You are obviously set in your views and appear to be adamant in finding some reason to object to anything that opposes them.
Hey, I'm not the person who said that boxed test is "REQUIRED" in a published adventure, and compared that requirement to the need for a title. That was you. I'm explaining why I don't agree. I'm not sure why that makes me adamant
. It just means I don't agree with your statement of requirements for published adventures. I even gave an example - The Demon of the Red Grove by Robin Laws (hardly an inexperienced or incompetent publisher of RPG materials). I'm going to give another example below.
For you, obviously, boxed text is not necessary. And, as you say it is even contrary to what you value. So why not leave it at that?
Where else do you think I have taken it?
How about the value of having a product relatively self-contained? Sure their are lots of examples, blogs and references that give other ways of doing things, but why would you put together a product that assumes someone has access to and knowledge of such?
I don't follow.
I'm going to post a short extract from Death Frost Doom, a LotFP adventure which doesn't have boxed text. This is a published adventure, and I believe that it is fairly well regarded among the old-school crowd.
The Old Oak Hanging Tree
A few trees still stand in and around the graveyard, although all are long dead. This petrified tree is the largest of them, and stands as a mocking caricature of the life that a normal tree would represent. It was used to hang prisoners, traitors, and certain sacrifices, and the broken knot used to secure rope to the thickest branch is still there, although the rest of the rope has long since been hacked away.
Over the centuries, having soaked up the energy of so much painful death, it is filled with the essence of suffering and woe. The tree is self-aware but is unable to move or communicate, and it desperately hates those that move. The only way to discover that something is not right with the tree is if it is damaged, at which point it will bleed human blood. But if it could animate…
Despite the lack of boxed text, I don't see how this is not self-contained. I don't see why anyone would need to read a blog to be able to describe that tree to a group of players.
What about the 12 year old who has never played before and his/her aunt/uncle bought them the PHB, DMG and an adventure and said, "Hey, I know you'll love this.."
I assume they would do what I did when I was given the Moldvay Basic set in similar circumstances, namely, read the GMing advice and example of play and use the latter as a model in light of the former. Thus, the Basic PDF for 5e gives us the following (p 1):
One player . . . takes on the role of the Dungeon Master (DM), the game’s lead storyteller and referee. The DM creates adventures for the characters, who navigate its hazards and decide which paths to explore. The DM might describe the entrance to Castle Ravenloft, and the players decide what they want their adventurers to do. Will they walk across the dangerously weathered drawbridge? Tie themselves together with rope to minimize the chance that someone will fall if the drawbridge gives way? Or cast a spell to carry them over the chasm?
And also this (on the first page as well):
Dungeon Master (DM): After passing through the craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east and Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Crumbling towers of stone keep a silent watch over the approach. They look like abandoned guardhouses. Beyond these, a wide chasm gapes, disappearing into the deep fog below. A lowered drawbridge spans the chasm, leading to an arched entrance to the castle courtyard. The chains of the drawbridge creak in the wind, their rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors of Castle Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into the courtyard.
Phillip (playing Gareth): I want to look at the gargoyles. I have a feeling they’re not just statues.
Amy (playing Riva): The drawbridge looks precarious? I want to see how sturdy it is. Do I think we can cross it, or is it going to collapse under our weight?
Personally I think that GM's narration is a bit overwrought, but I think that might be a minority view. In any event, I think that makes it pretty clear what is involved in describing the situation the characters find themselves in.
One could also argue that the harm done by implying a single way to present something is better than the harm done by excluding everyone without the experience, knowledge or ability to not benefit from boxed text.
If you go on a holiday, or a day trip, or even out for the evening, and you see something interesting, do you tell your friends about it? And if so, do you prepare your boxed text in advance, or just relate what you saw off the top of your head?
I'm bringing to mind, now, the sight of Minas Tirith in the 3rd LotR film. A tall city. of white stone, abutting the end of a range of mountains. I can describe that to someone without boxed text. That's all a GM has to do.
It's not any sort of special skill. (Beyond, in general, requireing some facility with words. But that's a general prerequisite for GMing.)