Player Tips – Ways to get More Immersed in Your RPG – Part 3
Many of you are looking to get more immersed in your table top RPG and you are not sure what is the best way. Today I continue my series of player tips. Last week I talked about using a character voice. You can read about that here
What do You do to get more Immersed in your RPG?
Today we are going to dive in with descriptive actions. I am not looking narration of every action taken. You need not say, “I boldly open the door to the inn, using force enough to bang the door against the wall. I stride in confidently staring forward daring any to challenge me.” Now if you are expecting a challenge or the scene is needed then by all means but should you be looking for a drink or meal no need for the extra dialog.
As another example, you are a low level warrior locked in combat with goblins, fight for your life. You make two attacks because you are using a weapon in each hand. You roll a hit and a miss. Typically once the dm confirms the hit you deliver the result: 7 damage. How about this instead:
Staring down at the ruthless opponent I deliver a series of swings determined to bring this creature down. I see an opening and drive my off hand blade for his shoulder hoping to sever the arm. At the last moment the goblin moves his shoulder is no longer in line with my strike and he aggressively bats the attack aside, but it leaves him open for my main strike aiming for his midsection.
If you actually wait for the result of what your damage does you can even flavor your description based on what actually happens as well in flavor of the game you are playing. Dungeons and Dragons players have struggled with what Hit Points represent. 5th Edition views Hit Points typically as your endurance in combat. It is only the damage that brings you to zero that you take any serious injury.
So if you are playing and want to use this type of concept, scrapes and scratches, last minute dodges and hard pressed parries make for very descriptive ‘loss of hit points’ without the constant I run him through. I have been in combats, in game of course, where the adversary had lots of hit points. He was impaled, run though and had his arms broken and was fighting without stopping. Clearly our descriptors were as accurate as the combat showed.
SR2Joker on YouTube typically when he dms when an adversary falls he notifies the player that they can describe the kill. If you feel a round to round description can get tedious and make the combats descriptive. Use this tactic and players will race for the kill just to get to highlight their actions.
An additional tip on top of describing your actions is to look at real world scenarios. I my self have studied the Art of the German Longsword for many years. So either as a DM or Player I know a thing or two about how combats can turn in someones favor at the slip of footing. The flow of sword strikes move in a faster pattern than the number of attacks granted by your class. Combat has an ebb and flow, a back and forth as combatants measure their opponents strength, skill and reach.
So the static stationary combat with minis is not realistic but circling your opponents and getting cut off can get tedious, it is is easier to move and engage. But also studying the fighting teaches me not only specific maneuvers that can be applied to most martial weaponry but that flow of combat. The ability to know if an opponent is as skilled as you or less so.
I am certainly you can watch videos online or take a class and learn about these historical fighting styles. If plan on playing a monk learn about hand to hand combat as as your character advances look for more advanced techniques. If you don’t want to take the time to master them learn about them so that your characters combat descriptions change over the life of the campaign and you and your fellow players will enjoy the game that much more.
So as always thanks for reading and remember Until Next Time, Stay Nerdy!