In fact, the way I approach tabletop play is so fundamentally different then how you run your games, that it renders some unable to understand the following statement.
I am not interested in simulating reality.
Anyone who conjures to their mind a tired argument containing the words versilimitude, realism, or questioning how players can make choices if they don't have a frame of reference has just given themselves proof that they are unable to understand the statement.
Reality, Choice, and the Design
Agency is informed choice.
Games are collections of interesting choices.
If you're rolling dice, you're not making a choice. You're calculating and adding. Dice rolled by the player are not used to create choices, but to calculate the effects of choices.
Role playing games adventures are designedDesigned does not mean "pre-determined". It means like a painter chooses what to paint and a writer chooses which words to use, a Dungeon Master presents what he chooses to present.
This means if your players find verbal exploration tedious, then you have designed an encounter without choices that matter. You are rolling to search because you wish to skip your own failure of design.
The virtual matrix of the demon of designI am not a demon, taking over all of your senses, recreating a new reality. I am a person, playing a game with friends. My friends are what is important.
I don't ever do anything "because it's what would happen". I don't make players sit out because "your character wouldn't be there yet". I don't make people tediously search empty buildings. I don't make them look for the fun, pixel bitch, play mother may I or suffer from Dungeon Master fiat. I certainly don't make them endlessly and mind-numbingly roll dice to "search for traps" so that they "won't know when one is there." And it certainly doesn't mean they succeed at anything they attempt.
If you think this means that I don't have empty rooms, mysteries, or traps, you're wrong.
I'm just not an asshole about it.