Page 125 - Making An Impression

24th May 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Making An Impression
Average Rating: 4.33 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 24th May 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
I'm terrible at voice-acting. I can act, I can get into character, I can portray emotion, but I cannot freaking change how my voice sounds to fit a character. That's something they just don't teach you in community theater.

What about in your own experience? How important is voice in portraying a character, on either side of the table?

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



darkwulf23 24th May 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Bouncing baby bunnies burning brightly that's a lot of smoke.
Guest 24th May 2012, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Oh that's just the Bunny fire pay it no mind.
J-Kwez 8th Aug 2012, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
No this isn't one of Fluttershy's innocent friendship fires
AJBulldis 26th May 2012, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
She told him to eat the carrot.
Silverbolt 24th May 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
I try to come up with unique voices whenever I can, but I don't consider it the be-all and end-all of getting into character. It just helps.

I did once have this half-orc monk who talked like Billy Bob Thornton's character from Sling Blade, though. That was a hoot. :D
Urthdigger 24th May 2012, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
I like to think I'm fairly good at getting into character. What I am NOT good at is coming up with airtight reasons for every single villain's motives. The poor party always winds up saying "But wait! Wouldn't it be more profitable to do this?" "Why not give us a trial and get to the bottom of this instead of locking us up immediately?" or other such logical arguments, and I'm left without much of a leg to stand on. As a result, it's become almost a cliche that my villains are entirely irrational people.
Chakat Firepaw 24th May 2012, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
If you look at RL, you will finds all kinds of people doing things that are sub-optimal or rushing to judgement and not really caring about the truth so long as they have someone to punish[1].

People aren't rational and often go after their goals in a less than effective way.

[1] Case in point: The item in my RSS feed just before this was about the wrongful execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was put to death by Texas in 2004 for a crime that didn't even happen.
Shikome Kido Mi 25th May 2012, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
Actually, it's pretty common to lock people up while awaiting trial and the idea of being out on bail was missing from a lot of cultures. So now you have a counter-argument for that one.
kriss1989 25th May 2012, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
"Yeah it might make more profit, but do you realize how much more work that would be? The amount of work needed is a lot bigger than this version of the plan, it would take a lot longer, and the amount of payout really doesn't seem to justify it to me."

Remember, just because it would generate more profit doesn't mean it's the better idea.

Also available "Huh, OK thanks for the idea. I'll make that my next scheme." to make the HEROES look like the stupid ones for GIVING ADVICE TO THE VILLAINS.
Ranubis 24th May 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Well, I've got a question about voice acting: Why do all dwarves seem to end up with some sort of Scottish accent? I'm trying to think of a single counter-example, but I can't.
Innisa 24th May 2012, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
I don't think there is a good counter-example. Every single game I have ever played, the DM has a scottish voiced dwarf. I DMed once and made them all sound Puerto Rican (because I can). My players were so confused, it was brilliant. But unless you are doing it as a joke, the default is Scottish-ish.
Digo 24th May 2012, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
As an official Puerto Rician, I approve of this message! :D
Though my accent is practically non-exisatant according to all my local friends. I played a dwarf only once, and ended up trying to sound like Sean Connery.

GM: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Trying to play my dwarf to sound like Connery. I'm not very good at Scottish accents."
GM: "Pfft, Connery isn't Scottish, he's... oh right. Carry on."
Dragonfodder 25th May 2012, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
Doing an accent for a character is just fun, Scottish accent is doubly so, and being a dwarf is the perfect excuse. On the flip side though, I once played a Russian Warforged.

Also, if you have not familiarized yourself with this yet you should. It's got the BEST ideas for anything in any system ever. The one relevant to this text block is #188. I cannot play a elf with a scottish accent, nor a cajun dwarf.
BadHorse 24th May 2012, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
The better question is why Vikings get Scottish accents.
Zuche 24th May 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Vikings get Scottish accents because English speakers have a harder time making a Norwegian accent sound badass than they do a Glaswegian one.

Funny how it also ties into the tendency to give dwarves pseudo-Viking cultural trappings and faux Scottish accents.
Aegis 24th May 2012, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Well, It's not Tabletop, But Dragon Age one and two have non-scottish dwarves
Blackie62 24th May 2012, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
There's a tabletop Dragon Age game.
sjosten 24th May 2012, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
I alwys make my dwarves sound (and speak if the characters don't know the language) German.
Sergmaster00 24th May 2012, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
One of the NPCs I created was a Dwarf that spoke like a pirate. had an eyepatch and everything.
Zarhon 24th May 2012, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
If there's anything Sean Connery should voiceact, it's good-aligned dragons.
Bronymous 25th May 2012, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Saw that movie.
Ethan 24th May 2012, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
I saw a good explanation by Eric S. Raymond, in some design notes for Battle for Wesnoth:

"For non-English speakers: In English-language folklore, the Scottish share many characteristics with fantasy dwarves. Both are tough, dour, canny mountain folk who are good at engineering and hold grudges forever; the similarity even makes sense to a Scot. This is why a Scots accent “feels right” for a dwarf. In the Lord of the Rings movies Peter Jackson gave Gimli a Scottish accent, with reason."
DanielLC 24th May 2012, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
It's because Our Dwarves Are All The Same:
Sjosten 24th May 2012, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
TVTropes? There goes the rest of my day.
Vapor 24th May 2012, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Try Dragon Age. I didn't realize the first dwarf I met was a dwarf, as opposed to a midget, until he actually SAID he was a dwarf. Except for the one that comes in your party. >.> Pretty sure he's still scottish.
Bronymous 25th May 2012, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
Whenever possible, I like to think of various races as they appear in the Elder Scrolls games, Morrowind in particular, since it isn't the generic medieval-esque fantasy setting. That means Dwarves are as tall as the rest of us and speak like most of us (no specific accent), but live underground and profess technology over spirits and ancestors.

That said, of course when I switch over to DnD I can't hold that image, and so every Dwarf then equals Gimli- short, broad, bearded, holding an axe. BUT that still doesn't mean they have an accent.

If I ever played a dwarf I would deliberately not give him an accent, just to be safe.
kriss1989 25th May 2012, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
I give my Dwarves a GERMAN accent. When it was pointed out by one idiot that it should be Scottish, I countered "Dwarves were INVENTED in Germany, why would they have Scotish accents? Shouldn't that be the elves? No, wait, they should be Irish not Scottish."
Morathor 25th May 2012, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
The last time anyone played a dwarf in my campaign, I think they had a Brooklyn accent...
Cain 26th May 2012, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
*poke* Hello, you never do a Scottish accent for your dwarf.
DCHorror 26th May 2012, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
A couple of friends and I were looking through demotivationals for rpgs and we came across one I had to read out loud, which was basically claiming not all dwarves had to be Scottish, drunk, and live underground.

Naturally, one of my friends immediately pointed out that I had read the thing in a slurred, hacky, Scottish accent without realizing it.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
I'll do hilariously bad accents for every ethnic variant you can imagine. Then again, I live in a very small town in the midwest, so I don't get much exposure to any accents but the locals. Any character I do an accent and voice for would probably come across sounding like they have brain damage.

And on most cases, that might very well be the case. Funnily enough, if I voiced a dwarf, I'd probably imitate Boris Karloff's mannerisms.
Innisa 24th May 2012, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
My usual DM typically does an excellent job doing different voices, provided they are male. His impersonation of female (or gay male) characters always ends up sounding like a woman from the deep south.
The Guest 24th May 2012, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
I don't know whether I should find it hilarious or insulting that he attempts a feminine voice for gay males.
Innisa 24th May 2012, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Well, I try not to find it offensive, but more as a chance to help him work on voices. He is getting better, a bit.
Umiyuri Papaeyra 24th May 2012, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra
Is this something we need to hear over voice chat, sweetie? Your baby bunny voice?

I mean, because it would be something hilarious to hear you pretend to be a baby bunny while reading out dramatic parts from your own fanfics.
Colin 24th May 2012, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
My GM has three voices: reserved and imperious, Cockney and his own. It's more than I have.

