Introducing: Your Character | The Offended GM

So, two weeks in the past… wait, that’s not proper. It was final week. But it surely was two articles in the past. And that was solely 4 days in the past. Not final week. Wow. When my replace schedule is off, it actually f&%$s with my notion of time. Gotta repair that subsequent month.


Lately — and isn’t that only a imprecise, temporal cop-out — not too long ago, I advised y’all that I begin my sport periods with a protracted, boring, tedious script that’s half recap and half guided visualization train. Keep in mind? No? Then return and skim it once more. It’s f$&%ing vital.

And to reply the query actually everybody — by which I imply two or extra of you — to reply the query actually everybody retains asking me: ten-ish minutes. Fifteen-ish tops.

And I advised you that a part of that script entails forcing my gamers to principally recap their characters. Which I referred to as Reintroducing the Character. However as a result of gamers are inconsistent as f$&% and may’t be trusted to get something proper, I got here up with a script for them to observe. One which ensures they’ll hit all of the vital s$&% — vital for each gameplay and story functions — and one which retains the extraneous fanfic purple prose or thoughts-and-feelings inner monologue bulls$&% to a minimal of none.

And, with a number of modifications, that script additionally helps you — the GM — introduce NPCs shortly and successfully.

And I promised I’d share that script. In order that’s what I’m doing.

Wow! I nailed that intro, huh? As lengthy I’m good sufficient to cease typing proper now, anyway. So, cue the header…

Let’s speak about character introductions. When a participant’s character steps on-screen for the primary time — whether or not as a result of the marketing campaign is simply beginning or as a result of they joined a marketing campaign already in progress or as a result of they couldn’t maintain their earlier character alive and so they’re bringing in a substitute — when a PC seems on-screen for the primary time, it’s the participant’s job to introduce that character to the remainder of the group. And to the GM.

And since roleplaying means sharing particulars by means of play and making selections primarily based solely on what your character perceives and since there are not any telepaths within the occasion except you permit psionics — and also you don’t ever permit psionics — as a result of roleplaying is about natural character growth by means of play, introducing a personality means telling everybody on the desk what their characters see once they take a look at your character. And nothing else.

I begin my campaigns by dragging every PC into the motion — one after the other — and forcing that character’s participant to explain the being that simply entered from stage proper. It goes one thing like this:

… because the serving lady will get Alia settled at her desk, the door opens, and… Bob? Inform us who all of us see framed in that doorway…

And never solely do I make the gamers introduce their characters in the beginning of the marketing campaign, I make them reintroduce their characters in the beginning of each single session. Which I defined two articles in the past.

The issue is that gamers suck. They suck at all the pieces that isn’t consuming your snacks and ruining your sport. Which implies they suck at introducing their characters. However, actually, if gamers might spout out clear, evocative, descriptive narration, they’d be GMs.

So, once you ask a participant to introduce their character, what you’re going to get is a crapshoot. And it’ll vary from this…

So… I’m a dwarf… uh… four-feet-two… and… uh… 185 kilos… and I’ve eyes… and a beard… hair too… and an axe… and… uh… my pores and skin… is… uh… I simply observed I’ve a defend… so that you in all probability see that… two eyes… I’ve two eyes…

To this…

Framed within the doorway, your eyes gentle on a determine of vague age and blessed with the lithe grace and timeless great thing about the fey. The elf stands haughty and proud, sniffing with disdain as he glances round this human ingesting institution. His brilliant, violet eyes shine like amethysts catching silvery moonlight. He wears a pale, lilac shirt of gossamer, elven silk beneath a doublet of deep indigo the colour of a moonless, starlit sky. His loose-fitting breeches are tucked into excessive and supple doe-skin boots. You possibly can nearly hear his ideas as he glances round. ‘By no means,’ he appears to suppose, ‘have I been reminded so sharply of what I left behind than right here and now on this backwater village inn surrounded by mud-covered, dung-booted peasants whose quick mortal lives I can virtually really feel ebbing from them with each passing second for they’re… HEY! STOP! ANGRY, GET YOUR HANDS OFF… WHAT ARE YOU DOING… I CAN’T… BREATHE… GURGLE… GLAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

Now, I by no means used to offer a s$&% about these things. Character introductions had been a good time for me to catch a fast nap. However I not too long ago realized that character introductions — and periodic reintroductions — are literally actually f$&%ing vital. So, I wanted a method to get my gamers to do it proper. Someplace between “let me learn my character sheet at you” and “and now I offer you my sixteen-verse epic Ode to a Wayward Immortal Spirit within the Kingdom of the Dying.”

