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Does the mouth of a Warforged move when it's talking? Or does it have some internal, magical speaker-like system? Perhaps a combination of the two?

Based on the illustrations depicting Warforged characters I'd think the last option - the combined one - most likely, but a quotation / reference from an official source would be most welcome. :)

Edit, to make it clear that I'm looking for an official answer, or the expert confirmation of the lack of an official answer. (The "would be most welcome" part of the previous paragraph should be read with this meaning in mind.)

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2 Answers 2

Undefined

Warforged in some of the illustrations appear to have a functional mouth/jaw, but how necessary that is for talking (for example, how understandable they would be if gagged) is up to the GM.

I recommend simply deciding what is necessary for a warforge to be able to speak (unimpeded mouth/jaw, partially unimpeded mouth/jaw, or just a speaker embedded in the back of their throat) as a quick decision and moving on. The entire point of the GM is for questions like this to be answered simply where there is no RAW or any RAW is buried in like a forum thread by a guy who saw the creator of eberron once over a crowded train station ten years ago. Simpler just to create an answer for yourself, and probably more reliable too.

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Do they have functioning jaws? Yes. Although warforged don't need to eat or drink just to survive, their racial description states that they are capable of eating and drinking (for example, to use a potion or benefit from a heroes' feast). It's not hard to imagine a warforged drinking without jaws, but eating without jaws is much more of a stretch.

Do they speak by moving their jaws? No. Warforged may have jaws, but they don't breathe (according to their racial description), so they have some other means of producing sound: a speaker-like system, as you suppose. But that doesn't mean they can't move their jaws when they speak; it only makes it unnecessary. It could still be part of the core programming of a warforged, as a cosmetic UI-type thing. Even if it isn't, they could still choose to do it.

Do they move their jaws when they speak? The rules don't say. Maybe the novels do. Having not read them, my personal interpretation is that it depends on the attitude of the individual warforged. If they want to put humanoids at ease (or are actively exploring their living aspects), then they move their jaws just like living humanoids do. If they've embraced the machine, or just don't care what humanoids think, then they don't bother to move their jaws.

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Are there sources for this information, or are these your calls as a potential DM? –  Hey I Can Chan Aug 16 '14 at 14:16
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Just because they don’t have to breathe doesn't necessarily mean that they can’t. –  KRyan Aug 16 '14 at 15:03
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@HeyICanChan: The stuff about them being able to eat and drink comes from the race's description. Heroes' Feast is specifically called out as an example of something they can benefit from (and reiterated in the description of the Warforged Juggernaut, as one of the items that a sufficiently-advanced juggernaut can't benefit from anymore). The bit about the warforged not breathing also comes from the description. The rest is, admittedly, my call. –  The Spooniest Aug 16 '14 at 18:43
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@TheSpooniest Can you cite your quote? It's hard to tell what is quote and what is explanation. –  GMNoob Aug 18 '14 at 8:36
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@KRyan makes a good point. As a similar example, vampires in WoD also don't need to breathe to survive... but they have functional lungs which they have to use in order to speak. –  Brian S Aug 18 '14 at 14:29

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