On the other hand, White Haired Man adventures contain large quantities of complete narrative the GM is expected provide the players. Since all of our adventures have been designed for the Fantasy Grounds II virtual tabletop software, we assumed such text would be desired by the GMs. These blocks of text can easily be dropped into the Fantasy Grounds chat window, saving the GM the time spent crafting and typing the text. But I never tested the assumption; that is, I never asked Fantasy Grounds GMs whether they wanted narratives presented in this format. So I then wrote the following post in the Fantasy Grounds forum.
I’ve written a few Fantasy Grounds adventure modules as part of White Haired Man. I have always assumed that GMs would greatly benefit by having complete descriptions they could drag and drop into the chat window. For this reason, our products include a lot of boxed text.
But I have never actually asked anyone if they use these or find them of value. Perhaps GMs find it difficult to include such text in the adventure without extensive revision, and would be just as happy with ideas and guidelines so that they could write their own descriptions.
I’d appreciate the opinions of any GMs out there who have purchased and used adventures from any publisher. How about those GMs who create all of their own material: do you write descriptions ahead of time?
After two days, eight GMs had replied, and all of them were strongly in favor of our style of prepared text. Now, such a situation might not hold for face-to-face gaming. I personally like to prepare this type of material for my own face-to-face games. But writing is one of my strengths, so it makes sense for both White Haired Man and me to leverage that strength. If we ever branch out from Fantasy Grounds adventures, perhaps we will revisit our approach to prepared text.
My conclusion does not address what narrative style is better for an adventure. Rather, my point is that Greg’s post prompted me to examine a long held assumption and test its veracity. The resource represented by the Fantasy Grounds community is only a click away and yet, until I read Greg’s post, I never thought to ask.