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Old 06-04-2002, 10:29 AM   #1
Litorth Canth
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It seems to that character speech patterns are one of the best ways to communicate certain aspects of your character. Accents, vocabulary, "catch phrases", and the like can help define a character and give other people around you an idea of the character, in particular their mental acuity.

The question to me then becomes when do these things become more of a distraction to role-play then an enhancement to them?

Accents that no one can reason out, using words that no one has heard of before, or just butchering the language so bad as to become impossible to understand, long rambling speech that presents noticeable "gaps" while we wait for it to come out, similar to the emote thread.

So letís talk about... talking!
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:22 PM   #2
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How far accents and the like can be taken is highly dependent on the MU*. This thread brings to mind a particular character on the MUD I currently play. Most people can barely understand him the first couple of times they interact with him because of a heavy accent and unique speech pattern. Instead of avoiding RP with this person, many people have taken the time to get used to and understand the accent and speech pattern. On other games I have played people are much less tolerant of such extremes.

Personally I find that struggling OOC to understand someone makes it very easy to RP not understanding them IC. It also brings in what I think is a positive bit of realism to a game. Confusion and misunderstanding can lead to great RP.
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:28 PM   #3
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Myself I am not aware of a point like that. Accents that are hard to understand (impossible is always debatable, but if you can read it aloud and get the general idea, it isn't a problem) can make some interesting RP trying to understand what they are saying, as it is rephrased a couple times perhaps... or a misperception, which can make a relationship between a couple characters suffer.

Butchering of the language can be taken IC... think about it, if you have ever tried to speak a second language, there is expected to be some confusion... if it is a written speech, and I speak English as a primary language, and perhaps I try to write something in, say, German, for example, it can be expected to be problematic in this situation. It is a difficulty for that character to communicate if they only know a little bit of the language.

About the gaps in speech, sometimes that is just a way someone thinks. Their mouths go much slower than their mind, leaving the other people to guess... or maybe they created their own slang that is only well known to those that know the character personally...

In the end, I think if speech is taken as something IC then it doesn't really distract from Roleplay.
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Old 06-05-2002, 08:01 AM   #4
Brother Colourman.
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The charicter I currently play is a half elf, his speech contains tea as to and teh as the. It just gives an idea that he does'nt like the common tounge of the MUD (each race can speak in its own language).

There is one charicter, a staff members, who's a dwarf hero. His speeth patterns are the brunt of many IC jokes, many of which finish with an axe being thrown! Which is all good RP and fun, he writes a coloum in the city paper as well, giving advice which is always worth a read.

I think speech patterns add a lot, if the have emoted body language to under pin them a phrase can really add to RP.
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Old 06-05-2002, 09:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by
The charicter I currently play is a half elf, his speech contains tea as to and teh as the.
The trouble with that is that sometimes you'll forget - and other people are unlikely to adopt the same approach. This is the sort of situation where a little bit of coding can really help; it's a very simple matter to find and replace a few words here and there to give the impression of an accent. For those of you who don't like forcing such things on the players, it could be made optional, eg "set accent elven".
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Old 06-05-2002, 11:42 AM   #6
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. For those of you who don't like forcing such things on the players, it could be made optional, eg "set accent elven".
The idea of accents is a tricky one, because even while a character might successfully adopt an accept that impacts their speech patterns, most other people will not. So while the dwarf from city X might talk in a completely bizarre manner, every other dwarf speaks normally. Then it becomes a question of *explaining* that accent ICly, and you can't just say, "I'm from City X" because every other dwarf from there isn't using that accent.

Hardcoding it is an option, so some regional accents could be setup, and making it a variable could prove interesting. I think this opens up a can of worms as far as accents go, and all the possibilities surrounding them and languages, but it definitely would be an interesting approach and lead to interesting discussions on how to do this with the code.

Overall the way I look at it now, is to let players do what they want with accents. They can add an enjoyable flair to specific characters, and I think if you can get to the point where people know who you are by the way you speak, that's a solid RP accomplishment.

Another thing related to this is the choice of vocabulary. So instead of speaking oddly and making the sentences appear jumbled or funky to others, consider the words that your character would use. Does your character have a big vocabulary? Simple one? Also think about sentence structure and how "talkative" the character is -- does he speak in short, blunt sentences? does he go on and on with long, flowing sentences? does he like to hear himself talk?

With a few of my characters, I always have standard, repetitive responses to things. So instead of saying, "Yes" one character might always say, "Indeed". It's a simple thing, but can be extrapolated to other words and vocabulary. Think about this for entire sentences as well -- like greetings: ("Hello!" "A pleasure to meet you." "Greetings fellow traveler")

Just some random ideas as *I* tend to ramble on... *smile*

Pleos.
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Old 06-05-2002, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Pleos @ June 05 2002,11:42 am)
So while the dwarf from city X might talk in a completely bizarre manner, every other dwarf speaks normally. Then it becomes a question of *explaining* that accent ICly, and you can't just say, "I'm from City X" because every other dwarf from there isn't using that accent.
It doesn't have to be about what city or region someone is from. It is actually very easy to explain IC. "Ahs di'nt stah speekin cawlmun 'tills ahs wert almust fool grun. Nuh need fur it ahs ah famahs son."

Hard-coding it is a good solution for regional accents, but I much prefer to see unique approaches in RP. I'd much rather see a person who takes the time and effort to stick with an accent or speech pattern than to see it as regional or hard coded. Making use of a "nickname" function can do this, but it becomes a problem when transitioning between speaking and writing. Unless of course your characters write in their accent. †

On that, I had an idea over lunch (of course I'm sure someone thought of this before me and somebody is probably doing this). Having a command something like "accent [word] as [word with accent]" would be nice. It could be set to change the word in question only in verbal communication (say, whisper, shout, etc.), but not written or mental communication (posts on boards, mail, emotes, channel communication (assuming this is handled as projected thoughts), etc.). †I havenít done any coding (I donít think my database coding experience in college counts), so Iím not sure how hard it would be to implement, but I think it would be a neat feature to make customized accents easier.
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Old 06-05-2002, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
They can add an enjoyable flair to specific characters,
Yep! That, and it's just plain fun. I may be echoing someone else, but anyway, the way a character speaks can help show their personality or mood.

I have three characters that all talk differently. Personally, I've found that it keeps them separate from each other and makes it easier to RP the character - if I play one for a couple of hours and then switch to another, it helps stop them from blurring together.

And it's fun.
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Old 06-05-2002, 03:30 PM   #9
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Cool

I've tried a mud a while back that altered the way you spoke. For example my char was speaking in common and I typed:

"Say, Hello, How are you. I'm Rya. Is that a rose in your hair?"

It would appear on the screen like:

Rya says, "Hullo. How are ya. I'm Rya. Is dat ah rus in ya hair?"

Or something similar to that. That was unique to me, since I've never seen that in a mud. I didn't hate or love it. †I didn't stay on the MUD that long to really get into it.

But as for players adding the accent themselves, sometimes it can add to the RP, but sometimes it can just be annoying. †I used to play this RPG on AOL in their chatrooms. It was a band of characters that would all have the same speech pattern. †I had no clue what they were talking about. †Every time a character would say something to my character, I would have to Instant Message the player to find out what the heck they were saying. †I mean, that's a little too much for me. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-05-2002, 04:47 PM   #10
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Actually, I consider an accent to be almost mandatory for every member of a race that's not human. Everywhere. Be it SciFi or Fantasy, the concept is the same: in order to /not/ speak any given language with a distinguishable accent, you have to learn it from fairly early on. That's true for people from other cultures and language areas today, that should be even more true for someone from another /race/.

A closely related issue that is underused is the entire figure of speech/proverb/slang term issue. There is hardly a conceivable way for someone who has not grown up in Human culture to understand even the simplest of these right off the bat. You have to learn them -- and that's a good source of RP right there, I should think.

That having been said: one of the first things I do when bringing a new character into roleplay is device certain speech patterns for them. One of them may use "reckon" instead of "think", or I spice another's speech up with terms taken from Middle English. All of them favour certain terms over others: where one addresses someone they don't know neutrally-politely as "friend", another says "Darling", yet another "mate".

Political correctness is another good way to individualize your character's speech. Address the other character as "Pyntie-ears" or "revered Aelb"? Do they speak of another race with contempt and using slang, or do they stay neutral in what they say and how?

Just a few ideas, badly structured as ever. ;>
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Old 06-10-2002, 04:47 PM   #11
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Angry

I don't know. I mean there are always minor points people never seem to focus on. What is more strange, an Ogre and a Human speaking exactly the same? Or an Ogre that speaks common differently which is expressed in the odd typing of the player?

I mean logically our characters are HEARING the discussion not reading it, but then again, we are trying to read it. Perhaps a soft code into the game with a line like, "spoken in a strangely accented common, 'blah blah blah'"

Then perhaps the "listeners" can react to it. BUT it loses some of the realism because they know exactly what the Ogre meant. While if it was typed out strangely, they may lose some meaning...which is what is meant in the first place.

...
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Old 06-10-2002, 05:06 PM   #12
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Cool

I think common is one of those things that will always plague the 'realism' of any game.

Than again, the subject of 'realism' to begin with is a sticky situation.
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Old 06-12-2002, 05:48 PM   #13
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Angry

Well Vesper in that context I totally agree. Common in the way it is used is very shaky at best when speaking of "realism", however the concept of common is a very real and necessary thing.

All cultures I think had one language at any given point in time that was considered the "common" or the "trade language" that way many different groups could function together.

Perhaps a way to use this version of "common" could be implemented. Giving humans their own natural language and having a second language called "trade" or something of the sort.

...
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