|Dear Jez Gordon, WATCH THIS MOVIE!|
|A dungeon organizer; note: not a person|
|Google calls this a "kinesthetic DM"|
And guess what.
They don't work online.
None of them.
(Well, maybe the "do all the voices" part, but I didn't get a chance to do that one.)
And so, I've got to work to develop some new tricks, a new toolbox to short-hand my way into being an effective DM online. I'm not one for drawn-out pronouncements of "new, ongoing article series," and so I'd like to not do so here, but I think that, whenever I come up with a new trick or shortcut for my online toolbox, I'll write about it here in hopes of saving someone out there some time. Any time. Right, so here's the first one I've come up with.
Don't Fear "Boxed Text"Maybe you call it "read aloud text," but I call it "boxed text" because it's more readily understood than "canned text" ("canned" in the sense of "canned laughter"). Normally, I won't use it. Or rather, I use it as a... well, not even really a guide, more like a signpost pointing me toward the things that the writers thought were important enough about the area to talk about. So, I take what they've given (or not given) and add the details I want to add, point out the things I want to point out (usually literally, as in "this thing is here and that thing is there and the trippy music is coming from over here) and sometimes gesticulate in particular manners that I believe will get across a specific kinetic or tactile or whatever detail ("like clammy damp and cold" while I grip my forearms to demonstrate the ickiness).
That doesn't work.
I found myself talking with my hands, gesticulating explosions, violence, dramatic actions and all sorts of stuff that ended up being, as it comes to pass, completely off camera.
That doesn't work either.
Right, so I needed a way to get across details completely and fully without missing anything and so everybody knows what I'm talking about. It may be training wheels or a stop-gap measure for now, but boxed text just might be the right answer. From here on out (or at least until I find new shortcuts to replace wild gesticulation and here here here-pointing), it'll be boxed text for every keyed area within reason. Reduction of confusion, no missing details and a hopefully more stream-lined gaming experience. At the cost of using a crutch that I thought I was done with back in middle school.