by Mike on 29 August 2022
Playing a D&D game is a magical experience. Where else do we get to sit together with our friends and all share in an imaginary world of fantasy and wonder?
This experience becomes stronger the more we immerse ourselves in the world.
What helps immerse you in the D&D games you share with your friends?
I took the question to Twitter, asking what most immersed players in the world of D&D. You can read the thread here.
Common themes across the roughly 130 replies to the tweet including:
Yes, pot was also on the list but that's a topic for some other blog.
"If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it."
- Willy Wonka
If I was to offer the single best way for DMs and players to both get into D&D, it would be this:
Close your eyes and imagine the world through the eyes of the characters.
You can do this anywhere, anytime, and use it to think about your world as part of prep or to get deeper into your character. You can do it before bed. You can do it in a boring meeting. You can do it during a walk. Spend a moment to imagine the world, not from the clouds but as though you were standing right there.
You can, of course, do this in-game as well. As a DM, you're probably not actually going to close your eyes, but you can do so during your prep and capture the details you note in your mind's eye.
If you're a player and the DM begins to describe something. Stop for a minute, close your eyes, and let their voice build the image in your head. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What grabs your attention?
Let yourself go there.
Many of the replies to my query surround one core concept: capturing the senses. We might do this with music, art, maps, and props.
[Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master] covers these ideas in Chapter 13: Other High Value Preparation Activities. They're not critical to run a good game, thus not covered in the core eight steps of game prep in Return, but they came up often as ways to stay immersed in D&D.
Want to immerse your players deeper into the world of your game?
As a DM, thinking about how we can better immerse our players in the world is a topic worth thinking about. It's easy to get caught up in our own story, spend lots of time tuning combat encounters, or spend hours writing histories and theologies. Instead, think about how you can better immerse your players in the world itself.
Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination.
Each week I record an episode of the Lazy D&D Talk Show in which I talk about all things D&D. Last week I talked all about the latest Wizards of the Coast announcements including diving into the first playtest for the next D&D core books. Here's the episode!
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