I ran the next installment of my Shadowrun adventure last week and man, I sucked. Part of the problem was that I started to suffer from a migraine right in the middle of the session, but even before I wasn't really able to get in the mood and be creative. I feel like I gave away the chance to make the Marigold, a 1920s style speakeasy, a really memorable place. I knew exactly what the place should look like and how it should feel, but I just wasn't able to get it across. I think I need a list of useful words for descriptions to jumpstart me if that ever should happen again.
One thing at least went as I had planned it: the entrance to the Marigold. I described a normal city street, with a couple of small stores, a laundry, a phone booth, a restaurant and blocks of flats. The characters had a string of numbers they had been told was the code for the Marigold. My players both went blank for a short time and then one of them, more as a joke, said: I'm going into the phone booth and I dial the numbers.
Which wasn't so easy because the handset of the phone didn't work as expected - only the ear piece came off - and instead of buttons there was just this round disc. A bit of poking revealed that the disc moved and finally the PCs figured out how to work a dial disc. Dialing the numbers caused the back of the booth to open and they had found the entrance to the Marigold.
I had thought that at least one of the players would immediately jump at the phone booth because who needs one in the age of Shadowrun and comlinks?
You can read an in-character account of the evening here.