Gypsy accents

jpariury

Duke
Let's say you play a human, or a dwarf, with some accent... let's say Swedish. Given that accent is one of the endemic traits of gypsies (required as much as pointy ears are required of an elf), if you visited a chapter in which a Swedish accent was considered specific to a tribe of gypsies in that chapter, do you feel it would be appropriate if you were asked not to use that accent while playing there?
 

markusdark

Knight
Yes. I would have no issue removing my accent for that game. As I was a visitor to their game and their plot/world/local rules are set up in such a way, I would not feel it was my place to raise a stink and a ruckus and possibly impact a good number of others game simply over an accent.
 

Michiko

Adept
Interesting question. My human has an accent partly because it fits her hick MO and partly because it helps me get in the mindset of that character. I would probably try to play without it but honestly I don't know if I could do it. I'd probably be slipping in and out of it all weekend. In fact one time one of my team mates and I were playing completely different characters in a completely different chapter and I accidently greeted him with a drawling "Howdy!" and he jumped right into his accent when he responded. All totally unconscious, but very amusing.
 

Mobius

Squire
seems to me that racial characteristics from a character's home chapter carry no more or less precedent than chapters one travels to. that is, ¿why should one be asked to change one's character Out of Game to fall in line with In Game characteristics? now, i could understand there being In Game repercussions, but i don't think it would be right for plot to demand you change affectations based on local eccentricities

even more so, i would think the difference in custom/personalities would be a great starting point for character development. if people are asked to change their characters whenever they chapter jump, it unnecessarily homogenizes a diverse world
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
It would be a whole lot simpler if everyone just played using the standard Renaissance Faire gypsy accent, wouldn't it? ;)

If that doesn't work, just pretend you are Emperor Molari.
 

jpariury

Duke
Fearless Leader said:
It would be a whole lot simpler if everyone just played using the standard Renaissance Faire gypsy accent, wouldn't it? ;)
Well, yes, but people have this darn urge to be individuals... annoying as it can be. :D Mind you, if the rulebook said you had to use a specific accent, more power to it. Plus, there's something to be said about the fact that russian romani don't sound like french romani, who in turn don't sound like pikeys.

Mobius said:
that is, ¿why should one be asked to change one's character Out of Game to fall in line with In Game characteristics? now, i could understand there being In Game repercussions, but i don't think it would be right for plot to demand you change affectations based on local eccentricities
Just playing advocate here, I honestly have no idea which side of this I'd fall on: because accent is a rule, not an eccentricity, and more importantly, it's a rule that distinguishes race. Really, its asking someone to modify their eccentricity to meet the standards required by the rules.

Michiko said:
I'd probably be slipping in and out of it all weekend.
Indeed. Tbh, its one I've had to struggle with Gregor ever since he got shifted into a human - to me, the character is almost entirely grounded in his accent. I have to make a conscious effort to not use the accent quite often... I mean, after all, how else do I rep that he's a human if not dressing more two-toned and not using an accent. I've also left events having a hard time not talking (and thinking!) like a high ogre when I spent an entire weekend as one.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
jpariury said:
there's something to be said about the fact that russian romani don't sound like french romani, who in turn don't sound like pikeys.
True enough, but if you went to a Ren Faire and saw a bunch of gypsies speaking in any of those accents, it wouldn't bother you in the slightest. However, if one of them said "Oh, faith and begorrah, I'm a gypsy, tura lura lura!" you might have a problem with that.

Of course, we're NOT a Ren Faire, but I certainly would like to see the book be clearer that you should be doing a traditional gypsy accent, like real gypsies in the real world and every fictional gypsy ever seen in movies and plays and such.
 

zehnyu

Squire
I dig the different dialects being a form of gypsy diversity. Especially since then you can have different regions of them and they're not the same cookie cutter - especially for a race that's made to be anything -but- cookie cutter.

-Ali
 

Mobius

Squire
jpariury said:
Just playing advocate here, I honestly have no idea which side of this I'd fall on: because accent is a rule, not an eccentricity, and more importantly, it's a rule that distinguishes race. Really, its asking someone to modify their eccentricity to meet the standards required by the rules.
the *type* of accent is up to the individuals players, that they have an accent is required by the race. that is, a Gypsy with a Swedish accent is just as "rules accurate" as a Gypsy with a Mexican, southern, Canadian, or Martian accent. any specification toward which Gypsy family has adopted which accent is purely local-plot and shouldn't affect incoming characters. a Gypsy must have *AN* accent, not a *specific* accent
 
Fearless Leader said:
Of course, we're NOT a Ren Faire, but I certainly would like to see the book be clearer that you should be doing a traditional gypsy accent, like real gypsies in the real world and every fictional gypsy ever seen in movies and plays and such.
Mike,

This is another one of those times when you're a little late with a partcular desire, and when it is helpful to look into trends that have been going on in other chapters for years.

Deadlands' sole standing nation is a fantasy version of a kingdom resembling Ireland. The vast majority, not minority, of gypsies in our game speak with something akin to irish or cockney accents. Only one fallen land was dominated by traditional "rom" accent gypsies. If we changed that one little section of the rule book it would completely trash two years of plot and screw up a very popular chapter flavor.

To reply to the original question though, I would never ask a player to drop an accent for my game. My game is there for him, to supply him with the environment he needs to best get himself into his character, so that he can be in the moment, in the world that the united chapters have created.

To have someone drive all the way from a distant chapter and then ask them to change a central part of his character, how he speaks, when he is breaking no rule, is unfair, IMO. What better way is there to make a person feel out of character than to make him speak the way he does everyday, rather than how he has spoken as that character, event prior?

If there is confusion,

"What do I see?"

"A gypsy."

"Phat"

I've played a human with an accent for ten years. Never once, that I know of, did anyone think he was a gypsy, perhaps because I don't also wear bright colors, which is the other requirement for gypsies. If I wanted to wear a yellow something or other then there would be an issue.

Gary
 

jpariury

Duke
Fearless Leader said:
True enough, but if you went to a Ren Faire and saw a bunch of gypsies speaking in any of those accents, it wouldn't bother you in the slightest. However, if one of them said "Oh, faith and begorrah, I'm a gypsy, tura lura lura!" you might have a problem with that.
True, but if you entered a chapter that said ahead of time "Hey, our local gypsies sound like drunk leprechauns", you'd know it going in and just roll with it. You'd go "hey, someone get Lucky his bucket of charms or he'll curse ya quick". My real question is, if you played a non-gypsy who also sounded like a drunk leprechaun and went there, would you think it untoward if the chapter asked you not to use it?

Mobius said:
a Gypsy must have *AN* accent, not a *specific* accent
Well, yes and no. If you're playing, say, a gypsy from Alliance Sasketchewan and their gypsy race packet indicated that West Country, Scottish brogue, or Italian were called for, I'm not sure that it would be rules-appropriate for you to play a gypsy with a different one.

At the same time, if you wanted to get really deconstructive about it, by definition, everyone speaks with an accent, they're just accustomed to their own so they think it's "normal". But obviously, some distinction is required. Alternatively, if every accent gets to count for gypsies, then under the "cats should never seem like dogs" concept, every non-gypsy character that talks funny is cheating, because per the rulebook, gypsies are defined by their accent rather than their looks.

Deadlands said:
I've played a human with an accent for ten years. Never once, that I know of, did anyone think he was a gypsy, perhaps because I don't also wear bright colors, which is the other requirement for gypsies. If I wanted to wear a yellow something or other then there would be an issue.
If you wore bright colors and the accent was one that was in common use for the local gypsies, would you feel slighted if you were asked not to use that accent while at that game?
 

Mobius

Squire
jpariury said:
Well, yes and no. If you're playing, say, a gypsy from Alliance Sasketchewan and their gypsy race packet indicated that West Country, Scottish brogue, or Italian were called for, I'm not sure that it would be rules-appropriate for you to play a gypsy with a different one.
if you were playing a Gypsy from a *specific* Gypsy family in a *specific* chapter, I would agree: you would need to speak with the appropriate accent, be it Brogue, Italian, or Valley Girl; otherwise you wouldn't be accurately portraying that special kind of local Gypsy. however, if you're just any old Gypsy, you need only speak in a foreign accent (one not usually heard by the players in the chapter)

so long as the accent sounds "foreign" to the ears of the local players, i see no reason why it can't be whatever. the focus of the Gypsy racial personality is that of the commensurate "alien" - they have to look out of place, speak oddly, and be bizarre

now, in response to your original question, i'm still unsure why a Dwarf with a Gypsy "accent" would have to change their speech patterns. it would only be a rule's infraction if that Dwarf had adopted other Gypsy affectations such as dress or jargon as well as the voice. now, in that specific case (the Dwarf spoke, looked, and talked like a chapter variation of a Gypsy), i could understand local plot asking the player to modify their behaviour enough that they would not be constantly confused for a Gypsy. i don't think it would be necessary, but i could understand plot's worry about confusing players

in the end, the point is to give players near-instant recognition of another character's race
 

jpariury

Duke
Mobius said:
if you were playing a Gypsy from a *specific* Gypsy family in a *specific* chapter, I would agree
Are players allowed to create characters that don't come from a specific chapter? I'm not talking legacy characters from pre-split, I'm talking current characters.

How would that work?

"I'd like to start a character of X race"
"Here's the race packet from our chapter"
"Oh, I don't need one, I'm not from around here."
"Ah, okay... well, you should probably start your character in whatever chapter your character is from then..."
 

Mobius

Squire
jpariury said:
Are players allowed to create characters that don't come from a specific chapter? I'm not talking legacy characters from pre-split, I'm talking current characters.
sure you could. a character doesn't have to originate in the land of their home chapter: i could play in California as one of the Chapter Specific characters from New Hampshire; or i could play in California as a character from their land but not from one of the pre-written nations; or i could play in California as a character from the Moon, or some other non-Chapter associated land, with its own cultural affectations and precepts. people make up their own history all the time and since the Mists allow for unfettered travel to regions both known and unknown, the sky's the limit (so long as the general outline for that race is followed)

however, if a player wants to play a character from a specifically designed group they must align themselves with that group: if i play in Chapter X and choose to play one their pre-written groups Y, i must adhere to the qualities of Group Y
 

Robb G

Baron
i personally wouldn't mind seeing barbars and gypsies put into a human race packet and make them all the same race.
 

Pantzike

Scout
jpariury said:
Let's say you play a human, or a dwarf, with some accent... let's say Swedish. Given that accent is one of the endemic traits of gypsies (required as much as pointy ears are required of an elf), if you visited a chapter in which a Swedish accent was considered specific to a tribe of gypsies in that chapter, do you feel it would be appropriate if you were asked not to use that accent while playing there?
No.

I'm from another land. Its interesting that our two cultures developed similar sounding speaking patterns.... Now we can discuss our history and RP.


I play an elf from a culture packet heavily influenced by chinese culture. If I were to goto a chapter and be told: Sorry our <x> race dresses like that, you can't. I'd either ask for my pc money back and NPC, or leave.

I view a characters established accent as integral to the character as the garb. In fact garb changes more then accent in many cases and accent can be the best way to identify a person in the dark.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Deadlands said:
Fearless Leader said:
Of course, we're NOT a Ren Faire, but I certainly would like to see the book be clearer that you should be doing a traditional gypsy accent, like real gypsies in the real world and every fictional gypsy ever seen in movies and plays and such.
Mike,

This is another one of those times when you're a little late with a partcular desire, and when it is helpful to look into trends that have been going on in other chapters for years.
Yeah, how dare I have an opinion about what the game should be like.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Robb Graves said:
i personally wouldn't mind seeing barbars and gypsies put into a human race packet and make them all the same race.
They originally were but once we started giving them abilities such as gypsy curse, we had to make them a race so they could be entered into the database and so on.

Now if gypsies and barbarians are willing to lose their unique skills...
 

jpariury

Duke
Mobius said:
a character doesn't have to originate in the land of their home chapter: i could play in California as one of the Chapter Specific characters from New Hampshire; or i could play in California as a character from their land but not from one of the pre-written nations; or i could play in California as a character from the Moon, or some other non-Chapter associated land, with its own cultural affectations and precepts. people make up their own history all the time and since the Mists allow for unfettered travel to regions both known and unknown, the sky's the limit (so long as the general outline for that race is followed)
I'm fairly certain I'd reject a character history that involved coming from the moon. The mists, as far as I can tell, are not intended to say "I was born on the plane of fire and tossed out for being too sweaty". They seem to be intended to explain away getting from one landmass in Fortannis to another, no more no less. In fact, the rulebook is fairly indicative that you should be using some chapter's packet, not making up one of your own:
ARB said:
The in-game history will contain countries and lands for your character to be from. Don’t create your own country. The reason for this is to prevent a multitude of countries all out there somewhere and to prevent conflicts among character histories.
(Underlining mine)

Pantzike said:
accent can be the best way to identify a person in the dark.
Wouldn't the fact that accent is specifically indicative of a race imply that having an identical accent in the dark violates the disguise rules?
ARB said:
If you are not playing a barbarian or a gypsy, for instance, you cannot dress, talk and act like one.
(Again, underlining mine)

Like I said, I'm not really pushing for one way or the other, just playing da on it right now.
 

Ondreij

Scout
First, what we call Gypsies (a perjorative term) in our Real world call themselves the Roma. They originate, as far as anybody can tell, in Northern India, and are a light-skinned people who speak a unique language, From there the Roma (not Romanians) migrated throughout Western Asia and Asia Minor and throughout Europe. I have had many Roma friends in my life ... my people, Litvaks from Lithuania, had close cultural contact with many of the Roma ... one of the cultural artifacts to come out of that contact is Klezmer (musical style from Eastern and Central Europe). The Roma have a history of being a wandering culture, often because they have been discriminated against, as have the Jews who originated in Canaan and have migrated throughout the world. Just as there are Jews who speak a Spanish related language (Landino) and "spanish" accents, and ther are Jews who speak a Germanic language (Yiddush) and with Germanic accents, there are also Jews who speak Arabic and speak with an "Arabic" accent. There are many wandering cultures. In Ireland and in the United States there are the Travellers. Apparently, they are not descended from the same root as the Roma, and yet both are called Gypsies by outsiders.

Because the term GYPSY is perjorative, I wish we would just stop using it, and that we would come up with something else. Would we use words like KIKE in our game? Or the "N" word, which is considered so abhorent we don't even use it anymore. I find the whole GYPSY ACCENT topic to be so tasteless as to be offensive. Sorry if I feel that way, but would anyone like there to be a race in our game called the WHITEES, or maybe the DAGOES or the MICKS?

This is one part of our game which really causes me distress.
 
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