Character Specific Phrases

Hey there!  Yeah, I know it’s been a while.  So what?

I’m one of those that gets an idea for D&D in just about anything I encounter.  The past couple years I’ve been listening to a LOT of audio books.  Many ideas flow from listening/reading (readening?) to great stories written by great authors and read by great narrators.  The most obvious is the importance of different voices for different characters, and staying consistent with those voices… but that’s another post entirely.

Lately I’ve been readening to the Wheel of Time series by Jordan/Sanderson.  This is about my fourth or fifth time through the series, but the first time since I’ve read the series finale.  Yes, it’s that good, but no, this isn’t a book report.

One of the things that’s captivated me most in this read through, is Jordan’s use of character specific phrases.  What do I mean?

  • Rand al’Thor – raised as a shepherd

“Sometimes, the hounds catch the wolf and wish they hadn’t. Sometimes, he turns on them, or waits in ambush. But first, the wolf has to run.”

  • Nynaeve al’Meara – Village “Wisdom”

“What he needs is what he always needed. Somebody to box his ears once a week on general principles and keep him on the straight and narrow”

  • Lan al’Mandragoran– raised as a warrior

“He was better. But he thought I was finished, with only one arm. He never understood. You surrender after you’re dead.”

  • Gaul – raised in the desert

“As well you try to understand the sun, Perrin. It simply is, and it is not to be understood. You cannot live without it, but it exacts a price. So with women.”

  • Siuan Sanche – rasied in a fishing village

“When there are fish heads and blood in the water, you don’t need to see the silverpike to know they are there.”

  • Matrim Cauthon – raised in a village, whose Dad was the best horse trader in the village

“A pig painted gold is still a pig.”


These are very, very few examples of what I mean.  Each quote points to the background of the character voicing the statement.  So, how can we use this in D&D?  Well, first it shows the importance of a character background, but it also shows the importance of class choice and roleplaying.

Here’s a few quick examples of how this could work in game.

Rather than just simply stating “I roll insight,” Why not try roleplaying?

  • Fighter – “You speak very prettily, but your feet stand ready and your sword arm remains free.”
  • Wizard – “My training has taught me the value of inflection, friend, and your tongue betrays your words.”
  • Rogue – “A cat in a courtyard full of butterflies wouldn’t have eyes as shifty as yours.”
  • Cleric – “I’ve learned to trust silent whispers more than the boasting of fools.”


I could go on, but I’ll renew this blogging thing one step at a time.  Baby steps.

I would love to hear some of your quotes.  What other skills could be roleplayed in character?


About j0nny_5

Mid-thirties and work a full-time job in beautiful northern Colorado. In my free time I play D&D, video games, and walk my two beautiful Bouvier des Flandres.
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