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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Pika...'s Avatar

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    Default [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    So all those who know this lovable character already know his personality:
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    My DM approved his muteness being a flaw, which granted me a nice bonus feat (hence my last thread).

    I intend to play him out properly, especially since the DM gave me a flaw feat for it. The problem is I am not sure how a mute character would work in a roleplaying party.

    He has to be comic relief to boot, so yeah...


    Any advice from those who have done it before? Or any advice period?



    Note:
    This thread posses Halfling-Bear's Seal of Approval. :3
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


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    Zeful's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Simply never say "My character says___" in any form. He can still be comic relief, he just has to go about it differently. Have him play charades as his only form a communication, for example.

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Write things on a notepad and hand them to other players instead of speaking whenever your character wants to "say" something.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Ummm, don't talk?

    Yes, I know, I am pure brilliance in a can. How about communicating through charades. ("Three syllables? Ok, is it a goblinoid? Yes? Hobgoblin? All right!").

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Describe elaborate gestures and facial expressions in place of speaking? Join some sort of theater organization in order to express himself in some way since the written word is impossible due to the lack of proper fingers? Cover your eyes when you scared and stomp on the ground when your angry?

    Some simple imagination can solve this one.

    Edit: Dance when your happy.
    Last edited by Raroy; 2009-11-08 at 11:34 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    The monk in one of my PF games has a vow of silence (no mechanical benefit - he just doesn't talk). Generally his character makes his intentions known through glaring or smiling at the other 2 PC characters, along with some frantic gesturing IRL. So far there haven't been any serious issues from it, though a lot of fun humor. Give it a shot!
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Have everyone spend a Skill Point on Speak: Sign Language. I usually encourage my party to do it anyways (so, so useful to be able to "talk" silently and privately). Only use it when you have to, though; Charades can be hilarious if you need to be comic relief.

    Don't try to do it with no reliable way of communicating, though. That way lies the 3 Ds (difficulty, drama and death). Believe me, last game we had a mute Dwarven Cleric in the party (his spells were all autosilenced in exchange). His own player axed him in the second session because it was too frustrating being utterly incapable of communicating with the party.

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    I'm actually doing this right now in the Truenamer Playtest, as it's a requirement for the character's PrC. I'm not too sure about the job I'm doing, and doing it in real life would be substantially different. I'd heavily suggest Miming stuff out, plus use alot of note cards, though you probably only will be able to give them to the DM, and he'll convey what he thinks is appropriate. You could of course invest ranks in Preform:mime if you want to be really accurate about it.

    Also, if the party is together a long time, consider having everyone invest ranks in speak languages:handsigns. It's also useful for scouting.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    My GF played a mute character in a campaign last spring. Her character had her voice stolen by a demon and was on a personal quest to defeat the guy and get it back.

    To play the game, she told us that her character carried a small chalk board and some chalk everywhere. She bought a 8x10 dry erase board and used that to communicate anything that her character said. A few times, she would write in the sand, or just scrawl text on a nobleman's desk if she had a lot to say and nobody was paying attention. (surprisingly easy to leave a character who can't talk out of conversation).

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    I dunno... if you are some kind of caster (say a caster who uses silent spell in all his spells or a warlock who does somethong flavour-similar), get onel lvl dip of mindbender or a helmet of telepathy; BUT use it only when people don`t get what you are "saying"

    charades are obvious options, sign lengauge can be great (not all the party need it, just one friendly member is enough; and he can even "forget" to translate some mayor ideas or "misread" you... i can see potencial probelms over this last one...)
    Three words that will save your ass from a lot of situations:

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Charades is optimal.

    You'll also probably want a notebook/stack of cards/pile of paper scaps for communicating with the DM.


    Try using a Totemist, Barbarian or Savage Bard. And forget that sign language jive. Verbal language is for squares.
    Last edited by rooster; 2009-11-09 at 12:03 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    Or any advice period?
    Don't.

    While some people would disagree, a character with a disability that harms their ability to function in a group, or a child who inexplicably has all the power and prestige of an adult, is not something I would want to encourage in your average D&D game, and certainly not something I'd give you a free feat for.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Write things on a notepad and hand them to other players instead of speaking whenever your character wants to "say" something.
    Or you can just say "My character writes 'Let's go to the orphanage'."

    Or, even lazier: "My character nonverbally expresses his desire to go to the orphanage."

    Incidentally, you realize you're going to the special hell for this. (And I don't mean the "mute" aspect )
    My pronouns are they/them.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    like so

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Speaking of which, you can also take some inspiration from webcomics, such as the aphasia that Haley suffers for about 100 strips here in OoTS, or as an even closer analogue, R2D2 in Darths and Droids, whose PC decided to take the 'Cannot Speak' flaw in return for extra points to spend on his weapons systems. He communicates by - well - beeping and hopping a lot, and I think in the recent strips now he has his cohort, C3PO, do the translating for him.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Write things on a notepad and hand them to other players instead of speaking whenever your character wants to "say" something.
    only works if the character is literate and has appropriate stationary supplies - you'll be going through a LOT of parchment

    incidentally, it may be a good idea to have a large stock of notes saying "0h sh*****************, its RICK HAAAAAANSON!" on stand by for when your nemisis crops up again and again
    Last edited by xPANCAKEx; 2009-11-09 at 01:09 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haven View Post
    Incidentally, you realize you're going to the special hell for this. (And I don't mean the "mute" aspect )
    What? His name is Halfling-Bear.



    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    like so

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    Interesting.

    However, image no workie. (Had to quote you and look at the URL).
    Last edited by Pika...; 2009-11-09 at 01:20 AM.
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Skami Pilno View Post
    The man who is dominated by fear of death is already dead.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Pika...'s Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    His fluff for those who care:
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    Fluff:
    Halfling-Bear is a strange bear indeed. Where he's from is a bit of a
    mystery, though some say he was once a bear who got trapped in the
    Plane of Limbo for a bit.

    Halfling-Bear, due to his grizzly, yet playful, appearance does not
    have many friends. Many people fear him, and he has become somewhat
    misunderstood. You see, Halfling-Bear has a strange fascination with
    the small pointy-eared folk, but he means them no malice! In fact, all
    he desires is to sit down with them and have a tea party of all things
    (see his inventory for the tea party items). However, no Halfling has
    stayed long enough to learn Halfling-Bear's true intentions. So
    Halfling-Bear wonders, looking for a Halfling to finally share his
    crumpets and tea with.

    Yes, this possibly Chaos exposed creature can arguably be considered
    insane. But then, aren't all adventurers crazed, blood-thirsty,
    murderous hobos anyway?
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Skami Pilno View Post
    The man who is dominated by fear of death is already dead.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Tricky, really. Fun if it works with the rest of the players, though. Note that I said *players* not characters.

    The main problem is that to really work, the other players need to get reasonably good at reading body language. Guestures, stances, etc. And given that 95% of D&D games take place with the players sitting down, and most of those sitting around a table where a good chunk of your body is obscured, it's a bit tricky. Not impossible, but tricky. It works much better in LARP situations where you're up and wandering about.

    Because of this, it gets easy to go from 'I'm describing what my character is doing', to 'I'm telling you X with guestures' just out of frustration.
    Last edited by Fhaolan; 2009-11-09 at 01:26 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Pika...'s Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by xPANCAKEx View Post
    incidentally, it may be a good idea to have a large stock of notes saying "0h sh*****************, its RICK HAAAAAANSON!" on stand by for when your nemisis crops up again and again
    Well, the thing is I imagine the mute thing will defeat the purpose of the flaw, hence not making it very fair.


    Also, I wonder if the DM would stat this "nemesis" up...
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Skami Pilno View Post
    The man who is dominated by fear of death is already dead.

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Write out everything you say, in character. Never speak for your character aloud. Dictate his actions, show his emotions on your face.. but display his ideas using a silent medium.
    In character- watching and listening are valuable skills. I played a mute once- my party came to greatly appreciate my character's analytic and perceptual abilities. He didn't show what he was thinking much.. but when he did, people payed attention.
    Last edited by Chrono22; 2009-11-09 at 01:30 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    really? huh... that's odd. he shows up just fine for me.

    realistically, Genma is not really the most suitable solution, since in the manga and anime he generally pulls the signs out of thin air or some kind of hammer space with the text pre-written. It's basically to the point that he can function just like a normal character except with the added benefit that he can use the signs as weapons too.

    if you want to play it all straight, you'd have to figure out ways to communicate your message without speaking. Generally, there are a lot of ways to do this through body language and like people have said, written messages.

    Now, seeing as I have an 18 month old daughter who is learning to talk and communicate, I happen to know a thing or two about communicating without using words. In her case, she's starting to get a pretty extensive vocabulary so it's becoming less and less of a problem for her. But for the longest time, she would simply point to things she wants, shake her head in disapproval, or smile when she got what she wanted and quite often, there is no ambiguity as to what she wants.

