View Full Version : Accents: Annoying, or a Useful RP tool?

2007-12-30, 01:35 PM
The title pretty much says it all. Do you like or dislike it when players use accents for their characters?

2007-12-30, 01:36 PM
I love accents. One of the players in my current campaign has a character with an accent, and all of my NPC's have accents as well.

I find it fleshes out the NPC a bit, and makes it easier to remember them.

2007-12-30, 01:37 PM
I like when players have an ACCURATE+LOGICAL accent for their character...or if its a humor campaign.(no making your dwarf british tea-sipper one minute, then 15 year old conan the next)

2007-12-30, 01:38 PM
It really depends on if the player/dm is any good at accents.

2007-12-30, 01:41 PM
That is true, actually... it's best to do only accents you know you can pull off, unless of course it is a humour situation/campaign as mentioned above.

2007-12-30, 01:47 PM
I like accents, especially when breaking out of the tired cliches of scottish-sounding dwarves and the like.

Neon Knight
2007-12-30, 02:05 PM
Both at the same time.

2007-12-30, 02:29 PM
The do work quite effectively to differentiate characters, though sometimes I'll slide out of one accent into another. German Dwarves are great, but when the elves are supposed to sound Russian, it tends to cause problems since I have trouble keeping the accents seperate.

2007-12-30, 02:44 PM
Accents are good when done well. They can be useful even when done badly for DMs, too, when differentiating between different characters is more important than being accurately French-sounding.

What I prefer, though, is using different voices. My half-nymph bard has a high-pitched, mellifluous voice and my dwarf druid has a low, gruff voice, and I think using that is more productive and easier than going for a particular accent.

2007-12-30, 05:09 PM
I think that if the accent works, stick with it. I can't, because my players always start laughing whenever I act as a NPC dwarf.

2007-12-30, 05:45 PM
me an Alton use redneck accents fer ar halflin' twin rogues who was done born in a swamp. Iz perdy easy to keep straight.

My new female elf though, I use a soft slightly higher pitched voice with a neutral american accent.

I find them to really help differentiate ooc and ic comments, especially when I inevitably say something metagamey... people know right away if what I said was ic or not - which helps detract from the confusion.

2007-12-30, 05:50 PM
I have a bit of a natural Northern Irish accent mixed with my neutral Southern-Ontario accent. Although I grew up near relatively accent-less Toronto (we don't have the common "eh" to finish our sentences, nor the pronounced "aboot" that parts of rural Canada do.) With both my parents being from Belfast, I can break into absolutely perfect Irish at will. I can also through on a variety of american accents, as well as Aussie, to the point people will mistake me from being from those places. This makes putting on RP accents easy and fun.

I can't do British (there isn't one single british accent anyway) or Scottish all that well, so not many dwarves.

2007-12-30, 05:59 PM
It really depends on if the player/dm is any good at accents.

I agree, I can do good accents, and so can some other players, but some guys are awful, or just do a stupid accent, or just giggle whenever someone does an accent.

I just don't bother anymore.

Totally Guy
2007-12-30, 06:05 PM
I want to get better at accents. I'd make a whole race of comedy brummie henchmen. People from Birmingham sound funny.

Angel in Black
2007-12-30, 06:08 PM
I use them when I make Disguise checks- the quality follows the roll. Heaven forbid I roll a one and subject my friends to that kind of torture. Turns into an intimidate check really, really fast.

2008-01-01, 07:57 AM
People sometimes get stuck on the idea of 'accents'. I personally suck at accents, but for my rogues voice I raise the pitch of my voice a bit, throw in the odd nervous double-word ("yes-yes, your lordshipfulness"), and sound slightly pained whenever the word gold is mentioned.

Totally Guy
2008-01-01, 08:16 AM
We have a guy that plays pompous gits. He reserves his pompous git voice for in character talk.

2008-01-01, 09:07 AM
Possibly the best use of accents I've seen was in an Ars Magica game set in europe. The DM (and players) used accents to indicate which language we were speaking in, because not everyone could understand everyone else (except in Latin). It was a bit comedic at times (very 'Allo 'Allo if you know the TV series; they did the same thing), but solved a lot of problms with who understood who.

2008-01-01, 11:08 AM
I love to use accents while roleplaying, but I have a nasty habit of choosing ones which grate my voice, so I have to stop using them halfway through sessions.
But I think accents are very important, they make characters more believable.

The Faceless
2008-01-01, 11:10 AM
Atrocious accents are a regular feature of games in my experience. Along with atrocious attempts to pass at speaking a foreign language.

2008-01-01, 11:20 AM
How does one do an Adu'ja's accent?

2008-01-01, 11:32 AM
With both my parents being from Belfast, I can break into absolutely perfect Irish at will... I can't do British

Did you mean to say you couldn't do English?

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-01, 11:38 AM
Are you implying whales and Scotland don't exist. That is wrong, very wrong.

