Redundant Storytelling Problems

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Whilst writing the third adventure in my campaign, I have been proof-reading the "read to players" part, and have noticed that it sounds really redundant. This usually happens when I am presenting the monster, giving treasure, or showing them the way to go. For example, I use the term 'there lies' way too much. For example: "In the middle of the room lies the ooze", "on the table lies a puch of gold". It feels boring and redundant to me, and I have had issues in the past with the PCs getting bored. What should I do to spice up the story?

EDIT: I have also been using the word 'you' alot. I want to include the players in the story, but I don't want to say things like "you rest your hand on the table" because it sounds like I am reffering to all of them. Also, I could say "Zorketise rests his hand on the table" but I wwant my players to make their own choices.

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Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
I recommend avoiding the use of "read to players" parts, basically for the very reasons you've stated. Just for a session, try leaving it out most of the time, unless there's something that's really deserving of particularly flower prose in the description. Even then, describe it to the players as if you were describing something you saw in a cool movie.

Don't ever refer to what it is the players are doing. They'll tell you that. Just give them the description.

I also recommend bringing the players in on the description. If they ask questions about a room or layout, tell them that what ever they think is the answer is correct. Just give it a try for a session, and see if that doesn't start to spice things up a little for both you and them.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

So how do I let them know of a monster or treasure?

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
So how do I let them know of a monster or treasure?

How would you tell them about a monster or treasure that appeared in a cool movie?

Other than that, just tell them about it without reading text. If you have a map for the battle, you can just place the creatures on the map, and tell them, what the creatures are. Players will ask for clarification, and I recommend letting them add their own clarification, rather than spending a lot of back and forth with them. Players will do this to make sure they are neither tricked nor stupidly miss something. Assure them that you're not out to trick them or punish them for missing things.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

If you feel a need to have descriptive texts, as I often do, you should know that by describing only the important parts players will instantly know to interact with that. But if you describe two or three they will have actuall choice in what to do in a room/setting.

Sometimes its ok to describe only one thing. If that thing is super important to the plott, its sort of a close up shot of the book they need to grab before fleeing for their life. Other times you need to describe the shelves with loads of other books a desk with a half burned candle in the corner and a stained glass window. But that I would say is for when they're not super stressed out and have time to browse and look around.

Now comming back to the describe the room, do it short and simple. Going back to the bookshelves room. Say just that. "In the room, there is some bookshelfs on the left wall, a desk in the far right corner, a window and a pedestal with a book in the middle." What do you do?
This gives them choice, there is not a wall of talking and details will come when the PC's explore the room. And you wont have to write down loads of details to things you don't need (unless feel it helps you keep your cool).
So how do I let them know of a monster or treasure?



For monsters, I endeavor to hit these three notes:


  • Most distinctive feature, trait, or power

  • What it's doing or seeks to do

  • What will happen if it succeeds


For treasure, I go for this:


  • Most distinctive feature, trait, or power

  • What it does or can do

  • What its value is in terms relative to the PCs' goals


Some of the description is in-game and some is meta to give an impression of the visuals the character is seeing plus some of the "behind the curtain" stuff to give the player enough information to make a clear choice. (The player can decide if or how his character "knows" this meta information and act accordingly.) This initial description's goal is to get the point across, not to add a ton of detail to the scene immediately. As the scene unfolds, we add more detail to these things as we go in a collaborative manner.

The best way to kill the tension and pacing of the scene is to read the boxed text. Skip it or slim it down, I say.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Thanks, everybody! I willt ake a little of everyones advice and form it into this:

- Try not to read out of a box
- Only mention core details
- Keep it short and simple

Thanks, again. 

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
Thanks, everybody! I willt ake a little of everyones advice and form it into this:

- Try not to read out of a box
- Only mention core details
- Keep it short and simple

Thanks, again. 

Do try to also let the players supply details they're interested in. They'll appreciate the narrative control and feel much more engaged than if they just listen to details you create. Good luck.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

So here is what I am looking at with these changes:

Contents of room: Desk with ink and quill, melting candle.
Monster details: 4 diseased ghouls, baring their sharp teeth.

The idea is that the player asks for details and I use what I have here to elaborate. 
 

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
Do try to also let the players supply details they're interested in. They'll appreciate the narrative control and feel much more engaged than if they just listen to details you create. Good luck.





Thank you.

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
For rooms, I do this:


  • The most noticeable thing

  • What's going on here

  • Why it may be relevant to the PCs


"The room contains an ornate desk with an inkwell of blood and a quill atop a stack of parchment with words so recently penned they are still drying. By the light of the melting candle, it's plain to see it's the evidence you've been looking for! The stench of fresh rot and a feral growl alerts you to four diseased ghouls that have just arrived who will hungrily eat the stained pages as an appetizer before moving on to the main course! What do you do?"

Here, it's pretty obvious the PCs will need to stop the ghouls before they eat the evidence, which makes for an exciting scene!

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

So here is what I am looking at with these changes:

Contents of room: Desk with ink and quill, melting candle.
Monster details: 4 diseased ghouls, baring their sharp teeth.

The idea is that the player asks for details and I use what I have here to elaborate.

Wouldn't you rather they just got to fighting the ghouls instead of asking you questions?

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Yes, but I like an entrance. To me, at least as a player, I think it is exciting to know a little about the ghouls. I mean, are they just a bunch of undead that want to eat you, or are they a group of pallid, rotting ghouls, baring their long, sharp fangs at you and your party? 

iserith: I am trying to shorten down the explanations, not lengthen them. However, I will take this advice for when I am vocalizing to the PCs.

 

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
I think this is how it is going to work:

Here is what I wrote down in the campaign guide:

Room A9 - Shrine
Contents: A shrine resembling a horned demon.
Monsters: Six ravenous zombies.

