GM Questions and Answers for tabletop roleplaying

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GM Questions and Answers for tabletop roleplaying

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:10 pm

I made this thread to discuss DM/GM topics. Here's one:

How to improve Table Presence
I saw this question asked recently on Google+:
Q: I'm looking to develop my table presence a bit more as a GM. Does anyone have tips for beginners in voice acting and acting in general?

I posted the following . . .
A: I have experience in both voice acting and acting on the stage, but I think the content, personality, logic and creativity in what you actually say is going to be more effective and easier to do, than trying to sound like an ogre or ancient high elf, though you could experiment with trying to copy the way some of them talk in the movies.

Making the personality fit the character, and such—that all requires thinking like the character - what sort of mannerisms would they use? Body language (shy people are more closed, keeping their hands and arms closer to their bodies—aggressive and outgoing people are more open and expressive). Are they flamboyant, shy, arrogant, etc. and then just duplicate how you would act if you felt that way, or how a friend would act that you know. Deeper voices generally for heavy set or large creatures and higher voices for smaller creatures.

Get into the head of the person or creature. How do they think? I wouldn't worry about getting voices just right, and who has time to spend figuring all this out? Don't stress over it. Most of us can't duplicate all the crazy voices from the guys from Big Bang Theory when they roleplay, and we don't need to be. We just need to make it feel real enough to help players suspend disbelief, focusing on our strengths.

If you feel you want to tackle other voices and mannerisms, go for it! What I mentioned above will take you a long way, Cyrus. A good start anyway. Best of luck!

Of course that answer wasn't exhaustive, and there are other perspectives. I'm not a pro voice actor, though I've done quite a bit of acting. I certainly don't know everything, and am not nearly as good at mimicing voices as some people who have zero acting experience. To some degree, I think some people are just naturals at hearing voices and mimicing them or making them up.

Anyway, feel free to post a GM TOPIC of your own in this thread, or answer an existing question.
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Bob Whitely
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