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50

In general in play they were ignored or just treated as an abstract language with no further comment. As to where they came from, here's an answer from Gary Gygax on Dragonsfoot! As D&D was being quantified and qualified by the publication of the supplemental rules booklets. I decided that Thieves' cant should not be the only secret language. Thus ...


40

This is a place where you should probably revert to descriptive GMing rather than reciting the character's lines. Say something like: The Elf approaches you (the dwarf) and says something in a language you don't understand. It sounds like elf talk to you, but you don't have any idea what he's saying. Your player can then react to this situation. If ...


30

Unless you and the players speak Elvish, you have three options: Say that they're speaking another language without saying what it is. Say that they're speaking Elvish. Say a few Elvish words for flavor. To decide which option to use, think about the effects of each: The party only knows that this language is one they themselves don't speak. The ...


26

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 ...


25

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, ...


23

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 ...


23

There's a pronunciation guide on the Wikipedia Page, which references an old FAQ, for whatever that's worth. Essentially it's pronounced how its spelled, no real trick to it. Might help to think of it as "Smurf-Neblin", only with a V instead of the M in smurf. Doesn't really roll off the tongue no matter how you pronounce it, but I'd guess that's half the ...


22

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 ...


22

The language skills of ropers have varied by edition: The original roper, in the original Monster Manual, had Exceptional intelligence, but no listed ability to use language. In second edition’s Monster Manual, the roper is much the same. The Habitat/Society and Ecology sections make no mention of language, and the best we get is “Ropers are not social and ...


22

I have always read You gain the selected language as a bonus language, as meaning that you add the language to your list of known languages when you create your character (as a bonus language), not that you add the language to the list of bonus languages you can choose from to learn with a high intelligence modifier. The reason I believe this is that ...


20

Script refers to the characters used. To an Orc, text written in Dwarvish would have familiar letters, but otherwise would make no sense to him. Your comparison between English and French is spot-on: both have the same script, but being able to read English does not help you understand French. Compare this to for example English and Chinese: not only do you ...


19

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 ...


19

Thieves' cant is a fluff ability that will rarely if ever have a significant impact.* If you believe Criminal background should grant it, you won't break anything by modifying it. If you're really concerned with balancing the changes, consider that all basic backgrounds give a total of two tool proficiencies and languages, in any combination. Replace one of ...


19

No. The Belt of Dwarvenkind grants knowledge of the Dwarvish language, not the physical ability to produce speech. Beast Form very clearly denies the use of the humanoid languages you know: your ability to speak [...] is limited to the capabilities of your beast form If it was a Belt of Wookieekind, the situation would be different.


17

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 ...


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 ...


17

Yes, RAW others can learn. Drow Sign Language is a bonus language for drow; others have to spend skill points to learn it. It has no alphabet or written form. (FRCS, p. 13) As always DMs can rule however they want and may require you to find a willing drow to teach you. (If I allowed it, I would require this.)


16

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 ...


16

Thieves' Cant isn't a written language, thus there would be nothing to understand via a spell. Nowhere in the quote you've pulled (or the PHB) is thieves' cant ever described as a written language. This is because thieves' cant is both verbal and physical communication. Some word substitution (1 to 1) is used, but it is largely based on metaphor and ...


16

Omniglot The writers for Disney's Atlantis, Klingon from Star trek, etc. All created languages during the course of their creations, and most of them are available on this site, called Omniglot. At the bottom of some Omniglot pages there are fictional fonts that you can use for writing that should fit what you're looking for. Personally my favorite is the ...


16

If it was physically capable of speaking, it would be able to speak the languages it knew in life. It still retains its knowledge of them, so knowing how to speak a language is not the problem. The problem is that a skeleton lacks lips, a tongue, vocal cords, a voicebox, and lungs. Speaking is simply impossible. The Monster Manual entry on skeletons says: ...


16

No, because the point of Thieves' Cant is that observers can't tell it's being used. The conversations being lengthy isn't a giveaway either, since that just means that the conversations the messages hide in are normal length and the Cant message is ¼ the length of the carrier message. For longer Cant messages, just talk more about mundane things like ...


16

First of all, D&D 5 treats language as a binary - you know it with absolute fluency or you don't know it at all. You could stop right there and it would be fair. If you want to go further and allow someone to recognise a written or spoken language they don't know you need to decide: The applicable stat - Intelligence is a clear stand out The ...


15

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.


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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

Yes. From 5e PHB, p. 123 Some of these languages are actually families of languages with many dialects. For example, the Primordial language includes the Auran, Aquan, Ignan, and Terran dialects, one for each of the four elemental planes. Creatures that speak different dialects of the same language can communicate with one another.


15

Rules as written, the Roper does not have a language (check out the Monster Manual). I believe you're looking at Hoard of the Dragon Queen and this entry for the Roper was a mistake. Hoard of the Dragon Queen was in development concurrently with Fifth Edition, so there was a period where the Roper could actually communicate, but that did not carry over into ...


14

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, ...



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