December 29, 2019

“Doing” Voices

Today’s #GMAdvice stems from a fear we hear from even super experienced GMs/DMs and that’s the pressure to “do voices.” In just about any story that will be told during a role playing game, characters will come across NPCs – non-player characters – of all shapes and sizes.

And the unfair burden that some GMs put on themselves is to become instantly great at doing the myriad voices required to accommodate that breath of characters.

But that’s an incredibly difficult ask of just about any GM, let alone new GMs. They look at famous GMs like Matt Mercer, who just happens to be a world-class voice actor, and put that pressure on themselves to be like him.

Today’s advice, beyond “Don’t do that,” is to take the skill of developing voices slow and steady. In reality, the skill-set of voice control and manipulation is oftentimes disassociated in people from the story creation and delivery process skill-set. So please don’t assume they’re one and the same for you because you see ridiculously talented and experienced GMs like Matt do it so effortlessly. You will get better at both the more you study and the more you practice the art of each.

So just keep in mind that these two skills should be thought of and developed separately. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Your players will always sense the work you put in through your passion and capacity to communicate. Be patient, and let the results speak for themselves.