Friday, January 4, 2013

Things I do to be a better GM, Part 2: Voices

This is a little bit of add-on to my previous practice of reading more books, but I do listen to a lot of books on CD.  I do this while traveling in my car for great distances or when I'm just hanging around the house painting miniatures.

This isn't just a good way to multi-task the whole book-reading thing, but I also pay close attention to the narrator, especially the really good ones.  A few years ago my gaming group at the time pointed out to me in a not-so-subtle way that all my NPC's tended to have the same voice: I'd squint up one eye and start talking vaguely like a pirate.

Apparently every NPC in my games
Doing voices isn't easy, especially when you need to do a lot of them in the same campaign.  Narrators of books on tape often have to manage a whole cast of characters, male and female, young and old.  I try to listen to hear how the narrator, often a man, adopts different accents, tones, and speech patterns to distinguish people within even a single conversation.  Like I said, some are better than this that others, but sometimes I try to file away in my own mind the way they did it.

Again, this isn't ground-breaking innovation like some clever new way to do NPC write-ups, just some small ways I try to do things better.  Hope it helps.

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