2008-01-01, 11:42 AM
Accents can be fun, as long as you can do them at least passably well. It's also important to realise this: Speaking in an accent does not constitute roleplaying. I'm shocked the number of people I encounter (mostly online) who believe this is the case.

We don't use them much in our group. I'm one of the few who can do believable accents, and our primary DM (my dad) is somewhat verbaly dislexic (it has it's own name, but I can't remember it) and misspeaks often, (which leads to great hilarity at his expense, but he's ok with that*) so he doesn't try accents much. They tend to get muddled and change in the middle of the sentence when he does try.

*He once had a plot device he called the Planar Shard, a mystical dagger. We were confronted by a ghost trying to warn us about it. He did one of his rare attempts at ic speach, really getting into it. The ghost proceeded to shout at us about "The Planal Shrad, the Shrad!" (that's how he pronounced it) We have yet to let him live it down. He still calls it the Shrad unless he concentrates before he says it.

2008-01-01, 11:47 AM
Are you implying whales and scotland don't exist. That is wrong, very wrong.

Thats Wales and a person from Wales is Welsh

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-01, 11:50 AM
Are you implying that Whales aren't allowed in the united kingdom?

2008-01-01, 11:50 AM
Well done accents can be entertaining. Unfortunately a lot of people can't do accents well. It may also cause some issues if the DM can't do the accent that the player is doing. Why does Wallace the dwarf speak in a Scottish accent, but the rest of his clan doesn't? (Maybe he has a speech impediment..)

2008-01-01, 11:52 AM
Well-done accents are good... but as long as you can understand what they're saying and it isn't Ye Olde Shakespeare.

2008-01-01, 11:52 AM
No, I'm implying that Belfast is British.

2008-01-01, 11:53 AM
Are you implying that Whales aren't allowed in the united kingdom?

No, just that I guess it was implying the land Wales and not the marine mammals, the Whales.

2008-01-01, 11:54 AM
Are you implying that Whales aren't allowed in the united kingdom?

Interesting side note: Did you know it's illegal to hunt whales in Utah (USA land-locked state, for people overseas)? I live here. It's on the books. I totally planned on bringing a whale here, then killing it. Very put out when I saw they'd already thought of that.

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-01, 11:56 AM
Oh you made a mistake.

No, I'm implying that Belfast is British.

Why not say english, scottish and whalish and welsh.

2008-01-01, 12:15 PM
I go heavy on my "Black guy from Brooklyn", "Crazy Jamaicani" or "Old guy form the South" sometimes. It helps RP Bluff and Intimidate checks.

It's great on klepto halflings.

2008-01-01, 12:28 PM
I'm not terribly good at accents, although that wont stop me. I once had a sorcerer and rogue pair that my PCs ran into. The two of them constantly switched accents. It could be for a whole session, or just for one line. Sometimes they'd use the same accents, other times they'd just talk with completely different accents. At one point the sorcerer just kept saying "boink boink bleep boink". Which the rogue then argued wasn't an accent and therefor wasn't allowed. Fairly childish, but I can bet you my PCs never forgot those two.

2008-01-01, 02:44 PM
As a DM, I throw out the occasional accent, but I refuse to speak in a falsetto for female NPCs, because it makes it impossible to take them seriously. It's a shame, because I usually end up speaking female NPCs in the third person, but it's better than the alternative.

2008-01-01, 03:45 PM
I do like it when players use accents as long as it isn't horrible. Like when someone is trying for an Irish accent.... and it comes out Italian.

2008-01-01, 03:56 PM
I once had a player in one of my campaigns who played a bard with a fake French accent. Eventually he failed a Bluff check, and the rest of the party caught on, at which point he convinced them that he actually had a Scotch accent.

He also used Summon Instrument to get a different wind instrument every day, including panpipes, bass clarinet, bassoon, and bagpipes.

Mando Knight
2008-01-01, 11:30 PM
Aye, laddies. 'N accent c'n be useful fer tellin' apart tha diffrn't characters or annoyin' tha other players...

Although if you can manage it, a Low German accent may actually better for dwarves...

If ya play with a large enough campaign world, accents can be used to show that different people from different areas speak differently, even if they're the same species...

...and if you want a lame Italian accent, you-a can't-a go wrong with-a Super Mario voice!

2008-01-02, 08:29 AM
I like accents, they make characters memorable. Even a badly-done accent can be cool if the character is comedy relief :)

In fact when speaking IC I find it strange not to use an accent - after all, it's not me speaking!

And by talking IC I mean "and the king stands and says "This land needs heroes like you!" and NOT "the king thanks you".

2008-01-02, 08:39 AM
Well, in my first game of D&D modern I played an unwilling hero US stereotypical geek to the best of my ability.

"Oh my gawd... this is so like the D&D I played back home!" was one of my favourite lines. Needless to say the ex-Army party member wasn't so happy about his constant cowardice and failed puns. But it was fun.

So it can be good as both, because that's the only time I've used accents. I played a female Dwarf quite well, strangely, using the Scottish accent trick. :smallconfused: