Colorful Language & Roleplaying

January 15th, 2009 by TheLemming (0) english,Roleplaying Games

After reading probably too much of Richard K. Morgan, I’ve the rather strong urge to use more colorful words in our roleplaying games. I have to admit, I have started rather shy and slowly last session. As you might already know if you’re familiar with a few of my older postings, I’m currently playing a dwarf, who himself is rather well educated and not without social standing, still I have the feeling that dwarven are ideal to turn all swearwords i know (I have to admit, it’s no special expertise of mine) towards giants, kobolds and other enemies.

Then again I think it’s this unbound behaviour that’s a fun-to-play part of a role you’re usually not a part of. On the other hand I think players tend to be highly irritated when you confront them with swearwords and bad slang – I’ve had this problem a few times, especially as dungeon master and especially in Shadowrun. On one hand I don’t feel overly confident when swearing (I’ve always seen this as a weakness and tried to rid myself of it in real-life) and on the other hand it just felt right-away scary when you change your tone ingame and can follow the reactions of your players.

Categorized that means:
1 – No swearwords at all [Polite or not so polite]
2 – Get lost, Damn, Hell… [Selfcentered criticism, maybe a rephrased f*word]
3 – Fuck, Moron, Asshole [Direct f*words, usually for direct confrontations
4 – Whore, Cunt, Son of a Bitch … [Offensive Language]

On a gaming evening my personal guess is, I’m usually down to 1-2, on a bad day I might even go up to three but not for a constant rate of swearwords over the game but more likely for a special situation. In my opinion a good approach would be to prepare swearwords in foreign slang (dwarven, elven, …) like my dwarf is currently using “Beardless” at every occasion if he has a dislike. To the Hells with you – rot in the abyss or similiar things are a great approach to give your character some personal (swearing) touch without the bad touch. Still, I’ve got the strong feeling that I want to try real bad language in one of the next Shadowrun games.

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