Turning Numbers into Narrative

I’ve been running a lot of classic Rules Cyclopedia Dungeons & Dragons lately and it was very evident that published modules were very very different back in those early days of D&D. A lot of adventures provided a rough framework which is then parsed through the rules by the DM who then painted the results into a picture for the players. The level of involvement for the DM was much higher than today, where each encounter is so meticulously detailed that even the novice DM should have little trouble presenting things to the players.

Neither the old or the new way is right or wrong, though people have preferences I’m sure. Instead of comparison though, I want to offer some advice to DMs from both eras on how to take dry numbers, and convert them into a fuller narrative picture.

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