1.18 Common Padding


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
if/then text.
rays book comes to mind
is this really an active voice/passive coice kind of thing?
Is there a real jargon name for that?
rays got a taste of that pedantic editor that i am in a war against

in order to ... (if/then)

expletive contructes (passive) (from rays book)
there is an old wise man who watches over the children
an old wise man watches over the children

you fnd yourself ... (ray)
Rays empty words
past/vs future tense ray

redundant modifiers - ray "a single strip runs down its back" ... in contracts to

participles is hope to sire an heir
hopes to sire an heir

real passive voice - the dwarf chopped down the tree, the tree was choppsed down by the dwarf
he thinks nothing is wrong with it. i hate it. if the party goes in to the lair ...

player character actions - when the party opens the door then ...

and rays "yo do this" controlling the player actions

seems to, appears to ...

printing out rays book to hilight things and talk to him
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8, 8, I forget what is for
Here's why you should write this book---I never understood if you felt if/then's were bad to include conceptually (i.e. what happens in response to a certain action should not be spelled out), or if you just didn't like the wasted space of the if/then language.

You should also get an editor, because your explanations undergo a compression-algorithm that can sometimes be hard to unpack for the uninitiated.

You are a man of few words. (Unlike myself ) :)


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
adventure vs general rpg writing
Evocative writing and technical writing
breaking the rules hardly ever universal
i am a heathen not up on my grammer rules
you write free of grammer jargon

use cases/examples of general principals

p9 find yourself
p8 explitive is this padding?
p10 future vs present tense
p38 able to going to

P6 can create a stom. jit creates a storm. last example
p8 explitive constructs seem like a passive voice thing also?
p29 participles
p30 but its not passive voice, that seems diffferent
p32 which is really PC actions if/ten
p35 the staff gives you e the power to ...

Editors are Monsters
my advice is taken to the extreme also
11 - geneder specific hair like a drown woman
16 - like first example better, but describe them is best
25 -gaping maw indeed!, the drain lairs near town
p36 - specificity 80' tall is lame, but yes in general

really like
modifier stacking

p33 okayers vs dm text: last example 2 is better, interactive
p33 you do this "no we dont!" bad RA


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
Indirect sentences pad text
Empty Words?

"Indirect sentences" is not a real thing. i made it up for this section. **

Writing can convey meaning in many ways. When writing for the DM, a form of technical writing, it's important to keep things simple and direct. The more tortured the sentence the slower the DM will be in comprehending it. In practice, this means that you will want to keep your writing direct instead of indirect. Direct writing places the nouns and verbs up front and uses few if any filler phrases and words. Indirect writing pads out the sentence with filler words and phrases. "Yes, but what does that MEAN?" I'm glad you asked.

"The man is eating an apple." That's a pretty direct sentence. Let's torture it some.

Appears/Seems - "The man appears to be eating an apple."
A song lyric comes to mind "Reality is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes." Things only 'appear to be' or 'seems to be' in the sense that an evil demon could be fooling us right now, creating an illusion before us of a man eating an apple. he doesn't appear to be eating an apple, he IS eating an apple. If this were read-aloud text then it's a drop dead giveaway that he's NOT eating an apple. If it's text only for the DM then why does he appear to be eating it in the context of the entity (the DM) that has omniscient knowledge about the game world? Neither situation is appropriate.

If/Then Clauses - "If the party open the chest then they find 500 gold coins."
When I'm being lighthearted I like to call these quantum descriptions. The 500 gold coins don't exist before the party opens the chest. Get it?! Get it?! What? You think I spent too much time on esoteric topics that have no meaning in the real world and need to hunker down and get a real job using my hands? Back to the topic: everything in the game world depends on the party so there's no need to mention it. "The chest contains 500 gold coins. " Efficiency experts might also note: "Chest: 500gp" In an RPG a chest exists to be opened. Note that there are a lot of variations of the if/then clause and most of them DO NOT include the word "IF" or "THEN." " When the party goes through the arch ... " No, "The arch turns people to turn when they pass through." Subject. Verb. Keep it simple.

Passive Voice


8, 8, I forget what is for
"The arch turns people to turn when they pass through." Subject. Verb. Keep it simple.
to stone, right?

I like everything you've written here.

How about this "if" clause?

"If the thief is asked about his brother, he'll draw his knife and accuse the party of being agents of Melkor."

TOTALLY unrelated, I rendered this image this morning using a ray-tracer I wrote in C/CUDA...
Pleased as punch with how it turned out. (Da Da Da Da-da-dum Da-da-dum...)
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8, 8, I forget what is for
On this topic, @bryce0lynch, you know how you are always wondering why official adventures are so verbose? Well here's a hint in the form of WotC's call for submissions for a single encounter, which must use their encounter template, and must be 500 words or less.

It is discussed on the DMDavid blog, which includes DMDavid's draft entry. Notable on the page is alphastream's comment on the 500 word limit that "When using few words, clarity is really tough to achieve."

Looking at DMDavid's entry it seems to me that the required style format gets in the way of clarity. I feel like artificially breaking it into sections makes it hard for the writing to be evocative, because you never get the highlights described in a single piece. It's like serving a salad where each ingredient is separated into its own pile by type, with the dressing in a cup on the side. You can make a salad with it, but its not exactly a salad as presented.