("Unintelligible Northern Irish" if you're wondering.)
GreyDuck 24th May 2012, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Funny... I can't act and have no idea how to get into character, but I can change my voice just fine. Go figure!
Digo 24th May 2012, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
I don't have a large range with my voice, but I have learned (through practice) to perform a few different villain voices from the classic "Blofeld" to the smooth "Scar" (Lion King) and even to the squeak-n-creep "Judge Doom" (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?).
All male voices of course.

For female voices... well look up the old 80s Voltron cartoon for examples. >_>

Now, my strongest suit is "folio artist". I've been told I can do some pretty entertaining sound effects with my voice. To the point I can simulate creaking doors, ghostly wind, footsteps, and the classic Legend of Zelda 'You got item' chime.
Occasionally I'll do the sound of an explosion inevitably caused by the party.
Zeeth 24th May 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
That would be "Foley", not "folio". A folio is a book of drawings or paintings (or the unfinished form of a printed novel).
Digo 24th May 2012, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
**Scar Voice**

Curse you autocorrect!
odo 24th May 2012, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
I have a pretty large range of voices and accents that I use when I'm GMing. I can intentionally make my voice sound like it's on helium (like Frank Weller, voice of Megatron, when he did Uni, from Dungeons and Dragons), pop off a cockney accent that my players said was pretty convincing, in addition to Russian, irish, southern american, tijuana mexican and a few others.

I'm usually distinctive enough with my character voices that my players know which character they are dealing with just by the voice.

I've considered getting into voice acting, but don't know how to get into the business.
zodo 24th May 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
mistyped my own name. It's supposed to be 'zodo'
Zeeth 24th May 2012, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
I liked Odo. He was an interesting and reasonably understated character on DS9.
DCHorror 26th May 2012, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
If you have a microphone, I'd suggest going over to the newgrounds forum and see what parts people are looking to have filled. I know I'm personally looking for someone to voice a villain.

As far as anything else, I imagine it's much the same as applying for other acting jobs. Getting an agent is pretty key and it helps to live in an area where there are animation teams. And a lot of recording lines.
Boden King 24th May 2012, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
I had two characters with fun voices. My first one was Belnen and with him I wanted to do something unique. So I had it where Common was a second language to him and he spoke with a heavy Draconic accent, which I decided would be Russian. I went online and found videos on how to speak with a Russian accent, it was great. When I finally used it ingame, everyone was cracking up for five solid minutes because of my accent.

My other character was Fwappy, the half-orc. Fwappy was kinda simple. Fwappy didn't like long words. Fwappy had trouble with 'r' sound. Fwappy used 'fw' sound instead. Fwappy's battle cry was "Fwappy charges!" Fwappy was fun to play.
Qin the Kirin 24th May 2012, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
as DM i have made the try on voice acting. but allways end having mixed reactions of the players. im no so good.
winkingcorn 24th May 2012, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
All I can do are Scottish and German accents. Therefore only important characters get unique voices.

As an aside, I enjoy this strip you're putting together. Just one complaint, it seems to mirror the show too much. Like all the way down to dialog. One of the strengths of both DM of the Rings and Darths and Droids is how they manage to take the images from a show and use them to tell a completely unique story. Don't get me wrong, I DO enjoy your comic, its just a thought.
Zuche 24th May 2012, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
I have no talent for voice, so I try to borrow from them what does.

For example, during Talon of Umberlee, I realized that I could have a lot of fun borrowing June Foray voices for the main female antagonists in the first half -- her Witch Hazel from Bugs Bunny, and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle -- which lead to using a Boris Badenov impression for the villain of the second half: a sahuagin baron.

I try to channel the Diamond Dogs for this season of Lair Assault, ever since I realized that the dinosaurs work fairly well as stand-ins for the Mane Six. Not so much luck there, I'm afraid.

