View Full Version : DM voice-acting

2009-03-12, 03:34 AM
I read this article and was curious about you guys. do you, when you DM or play, do voices? Do you narrate the female(or male, if you are female IRL) voices instead of trying to "act" them?
share your stories, experiences or general opinions!

personally, I make voices as much as possible, but when it comes to female voices I use my normal voice although calmer and maybe a bit lighter. still sounds terrible though. Orcs have deep and raspy voices, goblins have disgusting high pitched voices (my players have yet to talk to goblin, lucky them) and gnomes talk Ny-norsk (we being norwegian tend to play our games in norwegian too).
The spellcaster in the group have been tugging a sentient scythe along for a while but it had'nt said a single word to him until he was thrown trough the air by the paladin, stabbed a bad-guy with the scythe while pulling the halfling to safety as the cleric nuked said bad guy with fire.
so yeah, the neutral evil scythe have a dark malicious voice. while the crystal crown the cleric have (yepp. also evil and untalked too) have a superior "better than you" voice.
Itried to do a ye olde norwegian for a thousand-year-old warrior they met at the island of the dead kings. didnt work to well.
Now they will venture to the arab-like country! let the stereotype voices emerge!

Tempest Fennac
2009-03-12, 03:48 AM
I'v only ever DMed in chat rooms. If I was DMing live, I'd probably avoid trying to voice act due to how bad I am at accents (acting isn't my strong point, and my voice is irritating anyway).

2009-03-12, 03:54 AM
I usually try to do different styles of speech for different characters rather than trying to change my voice. There's only been a few characters I've actually tried changing my voice for, not worth it really.

That said I then to act out both male and female characters, but not always, sometimes it just saves time narrating what some random NPC says.

2009-03-12, 03:59 AM
I try to act every NPC as good as possible, including language and voice, but also habitus, gestures and eye contact to the players.
I almost never narrate what a NPC might say, and I am not a friend of indirect speech of player characters, either.

2009-03-12, 10:19 AM
I wish that I did a better job of this. I can do voice acting fairly well, but the problem is that I don't do enough prep work when I DM, so I end up with fairly inconsistent characters.

2009-03-12, 10:27 AM
When I play live, I tend to do voices for different NPCs - Accents, gestures, the way they carry themselves... My players have commented on how well I make the NPCs seem different from each other.

Totally Guy
2009-03-12, 12:11 PM
I remember that session where the party met those 3 dwarven teenage girl amatuer sleuths... The kept saying "A clue!"

Tough on the old vocal chords.

I do tend to act out the female characters but I think I can get away with it.

2009-03-12, 12:16 PM
I tend to voice-act the tone, peculiarities of speech and manner how NPCs speak - it's easy to tell the rough barbarian apart from the cunning thief or the sensitive bard - but not the gender. I think it would sound utterly ridiculous if I tried that. I speak female characters with a softer, brighter voice, but nothing in the manner of trying to speak with an actually female voice.

What I love to do though is using my voice for dramatic effects. Nothing like deliberately lowering one's voice and speaking perfectly calmly, only to suddenly shout when the monster breaks unexpectedly through the door. Gets the players every single time. :smallbiggrin:

2009-03-12, 01:40 PM
As a professional actor with significant experience in voice work, I go crazy with performances when I DM. My players seem to really enjoy hearing different pitches, intonations, accents and dialects for each character, and I like that I can tell them that something's amiss with an NPC by subtly changing my portrayal of them rather then by making them roll dice or narrating the NPC's emotional state.

2009-03-12, 05:56 PM
I try to do voices.
{on table-top, of course}

2009-03-12, 06:07 PM
I'm pretty bad at this... I try to remember to do different voices, but I think I'm better with facial expressions and gestures than voices. One of the other DMs in our group is friggin' fantastic with his voice acting, though. I envy his godly DMing skills.

2009-03-12, 06:28 PM
I love voices. They're one of the few ways I've found for my players to form any kind of attachment with a character, or sometimes even remember his name.

Some races go from silly-forgettable to delightfully weird with special voices. I once did an underdark adventure in which all the Svirfneblins (svirfnebli?) spoke on inhalations, and I created the kuo-toan "sound" by pinching and tugging at my cheek. An ogre innkeeper was created by stuffing my mouth full of whatever the tabletop snack of the week was.

Accents are sometimes hard to maintain, but worth it if you can even approximate. Now if I could only stop all the accents from sliding towards scottish...

2009-03-12, 07:01 PM
Toliudar! :smallcool: