Voice Acting in RPGs

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shadoes
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Voice Acting in RPGs

Post by shadoes »

Okay so I guess this is the best place for this.

I was wondering. How many others do voices for their NPCs? Meaning voices other than your natural speaking voice?

Me I am a ham at heart so I try to do different voices for all my major NPCs... at least the male ones Don't really try to do to many female voices.

I have done this for years even before I started into stage combat at ren fairs where I had to do character voices. I know my players have never complained and I have often been told they like that because it helps them loose themselves in the game.

I also encourage my players to develop voices for their characters. Even if all the dwarves end up scottish well sometimes a symblance of scottish anyway.

Anyhow was wondering if anyone else does this? I have only encountered a couple other GMs that did.

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Post by serleran »

I do, but only when the characters first meet the person, as I just want them to know the guy is "different" and is "in-game" and not me. If they then encounter that same one, later, I do the voice again, but not all night. I have other things to do and make sure works right. Also, sometimes, the voice hurts to do (due to a rasp or far deeper than I ordinarily speak, or whatever) so I would rather just give an idea, and then move on.

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Post by seskis281 »

Well, I and my group are mainly theatre people, so you'd think it'd be a lot of the time, but not as much... more for specific characters here and there, like I fast-talked Ian the Fisherman from Mortality of Green.

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Post by Foxroe »

Depends on the players I think. It's good if your players appreciate it, but it can be a little over the top for some. Personally, I may use the language/expressions that the NPC uses, or display some personal tick or habit that the NPC may have, but I usually don't try to strain my vocal cords.
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Post by Harry Joy »

No, I don't and yes, I majored in Theater. All the standard RPG accents are damned cliche. I roleplay every aspect of my characters but that one, and more often than not, I cringe when others do it. Sat in on a session at a game store once where everyone did accents and if I didn't already play they would have put me off gaming. I've got one friend who can pull it off, but he doesn't do it all the time.

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Post by Rhuvein »

I do a certain amount of this and it's quite fun. The players seems to enjoy it, so hopefully I've got the right balance of when to and when not to.

And my players do it occasionally as well.

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Post by Treebore »

I occasionally do it, but only when its an NPC I have paid enough attention to to feel like I know where he came from.
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Re: Voice Acting in RPGs

Post by slimykuotoan »

shadoes wrote:
I was wondering. How many others do voices for their NPCs? Meaning voices other than your natural speaking voice?

I get so into roleplaying npcs, I'm surprised my eye-colour doesn't change.

That's what it's all about my friend: intensity.
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Re: Voice Acting in RPGs

Post by Treebore »

slimykuotoan wrote:
I get so into roleplaying npcs, I'm surprised my eye-colour doesn't change.

That's what it's all about my friend: intensity.

He's lying. He does voices for his player characters too. I find Slimy very effective, because he will do "accents" as well as just different voices and such, and it really helps me create visual images much faster, and much more vividly.

He doesn't do them all the time, but when he does it helps, a lot.
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Post by Go0gleplex »

Rarely anymore. i used to do a different voice for NPCs all the time but find I can't keep track of them anymore as well. So I tend to reserve my voices for my characters (WHEN I get to actually play and not run)
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Post by shadoes »

I would certainly agree that if the group is not into it then they should not do it. I have never had any group complain when I did however. I have never made it a policy to make any player do anything.

I was just curious to see if I was the only one nuts enough to do this
Oh and I am with you Treebore. That is what I meant by major NPCs.. ones I know will come around again so I would like them to be distinctive and known immediately upon speaking rather than having to say.. So and So walks into the room....

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Post by Traveller »

Did it, enjoyed it, and freaked out the players a bit as I actually can do female voices, due to having a decent range of pitch, though I can't do the whistle register like Mariah Carey.
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Post by MaxKaladin »

I rarely do full-on voices. I think the last time I did it was when I had a game with some halfling "mobsters".

