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Shadow Lord
2011-07-12, 11:18 PM
Alright so I want to DM a RPG, in real life. The only problem is that I have a really bad lisp. Does anyone have some advice on how to not sound silly? :smallredface:

sparkyinbozo
2011-07-12, 11:25 PM
We all have our quirks, bud...players will look past it, and if they can't, they aren't worth a PC spot. Go for it. :)

Shadowknight12
2011-07-12, 11:27 PM
Pick players who are your friends, and therefore used to it? Or befriend gamers first, then offer to DM for them? Um, go to a specialist to get exercises and training on how to overcome it?

Really, there are lots of options here.

Pokonic
2011-07-12, 11:29 PM
Well, I cant help with the lisp part, but if you follow these tips you will do great.
For starters,be prepared. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to be unprepared for a game session. Looking over the adventure even 15 minutes beforhand is a good start for being prapared.
Also, getting too far off the rails could mean missing the objective completely. Find ways for the players to know that they are going too far. Just don't overdo it. Give them signposts but don't lead them by the hand.
Have the farmer on the side of the road that the troll cave may have some magical items in it,not by having them walk near the cave by accident and telling them it may have stuff in it.

Shadow Lord
2011-07-13, 12:07 AM
Pick players who are your friends, and therefore used to it? Or befriend gamers first, then offer to DM for them? Um, go to a specialist to get exercises and training on how to overcome it?

Really, there are lots of options here.

I went to a specialist for 8 years. And I am playing with friends. But my lisp makes me sound british, it's so bad. And I'm from Texas. Anyhoo, any kind of advice is fine, so long as it doesn't involve setting my hair on fire. I'm never doing that again.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-13, 12:12 AM
I went to a specialist for 8 years. And I am playing with friends. But my lisp makes me sound british, it's so bad. And I'm from Texas. Anyhoo, any kind of advice is fine, so long as it doesn't involve setting my hair on fire. I'm never doing that again.

Then play it up. Yahtzee said it best, anything sounds evil when spoken in a British accent. Or pull a Dragon Age and situate the campaign in a faux-England kingdom, giving you a good reason to have every NPC speak with a British accent.

Shadow Lord
2011-07-13, 12:23 AM
Then play it up. Yahtzee said it best, anything sounds evil when spoken in a British accent. Or pull a Dragon Age and situate the campaign in a faux-England kingdom, giving you a good reason to have every NPC speak with a British accent.

Yea, but I also can't make my s's right.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-13, 12:30 AM
Yea, but I also can't make my s's right.

Then fluff it as that being part of the regional accent. Really, you don't have much of a choice here. If you can't change the way you talk, there's no point in fretting over it. Just roll with it.

nyarlathotep
2011-07-13, 12:53 AM
Alright so I want to DM a RPG, in real life. The only problem is that I have a really bad lisp. Does anyone have some advice on how to not sound silly? :smallredface:

Dude as someone who has an irrational hatred of certain voices, as long as they are your friends the players will be able to look past it. That is unless it makes communication itself hard in which case it is beyond this forum's capabilities to help.

Coidzor
2011-07-13, 01:03 AM
Well, if you can carry on conversation and be understood, I'm sure you'll do just fine at the speaking part of DMing. It's more about tone and pitch when you do NPC voices anyway, if you do special voices for them, from what I recall. And, well, that's a bit of a complicated subject in general and depends upon the group's preferences.

This is the most expansive treatise on the subject of DMing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76474) I've found so far. I rather enjoyed it when I read it, but I do wish I had some other perspectives on the subject to introduce you to as well.

LansXero
2011-07-13, 02:35 AM
Prepare some lines of typical DM stuff. Read them aloud. Record them. Listen to them. Can you understand whats being said? If so, you are good. If not, try again and adjust slightly every time. Want to do BIG GUY / Small guy / girly voice? Record them and see how they come out (what you hear when you talk is very, very different from what everyone else hears, so its important that you record and find out). It will also make you more comfortable with how you sound, and allow you to modulate to good effect. And, well, if you ever have Yuanti NPCs you get to do them better than we could :D

Comet
2011-07-13, 07:14 AM
While you can't quite avoid speaking completely, you can sort of kind of make your speaking role minimal. Well, not minimal but you don't have to deliver great big monologues, is all I'm saying.

My general rule is that if I have to draw breath when I'm speaking as a GM, it's time for the players to say something for their part. I really like to just set up the situation quickly and have the PCs interact with each other and the environment with only the bare minimum feedback from me. The players get a much greater sense of agency and I don't have to listen to myself talk. I dislike listening to myself talk for any extended period of time, even though I don't find my actual speaking voice bad in any sense.

So, don't go on too long when describing the environment, avoid having two non-player characters interact with no player participation and in general just try to make the interaction with the players a fast-fire back and forth, with no one having to speak more than a sentence or two at a time. Makes the game more fast paced, avoids the problem of the players getting bored while listening to you rant and gives the added bonus of you not having to stress about lisp quite as much, with any luck.

Most importantly, though: don't worry about it terribly much. The game doesn't have to be a super serious club of improv actors, so you can just tell the story even though you don't happen to sound like King Arthur when you do.

Shep
2011-07-13, 08:19 AM
Congrats on going to the other side of the screen!

Personally, I'll forgive any number of DM quirks if I like the story. Granted, writing a good story is hard; getting it to translate into a gaming session is harder since the best DM's IMO give characters a chance to write their own story some of the time. My favorite moments playing are when I feel like I'm travelling down a path the DM may or may not have planned out. Hopefully the DM's done enough prep work to make improvisation easy when your characters decides they're going to bust some people arrested in the last session out of the maximum security prison. Or maybe the DM knows the characters well enough to anticpate the move. I think the best DM's lead their players while maintaining the feel that character decisions really matter and have an impact.

Sorry, none of this is specific to your question about DMing with a lisp. But as it has already been said in this thread, this shouldn't matter. It wouldn't matter to me. Your friends already know. If they love D&D as much as yourself, they mostly just want to play and will be happy to have someone do all the homework involved in DMing. If you love world-building, playing many roles (instead of just one as a character), or just leading a dungeon crawl (there's so many possible playstyles!), you'll do fine.

Whybird
2011-07-13, 01:28 PM
What Shep said. GMing isn't about how you talk, it's about what you say.

Arbane
2011-07-13, 02:07 PM
have you considered playing by email? That way, NO real-world people-details matter. On the downside, one fight scene can take a week.

Hatchet91
2011-07-13, 03:15 PM
here is my advice as a dm. i recently started dmng (about 2- 3months back) and to behonest your first time dmng in real life you are going to feel like you have been thrown under the bus. remember no matter how much expect pc's to do something a specific way 9 time out of 10 they go off and handle it completely unexpectdly. i would suggest a premade campaign so you have alot of the work done for you and you can worry less about having the story made. a good campaign which i have had some success with (first campaign i have dmd and still running it) is Red Hand of Doom. majority of the community has had an encounter with it and i think that overall it is agreed to be a good starting campaign.


one thing you may consider if you are worried about your lisp on your first campaign is focus on a more hack and slash campaign that way you can focus or your dming and less of your role in actual roleplay.

Jay R
2011-07-13, 03:18 PM
I understand completely; I can't say my R's. Not only am I a successful DM, but I teach for a living, too.

The straightforward answer is to ignore it. If you do, the others will too. (Assuming they came to play.)

But there are a few other trips that will help you feel a little better. First, pick names for PCs that don't have S's in them. Have an evil cleric, not a priest. Have their minions use longbows rather than crossbows, and wear chain, not scale armor. You can't eliminate S's entirely, but you have some control over what you'll have to say, so take advantage of it.

Secondly, if you have any big, emotional moments planned, write out the most important line, and revise it to remove the distractions.

If the line is, "You adventurers can never stop me -- My spells are too strong!"

In my voice, I'd consider replacing the words "adventurers", "never" and "strong" because of the R's. You want to get rid of "adventurers", "stop", "spells" and "strong".

So rephrase it as "Your company cannot defeat the power of my magic!"

You don't need to do this often - only for crucial moments, because people do tend to tune it out most of the time.

And after a few sessions of successful DMing, you won't bother to even do this any more.

I promise you that if you run a good session, with the mechanics running smoothly and the plot intriguing, they won't worry about your voice, because they will be too focused on the dragon. I've done it, and you can too.

Good luck!

Shadow Lord
2011-07-13, 04:56 PM
I'll probably be running Jade Regent, if I can wrangle up the money for the subscription. And thanks for the advice, everyone! :smallsmile:

Shpadoinkle
2011-07-13, 08:16 PM
Your players might find it funny at first, but after a while they'll stop hearing your lisp. Just keep at it and eventually it won't be an issue, if it is one at all. I know a guy who stutters and it kinda bugged me at first, but now I don't even notice it unless someone draws attention to it.

claricorp
2011-07-14, 06:07 PM
I have DM'd for a long time and almost always i stutter a bit when I am excited(which makes those big bad villain speeches often sound pretty awkward) but my players totally understand, and them mostly being my friends, non of them really make much of a big deal out of it, they let me take my time and get what I have to say out, which I am infinitely thankful for.

Soylent Dave
2011-07-14, 09:51 PM
I'm not sure how you get 'sounding British' from 'lisping'... but in any case your players won't care.

If they're new players, they'll notice the lisp - just like I assume anyone meeting you for the first time does. And, just like that, they'll quickly get used to it and it'll quickly become 'your voice'. It certainly won't stop anyone enjoying your game.

I'm sure my players don't actually think all my NPCs have my delightful Mancunian accent - but they pretty much do when I'm speaking as them.

You shouldn't worry about it (just worry about your players buggering up all your plans instead... that should keep your mind occupied!)

As a few others have said, once you settle into the role, it really won't be an issue (well, it won't be issue anyway - but you'll stop worrying about it once you've DMed a session or two and you've SEEN that it isn't)

Mark Hall
2011-07-14, 10:51 PM
I went to a specialist for 8 years. And I am playing with friends. But my lisp makes me sound british, it's so bad. And I'm from Texas. Anyhoo, any kind of advice is fine, so long as it doesn't involve setting my hair on fire. I'm never doing that again.

Amazingly enough, I have a friend, here in Texas, with a slight lisp that makes him sound somewhat British. And he's got firehair, too! :smallwink:

However, yeah... pick a quick adventure to run people through. Get a feel for the system from the DM's side, let your friends know you're learning, and ask them for advice on how to improve things once they've seen you in action. Working with friends means you also know how they are... if Dave is ALWAYS asking for more treasure, you can probably somewhat discount his "Needs more loot", but if Bob is also asking for more treasure, you might want to listen.