And here is what I say:

"A large, dark shrine, worn by the years, stands in the middle of the room. It resembles a terrifying horned demon, glaring down with anger. Six ravenous zombies stand guard to the godless shrine."

So instead of reading from a pre-written box, I am taking what I have written and paraphrasing. (Improv, if you will.)

Does this fix my problem before of redundancy? 

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
Yes, but I like an entrance. To me, at least as a player, I think it is exciting to know a little about the ghouls. I mean, are they just a bunch of undead that want to eat you, or are they a group of pallid, rotting ghouls, baring their long, sharp fangs at you and your party? 

iserith: I am trying to shorten down the explanations, not lengthen them. However, I will take this advice for when I am vocalizing to the PCs.



My example is three declarations and a question... it conveys the scene and stakes for that moment and takes 20 seconds. Are you playing by text or using voice?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

What do you mean?

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
Yes, but I like an entrance. To me, at least as a player, I think it is exciting to know a little about the ghouls. I mean, are they just a bunch of undead that want to eat you, or are they a group of pallid, rotting ghouls, baring their long, sharp fangs at you and your party?

Encourage the players to answer questions that for themselves and get on with the scene.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Centauri: so, instead of telling them what it is, let them come up with their own idea? Or perhaps let them ask questions about them?

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
So instead of reading from a pre-written box, I am taking what I have written and paraphrasing. (Improv, if you will.)

Does this fix my problem before of redundancy? 



It might, depending on your improv. I recommend improvisation as you described - a few bulletpoints for your own organization and then add the flourish as you're giving the description. Just be sure to hit the things they need to know to make decisions in that moment. Leave room for more details to added later.

On that note, here's something to consider: If you're going to be using improvisation in your game, that means you might want to be open to improvisation on the part of the players in which they can establish some details as well. Say you describe the ghouls as above. One of the players adds, "Yes, and one of them bears the Mark of Six, the cult that abducted my sister, Lilac!" If you're following the principles of improvisation, the player is correct and what his character has observed is true, and now you have some new drama in the scene.

By the rules of improvisation, it is a form of blocking to ask a questions about the details of the scene unless you're adding new information to the scene in the asking. "What does the ghoul look like?" is actually blocking since you're not adding anything new to the scene. "Why does one particular ghoul seem more interested in me than the rest?" is better because it adds some new detail to the scene: One of the ghouls has taken an interest in one of the PCs.

When you think about it, most tables in which the traditional dynamic of "DM describes - player asks - DM describes - player acts" is generally full of blocking which impacts the flow of the game. When your players are told they can establishe details without asking questions, you reduce the blocking and the game flows very smoothly with surprises around every corner as the scene changes and comes alive!

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Ok. Thank you istheris, you have been really helpful. One last check: here is an importnat part of my story, adapted to fit your bullet-point technique:

 

"The room has a set of ornate wood doors; one occupying each of the dungeon’s four walls. Each door has a small metal emblem branded to it, each unique: a bird, a wolf, and a tree. As the strange insignias begin to raise questions, a piece of brown, wrinkled parchment sinks to the floor. The parchment reads:


“Three choices for you to make,


Make sure your choice is the one to take,

For if you choose wrong,


Your death will not take too long.”


As the note finishes it’s explanation, it crumbles into dust, leaving you with an important decision: bird, dog, or tree?"

Show
Upon the day that dragons were born, so to was the first white wig worn, by men who wished to make the world theirs, and in the process sorcery tears - the very fabric of space and time, dragging the dragons right into their prime, these monstrous beasts in philosophical mansions, stood right in the way of colonial expansions. To break these beasts a hero must be found, a hero of the future who can stand the sound - of centuries past and voices unfettered, and someone who'll carve dragon graves lettered - R, I, and P the three sacred symbols, that curse the dead to a land without gimbals. A land they'll never leave, because escape cannot conceive - itself, out of the grip of this mustachio'd hero, a Roosevelt who is comparable to zero. Family crest tattooed on his chest, the baddest m****rf****r this side of the West. And to the dismay of the colonial fools, their futuristic hero had to play by the rules, and the hero chosen by the dragons themselves, they summoned with a tome pulled from dusty shelves. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, or so they said, as their dragon tails were waggin'. And up from the depths, as the earth shook, the Oldest of Ones opened eyes for a look - at the battle that was about to be waged, the human champion that stood enraged - on the precipice between hither and yon, to battle this most eldritch scion. And with that, the tension was broken, the combat began, and each soul had spoken - its very last words, because as soon as time had started, so to had it ended, and sentience departed.
Centauri: so, instead of telling them what it is, let them come up with their own idea? Or perhaps let them ask questions about them?

Give them a basic seed, plus a key detail or two you feel like providing. "The six ghouls here look hungry."

After that, it's tradition for players to ask clarifying questions. "Are they attacking?" for instance. A player can actually be the one to answer that, and their answer might surprise you.

My intent is to offer you ways for there to be details but not to get bogged down in redundant or otherwise unnecessary narration, much of which players are known for forgetting anyway.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Ok. Thank you istheris, you have been really helpful. One last check: here is an importnat part of my story, adapted to fit your bullet-point technique:

 

"The room has a set of ornate wood doors; one occupying each of the dungeon’s four walls. Each door has a small metal emblem branded to it, each unique: a bird, a wolf, and a tree. As the strange insignias begin to raise questions, a piece of brown, wrinkled parchment sinks to the floor. The parchment reads:


“Three choices for you to make,


Make sure your choice is the one to take,

For if you choose wrong,


Your death will not take too long.”


As the note finishes it’s explanation, it crumbles into dust, leaving you with an important decision: bird, dog, or tree?"



That wouldn't be my choice of content but if organizing into bullet points makes it easier for you to convey information to the players, then go for it!

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith