2 hours ago
Monday, June 20, 2011
Why do You Think I Have This Outrageous Accent?
A question for you GMs out there: How much do you “play” NPCs in your game?
I (mostly) tend to play NPCs as characters. They get their own manner of speech and verbal idiosyncrasies. A pirate captain might get a vaguely piratical patter, a wealthy, double-dealing merchant might sound like Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon, or a supercilious shopowner a bit like Jonathan Harris' Dr. Smith in Lost in Space (I should add all these voices most only be considered approximate). I tend to keep the use of accents to a minimum, as I’m not particularly good at them, but sometimes I hint at them with stereotypical vocabulary.
Now that’s what I try to do. Sometimes I lose track of who I gave what voice to. Other times it just gets tedious dropping in and out of character, so I mostly abandon it once the player’s have “got it.”
I’ve played in games where GMs did similarly, but also games where the GMs went light on differentiating NPCs, often just telling the players what they said in the third person. I have no idea which approach is must common, though.
(The title of this post also represents my first Monty Python reference in a year and a half of rpg-blogging. I feel like I’ve crossed some sort of Rubicon.)