Thanks to Jim Cummings, the Man behind the Minsc, I think I shall give my next hulking barbarian the Winnie-the-Pooh treatment. Eh, no, maybe Tigger would be better.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Might I suggest a nice warlord Piglet?
Gerkuman 24th May 2012, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
Oh gosh, that's some disturbing animation, though clearly not in the same league as Ren and Stimpy
The Guest 24th May 2012, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Never DMed myself, and never bothered with voice-acting, but I do remember a DM who was really awful at it. One of his villains was a Lich, and the hissy, sinister voice he tried to do just sounded like him talking with too much saliva. He was a pretty crappy DM all around, though. Wasn't much of a player, either.
Wynni 24th May 2012, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Erm, voices tend to come and go as they're
needed as a player. I haven't had much call to DM, though I think my husband, who DOES DM a lot can pull out almost as many voices as Mel Blanc.
Bronymous 24th May 2012, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
I can't do other voices. I can kind of do regional accents if I think about it ahead of time, but it all still sounds like me.

This is ok, though, because I always RP my character as if he IS me. Same voice, same attitude, same vocabulary. It really does make the whole thing easier when you remember that nowhere in the rules does it say you have to talk like you're from the middle ages (or whichever setting you're playing). The same goes for the dramatic aspect of roleplaying. I could be dramatic, I could be super serious at the right moments, even tear up or give an epic speech, but if my character is laid back and chill, then why would he do any of those things? He wouldn't, so I don't have to.

I haven't played a female yet, so that might be a challenge. Or she might sound a whole lot like me. Still.
Rugsrat 24th May 2012, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
Voice acting is something that no one I play with can seem to do well. In one of the first games I've ever been in, our DM had an NPC brain-in-a-jar robot character named Bertok. He was from Russia.

The only problem was that our DM could not for the life of him hold onto a Russian accent to save his life. So we'd get French. German. English. Jamaican. Jamaican was probably my favorite. It got to the point that it became a character quirk.

One of my other DM's has only 3 different voices: Casual indifference. Manic insanity. And sleazy-sketchy-oily.

My own voices are not all that good, I'll freely admit, but I do try to at least the first time they meet a character to give them some unique dialogue moments. I don't know if I succeed, but I try.
PrincessSpectra 25th May 2012, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Bertok = Robon Bon?
Anvildude 27th May 2012, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
One of my players was intending to play a 'Far North Russian'-type Brawler, and attempted the accent. It ranged all the way from Russian occasionally, to sou'west, cajun, Spanish, German, Scottish, English, Brooklyn, Midwestern, Japanese, and on one memorable occasion his own, un-accented voice.
Xolvomir 24th May 2012, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
I am my groups go-to DM for most of our D&D games. Even though I've portrayed a lot of different NPCs, I usually don't go out of my way to change the voices up much. There are a few exceptions to this. For example, in one game, the party needed to convince this Djinn (which is kind of like a genie, sans wish-granting) to give them passage into the Elemental Chaos. Now, I was really wasn't in the mood to try and do a stereotypical Indian-esque voice... so I gave him an Irish accent :D Turns out I'm pretty good at it, too.
Jellybean 24th May 2012, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
One of our players, who has been known to run games as well, famously has three voices. There's his usual voice, there's his goblin voice, which is high pitched and throaty and used for all the small and tricksy races, and then there's the fact that any character he voices for long enough will become southern no matter how hard he tries to keep it from happening.
Yogipodo 24th May 2012, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
Like anybody Simon voices slowly becomes prof. Grizwald?
Zarhon 24th May 2012, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Alt-text time! Todays edition: Why Fluttershy's player is a nervous wreck against the dragon.

