPG aid to propel your own games to the next level. The folks from dScryb hooked us up with some cool benefits to share with the Nerdarchy community too.
- Visit the dScryb website through this special link to let them know Nerdarchy sent you here
- The first 50 people to use the coupon code NERDARCHY save yourself $7
It’s definitely worth checking out dScryb to see if it’s something you’ll find useful for your RPG experiences and there’s quite a bit of free content to explore before making any decisions so it can’t hurt right? Your next incredible campaign idea, memorable monster or epic exploration might emerge from any of the 1600+ professionally written scenes you’ll find with dScryb.
*Featured image — In the darkness, the creature’s pallid skin catches your eye, almost translucent with black, spiderwebbing veins. They sit hunched, but as you near, they turn, coming to their full, staggering height. Gaunt and spindly, with a hunched, skeletal frame, the creature that may have once been human opens its bloody maw to reveal rows of jagged, yellowed teeth. A walking corpse, with desiccated flesh pulled taught across warped bones, though the cunning in its eyes gives you pause. — example of the finely crafted boxed text for your RPG experiences from dScryb