Tomes in Amber
On Narration Rights
As the Dungeon Master I’ll do my best to describe the settings that our story takes place in; the people and creatures you encounter, the places you visit, and the action around you. However, there are a few things that I think the players should have control of narrating.
- Your actions: As long as your character isn’t under the effect of some compulsion, you can narrate how the things you do look. This is especially useful with your powers. If a power has the weapon or implement keyword you can use that in your description, as in “I swing my staff” or “I point my wand at his face.” You can also feel free to ignore the descriptions of powers provided by the rules. For example, the Ranger power Careful Strike says “You study the enemy, looking for a gap in his defenses. Only when you find it do you strike.” The mechanics of the power basically give you a little more accuracy at the cost of some damage, so instead you could say “I fake high and then stab at his knee” and it would still play out the same. The main thing I’m going for with this is that when you use the same at-will attack a few times in a row, get creative and describe it differently each time.
- Killing blows: Unless there are special reasons not to, when you take down an enemy you get to describe the interaction of your attack with your enemy’s mortality. This doesn’t have to be elaborate and for the most part it probably shouldn’t be. A simple “I hack his arm off and his lifeblood sprays everywhere” or “The prince burns to a cinder in my flames” is usually sufficient, but sometimes you might want to pull out something more like: My sword pierces his chest and his fingers scrabble at the blade as a look of surprise comes over his face. ‘That’s for all the innocent souls you’ve maimed, you vile dog!’ I spit in his face and push his body off the sword with my foot and he tumbles backwards down the stairs to where his courtiers stand with mixed expressions of horror and relief on their faces.
- Elements you introduce: I am fully in favour of seeing things you invent becoming part of the game world. This wiki works that way. As another example, if you decide that you have a contact in the underworld of Thron, you can describe that person’s appearance and general demeanour. I’ll still play that character, but the introduction is up to you. Similarly for a minor location, such as the clearing where you used to play Soldiers and Scalors.