Day 15 of #RPGaDAY 2020. Today’s prompt is ‘Frame’.
As a player, you’re always experiencing the world of your character through the eyes of the gamemaster. You can ask questions as to what your character experiences, but you only have limited control over ‘the camera’. This is something to keep in mind when describing a situation: I always make sure to include lighting, sounds and smells in my scenarios. This “narrow channel” is the hardest thing about being a player, I think.
But it also allows for narrative frames that would otherwise be impossible. As GM, you can describe scenes to the players without any character being present, like a ‘cut scene’ or something that happens far away but will have an impact on the characters’ lives before long.
I rarely play the game as if I’m the director of a movie, but I’ve played in games (mostly based on visual media like Star Trek or Star Wars) where the gamemaster used it to great effect. Giving NPCs a bit of a character moment just as the characters have left, or showing what the opposition is doing elsewhere gives the players a much wider view of the grander scheme of things — not just their own little piece of it. That can make for a much richer play experience.