Someplace method nearer to the sheet-reading finish of the spectrum.

Why Hassle with This Introduction Bulls$&%

Seems, numerous GMs don’t trouble with this character introduction crap. I’ve performed at numerous tables the place everybody simply begins enjoying. And I’ve performed at numerous tables the place everybody does introduce and describe their characters and the place everybody — GM included — zones the f$&% out and ignores it.

what, although? These tables are doing it proper. As a result of character introductions are worthwhile and vital even when nobody listens. And that’s as a result of it ain’t the listening that’s vital, it’s the describing.

Extra Than Simply Scene Setting

RPGs are narrative, verbal, descriptive video games of pure creativeness. Need to play an RPG? Then you definitely’ve bought to have the ability to think about the world in your head. The identical world everybody else is imagining, kind of. And that s$%& begins with good, descriptive narration. That’s how the world will get into your head.

The characters are a part of the world. So how can I say that it’s not vital for everybody to concentrate to everybody else’s character introduction? Clearly, I’m participating in some commonplace, rhetorical bulls$&% to assist me transition between factors whereas delivering participating content material. However I’m not truly mendacity.

Sure, it’s higher if everybody listens to each one else’s character introductions. However there’s a bunch of different vital s$&% that occurs within the mind of the participant delivering the introduction. Extra vital s$&%. And it’s bought nothing to do with ensuring everybody else can think about his character as something however a blurry, person-shaped blob between them and a marauding band of killer orcs.

If introducing your character was about placing an correct picture of them in your fellow gamers’ heads, I’d let you know to attract an image of your character or discover one on the Web or use the Hero Forge character creator to create an ideal miniature illustration. And I might name this s$&% describing your character as an alternative of introducing your character.

To be clear, I’m not solely not telling you to make use of visible aids to introduce your character, however I’m additionally expressly forbidding you from doing so.

I want you to introduce your character. In phrases. Why?

It Helps You Visualize

Visualization means constructing a factor in your imaginespace. Creating an imaginary simulacrum that you may nearly see — nearly understand — in your personal head. that factor your therapist does the place she tells you to shut your eyes and film your self in a calming place as should you might chill out realizing this little session of let’s fake is costing you 200 bucks? That’s visualization. And it’s exhausting.

And the older you get, the tougher it’s.

Furthermore, we dwell in an age of fixed sensory stimulation. Overstimulation. We by no means, ever need to be bored or unstimulated. That s$&% truly atrophies your creativeness. I s$&% you not. The extra time you fill with YouTube movies and the extra silence you fill with podcasts you barely take heed to, the crappier your creativeness will get. And the crappier your consideration span will get too. So lower it the f$&% out.

Describing one thing triggers visualization. Yeah, I do know that appears backward. I do know it looks like visualization comes earlier than description, however that’s not the way it works. Visualization and outline form of loop into one another. Begin describing and also you’ll set off visualization. Visualize one thing and you’ll describe it higher. Describe it extra and the visualization will get clearer. Describing s$&% helps you visualize which helps you describe which helps you visualize and spherical and spherical they go.

Gamers want visualization expertise as a lot as GMs do, however they don’t get to observe them as typically. Introducing and reintroducing characters — descriptively — is the equal of working visualization drills.

It Helps You Parse Narration

This ain’t actually a separate level, nevertheless it deserves mentioning individually. Gamers typically have bother parsing verbal narration. Imagining the world primarily based on verbal descriptions. They typically miss key particulars and power GMs to repeat s$&%. That’s a part of visualization too. So making your gamers reintroduce their characters additionally trains them to course of your narration higher.

It Helps You Keep in mind

Gamers are all the time forgetting s$&% about their characters. And everybody else’s too. S$&% like what armor they’re carrying, what race they’re, what they’re attacking with, and the truth that they’re lacking an arm and due to this fact can’t assault with a greatsword, particularly given they’re a halfling and the greatsword is sized for people.

