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In this post I thought I’d present my thoughts on how to frame how you present magic in your sessions.
The first thing to note is that we rather like our magic to be magical; wondrous, illuminating, fascinating. What do we so often get? Trite and dull recitations of leaden words. People, this aint a lecture from a dull and boring lecturer on a dull and boring subject. We’re talking about entertainment, entertain dammit.
The party is hiking up a forest path when the GM hits them with a Darksome Forest Confusion—a spell I just made up. He says, “You’re hit by a Darksome Forest Confusion, roll to save.”
I say, “Stuff that.” As the GM I’d rather say, “For some reason the forest shadows are starting to shift and twist. They grow longer and wriggle about like squirming snakes. Things are growing closer, than farther away, and the path you tread on is not meeting your footsteps quite as it should. Have you any questions>
In summation, don’t tell them what it is, describe what is happening. I say it is better to say, “The air around you has gone a bright burning red and your skin has become burnt,” than to say, “It’s a fireball.” So it takes longer and uses more words, it’s not a term paper and you’re not a professor.
As long as you keep it entertaining you have the right to be wordy.
So, when the party is heading down a corridor and all of a sudden the sounds stop, including what they try to say, how would you describe it? It could be some sort of silence magic, but would it be obvious to them?
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