119

As a DM, I've found that trying to distinguish characters solely by changing my voice doesn't work very well. It's not especially scalable, for one - if you have a full cast of NPCs, you're likely to run out of voices you're physically capable of doing long before you run out of NPCs who need voices. Plus, depending on the voices you have to do and the ...


42

Suggestively and Subjectively, If At All. Based on your reference to Neverwinter, I am assuming that this is some version of Dungeons and Dragons, which has no general mechanic for this sort of thing, only specific mechanics for things like Cause Fear spells. I also recognize you're not talking about those special spells or spell-like effects. The general ...


35

Don't start with sounding like a gender. Focus on distinctive attributes of the characters and try to express those with your voice. I have the same problem in reverse. It's hard for me to do "feminine" voices due to my vocal register alone. When I've tried to do a specifically feminine voice (the precise definition of what feminine meant for voices shifted ...


25

This answer comes down primarily to "What about..." Noise? This is the biggest one Why is your Decker not in the field? The ability to hack the stuff in the run location requires that he get in close physical proximity to it. That's how the SR5 Matrix works. The whole "I'm a Decker who sits and home and does all my work remotely" doesn't fly in SR5, ...


21

If the system you are playing has mechanics for creating feelings in PCs ... Do it the way the system says to. For example, if a PC in a D&D 5e game is afflicted by the Frightened condition, then its perfectly acceptable to tell them that they are afraid of X. If the system you are playing assumes that the PCs inner state is inviolate ... Don't do it ...


18

Side Quests Surely the BBEG has many flanks on which he is either attacking or can be attacked. Perhaps one group of NPC's is off to stop the Corsairs of Umbar from landing on the Seas of Fate, while another mount a diversion maneuver so that the players can sneak through the Gates of Horn. They are in the campaign, doing some very vital task that will ...


13

Guiding, Not Directing I am going to have a different take on this than other answers, and say that giving your characters some emotional pushes is fine within reason. The important point here is that you still give your players their agency despite what their character may be feeling. Remember, people choose their actions despite their emotions all of the ...


13

First off, welcome. There isn't really an easy solution, and optimal tactics will depend on your abilities for modulating voices, your knowledge of different dialects and modes of speech, how good an ear you have for different vocabulary choices, and how your group receives what you do. Modulating Voice Fundamentally men have deeper voices than women ...


13

I've run several campaigns with huge casts of characters. The key element to managing them all is to know what they're doing in the background, and why. Give your NPCs their own missions For example, my first major campaign included six prominent groups of NPCs: the Walkers, the Wizards, the Guardian, a werewolf pack, and two parties of NPC adventurers of ...


12

Organise your NPCs Too many NPCs is a common problem when trying to keep your world realistic. You introduce a new faction and with it comes 20 members, and therefore 20 new NPCs to keep track of. Each time your players go to a new place there are new factions, new guards and new shopkeepers, before you know it there are hundreds of NPC. The bad news is if ...


12

Don't tell them what they do, tell them what they feel Music in a minor key sounds sad. Someone who hears it is saddened by it. But this doesn't impact their agency - they might act more reserved, but "saddened" doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything. Similarly, for As the moon rises, your heart begins to beat enthusiastically to the rhythm of ...


10

Make the current strategy unworkable or very difficult. It's easy to lose sight of this when working with a TTRPG, but it's important to bear in mind that the rules don't describe the setting but rather that the setting suggests certain rules. I'll expand on what that means in the context of Deckers in SR 5e: Deckers are relatively common, both the legal ...


6

1. Don't use that rule "Feast of Legends" is deliberately silly with much of it being somewhat "tongue in cheek". Personally, I wouldn't use the rules about buffs based on real life food at all (they are page 10, incidentally). This completely removes any concerns about directly incentivizing gluttony or directly involving player-food-consumption. 2. Limit ...


6

I tend to have the inverse problem-- depending on the state of my acid reflux, my (male) voice is very deep and trying to truly emulate most female voices would be some combination of ineffective, cartoonish, or unintentionally offensive. What I as a male do to signify a female voice is to speak in a slightly higher pitch than I normally do. I do ...


5

As the moon rises, your heart begins to beat enthusiastically to the rhythm of drums that always seem to be just beyond the edge of your hearing, and you feel the need to dance, in spite of your fatigue. Almost everything here is an observation; hearts do beat without the person's consent. The only bit that isn't is "you feel the need to dance". As the ...


5

Consider Game Aspects. Game aspects are permanent fixtures of the game, hence the name. While they might change over time, they're never going to go away. If you've already gone through game creation, you've already defined these - the current or impending issues that you came up with. They describe problems or threats that exist in the world, which are ...


4

My experience I recently ran Rise of Tiamat for a group of (mostly) 4 players. Like you, I added a fair number of extra events/missions/loot. I also changed a lot about how available the dragon masks were, I think positively. In Rise of Tiamat, the adventure as written actually never gives the players the opportunity to take one of the Masks from the Cult ...


4

If you want to make your NPCs unique by making them speak in a unique way, you have several options other than actually making voices. 1. Describe the voice. A description can work as good as an imitation. When you read a book, for example, you don’t hear anything. Still at times we can almost literally ‘hear’ characters speaking, especially if the author ...


3

Very great answers here! I would like to throw this in as a suggestion, though you'd do well to take advice from all the answers. Pre-Record The Dialog If you're able, grab a mic, grab some voice modulation software, and record what static dialog you can, especially some introductory stuff. Then, play it when it's time :) This will allow your players to ...


2

Create urgency You say that he has disabled everything before the team even arrives. I think we can agree that this should never happen. One thing is spatial proximity, i.e. that he has to be on site to work. The other answers already covered that point, but you seem to be very cautious about that. There is however another proximity that is equally ...


2

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. We have plenty of examples of professional voice acting women role playing men -- audio books. A recent example is Brandon Sanderson's Skyward: Brandon Sanderson's Skyward audio book Aside from being a great read, it is voiced by a woman who also has to voice act a number of male roles. You will note that she ...


2

Don't worry about it! Use a slightly lower / deeper / harsher version of your normal voice, i.e. a subtle change - not enough to be trying to actually sound like a man, which as you've found, comes off as comical. Just enough to be an indicator of the manliness (change back to your normal tone for narration). Both as a GM and a player, I've found that this ...


2

A potential issue is that your system is taking away control from the player in an area where the outcome of combat is still to some degree determined by random chance; and the design limitation defined by the genre is that one bad move ends the game. So when you're introducing die rolls you have to be very careful that a sequence of bad rolls isn't going ...


1

Remember that not pulling is failing. Cast them as inept and/or a coward. Usually people don't take action because they fear losing, just make not pulling losing. At some point, if they really don't want to make any pulls, they are going to get mad because they can't do anything. At that time, just tell them that all they need to do is make a pull and ...


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