Dan & Paul exchange thoughts on the use of prepared Boxed Text descriptions in D&D adventures. Are they hostile, or benign in your games?
DM Shawn Merwin wrote on D&D Beyond: “If you’ve DMed, read, written, or even played D&D adventures at any point in the game’s existence, you are familiar with boxed text, which is also sometimes referred to as read-aloud text. It got its name from the thin boxed-line that sometimes surrounds the text in an adventure, denoting that it should be read aloud to the players. It’s as much a part of D&D’s history and brand as saving throws, hit points, and armor class…”
“Every couple of years, the topic of boxed text sweeps through the game-design community, opinions are thrown about, battle lines and drawn, and then we all go back to writing our own adventures, usually including boxed text. I wrote about the topic 20 years ago on forums, and 10 years ago in blogs, and now I’ll write about it again. Not much has changed in the conversation, but it’s still one we need to have.”
What are your thoughts on the use of boxed text?
- Read Dan’s blog on early encounter text
- See Shawn Merwin’s full comments at D&D Beyond
- Read up on the “fierce debate” at ComicBook.com
- Check out Dyson Logos thoughts on his blog
- Read Jesse Decker’s observations at Gen Con 2005 (via Wayback Machine)
Wandering DMs Paul Siegel and Dan “Delta” Collins host thoughtful discussions on D&D and other TTRPGs every week. Comparing the pros and cons of every edition from the 1974 Original D&D little brown books to cutting-edge releases for 5E D&D today, we broadcast live on YouTube and Twitch so we can take viewer questions and comments on the topic of the day. Live every Sunday at 1 PM Eastern time.