The easiest way to recollect one thing is to repeat it. Time and again. Repeating s$&% is one of the best ways to remember it. When your mind hears phrases, it instantly scrounges by means of the totally different storage containers in its reminiscence warehouse for the stuff linked to these phrases. And each time the mind does that, the connections between the phrases and the stuff and between the stuff and the opposite, associated stuff, all these connections get stronger. That’s why repeating one thing is a good way to recollect it.

Introducing and reintroducing your character masses it into your lively, working reminiscence and strengthens the psychological bonds between all of the disparate concepts that make up your character.

Truly, I lied. The very best to recollect one thing is to attach phrases and concepts to sensory impressions. That’s why sure smells carry floods of reminiscences and feelings. So, once you describe and visualize a factor — as a result of your mind is dumb and may’t inform the distinction between visualization and precise sensory enter — you’re connecting all of the concepts and reminiscences you have got together with your character with sensory impressions.

Scientifically talking, you completely should power your gamers to reintroduce their characters periodically if you’d like them to be any good at imagining or remembering their characters.

It Helps You Roleplay

All that s$&% above about visualizing and constructing connections between sensory impressions, reminiscences, and concepts? All of it signifies that introducing — and reintroducing — your character makes you a greater roleplayer. And right here, I’m not utilizing roleplaying to imply speaking in character. I by no means use roleplaying to imply appearing and it’s best to f%&$ing know that.

Roleplaying’s about adopting your character’s mindset after which making the alternatives you’d make should you had been that character. Which isn’t the identical as making an attempt to be your character. However that’s one other story. One I’ve advised earlier than.

The extra interconnected all of the s$&% to do together with your character is in your mind — the stronger the online of neurons tying all of your character s$&% collectively — and the extra shortly and simply you’re capable of bear in mind all of it, the more practical a roleplayer you’ll be.

Each time you reintroduce your character, the character turns into extra strong in your mind. Extra actual. Simpler to think about. Simpler to see. And simpler to be.

After all, all this s$&% takes time.

Does It Work if You Learn a Script

So, let’s say I’ve truly satisfied you. Which I ought to have. As a result of I made a extremely strong f$%&ing case there. You’re able to make your gamers introduce — and periodically reintroduce — their characters. However you and I each know your gamers are simply going to put in writing out an introduction and skim it aloud. Particularly should you hand them a Mad Libs script like I’m about to counsel. Does that basically get the psychological job accomplished that I’ve described?


It’s true that each one this s$&% works higher should you’re inventing the phrases you’re talking as you converse them. That engages the vital mind bits greater than studying a pre-written fill-in-the-blanks description. However studying an outline ready upfront from a script does fireplace up the vital mind elements. Simply not as properly. Over time, the observe nonetheless provides up.

The reality is that numerous gamers — numerous individuals, actually — wrestle to talk extemporaneously. That s$&% ain’t straightforward. In case you make your gamers introduce their characters with out referring to a pre-written script, first, you’re going to get some actual crap descriptions. And second, the stress you placed on the participant will stop all of the visualization and memory-formation and all the opposite crap I mentioned.

So that you allow them to learn out loud. The advantages ain’t as useful, however over time, they add up. Furthermore, as gamers learn their scripts week after week after week, they begin to bear in mind them. Which implies they confer with them much less. This implies they begin counting on their mind bits to recall the introduction. And so they ultimately do begin to get higher at talking off the cuff.

Avid gamers love the excellent resolution fallacy. It’s a psychological lure that principally goes like this: “if one thing isn’t the optimum, excellent, greatest, supreme strategy, then it’s no higher than the worst strategy.” Written out that method, it’s fairly clearly a silly mind-set. However should you’re a gamer, you’re nonetheless gonna do it.

Options need to be sensible. In case you can’t implement an answer with actual, irrational, imperfect individuals in the actual, imperfect, chaotic world, then the answer ain’t truly value a rattling.

Beneath, I’m going handy you a script — or, a minimum of, an inventory of bullet factors — for good-enough, sensible character introductions. However, because you’re a GM and never a participant, you in all probability need to know what truly makes the script a superb introduction. So, let me clarify.

