D&D 5E Roleplaying the opposite gender

Hey,
Im having trouble with something I know a lot of people have trouble with when roleplaying which is as Im sure you can guess... Roleplaying the opposite gender (which in this case would be females). So I was wondering if anybody had any tips or tricks, oh and I should mention that I am a Dungeon Master that gives "voices" to my characters and this is where I am having most of my trouble. Thanks in advance. Leave you tips in the comments.

If you're having trouble getting into character, it sometimes helps to use props: a sockpuppet or handheld mask or miniature figurine. Something to externalize the NPC in the eyes of the players.
 

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BoldItalic

First Post
You can use third-person description to dodge the issue.

Fiona can see that you are struggling to imitate Morgana's peculiar way of speaking and, laying a gentle hand on your arm, kindly suggests that there's no need to. "Just tell us the gist of what she said. Was Morgana angry with Ardon?"
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Oh... yeah the voice is a problem. I'd just play it straight and talk normally as the character. No need to throw in that kind of distracting chicanery.

For specific advise anything you can tell us about the character in question could help.

Exactly. I'm not a voice actor & I don't try to be....

The only female character I bother giving a "voice" to is my 1/2ling warlock. But it's really hard to mimic the super high speed speach that my friends daughter used when she was younger.... I'll give it a shot now & then, but most often I'll just dictate that Bree somehow relates three paragraphs of info (?) To you in a single breath. Make a perception check to determine what she's talking about....:)
 

Arial Black

Adventurer
One thing I've noticed about women is the tendency to apologise even when it isn't their fault. Amy Schumer even did a sketch about it.

For example, two men accidentally bump into each other. Generally speaking, if a man thinks it was his own fault he's happy to say, "Sorry mate!" and if he does and the other guy believes the apology is sincere then he'd respond, "No worries mate!". But if the guy thinks it's the other guys fault then he'll expect an apology and if he gets one then it's okay. If he doesn't get the apology, he might react badly, from muttering 'Tool!' under his breath to starting a fight.

But women tend to say sorry even if the other person is at fault. They say sorry simply for having an opinion that differs from yours, or for speaking at all.

"I'm sorry, but I don't agree at all!"

"Sorry, is this your wallet?" Why are you apologising for returning my wallet?

Once you observe this in real life you realise how strange it is.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Unless there is a cultural reason for women to behave very differently from men, just tell your players 'This woman comes over and says...' then read or ad-lib her dialogue in your normal voice.
Think of your game as a dramatic reading from a novel. The players will mentally fill in whatever you don't provide, so you don't need to provide everything. Whatever you do provide or point out will be seen as 'the important stuff'.

If the culture believes that 'women should be seen but not heard', then a woman addressing the PCs might whisper to them - do that IRL.
If the culture has some other easily-remembered quirk, emphasize the quirk, not the woman's voice.

Mrs. Doubtfire and Victor/Victoria are good movies to observe people trying to portray opposite genders (with varying degrees of success).
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
My secret GM technique for voices:

  • Do an impression of a specific person (celebrity, public figure, or movie/tv character, or someone from your personal life). It has to be someone you've heard speak enough to do their voice. By focussing on a specific person, you will hear yourself and automatically correct, to some extent. This turns out to be a lot easier that attempting to synthesize a whole new speech pattern from scratch, on the spot.
  • But NEVER, EVER tell the players who you are impersonating! If you do, they'll start judging your impression, and you will be found wanting. It will start to sound silly. Plus, it will get them thinking about that person outside the game instead of focussing on the game.
So my advice for sounding like a woman: Do an impression of your mom, your sister, Betty White, Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lawrence, etc. You impression will be terrible and not sound anything like them. But the players won't know that; to them, it will just be what that particular NPC sounds like.
 

Ganymede81

First Post
My current character is a high elf woman, and my attempt at the voice of a high elven woman sounded a lot like famed chef Julia Child.

Nowadays, I don't even bother doing a voice and just roleplay the personality.
 

psychophipps

Explorer
Thanks for the advice, y'all. The first "Big Bad" in my homebrew I'm about to start is a female wood elf fallen paladin. She's the former leader of what was basically the elvish Delta Force (Spy background) so I have to walk the fine line of a feminine figure that has had to make very hard decisions while commanding the respect of a male-dominated Death Commando(tm) unit.
 
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Ganymede81

First Post
Thanks for the advice, y'all. The first "Big Bad" in my homebrew I'm about to start is a female high elf fallen paladin. She's the former leader of what was basically the elvish Delta Force (Spy background) so I have to walk the fine line of a feminine figure that has had to make very hard decisions while commanding the respect of a male-dominated Death Commando(tm) unit.

You could always just adjudicate that sexism doesn't exist in your game world. That solves the problem right there.
 

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