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To add more flavor, I want to create documents written in the actual script.

I remember awhile back seeing examples of the Common/Elven/Dwarven alphabets for instance, but can not recall where I can find those.

Is there a place online where these alphabets are available, the ones that at one point I remember seeing in official WoTC books?

As a side question, were these alphabets copyrighted by WoTC or did they take them from real world sources; if so which book can they be found in?

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5 Answers 5

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Likely you are recalling the alphabet used for various races in Forgotten Realms. In general you want to use the (alphabet name) followed by truetype in google to find fonts for these alphabets.

For Forgotten Realms you want to look here at the Candlekeep website.

For Middle Earth you want to search on Quenya, Cirth, Tengwar. I prefer using Tengwar as the vowels are accents on the consonants which give a true unearthly feel to the writing.

As for copyright, the font files can be copyrighted but there are many free version out there. Copyright on the alphabet itself is a grey area. For commercial work I would come up with your own or search or buy a fantasy font that is open for commercial use.

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Yes, that's what I was thinking of. Thorass and Dethek will work. –  Brett Allen Oct 29 '10 at 20:46
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Unearthly feel from diacritical vowels? You mean like Arabic? Or Hebrew? –  JUST MY correct OPINION Oct 30 '10 at 7:18
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Sindarin puts the diacritic mark on the consonant that comes after the vowel. That's kind of weird. –  Sheikh Jahbooty Oct 31 '10 at 6:58
    
I'm not seeing how shifting the position of a vowel diacritic by one space makes things unearthly. –  JUST MY correct OPINION Nov 2 '10 at 1:39
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http://Omniglot.com hosts a comparison of literally dozens of scripts, including the Tolkienian ones.

You'll especially want to look through the con-scripts section; scripts for conlangs (constructed languages) and alternate scripts for English.

Plus the site has most of the currently used real-world scripts.

Also has links to fonts for many, and entry mode kits for a few, for making use of them.

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This is awesome. Thanks. –  SevenSidedDie Nov 1 '10 at 18:43
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I'm a big fan of using Tolkien's Elvish script for elven characters. There is enough information in the appendices of Return of the King to keep a small army of scholars busy.

For Dwarven script, I like using the Runic alphabet, sometimes referred to as Viking runes. They look very dwarven as they were designed for carving in stone or wood.

The Dragonology books use a script based on the Runic alphabet that looks good for anything that might be carved in stone.

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Some of the written-language scripts for D&D 4.0 can be found in PHB1 and the Essentials Rules Compendium.

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You may be thinking of the alphabets in one of the Forgotten Realms campaign guides. For example, page 86 of the D&D 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has the Dethek, Espruar, and Thorass (dwarven, elvish, and ancient common) alphabets written out. Earlier editions of the campaign setting had those alphabets too, and it's likely that the 4th edition guide does as well though I haven't read it. Of note is that the Espruar alphabet was redesigned for 3rd edition, so the earlier version of Espruar (from the FR campaign setting for AD&D 2nd edition and earlier) has a very different character from the later version.

These alphabets are almost certainly copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast, since they were developed either in-house or under work-for-hire by TSR. The Dethek alphabet does appear to be inspired, by but not taken directly from, the Norse runic alphabet. I don't recognise the inspirations for Espruar or Thorass, if there were any.

Despite the copyright, I know that there are Dethek, Espruar, and Thorass font files floating about online somewhere. I couldn't point you to them, but I know they exist because I've found copies of them before.

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