So I was reading yet another fantastic article on Ephemera and the blogger started talking about the urges players get to poke into the various corners of the locations they find themselves in. So true. Especially of me. I very much do that. The article went on to say that normally the Keeper doesn't have the extra information to make all that searching worthwhile. Oh, there's clues, potentially, but what about the general voyeuristic impulse to peek through someone's drawers to see if they hide pornography, jewellery, or snack bars? Hmm? Is that sated?
There's a lot that can be learned about a person from the stuff they keep about them and there's certainly much to be said for letting players find it out if they have a mind to. True, it's probably best to keep everything in a murder victim's home rather consistent with the clues so players don't run off on too many red herrings (videogames, flash PC, console machines, gaming posters looks far less like a vital clue than a single Super Mario Brothers cassette hidden behind the sofa). But why not give it a bit more meat to the description other than 'ordinary apartment with wooden furniture from IKEA'?
Yes, it's a pain in the behind to have to come up with yet another thing on the fly but if you can take a minute to think about the NPCs it shouldn't be too difficult to think of something. Anywho, read the Ephemera article to learn more.