Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My character picked up the Deep Sage feat, so he can now speak, read and write Deep Speech. But I haven't been able to find any examples of what it may look like when written or sound like when spoken.

share|improve this question
This is a good question. I myself don't have a good resource for you, but I figured I'd clarify to potential answerers that Deep Speech in 4e is not the same as Undercommon (Deep Speech in 3.xe) as far as I'm aware. – Cthos Jun 9 '11 at 15:48
@Cthos - I am pretty certain you are correct in the difference between Deep Speech and Undercommon between editions. That said, I am a little sad to see Drow Sign Language disappear from the language list in 4E. That was fun to take and had some great RP elements to it. – Sorcerer Blob Jun 9 '11 at 16:59
@SorcererBlob There's always Furtive Signals in 4e, though it comes at the hefty price of a feat rather than just a language. – dpatchery Jun 9 '11 at 19:56
I suppose something like "Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!" couldn't be too far off the mark. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Jun 9 '11 at 21:55
How in the world would someone even answer this question? "The accent falls on the ultimate syllable, unless the word possesses a prepositional prefix, in which case the prefix takes the accent. Epiglottal consonants are more common than dental ones with the voiced epiglottal fricative being particularly common. It has a class of sentence ending words often called attitudinals that convey the speaker's relationship to the sentence, 'I experienced', 'I was told', 'I surmised', but most of them are used to convey moods or emotions that only aberrant creatures and natives of the Far Realm can pro – Sheikh Jahbooty Jun 10 '11 at 6:20
up vote 15 down vote accepted

This thread implies that Deep Speech uses the same alphabet as Elven; namely, Rellanic: enter image description here

Found a font someone created for Rellanic on EN World (registration required); it works rather nicely. And since character who know Elven aren't supposed to be able to read it, I'm also rot13ing it.

share|improve this answer
and since those who know only Elven aren't supposed to be able to read Deep Speech, even though it uses the same alphabet, I'll need to remap at least some characters if I want to present written words to other players. – Eugene Katz Jun 14 '11 at 12:27
You have a citation and an image with font. This is an excellent answer that should be accepted. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Aug 6 '11 at 22:28

I know of no standard accepted guideline resource for fictional langauges. There are accepted forms for fictional languages like elven, dwarven, Klingon, ect, but for many it is up to the group to define.

I would say get together with your DM and the group and come to a consensus on it. It could be gutteral or lyrical. It might be a whispered langauge with no body/facial movement by virtue of being in an underground environment.

I would say get creative and have fun with it.

share|improve this answer
Doesn't it come from the Far Realm? I thought it was associated with the Underdark because aberrant creatures tend to appear there. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Jun 9 '11 at 16:49
Could be. The idea is since there is no definative guidline, make it a group story telling experience. This also helps lift some of the DMs work load too! Bonus! – Acedrummer_CLB Jun 9 '11 at 16:54
I would think that there would be some snippet of text somewhere. Maybe in an illustration. – Eugene Katz Jun 9 '11 at 17:47
And the group doesn't know yet that my character acquired the knowledge. What I want to do it have them hear my character speak it and then ask "what the hell was that?" – Eugene Katz Jun 9 '11 at 17:49
The script used, if I remember correctly, would be rellanic (elfic) script, but just because the Drow were the first people to try and put down in writing Deep Speech messages. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Jun 9 '11 at 18:27

Some research leads me to believe there's no real "correct" answer here. That said, if you want to make up something on your own, I'd suggest using Google Translate and picking one of the obscurer languages. You can use the translated text as examples of the writing, and click Listen to hear it spoken.

Here's an example using Macedonian.

share|improve this answer
Interesting idea. On a side note, never realized that Macedonian used the Cyrillic alphabet. Knowing Russian and a little of related languages is enough to let me read it and understand about half of the words. – Eugene Katz Jun 10 '11 at 11:53

Quick Thought: I would describe it like the slow grinding of words upon each other, like that of one tectonic plate upon another with a ponderously slow cadence and a grinding intensity that flares into heat from time to time when the social friction becomes the greatest.

So less focus on actual pronunciation, but more on the evocative nature of the spoken word.

[Edit: This is just my own idea and I do not know of any written support of it.]

[Edit #2: I think the problem is the outdated version of Internet Explorer that I am saddled with at work.]

share|improve this answer
Interesting thought. Is that just what you imagine it to be, or is there source material which implies it? – Eugene Katz Jun 13 '11 at 17:45
Because SE is for Qs and As, commenting requires a high enough reputation—but it's only 50 rep, so you should be able to comment… – SevenSidedDie Jun 14 '11 at 15:38

Our group always thinks of deep speech as a high pitched screechy chittering gibber. Primordial and abyssal are gutteral and deep and downright imposing. Supernal is more musical and flowing and almost sounds like mellow tones of soothing instruments (we say the instruments were modeled after the voices of the gods.) Which leaves the far realm, the source of all these odd, gibbering screechy monsters that just dont fit with their surroundings. An aboleth may have a much deeper resonance and thus sound more gutteral but it still is a rapid sequence of gibbers clicks and screeches. While a smaller abberant creature will have a much higherpitched "voice", sometimes so high it cant be heard. Thats just how our group runs the more unusual languages and how we think of them. We dont give Deep Speech a written form concidering the fact that the speakers usally come from the far realm, and most races that speak it also speak common unless they are aberant. This makes deep speech memorable and easy to run, No deep notes being passed, no deep secret letters to the king and its hard to not be unnerved by a 4 story monster screaming like a girl at you threatining you in its language.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.