Basic Training DMing 101 #3: Day Progression Sheets

In recent conversations with Tracy Hurley from the Sarah Darkmagic blog and other internet fame, Samuel Dillon of RPG Musings and Radall Walker of Init or What, the subject of adding detail to the game world was broached. This is something I have always encouraged way back in my first DMing 101 article I designed a really simple, and some what ugly, room record sheet. A simple document DMs could use to fill in flavor text about rooms and different environments. This would allow DMs to add more descriptive text to their games thus creating more captivating stories.

I have decided to continue down that path with these simple Day Progression Trackers. Another simple document DMs can use to track the progression of time and how the characters surroundings change as the day goes on.

Devils in the Details: Giving detail about characters surroundings can be helpful in setting a mood for any RPG, as well as a good way to help the players get into the story. As the DM is the main source of descriptive imformation for the players its always a good idea to spend some time designing the world with some significant details. Details such as time of day, the current weather, any unusual surroundinds the players might be interested in, what NPCs might be lingering about. These can all add to the level of submersion your players experience in your game. If you give them enough detail to begin painting a broad picture of their surroundings players can more easily fill in the rst of the details themselves.

Too Much: Too much detail can easily derail the momentum of many games, but just enough can make all the difference. Players may not remember the weather in the last game, or the scent you described lingering in the air, but they will remember how into the game they got and how exciting it was to be so immersed in the story.

Simple and Clean: Using these Day progression sheets is easy, for each location your players travel to write a simple descriptive text for each of the listed items. Describe in two or three sentences what the weather looks and feels like. Is it raining? Is it a light rain, a heavy rain, a bitterly cold rain? How light is it out side? If it’s midday are there heavy clouds making it somewhat dark out? Is the sun blazing down making standing out of the shade almost unbearable? A few brief lines to describe each of the key points in the boxes will really help your players understand the area they are interacting with, and it may make their interactions more meaningful.

Perhaps knowing that the sun is scorching hot and the temperature is in the low hundreds might make the players think to offer some water to an NPC they are trying to win over with diplomacy gaining a bonus in the process. Giving your players more details about the world around them gives them more tools with which to expand their interaction options.

Open Source: As always I’m no designer so if any of you out there feel like making this tracking sheet a little easier on the eyes please feel free to do so. I’m also open to suggestions as to what detail should or could be added to enhance your game.

Download: PDF/Word

 


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.


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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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