Questions relating to setting-specific use of language in RPGs. Questions about real-world languages should be tagged with the specific language instead.

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7
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Is the level 1 language from the tongues curse really just a bonus language?

The oracle curse tongues says, in part, that the oracle that's so cursed must Pick one of the following languages: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Ignan, Infernal, or Terran. Whenever ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a Drow character know Undercommon?

I was just creating a Drow Rogue in 5e and I noticed that they know very few languages. With some backgrounds, I have been able to create characters that know as many as 6 languages at level one. ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Why are starting languages restricted? [closed]

In Pathfinder, each race starts with some given languages, usually Common and its own racial language. Characters with more Intelligence can have additional starting languages, but only taken from a ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

Written language alphabets

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is language tied to statistics, ability scores, and/or skill proficiencies according to the rules?

While reading this answer to whether or not a druid knows the languages of his/her chosen form, I began to wonder, "What is a language exactly?" Please allow me to walk you through my thought process. ...
7
votes
2answers
509 views

Should a history skill check let a PC identify a language?

I have a player who argues that a History check should allow a PC to identify a language. In the past I ruled it a hard 'no' but always made an exception if a player can somehow justify it; e.g., "I ...
9
votes
1answer
608 views

Can a Bear with a Belt of Dwarvenkind Speak Dwarvish?

This may well come down to House Rulz, but my druid recently acquired a Belt of Dwarvenkind, and I was wondering if (assuming you would let him wear it in bear shape), you would also let him speak ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Do the Gloves of Flame require their user to speak Ignan?

The description of the Gloves of Flame in the Magic Item Compendium 3.5 states: In addition, five times per day you can utter the word "burn" in lgnnan to generate a flame in the palm of one hand. ...
13
votes
2answers
887 views

What language is reasonable for a Roper to speak or understand?

I'm DMing a published 5e campaign that has a Roper in it. The campaign book tells me... This seems all well and good, except in the monster's stat block its language is listed as '—', which I ...
12
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3answers
912 views

Would other PCs eventually notice two rogues talking in Thieves' Cant?

I have two PCs in the party that know Thieves' Cant and they constantly talk to each other and pass secrete messages to each other via Thieves' Cant. Another player thought that because Thieves' Cant ...
20
votes
10answers
1k views

How to have a realistic set of languages without making adventuring prohibitively difficult?

"Do you speak Common?" "Of course I do! Everyone speaks Common..." My group is starting a somewhat experimental campaign. We're using a setting that is neither canon (e.g. described in a book) nor ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Can a Druid understand a new form's languages only while Wildshaped into it?

One of my players' character recently got to level 6 and she now can turn into a Giant Elk (Wildshape, Circle of the Moon). The description of said creature says that a Giant Elk can understand ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the proper elven name for Wood and Wild Elves?

In the Sword Coast Adventure Guide, both the Wood and Wild elves are said to go by the elvish name of "Sy'Tel'Quessir" (Page 106) Do they both have the same name? Are Wood elves considered by other ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the training cost for, and is it still paid if you're being taught for free?

I have a player in my game who wants to learn Draconic from his two party members in their downtime. Something that he was wondering about was why he has to pay 1gp if the party members are freely ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Does Telepathy need a shared language to work?

I have telepathy as the MM1 says: Telepathy (Su) A creature with this ability can communicate telepathically with any other creature within a certain range (specified in the creature’s entry, ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't the Criminal background give Thieves' Cant?

Is there any reason why the Criminal background in 5th edition D&D does not give you the bonus language of Thieves' Cant? With an admittedly limited understanding of the criminal world, I still ...
8
votes
1answer
751 views

Languages, Shared Script issue

There is a character (Classic Half Orc Barbarian) in my group that can read, write and speak Orcish but in the PHB Page 123 (Language) it shows the Orcish script is Dwarvish. Can the player also ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “svirfneblin”?

In a campaign I'm writing, an aged sage sends my party to the Underdark to aid Deep Gnomes against a Drow takeover. The group that will be playing this has read R.A Salvatore's books and knows both ...
16
votes
2answers
924 views

Where to get fonts for fictional ancient languages?

I'm starting a Mage: The Awakening chronicle and I would like to present my players with messages and letters occasionally written in ancient scripts (fictional ones, i.e. Lemurean, Atlantean and ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

If a skeleton learns a language, can it speak it?

The skeleton description says that while it cannot speak it, it can understand the languages it knew in life. Can it not speak because of its undeath or could it learn to speak a language?
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Using real-world languages instead of made-up languages [closed]

Let's say you're GMing a game for people who primarily speak English, and you want to have a non-human NPC say something in their native tongue, or a human NPC say something in a secret language. You ...
44
votes
6answers
6k views

What's the deal with alignment languages?

In early D&D, there was the concept of an "alignment language." The original "little brown book" D&D says only: Law, Chaos and Neutrality also have common languages spoken by each ...
13
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4answers
625 views

How can one establish communication with intelligent creatures lacking language?

The ice toad (Frostburn 140-1) is a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 6 yet no language. Beyond being conceptually annoying and making me feel bad for the handful of aberrant genius ice ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Does knowing Primordial mean you understand all the different languages of elementals?

I'm wondering if knowing the language Primordial means that you understand all different languages of elementals?
3
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1answer
1k views

Does an entity speaking the god's language understand every language?

