I recently asked the question, what do you as a DM do to make the game more enjoyable for your players? Also what do you as players want to see from your DM? while I am still waiting for people to weigh in on the subject, I thought I’d shsare some of my thoughts on the subject.
Make the room you’re playing in as immersive as the game you have spent weeks, days or months writing. There are several ways to do this. Lighting somee candles and adjusting the lighting is a fairly easy way to add some visual appeal, use scented candles to kill two birds with one stone. Boonzy Arts and their Wheel of Flame collection are a great choice for this. Equally important as scent and lighting is sound. Midnight Syndicate has a plethora of albums available on itunes to add some audio texture to your game night.
As the DM i find it critically important to get into character, as a DM you have ALOT of characters you can get into. That said not everyone is of the caliber actor as Matt Mercer and the gang at Critical Role…Do not despair. you can throw in the occasional hoarse growl, airy falsetto or other vocal effect and it will create NPCs that your players will remember. If you arent up to the task of voice acting….
Which sounds better?
You enter a large room.
You enter a large well appointed room, rich tapestries cover the walls and ornate furniture decorate the cool white marble floor. The scent of incense and wood polish fills your nose. Muffled voices come from a heavy oak door at the opposite end of the torch lit space.
Alright, not a wonderfully well written passage but it certianly evokes a greater sense of realism, you could have walked into this place. It gives you a sense of how wealthy the owners of the house must be. it also provides insight into how well the players can see, hear etc. most importantly it gives them at least two options for moving forward. they can search the room, or they can inspect the voices they hear…. do this with your characters as well. the tavern owner is a generic character, but add a pot belly, flushed cheeks from drinking his own stock, and a speach impediment from a bar fight or battle long ago. these small details help flesh out what is normally a throw away character.
These are just some of the things you can do to help add some realisim to your game…. what about you the players? What are some of the things you do to add some flavor to your game night?