First, the purpose of a personality introduction — and all of the s$&% I’m about to say additionally goes for non-player characters — the purpose of a personality introduction isn’t to explain, it’s to evoke. If you describe a personality, you ain’t making an attempt to get a wished poster from a police sketch artist. You’re making an attempt to conjure a picture of the character within the imaginations of these sharing your desk. A ok picture.

The issue is your creativeness isn’t good at dealing with numerous knowledge and element. But it surely is good at taking a handful of small particulars and constructing advanced imagery round them. Saying somebody has a hawk nostril or a extreme coiffure conjures a lot stronger pictures than saying somebody has a curved nostril or that their hair is accomplished up in a bun. And that’s the distinction between evocation and outline. Evocation’s extra about feelings, impressions, associations, and fireball spells whereas description’s about lists of details.

, evocative description is transient. It’s qualitative. It presents info relative to frequent experiences. It supplies context. And it follows the pure development of human notion.

What does that s$&% imply?

First, a superb description is transient and qualitative. It covers the broad strokes and lets the viewers’s imaginations fill within the particulars. But it surely supplies the mandatory impressions to get the main points proper. Or proper sufficient. I can describe somebody’s unfastened, pink linen pants and billowing inexperienced shirt and laced purple doublet or I can say they’re “dressed within the eye-catching motley of a touring entertainer.”

Second, a superb description encapsulates frequent experiences. Your viewers’s perceptions and experiences form what they think about. The farther one thing falls exterior your viewers’s experiences, the extra it’s important to describe it simply to evoke it. In D&D, all the pieces’s bought to be described relative to people. People are the norm. The common. And if one thing isn’t human, it’s going to be in comparison with people. Describing a dwarf as quick is ambiguous. Am I saying they’re shorter than a human or that they’re quick in comparison with different dwarves? The precise method to make it clear is to say, “Glimbeck is just a bit over 4 toes tall, which makes him a median dwarf.”

Good descriptions additionally present context for the main points they current. And when a descriptive ingredient has some form of vital significance {that a} cheap and fairly intuitive human native of the D&D world might guess, the describer explains that s$&%.

Why should D&D descriptions assume people are the norm? It’s not as a result of people are probably the most populous, most quite a few, hottest, and most better of all of the D&D races — despite the fact that they’re — however slightly as a result of your precise f$&%ing gamers are precise f$&%ing people.

Which leads me to that human notion factor. When people meet different people — or, hypothetically, human-like beings — they have a tendency to note issues in a particular order. Most of its to do with evolution and survival and s$&%. First, people word the general dimension and form of an individual. Then, they attempt to acknowledge acquainted options. Particularly faces. Then, they soak up something that represents a risk. Then, they attempt to assess the human’s standing, function, or standing. Then, they discover the smaller particulars. Good descriptions current info in that order as a result of that sample is sensible to human brains.

However, as I mentioned, you don’t have to know or bear in mind any of this s$&% as a result of I turned all of it right into a set of prompts. Key factors. A script, if you’ll.

Provided that character introductions are majorly vital and provided that gamers are solely constant of their inconsistency and given all the pieces I mentioned about what makes a superb introduction and given…

what? F$&% it. I’m a horny gaming genius and I wrote a easy set of prompts any participant — or GM — can use to craft a personality introduction. You’re welcome.

There are two methods to make use of this factor. Two methods to your gamers to make use of it. Since you ought to make them use it. First, they will use the prompts to introduce their character off the cuff. Mainly, they will improvise their method by means of every level. Or, second, they will write an introduction upfront from the script and skim it aloud at your sport periods. Both method is ok.

Be aware, although, that every time a personality’s particulars change — say, they purchase new armor or weapons or change clothes or lose limbs — the participant ought to replace their character’s introduction. The introduction should be stored present.

The script presents 5 Key Parts. And every requires one or two sentences at most. Perhaps three for a non-human. And it’s your job to implement that s$&%. And to acknowledge when your gamers are utilizing run-on sentences and complicated clause formations to get across the sentence restrict. As a result of a few of them will. The f$&%ing thespians positively will.

Be aware additionally that every of the 5 Key Parts accommodates just one actually vital element. That’ll make extra sense after I present examples. However, principally, of the a number of various things that fill out the Arms, Armor, and Clothes Ingredient, just one — or possibly two — particulars deserve descriptive adjectives. And after I say that I imply they deserve one every.

