What exactly is immersion? We should start by stating that there’s most definitely a difference between using accents and immersion. When I talk about immersion I’m of course referring the the amount of engagement players have to the story and the events taking place during a session. Depending on how RP focused your group of players is, immersion can look a little different.
Personally I’m of the radical idea that checking your phone every now and then doesn’t necessarily mean disinterest in the game, you might have to start considering this issue if your players constantly ask you to repeat descriptions, or misinterpret situations, perhaps even have troubles remembering remembering events that happened just a session ago.
While we’re hoping that these suggestions can help you and your players have an even better time playing Dungeons and Dragons, we do recommend that you bring up your concerns with your players. Open conversations can do wonders for these type of issues.
With that out of the way, let us discuss some ideas you can test out to get the most immersion for your players.
This first idea is a pretty simple one and one that that I’ve tried out myself. You start every session by taking a few minutes to recap the events from the previous session as well as any other relevant details.
Not only does it help the players to refresh the players memories and remind them of any plans that they had made for that current session, but it also gives everyone a handful of minutes to get in character and prepare to rp.
I usually like to ask my players to do the recap themselves rather than just having the DM do it because it’s always a good idea to know how your players are interpreting sessions. That said, this is sometimes met with a little initial reluctance but this tends to fade away as soon as the player gets into their retelling of events.
With the rise of popular streamed games the likes of Critical Role, TAZ, and High Rollers, there has been an increasing demand for both players and Dungeon Masters alike to go the extra mile for their characters and implement characters voices and accents whilst at the gaming table. While this is great, it’s important to remember that even if your players are using the most elaborate of voices, that doesn’t equate to them being immersed in your story. On the other hand, putting a bit of extra effort to speak in character often both as a Dungeon Master and as a player might just help keep some more your more RP oriented players a tad more engaged.
Music and ambiance…
Alright so, in this day and age I think it’s safe to say that most if not all of us have some sort of way to procure music for our sessions, be it live sessions or online ones. I will hear no excuses on this!
Music can play such an important role in getting your players in the right headspace for games. Now, before you bust out your favorite artists soundtrack, it’s important to note that it’s crucial that, unless there’s a reason for it, your music doesn’t have any lyrics to it as this would be incredibly distracting. If you’re not sure what sort of music you should be playing, there’s also hundreds upon hundreds of videos on Youtube custom made for different ambiance for all your setting and terrain needs.
Using character names…
This next one might look like a mundane detail at first glance but I assure you it can do wonders in engaging your players and keeping them grounded at the game table.
It’s in the details…
This last tip works especially well for Dungeon Masters but can also be implemented by players. The more concrete details you are able to give your players as you describe the world the more interesting your players will find it. Having a good visual image in your head of what a place or NPC looks like and taking the time to describe their mannerisms or actions can really do wonders to engage your player. An extra tip for this is to always try to include some sensory details other than sight.
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