RD: So, big mountain cave with smoke coming out eh? Could be a bonfire of a bandit group perhaps?
TS: Nah, that's waaay too much smoke for that. Besides, they'd need a huge amount of wood to keep it up which isn't available on a mountain. Whatevers making that smoke is making it naturally or with magical means.
PP: Uh oh... Girls, I think I know what it might be... A dragon.
RD: Not again!
RY: Might as well reroll now...
FS: Oh my...
TS: A dragon? Cool!
PP: She doesn't know girls...
TS: Know what?
RD: Well, it's kinda of a group thing. Our DM had a tradition to put a dragon or something dragon-like into every campaign, regardless of setting.
RD: Except the problem is...
AJ: ...when it comes to actually dealing with the dragons, our group is kinda, what's the word?
PP: Jinxed, cursed, plagued, afflicted, doomed?
RY: ...Yes, that.
FS: C-c-c-cursed?
TS: What do you mean?
RY: Whenever we fight a dragon, one of us gets killed or very nearly killed. No exceptions. Usually the new players, or whoever wasn't killed in a while. Strangest thing.
FS: Eeep!
TS: Hah hah, very funny. Pick on the newbies.
AJ: But it's true! No matter what we do, when it comes to dragons, one of us is pretty much doomed.
FS: D-d-d-oomed?
PP: I lost my kobold illusionist when a dragon managed to roll a natural 20 to find him amongst 50 other illusion and gobble him up!
AJ: I got my paladin crushed when a dragon caused a cave to collapse, AFTER we killed it...
TS: You're telling me every one of you died during every encounter with a dragon?
PP: Well, when we thought Rarity would be hit next, she survived. We barely managed to cut her out of it's stomach and stabilize her though.
RY: I thought we agreed never to discuss that again.
TS: Why didn't the DM do anything?
RD: He did! It still happens! She even let me build a character designed to destroy dragons. She died in the first turn to a triple natural 20. *sniff* Poor Dragoona...
TS: Pfft, nonsense. You were just unlucky. We beat the BBEG at level one, we can handle a dragon. Plus, I've already got a dragon of my own. By your logic, I'd be dead already because it decided to grow a hundred feet or something.
RD: You just keep laughing. We'll see who's laughing when we have to revive you. Or Fluttershy.
FS: M-m-m-e?
PP: Yeah! We all got killed once, and you two are new, so if anyone's dying, it's either you, or Twilight!


DM: Yes?
FS: Are there any armor shops in Ponyville?
Lyntermas 24th May 2012, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
TS: Relax, Fluttershy. This mission is tailor-made for newbies like us.
FS: R-really?
TS: Of course. All the PC deaths occurred when the others tried to FIGHT the dragon. But this setting encourages peaceful resolutions, so I can probably just use Diplomacy to convince the dragon to leave. The challenge of this mission will probably be GETTING to its lair than actually dealing with it.
FS: Oh, that's great, Twilight. For a moment I was afraid that-
TS: All you need to do is use Animal Empathy on it.
TS: Animals are your thing, Fluttershy. I need your help to get the dragon to be willing to listen to us. Otherwise, it might just shoo us away or attack us. Animal Empathy suffers a penalty for cold-blooded creatures and creatures of the Large size class. I mean, I could befriend a tortoise or something, but a full grown dragon...
TS: Oh, I'm sure it'll be fine, Fluttershy. Let's get a move on.
FS: But...but...*meep*
Zarhon 24th May 2012, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
Nice continuation. I wonder how Fluttershy's "stiff wings" will be explained though, other than through a CMCF or Fluttershy purposefully sabotaging herself (Which would be hard to cover up from the others + be a bit jerky thing to do).
Lyntermas 24th May 2012, 9:54 PM edit delete reply
Possibly she included a Fear of either dragons or possibly loud noises in general. Whether this could be an actual disability for more points or just part of the backstory is up for grabs. However, that explanation might not work for this particular alt-script, since Fluttershy's responses seem to be based off of the player's fear of losing the character, rather than a fear that the character has.
The Guest 25th May 2012, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Or it could worry of getting her friends killed..

"We're facing a dragon? No worries. FS can handle it."
"Yeah, you can just use Animal Empathy. It's probably gonna kill us otherwise. After last time, the DM ain't gonna make it easy to fight."
"FS? Roll for flight."
"Oh gee, I'm thirsty, be right back."
15 minutes later...
"What's taking her so long?"
"I think she went to the bathroom."
"Aargh, screw this, let's leave her behind!! I wanna try fighting anyways!"
Demonu 24th May 2012, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
While I can manage to give each NPC a distict personality/flavor, I utterly suck at doing voices. So either everyone sounds more or less the same (got maybe like 4 different voices) with key difference being the language they use (from high formal to street slang) or I go the other route and make every voice as extreme as possible which works well enough with fewer NPC's but quickly turns silly with larger numbers.