In case you say your plate armor is “properly maintained and polished to a mirror shine,” you in all probability don’t must specify the garments beneath are additionally clear and your hair is well-coifed and all that s$&%. Your character’s anal-retentive fastidiousness had been established. Transfer on.

The purpose is, along with conserving your gamers from presenting too many sentences, additionally maintain them from increasing on too many various elements of anybody Key Ingredient.

However sufficient prologue. Let’s get transcribing.

The First Ingredient: Gross Bodily Options

First, describe the character’s gender, race, construct, ethnicity or options, and obvious age. If the character’s a human, use qualitative descriptors as an alternative of numbers. If the character’s not human, present numbers for context and qualitative descriptors.

Alain is a tall, broad-shoulder human male barely out of his teenagers. He has the honest pores and skin and sandy hair of a Sunderlander and a well-kempt development of beard.

Beryllia is an elf. She’s a head shorter than a human, lithe, and sleek. It’s inconceivable to guage her age. She has lengthy, straight bronze hair and alabaster pores and skin.

The Second Ingredient: Arms, Armor, and Clothes

Subsequent, describe the character’s weapons, armor, and clothes. Describe each seen weapon and word the place it’s stowed or carried. Describe the armor your character’s carrying. After which, in case your character isn’t so closely armored as to cover most of their clothes, describe the standard and form of clothes they’re carrying.

As a word to you GMs on the market: if a participant can’t let you know how they’re carrying each weapon on their character sheet and you’ll’t assist them determine it out, they’re over their encumbrance restrict. No math wanted. You possibly can’t carry what you’ll be able to’t think about carrying clearly.

Alain wears a battered metal breastplate over mail and has a longsword in a scabbard on his hip. A quiver of arrows and a recurved horn bow dangle on his shoulder. Over his heavy pack, he wears a patched and pale traveler’s cloak.

Beryllia is decked in elegant noble’s apparel. Her lengthy skirt, shirt, and bodice are of wealthy autumn hues. She holds a gnarled quarterstaff in a single hand and has a dagger tucked into her sash-like belt.

The Third Ingredient: Symbols and Decorations and their That means or Context

Subsequent, describe any significant symbols your character’s carrying or displaying. Holy symbols, signet rings, pendants, charms, s$&% painted on shields, badges of workplace, marks of rank, and so forth. Something meaning something concerning the character’s place on this planet.

If the that means of the mentioned image ought to be frequent data — say, for example, the holy image of any generally worshipped god — then it’s best to present that that means.

If the precise that means wouldn’t be frequent data, however an affordable and fairly intuitive human native of the world would be capable of a minimum of guess the importance of the image, then it’s best to present that context.

A word to you GMs: it’s your job to inform your gamers what’s frequent data and what’s intuitive. So take note of that.

Alain’s defend is painted with three interlocked, golden rings, which is an emblem of the church of the Vasaar that represents the King and His Knights.

Whereas Beryllia wears numerous jewellery, the plain silver-blue ring she wears stands out. It’s marked with a single runic image and it’s clearly a signet ring, however what household, order, or group connection it represents isn’t identified to you.

The Fourth Ingredient: Distinctive Function or Character Signifier

Now, decide one noticeably distinctive function that makes your character stand out. Something will do: a hanging hair or eye colour or model or look, a bit of jewellery or gear, a clothes ingredient, no matter. It doesn’t even need to be a factor. Or a function. Gestures, mannerisms, and stances that point out one thing about your character’s character work too. Supplied it’s one thing your character is all the time doing. A inflexible posture, for example, or fixed nervous glances about.

This isn’t permission so that you can wax poetical about your character’s character. You solely get to explain the function itself. Not what it means. Let your tablemates guess. In the event that they guess unsuitable, that’ll make for an attention-grabbing scene later.

Alain has a inflexible, soldier’s posture and by no means appears to chill out.

Now, if the distinctive function you’ve picked suits in greatest with one of many different Key Parts on this script, point out it there slightly than ready till the tip. For instance, Beryllia’s eyes are distinct. So Beryllia’s participant ought to point out them alongside her different gross, bodily options.

Beryllia is an elf. She’s a head shorter than a human, lithe, and sleek. It’s inconceivable to guage her age. She has lengthy, straight bronze hair and alabaster pores and skin. Beryllia’s eyes are hanging: vibrant purple, they sparkle like gem stones.

