I see it like this - the DM almost always describes the room dimensions to the players to convey the scale (especially if the group is mapping, then they'll demand room dimensions). So a DM can either look at the map and count out some squares (not great for large rooms or ones with a weird shape), or they can just take the numbers they've got at their fingertips in the room key and tell the players "a 30' by 60' rectangle" or whatever.For those in favor of the room dimensions next to the room names: How do you see the referee using that text? *Specifically* how does the room dimension text turn into useful words, actions, or inactions on the part of the referee?
It's not about the room beyond the door though; it's about the present-state room the party is currently in. That type of information is always found in the key for the room, because that's where room information is wrangled.If I tell you the room beyond the door is, "a 30' by 60' rectangle," can you correctly map it?
I find bullets are useful notes/reminders if you have already internalized the properties of the room, but are poor at conveying that information as first instance. I am starting to lean towards a room format like the MMs where there is a "stat block" for the room that contains the dense abbreviated information you need, followed by a narrative description, preferably to be read not at the table, which puts everything in context.don't let the haters put you off bulleting; it draws the eyes and prioritizes information; as long as you don't take it to ridiculous lengths (which you havn't).
As to a) - while fair to assume that some people aren't good with visually conceptualizing spatial dimensions, it's poor design philosophy to assume that nobody will find the dimensions helpful.I find room dimensions in the writeup to be very poor at conveying information to players, since (a) most people have a poor concept of distance (quick, if you don't already know, what are the dimensions of the room you are sitting in right now, without pacing it out?) and (b) it often does not help in describing where the players are entering the room.
I'm intrigued by the sound of this. Would you post an example?I find bullets are useful notes/reminders if you have already internalized the properties of the room, but are poor at conveying that information as first instance. I am starting to lean towards a room format like the MMs where there is a "stat block" for the room that contains the dense abbreviated information you need, followed by a narrative description, preferably to be read not at the table, which puts everything in context.
Sure, that works with a simple room like this, where the readaloud conveys .Personally i really love the Room Keys in the 'Dungeon Age' adventures.
It has a very good combo of 'Read out loud' and bulleted descriptions.
The only downside is that Joseph doesn't include an image of the relevant dungeon section.
An example from 'Kraken Corpse Delve':
View attachment 929
The latter.Isn't he just talking about entries in the Monster Manual? Or are you asking for a dungeon room version of an MM entry.
Ok, this was just a hypotheses, so we will see how it works. I picked the entrance to the kobold liar from B2, since we all have it to compare. I added a bit at the beginning with "readaloud" information, although not in that form. I also added additional description, information from the "DM Notes" section so the players would get structural information as soon as they enter the cave, some sensory information to help the PCs choose a direction at the intersection, and some tactical information for the kobolds in the next area (area 1 is kobolds, area 2 is rats). I omitted the reference to planks that aren't there; that should probably be moved to the area 1 description.I'm intrigued by the sound of this. Would you post an example?
The intention is that the shorter beginning section is a reference to be used during play, and the longer description helps provide context when you are reading the dungeon before you run it. It would probably be a better test if I used a more complicated entry, but I have limited time. The whole thing is a bit longer than the original, but also contains more information. The question is, does it add sufficient utility to be worth the added space?Original:
A. KOBOLD LAIR: There is a 2 in 6 chance that as the group enters the cave-like tunnel, 8 kobolds will come out from hiding in the trees above and attack. Kobolds: AC 7, HD 1/2,hp 3 each, #AT I, D 1-4, MV (40’), Save NM, ML 6). Each carries d8 silver pieces.
Note: 30’ inside the entrance is a pit (X). There is a 3 in 6 chance that each person in the front rank will fall in unless they are probing ahead. There is a 1 in 6 chance that individuals in the second rank will also fall in, but only if they are close to the first rank and the character ahead has fallen in. The pit is 10’ deep, and those falling in will take 1-6 points of damage. The pit lid will close, and persons within cannot escape without aid from the outside. The noise will attract creatures from areas 1. and 2. Planks for crossing the pit are stored at #1 ., beyond.
A. Kobold Lair: This cavern entrance is nestled at the edge of a large stand of trees. Weeping branches hang low over the lintel; medium creatures will have to brush past them or duck under them. The tunnel beyond is unlit.
Kobold guards may lurk in the underbrush around the cave entrance; if present they carry 1d8 sp each. The entrance itself is braced by a heavy stone lintel on stone pillars, set into the earth. Beyond lies a 10’ high tunnel roughly chiselled from the living rock.
- 2/6 chance that 8 kobolds lurk among the trees. (AC 7, HD 1/2, hp 3 each, #AT I, D 1-4, MV (40’), Save NM, ML 6)
- 10’ pit inside entrance (marked on map). 3/6 first rank, 1/6 second rank, 1d6 damage, hinged lid closes to prevent escape. Detect automatically with probing.
There is an intersection 30’ into the tunnel; the din of conversation from area 6 can clearly be heard, and prevents any attempt to hear noises from areas 1 or 2. The intersection is protected by a pit with a hinged metal lid, camouflaged to look like stone. Tapping the metal lit will reveal its presence. After the pit is triggered, the lid will close and latch from the outside. The pit mechanism is noisy and will alert the creatures in areas 1 and 2.
The kobolds in area 1 will be alerted by any light source, but will take no action until they know if the party will fall victim to the pit trap.