Perhaps the single easiest way for a gamer to indicate something special about a character they’re playing, whether a PC or NPC, is by giving them an accent. Unlike, say, a character portrait, you can use an accent right on the spot to give a character a unique trait, and of course you can use different accents as necessary. Moreover, if the culture the character’s from is sufficiently different, it’ll even have slang and idioms that you can have your character drop to increase the verisimilitude of your performance. One of the more common accents you can use for a character in this regard is a rich Irish brogue, such as that modeled in Pulp Gamer’s Accent Your Character: Irish.
Originally presented as a CD, this product is sold here in MP3 format. The audio file is of good quality, with no problems or errant sounds, and is just over twenty-six minutes long. On the file, Paul Meier goes over a number of Irish slang terms and phrases, explaining what they mean and then using them in context (complete with accent). Following this, he’ll raise a scenario idea, and then say several sentences as that someone would in that situation, always with the accent. Finally, he reads a very short story with his Irish accent, one that uses most sounds in the spoken language. Across all of these, he’ll often pause to point out the differences between how the accent sounds in southern Ireland versus in the northern part of Ireland, which is a very helpful distinction that you probably wouldn’t get elsewhere.
It’s worth noting that Paul brings an enjoyable familiarity to what might otherwise seem like a rather dry lesson. A number of the example sentences he uses throughout the file are peppered with humorous exaggerations or exclamations that induce a chuckle, or at least a grin. He keeps an informal tone throughout the presentation, making it fairly casual throughout.
The only major complaint I have about this product is that there’s an insert that comes with the actual CD, which basically transcribes the majority of what Paul talks about. It’s very helpful to have it as you listen to the file, since you can follow along with what you’re being told. Unfortunately, the only way to get this for the audio file version of this product is to go to the Pulp Gamer website and download it separately (as a free PDF file). There’s really no reason why this couldn’t be bundled in together with the MP3 in one convenient package; the fact that it’s not is the sole reason I didn’t give this product full marks.
Beyond that though, this is a great product that does a great job being both educational and entertaining, conveniently providing great examples of how to sound Irish – or at least like a “plastic Paddie” – at the game table.
[4 of 5 Stars!]