GM bros...how do you make a place feel real?

GM bros...how do you make a place feel real?

My players are going to visit a Lizardfolk village in good terms, i want this place to feel alive and believable.

  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Emphasize the sensory experience - what does it smell like, what are the everpresent sounds, what is everybody doing?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Was going to say exactly this.
      Example, was Dm'ing my crew through a jungle and to ram home the feel talked about the sunbeams cutting through the large canopy of the jungle, trees bathing them in streaks of tropical sun and patches of different tints of dark and warm greens, shadows of sapien-like animals dart from branch to branch almost just out of eyesight along the highest points of the canopy, you can smell the salt wafting in from the near by coast and that smell of sand that only comes from it being a blistering sunny day.
      My group all had some pretty comfy smiles on their faces after that one; totally had them immersed next though when I imitated some monkey screech's as they got further off into the distance.

      The small details can paint a huge picture.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I agree with this anon. Describing the smells and sounds of a place always makes it feel more real.

      I imagine a lizardman village is going to be wet so you could probably work texture as well. The thick mud sucking at their boots, etc

    • 1 month ago
      Smaugchad

      >engender to describe other senses than what they see and hear
      This is the textbook answer and it's a good first response

      Who cares about "realism" in a game of makebelieve with generic fantasy races like lizardmen and elves and all that shit? Make it interesting.

      But ultimately I agree with this guy. Know your players, the sort of thing that captures their specific imaginations and Hispanice up your locales with these sort of things

      I personally love light hearted comical type settings that can turn deadly at the drop of a hat and that's generally what my players can expect. They tune in for the laughs and stay engaged to stay alive. That's just my personal method though and each DM should develop his own that suits his skills and let's him enjoy doing his job.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      This. What does it smell like? How does the ground feel beneath your boots? Do they hear lizardfolk talk and barter?

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Build it irl

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      The only true response.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Turn up the humidity and temperature, release a bucket of cheap skinks into the game room before the session, buy some old Rainforest Cafe audio equipment and base boost it.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Watch some documentaries/YouTube clips about life in villages, or go outside and have a walk in public spaces, and be extremely mindful of everything you see. Pay autistic detail to it so you can start deconstructing it to imagine the village from scratch.

    How old is it? What sort of resources do they have access to, and what does their culture revolve around? How are children raised? Do they have livestock, pets, occupations?

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Emphasize daily life and background activities between moments where you focus on plot relevant stuff. Lizard thred I guess. Post em.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      That is not a lizardwoman coward.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Food is also a good way of showing both local resources and culture
    Based on your choice of picture, it looks like a rainforest. While this seems like it would be limiting them to hunting, Indigenous tribes do grow food in small gardens, Sweet potatoes for example. There's also evidence they've altered and grown food by encouraging certain plant growth along their migration route, ranging from fruit to Hispanices. So if you want them to be more settled, then bigger farms, otherwise more foraging.

    So, while they might not have the usual fantasy tavern, they may be invited to a meal with the tribal leader. Perhaps some kind of large fish with a sweet berry reduction, served with yam or sweet potato Hispaniced with local plants, and Perhaps some shrimp/prawns also from the local river

    If you want some cultural misunderstandings, one idea that's stuck with me was needing a constitution check to deal with Hispanicy food. If they fail, the lizardfolk might find it offensive that they're wasting a carefully prepared meal in their honor

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Then make it so.
    If you struggle with something so basic, maybe you simply should be GMing?

    Also
    >bros
    Fuck off, autismo.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Your image is missing a nose

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Now you are too

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          wtf how did you do that

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >GM bros...how do you make a place feel real?
    Earth is a good place to start, nothing realer than earth.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Who cares about "realism" in a game of makebelieve with generic fantasy races like lizardmen and elves and all that shit? Make it interesting.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    You ask basic questions of the area.

    If lizard folk lived in <insert location> how would they:
    *get water in large enough, reliable quantities to drink and perform basic tasks?
    *procure food in large enough, reliable quantities to eat every day and night?
    * build the basic tools they need to survive?
    *build the structures they need to survive?
    *keep track of time?
    *keep each other informed?
    *keep themselves entertained?
    *keep peace and not kill each other?
    *interact with other local populations?
    *keep history?
    *predict events (like the changing of seasons, or weather changes)?
    *produce technology on a large enough and reliable scale to improve their lives?
    *where do they get unusual materials like metal, or specific compounds?
    *distribute labor?
    *produce clothing or fabric?

    All of the above are important history topics, but they ALSO provide narritive reasons for quests. Imagine a little village suddenly have an unexpectedly large harvest which leads to a baby boom. How will they feed those new mouths? Where will they get to tools to procure that food? How do neighboring villages react to this?

    If your setting has magic, just treat it like technology, how did:
    *the first magic user discover magic?
    *they manage to REPEAT that magic?
    *people who do magic get received by their tribe?
    *deal with accidents caused by magic?

    Imagine magic is done by trapping and controlling spirits, who was the first person to trap a spirit? Were there accidents? Is it still done that way or has the method improved? Do their fellow villagers enjoy the presence of spirits?

    Just keep doing that shit.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      good post

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Most important thing is to make sure that the key NPCs have realistic motivations and act according to those motivations.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    have town people tell your party they don't belong, the rest of the town gives them glaring looks, the shops are obviously over charging them

    and the reason? we'' there's a good one, people just like the party did such and so, and they distrust your kind, of course

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