What do your weapon declarations look like?

Specifically the monsters - do you describe what is happening (“it lunges and swipes at you with it’s clawed hands”) or do you just declare it as written (“the owlbear is using Reading Claws”)?

I’m of two minds here, so I’m curious what others do.

In the early days, when things were still pretty brutal and players were getting a hang of the action interactions, I used to “chew the scenery” a lot. “The orc cringes behind his shield!” I would basically telegraph the actions for the players at weapon declaration, but I would keep feints a little tricky.

Now that people have more or less mastered the table, there’s a lot less description before the card reveal, and a lot more unpacking of the roll and what it represents in the fiction.

I still think chewing the scenery and being super obvious is a good approach for new players. The letter of the rules, however, only requires the GM to disclose the order that actions are taken by which NPCs and what weapon they equipped. Experienced groups should stick to that.

But no matter what, you should try and unpack the rolls descriptively. Sometimes in the middle of a conflict the fiction gets lost. That’s not the end of the world, but if you can describe the fiction, you should.

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So you simply say “the orc is going first with his sword, then each of the two goblins, one with a net, the other with a dagger”?

What if it’s some sort of beast with “Rending Claws” or “Venom Tipped Quills”?

Then I announce those weapons, though not what they do mechanically. If they want advance knowledge of the mechanics, they have to use the hunter skill for that. I tend to be very animated when I announce a cool monster weapon name — the first time, at least.

I will usually frame the declaration in a complete sentence, like you have in your original post. But the amount of actionable information in that sentence varies based the game mastery of the audience. Beginners get a little wink as I narrate the monster charging forward with its rending claws. Experienced players don’t.

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