I can't remember exactly the name, but I heard of a language used by gods, wich is understandable by every sentient being. It directly form the concept in the auditor's mind (thus, you can adress ...
3
votes
4answers
441 views

Party communication across languages

I'm running the 5e starter set for the first time - remotely - with a bunch of friends. The party speaks a range of languages, and we'll be using Google Chat so each of us will have our computers ...
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1answer
1k views

What language would a Great Old One warlock cast spells in? [closed]

This is honestly more of a flavor question. If I remember correctly the PHB says most spells are cast in draconic. I figured that warlocks with their power coming from different sources would speak a ...
5
votes
3answers
576 views

Can I use the cryptography skill to learn new languages?

I am wondering if i can reasonably use the cryptography skill in GURPS to attempt to learn a foreign language? An example would be my character only speaks english but discovers a book in french. It ...
23
votes
4answers
823 views

How do you customise swearing to a setting?

Good fantasy books often have 'custom' swearing, and they help provide a more realistic view of the world the campaign takes place in. For instance, in a book where metals are key to magic, a common ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

Which creatures in Middle Earth can speak common in the One Ring RPG?

We are getting set to start a One Ring game. The creature section does not seem to delineate languages. Which creatures speak common in this game? It's been a while since I read The Hobbit but I seem ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Can anyone else learn Drow Sign Language?

Can anyone else than drow learn Drow Sign Language? or is it a language that only drow can learn because of, I dunno... dexterity or some other physical conditions?
0
votes
1answer
183 views

German spell descriptions for DnD 5e? [closed]

Does anyone have a good site where I can find German translations for all the spells? We are struggling with different translation variants.
11
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2answers
3k views

Can Thieves' Cant be understood without a level in Rogue?

The Player's Basic Rules and Player's Handbook describe the Thieves' Cant class feature as: ... a secret mix of dialect, jargon and code allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal ...
3
votes
3answers
472 views

How do I model a non-native speaker's weak grasp of a language?

I've created a character for my/our current campaign that is essentially a "foreigner" to the group. He understands and speaks the language, but doesn't always understand the meaning behind choice ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

How to roleplay languages that none of the player characters know?

Imagine a Dwarf meets an Elf. Both speak common, but the Elf doesn't speak Dwarven and the Dwarf doesn't speak Elvish. The Elf is in a bad mood and decides to speak to the Dwarf only in Elvish instead ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a character know Druidic without having any levels of Druid?

Related to my answer here. Druidic is a special language in that no race can take it as a Bonus Language (even those who can choose any language specifically say except Druidic) and cannot be learned ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Using Ghoul Army spell as am Oracle with the Tongues curse

My character just reached Orcale level 10 and I was looking through 5th level spells. I came across the spell Ghoul Army but was told by another player that I cannot use it because as an Oracle with ...
8
votes
2answers
358 views

How do people swear in Eclipse Phase?

I wonder how should I play some hot-tempered NPCs when it comes to swearing. First, there are sex-based and ancestry-based insults but even that is slightly outdated because procreation is different ...
9
votes
5answers
335 views

Representing different languages in online games

What are methods for clearly representing different languages (e.g. Elven, Dwarven, Deep Speech) in text-based online play? We have tried footnotes and are using colored text (green for Elven, brown ...
5
votes
2answers
645 views

Designing and Implementing a Crypto-Puzzle Language

Currently I am in the planning stages for when I plan to run a game of D&D 4E, but this question its self is more system-agnostic. I want to design a written language that will come up in some of ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Does speaking Supernal result in communicating with everyone?

Long story cut short, I've found online that gods, angels and demons speak Supernal to convey their ideas. "When a god or angel speaks Supernal, listeners who don’t speak Supernal understand the ...
17
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5answers
5k views

What does Deep Speech look/sound like?

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Handling Languages in D&D, or is the Linguist Feat desirable?

The Linguist feat gives three extra languages. A feat for 3 languages seems problematic and not balanced with all the other feats available, many of which seem highly desirable and the feat doesn't ...
35
votes
5answers
1k views

How can we make overcoming a language problem interesting?

I am currently involved in a game of Fate Accelerated, and one of our goals is learning the system and experimenting with it. In this game, two characters may have a language barrier to overcome. One ...
9
votes
1answer
676 views

Fantasy accent and dialect, or how do I speak like Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas?

For example, inhabitants of Planescape setting say things like "chant" for news or gossip, "berk" or "cutter" for a kind of adventurer, "barmy" for crazy, etc. I want to portray a guy from a far away ...
6
votes
3answers
943 views

Do shardminds have to share a language to communicate with an NPC/PC?

The tooltip says that they can communicate telepathically with any creature that has a language, but does that mean that they must share a language? one of our players insists that he can somehow ...
17
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6answers
520 views

What are some examples of games that don't invent history or language? [closed]

IE, games that don't make up words or names in languages belonging to the game-verse, but borrow as exactly as possible from history, folklore, etymology, and mythology. (What is this type of game ...
16
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3answers
1k views

How should one-word “commands” work in languages other than English?

In various versions of D&D, there's a cleric spell called "Command" where the cleric compels an enemy to obey a one-word command. Typical commands might be "sleep", "flee", "surrender", ...
4
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1answer
2k views

What are the different PC languages for 2nd edition AD&D?

I would like to know what the different languages my PC can automatically have. I play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition and my PC has a 12 Intelligence.