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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

38
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
33
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 ...
21
votes
3answers
539 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
476 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k 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 Salvador's books and knows both ...
16
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
9answers
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
724 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", ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Why are starting languages restricted?

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
281 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
472 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
748 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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.