The Fifth Ingredient (Reintroductions Solely): Lately Revealed Enjoyable Truth

In case you’re introducing your character for the primary time, you’re accomplished. Good job. Take a cookie and sit down. But when your GM’s good sufficient to do what I say and also you’re being compelled to reintroduce your character in the beginning of each play session, then finish your reintroduction by reminding your tablemates of a Lately Revealed Enjoyable Truth about your character.

By latest, I imply one thing that got here out over the past session of play. By revealed, I imply one thing that truly occurred throughout gameplay. Fascinating backstory components you would like individuals would ask about don’t depend. And by remind, I imply actually simply remind everybody that the actual fact was revealed. Don’t give a speech about no matter it’s.

As for what counts as a enjoyable truth? Something will do. Perhaps the occasion realized you’re a wizard. Or that you simply’ve bought a sure fight means. Or that you simply’re from the Metropolis of Padma. Or that you understand how to select locks. Or that you simply favor mead to ale. Something will do. The vital factor is that it truly got here up within the sport and that you suppose it’s noteworthy.

Throughout your first battle as allies, Alain interposed his defend to guard Beryllia from an orc’s assault. He can defend you should you keep near him.

At camp, Beryllia revealed that she’s the daughter of a excessive elf lord named Vallianthe who guidelines an enclave deep within the Mearan Forest.

And That’s a Wrap

There it’s: Offended’s Superb Avatar Description Transcription Script. Simply string the items collectively right into a paragraph and also you’ve bought a personality introduction that doesn’t completely suck. It’s so simple as that.

Except you’re a GM…

Let’s be sincere: should you’re studying this, you in all probability ain’t a participant. I wrote the Superb Description Transcription Script above as if I used to be speaking to a participant so you may lower and paste it and hand it to your merry band of hopeless goobers, however I do know solely GMs are nonetheless studying.

So, mister or miss GM, what are you able to do with this s$&%? Other than forcing it in your gamers that’s? Nicely, you need to use it to shortly and simply introduce any NPC ever. Severely. The format’s an ideal method to introduce any character in any sport. Extemporaneously or written-in-advance-in-a-text-box.

You simply need to make a number of tweaks.

When to Introduce an NPC

First, it’s like this: it’s best to correctly introduce any NPC the gamers are about to really work together with. Or that you simply’re giving the gamers a chance to really work together with. In the event that they’re simply purchasing and the NPC’s simply background, they don’t want an introduction. They’re a prop, not an individual.

Second, it’s best to reintroduce an NPC the primary time the gamers work together with it in a given session. However every time they return to that NPC for extra interplay in the identical session, don’t reintroduce the NPC.

Say the gamers meet Otto VonDunderbar, Brewer Extraordinaire for the primary time. Introduce Otto. They go collect some uncommon substances for Otto and return to Otto in the identical session. Don’t reintroduce Otto. Two periods later, the gamers want a revel catered, in order that they go to Otto. Reintroduce Otto. They do a quest for Otto, nevertheless it takes two periods to finish. After they return to Otto, two periods later, reintroduce Otto.

By the best way, once you don’t reintroduce an NPC however they reappear on digital camera for a second time, there’s a cool trick I like to make use of referred to as the ShortDesc. And it’s additionally a trick I exploit in all my narration. Even when addressing player-characters. I ought to let you know about it someday. It’s cool.

Why’s this when to reintroduce s$&% vital? Due to…

The (Cumulative) One Sentence Per Introduction Rule

You completely can not present a full, player-character-length introduction for each NPC in your whole world. Ten to fifteen sentences of narration for each background additional the PCs swap phrases with is method too f$&%ing a lot.

Therefore The (Cumulative) One Sentence Per Introduction Rule. The primary time you introduce an NPC, you’ve bought to cram their whole description into one normal-length sentence. If you subsequent reintroduce the character, you need to use two. In case you reintroduce the NPC once more at some future session, you get three sentences. See how this works?

However even when the NPC’s been reintroduced a dozen occasions, it’s best to max this s$&% out at 5 sentences or so.

By the best way, if it ain’t clear from my examples, you don’t truly need to depend sentences. Simply eyeball it.