I think I got called on it one time, before I explained to my group that voice acting isn't my thing: the group had to negotiate with a group of rebels and got into a meeting with the 4 leaders of the rebellion.

PC: "Why do they all sound the same?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
PC: "The leaders. Why do all 4 of them sound the same?"
Me: "That's uh... That's because... they're quadruplets."
PC: "Quadruplets?"
Me: "Identical quadruplets!"
Other PC: "And the other 50 or so guys in the camp?"
Me: "They're also quadruplets!"

Of course later I turned the whole quadruplets thing into a plotpoint because there was a mole in the camp but at the time, I got a lot of sceptical looks...
Chakat Firepaw 24th May 2012, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
A trick I picked up from a GM I had back in uni was the use of props to signify who's speaking. So long as you can be consistent it goes a long way to having your players subconsciously distinguish the voices.

I'm not talking about going and picking up a dozen hats, (although...), just simple things like shifting your glasses or keeping your drink in hand.
Akouma 24th May 2012, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
I rely less on voice and more speech pattern. Using slightly different word choices for different types of people, occasionally affecting an atrocious accent, and how direct they are in their speech. I can't really change the pitch of my voice at all, only the volume.
Moabite 24th May 2012, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
I almost never put on voices for NPCs, but the one time I did (think elderly English gentleman HRUMPHing through his handlebar moustache) they never forgot it. Ever. He's still a running joke in other GM's campaigns and can be recognised instantly when they put on the accent. I should do it more often.
Jason Shadow 24th May 2012, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
My DM does voice-acting for his people sometimes. Often it's annoying, but occasionally it saves lives.

In a recent adventure of mine, the party ran into this one "Punch Clock Villain"-type guy, named Ghent, that we apparently had to fight... but we didn't WANT to, because his accent was too dang cool. We ended up knocking him to negative hitpoints, then healing him, much to the chagrin of the party sorceress (he tried to kill her cat, but that's another story).

Well, Ghent joined our party for a little while. Then he turned out to be a changeling, and he ran off with a pretty powerful magic item. So... yeah.
Isher 24th May 2012, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
I can voice act pretty well. I had to come up with a voice that pretty much spells out 'hatred and rage', and what I decided on was shouting while whispering while clenching my teeth together tightly. Its an interesting effect, try it. Say, 'I WILL DEVOUR YOU. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.' Keep in mind you may spit a bit while doing this. Keep your teeth grit, and your lips tensed open so everyone can see said teeth.
Guest 24th May 2012, 7:24 PM edit delete reply
Here's a good trick about Voice Acting.

Try to do a blatant impression of some actor or character with a really distinctive voice. Like Christopher Walkin, James Earl Jones, Holly Hunter, Christine Chennoweth, Harvey Fierstein, etc. Since you're probably not very good at voice acting, your impression will sound very different from you but not at all like the actor you're trying to imitate.

Congratulations, you just tricked yourself into making up a new character's voice and performing it. Works wonders for me.
Stairc 24th May 2012, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
Forgot to log in for that comment. But seriously, give it a shot. Works wonders for me.
Xander Cruize 24th May 2012, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
My players tend to have trouble understanding when I switch characters, unless I give them distinct accents. I'll lower my voice, or raise it, or whatever, but unless I'm speaking in a thick Scottish accent, they don't realize I'm speaking as the Dwarf, not the seven-year-old girl.

This may be my failing or theirs, I really don't know.
Stairc 25th May 2012, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
Try body language. If you develop a clear physical mannerism for each character, it works wonders - even better than a voice in a lot of cases.
Bishop 25th May 2012, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
In the only campaign I've ever been part of, I was the diplomancer of the group. Not that it ever helped, as every other party member loved to charge into things, but still. I like to speak in random accents on occasion, and was using one for the character. After some event that had me annoyed as a player that I don't remember, we were faced with a guard. I broke character for a second to talk with the GM, pointing things out, after which he asked me if that's how I was really trying to diplomance the guard. I said no, switch voiced, and instantly did a 180 mood switch to play out talking with the guard, then dropped back into sullen once it was done. The rest of the table kind of stared at me and blinked, surprised. I got a bonus to the role for roleplaying, and managed to crack up most of the table in laughter.
KS Claw 25th May 2012, 8:32 AM ehh... edit delete reply
Never got further than asking an innkeeper for a room, so... I got nothing.
Bronymous 25th May 2012, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Next time, instead of paying, pull a weapon on him. Opens up a whole new world of dialogue and diplomacy options.

