Here’s how, as a DM, “yes and” can improve your next session, thanks to @neil_hxyzamer for the question.
“Yes, and” is one of the best tools to have in your DM toolbelt.
Not only does it build trust and collaboration with your players, it also takes some of the pressure off of you to think of everything. Best of all, it helps you write the story together.
The idea is simple. When a yes/no question is asked, say yes AND expand upon it.
Here’s an example:
DM: you approach the tower of the mysterious wizard and a heavy wooden door, what would you like to do?
Rogue: Are there windows?
DM: Yes, and they are open, about 20 feet up in the tower
Rogue: Are there trees?
DM: Yes, and you see one is kind of close to the tower
Rogue: I want to climb the tree and backflip into the window to sneak around!
You didn’t plan the windows or the trees, but suddenly a standard introduction to an NPC has turned into an exciting stealth mission with the rest of the party distracting the wizard as the rogue sneaks around
It would be easy to say “I didn’t plan for those, so there are none” but that quickly eliminates player agency and leaves out a lot of the fun of DnD
There ARE limits “ARE THE UNDEAD ALL WEARING ADIDAS TRACKSUITS AND SINGING THRILLER?” may not be one you want to roll with, but give it a try!
Still not sure how to try “yes, and”? Drop a situational question in the comments and we’ll answer!