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5E Playing an unintelligible PC


Couple of answers.

1) I don't recommend doing it because it can slow down play moderately and might leave you frustrated.

2) If you insist on doing it, talk to the other players and arrange your backstory so that they can understand you. This way your thick accent doesn't slow down intra-party play, just impacts your interactions with NPCs.

3) If you insist on your party not being familiar with how you speak, focus less on speaking and more on body language. This way you can still convey broad concepts and get the idea across to your party. This will require you to think about your body language, but that can make for a very interesting character. I've played two different games with characters that didn't speak at all, and still managed to contribute meaningfully without being annoying. You can also use sign language, which is always useful in tactical situations.

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Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I am preparing to play a character that is inspired by Brad Pitt's character from Snatch, "One Punch" Mickey O'Neil.

How would you play a character whose speech was mostly unintelligible? It sounds fun, but I could imagine it getting obnoxious, both to play and to play with.

The idea is that his nomadic caravan has traveled far and wide, picking up pigeon slang from around the world. Being mostly rogues and barbarians, the tribe is also inundated with thieves cant speakers.

I think I will give him slightly slurred speech and obscure exclamations, both worsening with stress. With intention, he will be able to slow down his speech and annunciate properly.
I'm not familiar with Snatch, but in the game I run I've got one guttersnipe who sounds like Malcolm MacDowell in A Clockwork Orange with some future-dystopian vocabulary modified to gutter slang. The other players quickly got used to his word and phrase substitutions and got used to his cockney accent, so audibly he's a wonderfully colorful character yet the speech issues don't impact the game. As a matter of fact, I now pull out the accent myself when I want to indicate that an NPC is from the same region.

But yeah, it's a real challenge. I wanted to play a Wookie Doctor with a horrible bedside manner in an Star Wars: Edge of the Empire game and scrapped it because of the limitations it would put on roleplay, even if others understood my character.

So my advice is to ham up the accent, and pick a few word substitutions or other things that the other players and DM can get used to and have a unique sounding character that's still able to RP well.


First Post
I have long wondered how one would play a 'Clint Eastwood-esq' Strong-Silent type Character ... Who IC needs to be Quiet, yet OOC needs to be able to explain what he's doing : How well would the 'Effect' come across ?? Always puzzled me.


In practice, quirky,odd and strangemodes of communcation for PCs are fine *if * they are still effective.

Its when it is actually unintelligible or an impediment to communication that it typicaly fails. Its starts as unique then moves to problematic, ignored or handwaved (gm allows player to monolog out of character what they mean)

In my experolience, the former is rainrighty butthe latter is nofairjoyway.

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