Role Play: Speaking Corinthian

September 28, 2012 in Mundane Business

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
-Nelson Mandela


Eldaraenth is a Role Playing Game. We get together as often as possible for the intention of pretending to be other people living in another world. For some of us, that immersion is the crucial part of our enjoyment of the game.

We do our best to make sure we look the part with our garb, weapons and armor. Getting to where you have a nice kit is difficult and time consuming or super expensive, though. We can’t expect everyone to come out to the field dressed in exact period replicas of various garments.

We wouldn’t want you to, either. We’re a fantasy world, and there are certain concessions to history that we make in the name of looking awesome, right?

We do try our best to look as in-character as we can. We don’t want to destroy the atmosphere if we can avoid it.

Still, as I sit here writing this, I can’t help but look back on my experiences with amazing, powerful role play in Eldaraenth, and realize it has nothing to do with what anyone was wearing, or even for that matter, where we were. It was all about the dialogue and emotion.

I might not be able to recreate some of those moments. Unlike the game leaders that came before me, I am not a professional actor. My one apparent role play talent seems to be the ability to be tortured to humorously exaggerated levels. This is not a skill I’ve purposely cultivated by the way, it just happens that some of our more sadistic game officers use “Torture Matt” as their go-to move when nothing else is happening. I run with this because, well, it usually works to get people going.

Which brings me to my point.

It’s All About How You Say It

Recently, the Eldaraenth.Org twitter was asked, “How do I say, ‘Thank God,’ in Eldaraenth?”

My first response was to say, “Well, ‘Thank God’ works,” but as I thought more about the question I realized it had a lot more meaning than it seemed at surface value, probably more than this particular player intended, and in the end I gave an answer along the lines of, “Well, that depends on the character, their culture, and the player. [Perrimen] and I usually go with the WoT references to ‘The Light’.”

Can’t go wrong with using light in place of your good deity and if you don’t like it may the void take you.

-Perrimen on Language in Eldaraenth

I’m only sharing that because I love the turn of phrase.

It made me realize though, how powerful language really is to the role playing experience and how much stake players, especially new players, put in having the right words to fit the part.

The truth is, the words themselves don’t really matter.

Now, that’s not a 100% fact. Obviously, we’d all rather avoid saying things that are blatantly modern, like, “Check out my new iPhone case,” and honestly, excessive modern swearing has a tendency to really damage the atmosphere in my opinion. It just seems uncouth during role play; there are better ways to swear in Eldaraenth.

For the most part, though, the natural flow of a modern language is much more immersive than choppy, forced feel of faked Shakespearean words and bad accents*.  I believe that it is much more important to be comfortable with being your character and letting everything flow naturally.

Instead of worrying about speaking like your character, just be your character and the dialogue will come on it’s own.

Mostly, it’s about Experience

If you watch a couple of veteran players get into a really intense RP zone, you know, the kind where they’ grab each other’s collars or back one another into corners, red faces close enough that the spittle from their shouting spills across one another’s eyes, you’ll probably notice something.

They don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what their character would say or do, they just do it.

It comes second nature to them, especially when they’ve been playing the same character for a decade (or more). It’s just part of what they do at events. They have practice and experience.

Don’t worry if you’re not there yet, you will be.

But What about _____? What the crap does that mean?

There are going to be words that you don’t know spread around at an event. Some of them might be common knowledge words that players use without realizing they aren’t generally known through out the real world. Some are purposefully esoteric, used to create intrigue and spread mystery. I’m partial to going this particular route myself. Still others might just be gibberish we made  up on the spot to sound more in-gamey. You’d really be surprised at how common that last one really is.

This is part of the reason I’ve created the “Master Your Lore” posts (the first of which is coming soon, it is about a certain set of swords).

I’ve been doing this for 12 years now (close to 13), I’m not really sure what words are and are not common knowledge.

So, SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS, otherwise you’re going to end up with a series of Master Your Lore posts about the fertalitic properties of orc dung while completely ignoring things like the lineage of Silathas Sheez’Nearbon, Mad Baron, the true origin and nature of The Seer, who that Skinwalker guy was, or how Remle actually has magnificently fine, long, flowing hair that is simply invisible.

For now, have a couple of phrases that might help you understand the upcoming event a bit better. Not all of these are necessarily in-character terms, but they are all good to know.

Fallen Leaves- Annual Tournament held in honor of the Autumnal season, hosted by the DeLeon family.

Blood of Heroes- A combat game based on the movie The Blood of Heroes. The version played in Eldaraenth is slightly different from the game “Jugger” which shares its roots in the movie and has become a popular competitive sport on it’s own outside of LARPing. In Eldaraenth we have two different versions, New and Traditional, as well as playing each version with or without skills.

Oyez! – Pronounced “Oy-Yay, and sometimes by new and untrained heralds as Hear-Ye” – Literally translates as “Listen Up!” When you hear this, stop whatever you’re doing and turn to look at the person shouting it. They are a herald trying to get everyone’s attention. Chances are what they are about to say is extremely important. Be courteous and listen. Failure to do so can, and often does, incur the wrath of the Chivalry.

Chivalry– Used here as “The Chivalry.”  These are players that have worked hard in service to the game for several years for the sole purpose of making the game better… also so they can gripe about it a bit more. Becoming a member of the chivalry is a big deal. Treat them with respect. This is the goal all Eldaraenth players should be working towards. In politeness, they are usually addressed as Sir or Dame.

Coronet – A person wearing a shiny hat, also, the shiny hat they are wearing. The word Coronet is modernly used synchronously with the word crown, although there are technical differences. Most players won’t get too upset with you if you make that mistake, but you should avoid it because the word “coronet” is way cooler than the word Crown. Also, the word Crown has it’s own meaning in Heraldry.  At the time of this writing there are 2 official, recognized Coronets in existence. They are, in no particular order: Baron Luthalanthalis Wynaldian and Baron Erik DeLeon.

Crown– Since I mentioned the heraldic difference above, I thought I’d let you know – Crowns are worn by Kings and Queens… That’s pretty much it. There are no recognized crowns currently in Eldaraenth.

Populace –  People in attendance that are not the Chivalry or Coronet.


Okay, I think that’s enough for today. Don’t forget: ASK YOUR QUESTIONS! I will answer them!


Footnote: I am not judging your bad accent. It is probably better than my bad accent, and a willingness to cultivate an accent is brave of you. However, I like to remind players that the map for Eldaraenth and the Map for Earth are roughly identical, and thus the accent of the Midwestern US and the accent of Former Corinthia are also roughly identical.

1 response to Role Play: Speaking Corinthian

  1. Dang it. I should have pointed out that whereas I can’t think of any of or Men-Knights preferring the term, “Dame,” that there are Lady-Knights who prefer the term, “Sir,” since it’s historically accurate.

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