I tend to distinguish NPCs with things like word choice, volume, tone, tempo and other cues. If I have a friendly warrior NPC, for instance, I may speak loudly, say "my friend" a lot and slap the table when he's slapping someone on the back. I'm not doing any accent or anything, just varying the volume of my voice a bit and supplimenting it with some other ques to give the NPC some character.

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Post by shadoes »

MaxKaladin wrote:
I rarely do full-on voices. I think the last time I did it was when I had a game with some halfling "mobsters".

I tend to distinguish NPCs with things like word choice, volume, tone, tempo and other cues. If I have a friendly warrior NPC, for instance, I may speak loudly, say "my friend" a lot and slap the table when he's slapping someone on the back. I'm not doing any accent or anything, just varying the volume of my voice a bit and supplimenting it with some other ques to give the NPC some character.

This is also what I am talking about. It isn;t always about an accent. haha glad I am not the only one I have played in games though where the GM never varied anything from his natural tone and sometimes it was hard to tell exactly what he wanted to get across.

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Post by Rhuvein »

MaxKaladin wrote:
halfling "mobsters".

LOL!

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Post by DangerDwarf »

Yeah, I do it. Badly and with much enthusiasm too I might add.

My group loves it for some reason., though I think it may have more to do with the fact that they like to see me make a fool of myself more than it actually adds any immersion into the game.

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Post by Foxroe »

Rhuvein wrote:
LOL!

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Monster-sters?
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Post by Mike Frank »

I do. Whether DMing or playing. I have a couple of NPCs that are really fun to play. And the more Guiness that goes down, the better it gets! Well, to a point -- too much and I start putting the wrong voices on the NPCs.

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Post by Omote »

Generally speaking, I do initial "voice work" for most NPCs when they are first encounted. I only try to keep the voice acting up if the NPC is super special, or extremely revevant to the PCs. In my current campaign there are a good number of NPCs of some importance so it has been hard to keep their voices down in my head.

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Post by Fiffergrund »

Gangsters, folks. GANGSTERS.

Is it really that difficult?
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Post by shadoes »

Fiffergrund wrote:
Gangsters, folks. GANGSTERS.

Is it really that difficult?

I got it ...little short italians making you an offer you can't refuse

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Post by serleran »

Are they Sicilian kobolds? I'd be scared. Might wake up with a mule head in your tent.

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Post by shadoes »

if this were Keep on the Borderlands you would wake up with the Mino head in your bed. but that would kind of ruin the big fight at the end hahaha

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Post by Aladar »

I do voices for major NPCs and such, plus a few sound effects when required, but I'm an old Thespian at heart. My players seem to enjoy it and get in the act as well.

We used to have one guy who played with us that worked in a circus before he joined the Army and he could do a wonderful range of voices.
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Post by shadoes »

nice.

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Post by gideon_thorne »

*smiles* I've always wanted to see what an rpg session full of rennies was like.
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Post by shadoes »

hah then come to one of my house sessions. About half the group is rennies with the other half wanting to be haha

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Post by gideon_thorne »

shadoes wrote:
hah then come to one of my house sessions. About half the group is rennies with the other half wanting to be haha

*chuckles* I'm hoping the Red Griffin's get some free time to start gaming again too.

Once the Castle Zagyg material comes out, you'll see some familiar faces as character art. ^_~`
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Post by shadoes »

oooo I wanna be art! haha

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Post by Relaxo »

I was notorious for this, but (usually) kept it from getting silly.

(mostly because my Monty Python loving friends would throw things at me and screem" stop that! it's SILLY")

Once, DMing a genie, I ducked behind my screen and popped up like the genie emerging from his bottle... in spelljammer there are these psychic penguins who are usually traders, and would finish each other's sentences, so i would do "ghetto muppet" theatre having my two hands talk to each other as the two penguins....

A troop of undead warriors who, in life, sung during battle, howled their song thru their decayed nasty sounding throats... (this really began to freak everyone out, it was cool because they were really just zombies, but scary, singing zombies he he he)

But especially with newbies at the table, if you as DM are willing to embarass yourself a little in the pursuit of fun, it really helps everyone lighten up and cut loose, In my experience.

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