Hey, remember that dungeon I was writing on mt blog? Well it hasn’t been abandoned and left to rot like all my other long-term projects, no sirree. It’s actually been under rather intense construction, and I’ll be running the first playtest session later today.
I’ll publish the updated (and much improved) version of the first floor of DEPRAVITIES OF THE DINOSORCERER later, once it’s not a spoiler for my playtesters.
Meanwhile, I wanted to share a little insight I found while doing some last minute rewrites of the floor.
Last night, I decided to break an OSR taboo and write boxed text for my adventure. A piece of text for each room to be read verbatim upon entering. However, you can expect it won’t be in the published version of the product.
I wrote it for myself and myself alone, in my own style and cadence. It’s for my own use during the playtest, to anticipate exactly what I would say when gametime came and writing it out ahead of time to reduce mental load.
The great benefit of writing the boxed text has been in editing. This draft has gone through so many versions, with numerous changes to the content, that my eyes have begun to glaze over sections that haven’t changed in a while. Going through and rendering the room text into narration exposes the weak points in the description, as well as which pieces of content jump out and which don’t, which are evocative and which aren’t, which ones Bryce would like and which he wouldn’t (that is the only objective measure for dungeon quality).
So I encourage you: write boxed text, just don’t publish it.