Troubles With Inexperienced Field Textual content

RPT Platinum Patron Lee asks:

I nonetheless battle with “inexperienced field textual content” vs. map constructing.

Do I spend my time offering 3 sentences of description, or do I spend an hour drawing an amazing map?

I discover writing these 3 sentences very intimidating for some motive, like I’m not giving sufficient data. Inexperienced textual content has at all times been an issue for me.

Flip facet is that my create map time takes approach an excessive amount of time.

Nice query, Lee. Thanks!

Inexperienced field textual content and maps have particular and totally different functions in my thoughts.

So I’d not change one with the opposite.

Right here’s what I imply.


Maps are a reference. They’re a visible illustration.

So it relies upon lots on what your maps seem like.

Commonplace maps visualize the place and distance between notable markings.

You might need terrain as an extra layer of knowledge. That impacts issues like journey occasions, wildlife, and sorts of journey websites.

Maps may also have icons that might symbolize theme, vibe, or consultant thumbnail of the place.

Complicated maps may observe rises in elevation, climate patterns, neighborhood boundaries, commerce routes, and different nice materials made accessible via visuals.

However these an amazing description don’t make.

Inexperienced Field Textual content

Nicely-written boxed textual content prepares you to improvise.

It jogs your creativeness with particular factors to explain.

Typically boxed textual content is supposed to be learn aloud. I’ve by no means loved this as participant or GM. It sounds unnatural, and most journey authors write for stunning sentences, not clear speech.

Plus, the fixed improv builds that muscle, every rep growing your mind pathway for that ability.

If writing boxed textual content causes author’s block or perfectionism, listed below are a few suggestions:

Begin With a Visible

I discover making an outline of artwork a lot simpler.

In order a part of your prep, discover a good picture and log it.

Discover the picture. Scan over every element. Look deeper into it, behind issues, and close to shadowed areas.

Doing so ensures you “see” all the main points in order that they soar out, begging for description.

Use Marketing campaign Logger’s new picture characteristic, or one thing like Pinterest, to make a quick scrapbook you may open whereas GMing to immediate impressed descriptions.

First Impressions

Boxed textual content ought to stage an encounter so gamers perceive just a few beginning Selections fascinating sufficient that gamers make one.

You needn’t present a lot beginning element, and that hopefully takes some strain off.

First, you want to orient gamers. Give them primary details of the place they’re at, when, how they acquired there, and any large particulars like that so Participant Fog of Warfare evaporates to the purpose of first impressions obtained.

Second, name out any notable objects, clues, or mysteries. Particularly mysteries, as in, hints of cool stuff that wants interplay to find extra about.

Lastly, name out any obvious risks. This can immediate gamers into motion.

That is all about what characters understand within the first few moments. Inexperienced textual content needn’t be omniscient nor fully correct by way of a fast look made underneath stress.

Be Curious

Have a look at on a regular basis issues as if for the primary time.

Like with artwork to follow visualizing issues for higher descriptions, examine life.

Have a look at rooms and assume the way you’d describe the house, operate, furnishings, and vibe.

Have a look at individuals and picture them as 3 Line NPC descriptions.

And particularly take a look at actual life scenes with movement comparable to 4 approach intersections, money register traces, and social occasions. Attempt to take all of it in. Then begin analyzing the items. Then zoom again to the large image of what’s taking place and what’s notable.

Visualizing the way you’d describe on a regular basis scenes is sort of useful when it comes time to explain conditions involving a number of NPCs and objects interacting or in movement.

It’s What You Pay Consideration To

What effectively you’ll really feel assured describing.

Change your perceptions to be higher at in-game descriptions. Like when a pal buys a yellow automobile and also you all of a sudden see yellow automobiles in every single place.

Maps are higher as quick references so you may deal with gameplay logistics.

Descriptions and inexperienced textual content are higher as cues so you may launch encounters. I hope this helps, Lee.


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