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What's your game running narration?

Dawid Wolski

First Post
Hi there, my first thread here. I'm mostly GM, so my question goes to any GMs out there.

I'm just curious - what's your way of handling narration during game sessions? I mean, for some time I have been trying to develop my own style of narration, way of presenting things that makes players more active and eager to participate in storytelling.
And I thought of Guy Ritchie's early movies, mainly those with Jason Statham in them - viewer is caught in the middle of action, off screen narrator, often of the characters, summarises the situation or we just have to figure it all out ourselves.
So, I thought it's good - to face players with action in motion, not from the beginning. I open up each session with a situation and question following, like: "You are standing still, while rest of your team is sitting. The guy on the other end of a gun he's pointing at you seems to be quite angry. What did you do to piss him off so bad?" or "You're hiding behind the cover amid the symphony of gunshots and screams. Your pistol is empty, but you always prepare your gear for the mission. What happened this time?"
I give them time to interpret the situation, come up with something, then use it later on. Usually against them ;)

Sooo, do you guys use any specific type of narration in you game session?
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I love involving players in the narration with questions like that. If it catches them off-guard, so be it. But you can bet they’re going to be invested in whatever comes as a result of what they say next.

As far as when I’m doing the narration, I’ve been playing around with themes for adventures. It could be something as simple as “songs” or “the effects of the madness and demons on the populace of the Underdark” from a recent Out of the Abyss adventure. That helps shape the tone and what I’m trying to convey with every scene, whether planned or improvised.

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