Additionally by the best way, if an NPC truly joins the occasion for a number of whole periods, they need to be reintroduced at every session as a PC. However the minute they go away the occasion, they’re again down to 5 sentences.

Though you’ve bought as few as one sentences to work with, that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to go away something out. It is advisable present a whole, evocative description of each NPC the gamers work together with. How are you going to try this should you’ve solely bought one or two sentences to play with?

Intensify the Vital

First, work out which Key Parts of the traditional script — and which parts of these components — are a very powerful defining Parts for the particular NPC you’re introducing.

Race, ethnicity or look, gender, and age? They all the time matter. Nearly all the time. And distinctive options are nearly all the time helpful. Supplied you don’t overdo them. As for the remaining…

The NPC’s function within the sport determines what bits of their description are most vital. If the NPC is a noble or a priest or a guildsman, symbols and decorations are vital. If the NPC’s somebody the occasion goes to combat or may combat or who is able to combat in the event that they need to — like a soldier or a thug — then gear’s vital. For regular individuals, clothes’s sufficient.

Use Phrases with Excessive Encumbrance Limits

Keep in mind what I mentioned about specializing in qualitative options and impressions as an alternative of particular particulars? That’s much more vital once you’ve bought such a restricted phrase depend. If you describe somebody as a soldier or a guard, you’ve truly offered a reasonably evocative description. Notably should you add an adjective. Bored guards, alert guards, lazy guards, aged guards, suspicious guards, and sneering guards are all very totally different. And your mind is already conjuring a distinct picture for every. And that’s thanks to 2 phrases.

The Motion Loophole

There’s a type of cheat code that’ll get you round The One (Cumulative) Sentence Per Introduction Rule: actions aren’t introductions. In case you bounce between introduction and motion and again once more, you’ll be able to sneak some additional introduction into the sport whereas additionally making the character extra dynamic.

Let me illustrate this s$&% with an instance.

An Instance to Illustrate this S$%&

I’m going to finish this complete factor by displaying you ways the GM script suits collectively. And the way a personality’s description evolves with repeat appearances.

Suppose the PCs go to The Buxom Baroness in Frostwind to lease some low cost rooms for the evening. In his first look, I’d introduce the owner thusly:

The owner is a barrel-chested thug of a person with a limp and an iron-shod cudgel hanging at his hip.

If I wished to activate the Interwoven Motion Cheat Code, I’d do that as an alternative:

A barrel-chested thug of a person limps over to greet you. Regardless of his age, he’s robust and well-built and clearly comfy carrying the iron-shod cudgel at his hip. ‘Identify’s Cudge,’ he half-growls, wiping his arms on his completely grease-and-gore-stained apron. ”s my inn. What do you want?’

Now, suppose two periods have passed by and the occasion’s returning to their rooms on the Buxom Baroness after an journey within the wild.

If you enter the frequent room, you see Cudge, the owner, filling tankards from a keg for a rowdy crowd. He’s a tall, powerfully-built man properly into his center years and wholesome regardless of his everlasting, painful limp. His construct, watchful eyes, and iron-shod cudgel let you know he’s nobody to mess with.

Now, suppose the occasion by chance burns the Buxom Baroness down. The PCs promise Cudge they’ll collect the cash to rebuild the place, however Cudge refuses to go away them alone till he’s bought the cash in hand. So, the occasion’s bought a brand new member: a limping street-tough turned landlord. And since he’s a full-on occasion member, he will get a full-on introduction each session till his inn’s been rebuilt.

Tall and well-built, Cudge is a human man in his late forties. He has darkish, brown eyes and a fringe of black hair round his bald scalp. He’s stuffed himself right into a boiled leather-based cuirass and he wears stained and pale woolen touring garments and outdated boots. He has an iron-shod membership hanging at one hip and a crossbow and a case of bolts hung on the different. A copper coin of the realm with a gap punched by means of it hangs from a leather-based strip round his neck. Some form of memento or sentimental token. Cudge walks with a everlasting limp, favoring his left leg and generally wincing painfully when he steps unsuitable. Final session, you realized his leg healed badly after being damaged a few years in the past by guards at Blackrazor Jail to cease his repeated escape makes an attempt.

After all, the minute Cudge is again to filling tankards and altering sheets, he loses all these stunning sentences. Such is the lifetime of an additional in a hero’s story.


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