Comments on the Demo Area
An Encounter Table
Build A Puppet
RPG / Dice Math
Magic: The Gathering
Star Fleet Battles
There are several categories of information
that may be presented to a character when they enter a room:
- The Name of the room
- The Brief Description of the room
- The Full Description of the room
- The Success message.
- All Obvious Details in the room
- All Obvious Exits in the room
- All visible Characters / Puppets in the room.
- All visible Things in the room
The Name of the room is always read to a PC when they enter a room.
It should be specific, descriptive, and (if possible) reasonably unique.
It should answer the question: "Where am I?"
- Bad Name:
- The Lobby, A Rock, Porch, Grassy Plain
- Good Name:
- The Lobby of The Stygian Building,
The big, flat rock on the road to Esaurius,
The Porch of the Hatfield Steading,
The Donompoc Plain.
The Brief Description
A Brief description should set the scene
and provide directions without being verbose.
It should answer the question: "What do I see?" in a broad fashion.
- Bad DESCRIPTIONS contain:
- Run-on sentences.
- Misspellings and typos.
- No logical clumping of similar items or features.
- No sense-related clues.
- Excessive use of parenthetical commentary or 'punctuation as rhythm.'
- Huge, dense, undifferentiated blocks of text.
- Good DESCRIPTIONS contain:
- Indications of the size of the room.
- Mentions of obvious exits.
- Indications of major areas or items of interest.
- Sense cues, where appropriate.
Good Brief descriptions should be
approximately one to six lines long (no more than 500 characters).
The large office is sparsely furnished. The entire east wall is a window
framed by curtains. Near the window, a massive desk of crystal and
bronze faces the door. An area rug near the door sets off that half of
the office as a reception area. The door in the west wall leads to the
The Full Description
A Full description should contain a complete, detailed description
of everything that a PC can see without closely examining each feature
or object. It should answer the questions: "What do I see?" in detail.
A good Full description should contain all of the specifics about
the room; details about the floor or ground covering, what the walls
look like, what is on the walls and ceiling, any windows, doors,
furnishings, small objects, sense cues, impressions that the room might
convey, etc. For example:
The room has a clean, polished hardwood floor in a dense, dark brown
wood. There is a large area rug near the door on the west wall that
covers nearly half of the room. The subtle cream and pale green pattern
of the rug compliments the ash-blonde hardwood paneling that rises to
shoulder height. The walls above the paneling are a pale aqua. Spaced
around the room on the walls are small bronze and milk-glass lamps,
reminiscent of orchids, that accent the desk.
The ceiling is high, rising away from the walls in three
shallow steps. The recessed central area is filled with light and
suffuses the room with a bright, even glow that casts no
The window in the east wall goes from floor to ceiling,
wall to wall and is so clean you can almost feel the breeze
outside. Tall, straight curtains frame the window like deep green
columns. The window gives a lovely view of Pantheon Station and
the train yard beyond.
On the north side of the area rug is a small couch and
cocktail table. On the table is a statuette of a streamlined
black panther with flickering emerald green eyes. To the south
is a small, waist-high table under a very abstract print signed
by Arthur Decco. On the table in a small pool of light is a small
replica of Lantz's /Man Controlling Trade/ in unblemished marble.
and so on
The Success message
Should give characters in the room some indication of how the character
enters the room.
The Obvious Details
Details are descriptions of items in the room
that are not
things in the database.
These Details are interesting features,
but not separate from the room.
Each Detail description should answer the question:
"What do I see when I examine this item more closely?"
Since there is only one (defined) description for a Detail,
it can be as complete as necessary.
But remember that the description of a Detail may lead players
to examine other details:
The cubical puzzle box is about the size of a grapefruit and is make of
a dark -- almost black -- wood covered in arcane runes painted on the
surface with a dark ruddy pigment. Under the pigment, the Darkness rune
seems to be made of some sort of metal.
look Darkness rune
The Darkness rune seems to be peeling away from the puzzle box, and
under the pigment is a tiny gleaming stripe of silver.
The tiny stripe of silver almost seems to glitter in the light. You
can't really get a good look until you pick it up.
In the above example, the box would be listed as a visible detail, and
the Darkness rune and the tiny stripe of silver would not. The details
command would allow a PC to list the box along with any other visible
details, but not the Darkness rune and the tiny stripe of silver. Each
of those would have to be explicitly read with the look command.
Copyright © 1999 Bob Simpson. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: 1999-Feb-02