    The problem with most of us is that we rely too much on the spoken word to get our meanings across. (or rather, we require far more precision than mere gestures would allow)

    i.e. how do you tell someone to cast "ray of enfeeblement" on an enemy? the fact is, you can't. A mute, like it or not, just can't be a field commander. As such, you can point at things that you want people to take note of, and often instead of trying to communicate what you want to do, you would just go ahead and do it.

    Take a look at Vinny Jone's character in "Gone in 60 Seconds" (the 2000 movie), and you get what I mean.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    spend a language slot in Drow Sign Language and hope at least one other party member did likewise (although, not sure how well it would work with a halfling/bears facial features).

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by cbs2186 View Post
    To play the game, she told us that her character carried a small chalk board and some chalk everywhere. She bought a 8x10 dry erase board and used that to communicate anything that her character said. A few times, she would write in the sand, or just scrawl text on a nobleman's desk if she had a lot to say and nobody was paying attention. (surprisingly easy to leave a character who can't talk out of conversation).
    I've done this before. Also, getting your character a bell or something so he can get peoples' attention isn't a bad idea.
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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    I'm gonna play a mute mage in GURPS in a few days. in fact, she cannot make any sounds at all. Wich gives her some good sneaking skills, but otherwise is really frustrating for her.

    I am planning on bringing a small blackboard and write the things that cant be conveyed with body langauge. Also, she has a familiar (or apprentice) that she can communicate with. (Probably sign language.) I will be handing DM notes that he will convey to the rest of the players through my familiar. This for when she has a lot to say.


    I think it is gonna be awesome. =)

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    As it's said before, if you don't want your mute character to be the party tactician as well, gestures and facial/bodily expressions are more than enough.

    And writing out everything that you have to say pretty much undermines the whole premise, I think, and only should be used in really important situations. Like, say, if your character is the only one that witnessed an elaborate unfolding of the BBEG's plan and must explain it clearly to your companions, okay, but otherwise, pointing, grunting and glaring is both fun and sufficient.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2009-11-09 at 03:53 AM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    If you choose to play charades with the party, be sure to also be the party scout.

    Party leader: Okay so what exactly is just behind that corner? 3 words? first word is wrinkles? second word? corner's? dark corners? hiding? is he hiding his wrinkles?
    third word? sounds like flagon?

    Cue ancient black dragon coming around the corner.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    I played a mute fighter in GURPS who would get people's attention by snapping his fingers. Generally, he would let others discuss matters, and when someone said something that he strongly agreed with or strongly disagreed with, he'd snap for their attention and then nod approval or wave his hand back and forth to express disagreement.

    And that was pretty much the extent of his communication. Agreeing or disagreeing. Sometimes we'd even have fun with it, and the other characters would ignore him while he was snapping his fingers furiously (and eventually stamping his feet, or banging his weapon against his shield), trying to get his opinion noted.

    He'd do the occasional bit of pantomine, like pointing at a weapon he wanted and then at himself, but was far more likely to just walk over and take what he wanted (and dismissively wave off the rest).

    In his introduction to the game, himself and another character were intended to be found as prisoners, but the party ignored the door to the jail and was moving on, so the GM said, "You hear someone calling for help." and we were like, "Who? You said the mage was unconscious so he couldn't shapeshift his way out of the chains, and Ogre is mute..."

    "Fine, you hear someone loudly clanging chains against the wall!"

    He was also illiterate, and a party member convinced him that the shield he was carrying, which had his name 'Ogre' across it in big red letters, actually said 'Dumb***,' leading to him throwing it away. Fortunately, we never returned to the town where he bought it, or he was going to beat up the man who sold it to him...
    Last edited by Set; 2009-11-09 at 04:55 AM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    I had a character in a slightly futuristic campaign that was mute. He had a synthesizer and a fascination for Harpo Marx. It was quite hillarious but very challenging. Be prepared for disappointment if things don't go they way you want.

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    Default Re: [3.5] How do you roleplay a mute character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiyona View Post
    I'm gonna play a mute mage in GURPS in a few days. in fact, she cannot make any sounds at all. Wich gives her some good sneaking skills, but otherwise is really frustrating for her.

    I am planning on bringing a small blackboard and write the things that cant be conveyed with body langauge. Also, she has a familiar (or apprentice) that she can communicate with. (Probably sign language.) I will be handing DM notes that he will convey to the rest of the players through my familiar. This for when she has a lot to say.


    I think it is gonna be awesome. =)
    Is the GM waiving the verbal requirements, do you have them all at really high skill, or are you using a different sort of limitation on your Magery?
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