Describe using room titles Rewrite: 1


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
Room Titles
An often overlooked area to leverage is the room keys title for a room. While it's not strictly necessary to have a room title, it can help orient the DM to the rooms context. This orienting to the context can be a critical tool. By introducing the topic you then help frame what's to come. Imagine an encounter that has a tree in it. What you image changes it we're already in a giant sequoia forest vs a bonsai garden. By introducing the room, through a room title, you help put the DM in the proper frame of mind to interpret what's to come.

Room keys typically come in a couple of varieties, depending on the layout person. One style has the room number and first sentenc eon the same line, like:
12. This bedroom room has twelve orcs

A second style has then on separate lines. Such as:
This bedroom has twelve orcs in it.

Note in particular all of the waster space in the second example. All of that space after the "12." is just blank and empty. In addition to orienting the DM, we can, in this example, also do it without necessarily impacting page count.

12. Bedroom
There are 12 orcs.

But wait! All we've done here is put our orcs in a bedroom. What if instead ...

12. Ruined Bedroom
There are 12 orcs.

Ah, now the context has changed. We know it's a ruined bedroom! But wait, there's more!

12. Opulent but Ruined bedroom
There are 12 orcs.

And now we're getting somewhere! We're building up a context through the room title. As these progress you should, no doubt, be imaging things in your mind, and that should be changing. Getting more concrete. Situations with the orcs are developing.

12. Frilly Victorian Bedroom
There are 12 orcs.

Now what? Trying on clothes? Bewildered?

This is, clearly, a forced example and a badly written room. The orcs are not doing anything. But, from the perspective of the ROOMS description, IE: what kind of room is it, or what kind of a bedroom is it, the power of room titles should be coming in to focus. While the orcs could use some work, does the room description, proper, actually need anything else? That depends. If it's just a room to encounter 12 orcs in, then maybe not.
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