Unless the Dm is a dick, and it turns out the innkeeper was a level 20+ dragonborn ninja, and he decides the conversation is over.
Dfield 25th May 2012, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
Wow... that's one op'd innkeeper, your DM is a level +20 dick, that's for sure
Bronymous 26th May 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Didn't say it was my DM. Just that that's always a possibility.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
I like the idea of making one character per session an epic level mage with 15 levels in each of the following classes: Wizard, sorcerer, druid, cancer mage (Yes, such a thing exists, and it is a horrible thing to mess with.)

I would explain this to my players, roll a percentage die, then look at something behind my screen and give a wicked grin.

I don't know if I'd be a good DM, or a very, very bad one.
Smilez221 25th May 2012, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
My DM has a high-pitched squeaky voice to indicate that the NPC is small, but other than that, he doesn't VA. I don't mind - I just simply assign them voices in my head.
Crimson Doom 25th May 2012, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
I tend towards moods when I voice-act. For example, one recurring shopkeeper in one of my campaigns. I always make him sound hopelessly depressed like Eeyore or something. Beyond that, though, I'm not the best at voice-acting (which my players won't let me forget).
DracoS 25th May 2012, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about voice acting, but I can make a cowbell sound so convincing my brother thought it was part of "Don't Fear the Reaper"
YeGuilty 25th May 2012, 10:56 PM My comment edit delete reply
for npc's voices I JUST SHOUT REALLY LOUD.

I don't have many return players.
iamjagman 25th May 2012, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
>.< Now I want to make a game with Equestria as the setting. Looks like I've got a lot of homebrewing to do...
Crimson Doom 26th May 2012, 5:52 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Or you could try using Erin Palette's Unknown Ponies system. Still in the playtesting stage, I think, but it'd be easier than coming up with something yourself.
Quietkal 26th May 2012, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
There's also this. I haven't had time to examine it, just found it on EQD, but apparently it's using the D&D system instead of Unkown Armies.
magewolf 26th May 2012, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
hey yall ah am so busy with fam/work ah can check comics every 7-10 days!

now voices is mah foretah ahm normaly tha a.d.m.(asistant dm) the dm handles runin the technical parts of the game and has me there fer social stuf.

were getin ready 2 do a batman rpg where everyone makes there own charecter, ah on the other hand am practicing my: nph as nightwing, heath leadger as joker, and ah cant decide between cristian bale and kevan conroy as batman.
Anvildude 27th May 2012, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
You know, I now believe you may be male- however, that phonetic accent you have going on in your posts means I can't imagine your voice as anything but a member of the Apple family.
Raxon 21st Jun 2012, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
NO! Tradition demands that it be Adam West! This is the best batman!
DCHorror 26th May 2012, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
I try not to do voices to often, lest I forget which voice belongs to which characters. Dwarves kinda come off as drunk, kobolds are pretty raspy, and elves end up being some mix between English and Southern.

I like doing villain voices, cause the rasp, the boom, and the sly are easier on my throat and pretty distinctive.
Snorlax 27th May 2012, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
I ran a campaign of "Temple of Elemental Evil" and for the citizens of Hommlet I tried to give each of them a different accent with a different pitch depending on whether they were male or female. A whole bunch of them became southern after a bit, though.
modulusshift 2nd Jun 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I've gotten decent at voice acting. But I can't really change my voice very much, and when I'm trying to do 3-5 characters in the same room it all falls apart. It doesn't help that I can't actually get my voice to sound anything like the character, only to give the character a voice that approximates her personality.
I've read out the Vinyl Scratch Tapes for a few friends. (Non-bronies, I might add. They love it.) I love doing Vinyl, and I can do a decent Octavia, but as soon as Celestia enters the room, no one is able to tell between Celestia and Octavia. The only thing that saved me in the first episode was the fact that Octy was going insane, and I was able to differentiate that way.

