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24

There's two ways that I can think of. If you want a really simple solution? Declare that "Common" is a common second language. It's by no means universal - and as you move further away from major borders and trade routes it can completely disappear - but it's common enough that almost anyone could know it without straining plausibility. In mechanical terms, ...


19

Only gods and angels can speak Supernal so that all may understand. Your quote is from the Dungeon Master's Guide (page 171) then re-phrased by the Rules Compendium (a more up-to-date version of the rules), which actually says this: The gods have their own language, Supernal, which they share with their angelic servants. When a god or angel speaks ...


18

As written, the Linguist feat seems to be a poor choice for most players in most campaigns. If languages are useful in your campaign, then the feat will be desirable. Making languages useful is difficult. If you make language use essential, then you run the risk of frustrating players when they cannot communicate with NPCs. "Hand signal" role-play is only ...


18

What's important to the setting? Rude words are rude only because we decide they are. The word and phrases that a society feels are inappropriate say a lot about the people and culture, so you're going to need to start with a solid understanding of the values and beliefs of the society. Consider what is commonplace in your setting, what's sacred or ...


17

Latin (and to some extent Greek) used to be the lingua franca during the middle ages. Later on, French became the language of diplomacy and nobility. Everyone that mattered [1] speaks a local variation of said language which should still be understandable by another speaker. For example, Quebecois and French or American and English. So, you could have ...


17

Ars Magica is the pride of its fans for this very reason—its core and supplements are founded on the principles of science, magic, and mythology as were believed by the people of the middle ages. The basic premise of the game is that all the things those people believed about the world are true: demons, humours, goblins, fairy circles, aether, etc. As a side ...


16

Excerpt from the Shardmind racial description (PHB3, pg12): Telepathy: You can communicate telepathically with any creature within 5 squares of you that has a language. Note that it does not place a restriction on whether you speak the same language, nor does it provide details about the nature of the communication. Excerpt from the Sending ritual ...


15

The feat has great utility... if you are not running 4E in a boardgame mode. In non-combat encounters, most of the action should be taking place in a single area, and the PC's should speak the primary language. They also should be speak their ethnic tongues. If you want to make it both more realistic in play and more useful, have most people in towns ...


14

Creating slang and dialect is an art, not a science, and there are two basic strategies: invent it, or steal it. If you invent dialect, don't invent words Berk, from Berkeley Hunt or a rhyming insult. Cutter, definition 11. Barmy, Etymology 2, from balmy. and chant is just a description of oral news services. You can see that the slang used in ...


14

You can communicate with anything that has a language whether or not you share a language. from the Rules Compendium pg. 316: A creature that has telepathy can communicate mentally with any creature that has a language, even if they don’t share the language. The other creature must be within line of effect and within a specified range. Telepathy allows ...


14

Fractal is the way to go here. Try this on for size, some trimming may be needed for it to fit perfectly. I'm going to be assuming she speaks Latin fluently, and the rest of the party speaks modern English where assumptions need to be made. High Concept: Language Barrier Aspects: Romance Language Family, Ancient Tongue, Seeming Similarity ...


13

This thread implies that Deep Speech uses the same alphabet as Elven; namely, Rellanic: 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.


12

Some background: languages are shared only as far and wide as they can be communicated. Any farther than that, and variations start. Soon you have comprehensible dialects, then incomprehensible dialects and other languages. As you say, technology is what made entire countries speak the same language. Example: BSL is the British Sign Language. There's one ...


11

How would you approach the creation of setting-specific curses? Now when I think of swearing my mind goes to, as Spock put it, "colorful metaphors". This is keenly a product of how I, and my society, seem to use profanity (swearing, cursing). It's a way to express displeasure with another or a situation in general. With that in mind, here are a few ...


11

A possible explanation on the limit Upon browsing the Core Rulebook, Humans have the ability to learn any language with Intelligence Bonus points (other than "secret" languages). Surprisingly, Half-Elves also have this ability. To my mind, this is the developers trying to make humans more appealing than non-humans.. Maybe it is just the groups I have ...


10

Plot: Learn it from someone who knows it One would presume that should a druid decide to teach you Druidic, then you could spend a skill rank or two on Speak Languages to learn the language. That would be a DM’s call and probably quite rare, but it could happen. A blighter (Complete Divine) certainly wouldn’t care about teaching the language, ...


9

Since you're already calling upon a Fate Core concept to establish this dilemma -- the Fate fractal -- I'm comfortable suggesting that you use another Fate Core system to address it: the more complex rules for consequences, particularly the rules for recovery on FC164. Establish the "inability to communicate" as a Severe Consequence, and then treat efforts ...


8

Many spells that produce minions include text that specifies what the critters do if not specifically commanded otherwise. Summon Monster I, for example, says that creatures not otherwise commanded will attack the caster's enemies to the best of their ability. Ghoul Army has no such text. As a result, the ghouls and ghast created by Ghoul Army are under no ...


7

Other people have already discussed keeping Common around as a 2nd language, so I'll describe another approach. Consider modern Europe: The average person speaks their native language fluently, and anywhere from 1-3 more languages with anywhere from crude skill to fluency depending on how often they use it. The more tightly-packed the language regions are, ...


7

There are many options, and as always which one works for your group will largely depend on the system and the players. So long as everyone agrees to abide by the chosen convention, whichever your group likes is great. Colors You're already experimenting with colored text, and @JonathanHobbs pointed out the excellent Is there an optimum set of colors for ...


7

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

Just wanted to add that for bluff/intimidate/disguise checks, language is incredibly helpful. I had a character (shapeshifter) who didn't have many language skills, so his disguises weren't nearly as effective. Another character does have a lot of language skills, so everyone goes to her when there are clues in a foreign language.


6

That entirely depends on the setting your DM is using or has created. Apart from setting-specific languages, it is typical (though not guaranteed as it's again up to your DM) for there to be one language for each major race; i.e. elvish for elves, goblin for goblins, dwarvish for dwarves, etc., etc. This is typical of AD&D simply because such "racial ...


5

GURPS has a world called Yrth that has cultures that were sucked in during an event known as the Banestorm (which is the title of the book). The languages and people are essentially "borrowed" from other cultures, and are placed into a fantasy context. It's an interesting concept, and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for something a little more ...


5

Many campaign settings are either based on existing novels/media (such as Wheel of Time or Star Wars) or have novels written about them later on (such as the Forgotten Realms). In this case, your best bet is to read up on existing media and let established authors do the work for you. If you're playing in a custom setting, @Zach's comment is a good place to ...


5

Building on Jadasc's answer: For a non-human character like a space alien or a fairy, you can model this with a stunt that modifies the game rules. For example: Because I am a resilient plant creature, I get an additional mild consequence slot. The slot is initially filled with the consequence “Doesn't speak the local language.” This stunt does not count ...


5

If you'd like more creative control over the language barrier, you can simply create an aspect to represent it, then refine the aspect over time using the character advancement and change rules (Fate Core p. 256, FAE p. 33). Example: Alice plays Yuri, a defector from Eastern Europe. He starts play with “In Soviet Russia, They Don't Speak English.” Alice ...


5

This is a question of character knowledge versus player knowledge. Cryptanalysis is a fun, if little used, human skill. Some players will delight in solving cryptographic puzzles, and 4e certainly doesn't prohibit the gamist approach of "challenge the player." On the other hand, cryptanalysis is highly binary. People either really like it, or basically ...


5

It’s a historical thing; it works the same way it did in D&D 3.5. I completely agree with you and think it doesn’t really have any place in the racial properties. It’s setting-dependent cultural detail that any given individual may not adhere to. PCs, in particularly, are usually exceptional in many regards; while most dwarves may not ...



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