Red Scents and Sound-Seeing

I wanna talk a little about descriptions. I talked about it quite a lot, up until now, but mainly because I do believe that it is one of the most important tools in the GM's arsenal. Together with portraying the NPCs, it is the most important tool in the arsenal.
On Wednesday I GMed a game, a D&D game. It was something that I haven't done in a long time, perhaps a year and a half, maybe even more. I used there quite a number of descriptions' techniques, from using references to my "3things in 20 seconds" rule. I even let my players describe things.
But there was one technique that for some reason I didn't use. And it got me thinking. Why haven't I used it? I'm still thinking on that, and I think that I know why I didn't use it, but firstly I want to present it.
The technique is quite simple: mixing the senses a little. I got the inspiration for this technique from the Bible. When Moses goes up the mountain, it is written that all of the people "saw the sounds". Seeing sounds wasn't something that I was used to. It is not a common way to describe things. But it does make it seem larger than life. It makes the event seem grandiose, important, and alien to what we can comprehend.
So I started to describe some of the things in my campaign this way also. I started to use it in horror games, then continued to the climaxes of fantasy ones. The players were shocked at first, asking questions about how it is possible and what do I mean by that. Today they feel the power of it also, and try their hands on it from time to time.
After all, when you can listen to the dark, smell the yellow scent and see the spicy taste, everything is quite different. Everything is quite alien, unnatural, and even uncanny. And this, of course, is only the beginning of the possibilities.
Then I came back to the game, to my analysis of it I mean, and started to ask why I haven't used this technique also. I think that it was because of the comedic tone of that game. After all, when even dragons are nothing but a joke, there's no need for the red scent, or for the green sounds.
Bu I think that it is also because it is a far more complicated way of describing things, one that needs it's proper time and place, and it just didn't feel right for me at the time. I don't know for sure, and I will probably never know the truth, but it doesn't matter. I do know that I felt this technique missing, and I want to use it again, because its rewards are far too great and many.
How about you? Have you used this technique or something similar in your games? If so, how did it go?


Letting the players invent

It's hard to believe, but it has been more than a year since my last post here. Quite a number of changes took place in my life, which I might get to write about them eventually. But not for that I wanted to come back to the blog. I wanted to write about RPGs again, 'cause it's a kind of passion that I still have. In the past year I've moved to "RPG Stack Exchange", where I was amazed by the sheer amount of knowledge going on in there.
I guess that some of the new posts in here will be renditions of some of the answers I wrote for questions that were asked there. But others, like the one that I'm writing now will be completely new., completely original. A word of caution, though: I don't know yet in what schedule I'll be updating here, in the blog. It might be every few days, or once a week, or who knows. But I'm back and hopefully for good.

With that said, it's time to start. Well… I'm reading right now a book, written by our beloved Gary Gygax , called "Master of the Game". It's part of the reason that I came back, but anyway, Gygax talks there quite a lot about the creative role of the GM. He all but says that the players are there for the ride, w=and it is the sole responsibility of the GM to create content and invent things about the imaginary world.
And here I must wholly disagree. Part of the magic in the RPG world is that the story is created together, by the entire group. It is true that by deciding to knock on the dungeon door (for example) the player changes the fiction of the story, thus creating something of her own accord, but is it the only way that a player can use to invent something?
In rule-systems like Fate there are tools, mechanical tools, which the players use to invent things. But I must say that I don't think that it went far enough. The players need more than a limited amount of facts to invent about the imaginary world. If you ask me, a limited amount of facts to invent is far too limited for most groups.
I, for once, use a different system. Whenever I'm stuck without an idea, I ask my players for one. "So, you found the truth about the murder- what is it?" When I'm stuck, whatever my players will bring will be far better than what my stuck mind can bring to the story.
But even this is not far enough. It is a known fact that a great way to bring the players to care about something is to let them invent it. So nowadays I let my players invent and/or describe my NPCs, invent barrels and cats and other parts of the scenery, and much-much more.
For me, it has always been the shared creation of the story and of the world. This was my thing, the reason that I came back to the infamous seat of the GM. It is not groundbreaking. Hell, it's a technique that even I use for at least six or seven years. But nevertheless, it is one of those things that I wanna see more- GMs who let their players create and invent the world as equals to them [the GMs].
And somehow, just somehow, when I GM to new players, I see the players try to invent more. Has the social contract changed us so?

What do you think? Do you let your players invent and/or describe things in the imaginary world? And if so, to what extent?