Then Spitfire showed up, and there was a hard time differentiating between her and Vinyl. (sigh)

You know, I find it impossibly hard to separate the two myself. The only real difference between the two is pitch. I gave Vinyl a good radio-pony voice, obnoxious enough to stay noticed, but all it really ends up being is a high pitched and fast talking Spitfire. And I only have so much pitch room.

And the worst one? The episode in Season 2 where EVERYPONY showed up. Come on! I had to try and balance a polite Luna and Celestia with Octavia, and then Trixie!! I can't do an actual Trixie to save my life. I can't balance Trixie's poser posh with Celestia's actual posh and Blueblood's annoying posh and Octavia's middle class Canterlot posh. Though they did get Blueblood. Whatever!

Anyhow, it was fun, and people still enjoyed it. Good writing trumps all, I suppose.
modulusshift 2nd Jun 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I've gotten decent at voice acting. But I can't really change my voice very much, and when I'm trying to do 3-5 characters in the same room it all falls apart. It doesn't help that I can't actually get my voice to sound anything like the character, only to give the character a voice that approximates her personality.
I've read out the Vinyl Scratch Tapes for a few friends. (Non-bronies, I might add. They love it.) I love doing Vinyl, and I can do a decent Octavia, but as soon as Celestia enters the room, no one is able to tell between Celestia and Octavia. The only thing that saved me in the first episode was the fact that Octy was going insane, and I was able to differentiate that way.

Then Spitfire showed up, and there was a hard time differentiating between her and Vinyl. (sigh)

You know, I find it impossibly hard to separate the two myself. The only real difference between the two is pitch. I gave Vinyl a good radio-pony voice, obnoxious enough to stay noticed, but all it really ends up being is a high pitched and fast talking Spitfire. And I only have so much pitch room.

And the worst one? The episode in Season 2 where EVERYPONY showed up. Come on! I had to try and balance a polite Luna and Celestia with Octavia, and then Trixie!! I can't do an actual Trixie to save my life. I can't balance Trixie's poser posh with Celestia's actual posh and Blueblood's annoying posh and Octavia's middle class Canterlot posh. Though they did get Blueblood. Whatever!

Anyhow, it was fun, and people still enjoyed it. Good writing trumps all, I suppose.
Hennith95 2nd Jun 2012, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
I've only really had two characters where I got very into the roleplaying, and therefore creating a voice for them. The first one tended to have a serious tone, and I found myself using a lower pitch than normal when speaking as her. I deliberately gave my current character a higher pitched and more nasaly voice.

The only other voice acting I've done was when I played a pre-made male paladin for a single Encounters session and tried to go for a deep, manly voice and superhero speech mannerisms: "Fear not, citizens! With the Light of Pelor, I shall vanquish these ruffians!"
Solario the Visored 6th Jun 2012, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
I like to think I do a good job at voicing my NPCs. I think it really helps to make them seem "alive". Of course, since I live so far away from my ONE player, we usually game over the phone, so voiceing doesn't always convey the right way... :/
J-Kwez 8th Aug 2012, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
I can do some voice stuff, but my players generally crack up and I have to drop it. Or it just hurts my throat after a while
Anonymous 5th Sep 2012, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Bit late on this one, but we recently had a one-scene wonder of a shopkeeper. The dialogue literally went like this:

Player: I walk into the Apothecary.
GM: The shopkeeper is a little old lady calmly stirring a steaming pot in the back.
Player: I walk up to her.

We made our poor baritone GM speak in the shopkeeper's loud, alto, scratchy voice for the entire thing. It was hilarious, and he never let us go back.
RileaSW 18th Nov 2012, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
I actually have a pretty wide vocal range, which has consistently surprised players when I've run games.

If you WANT to learn how to do stuff like that, I suggest years of Choir practice. I started in Kindergarten and stopped in 9th grade.
DaphneAngeles 2nd Jan 2017, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
I don't really use voices, but my husband and a few friends that do try to change their voices.... I have to say it is intresting