I want to be able to talk to whomever we may come across. Despite keeping Linguistics maxed, I don't know every language out there; enter Tongues.

There are several items which grant Comprehend Languages (useful in its own right), but I have not found one which guarantees that I can respond in a language/way that the other guy can understand. This is my goal; Tongues is simply the most obvious (to me) way to get there.

I'm simply looking for communication; I'm already plenty convincing, and I may want to talk to the King without having to break into his mind first.

I'm a 13th level Cleric (Protection and Healing domains) with a fair bit of gold (roughly 30k GP) available. The party's other caster is a Bard.

Finding a friendly Wizard to cast Permanency into a Ring of Spell Storing is, of course, a possibility (other party members might well chip in for the ring, since I'd be able to keep it full of useful spells most of the time), but it's subject to being Dispelled relatively easily (which requires finding another friendly wizard).

The GM is open to custom magic items, and is the fall-back solution.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's possible this isn't an ability that's supposed to be inexpensively available continuously at level 13—compare to the extraordinary ability tongue of the sun and the moon. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2017 at 14:11

4 Answers 4


You have a lower level spell that will do this Voluminous vocabulary is a third level cleric spell/second level bard spell from ultimate intrigue. Now it only lets you you speak one new language per casting* but that can be ANY language aside from secret ones(such as druidic) So with one casting you will be able to speak the king's language for 8 hours. You do have to know of the language you want to speak, but with many points in linguistics just having heard of a language should be a fairly low bar.

*if you already have lots of points in linguistics you can gain multiple languages per casting.

Since it is third level (2nd for a bard) you can also brew potions or craft wands of it yourself fairly cheap, you could even give some to the king as a gift, so he can speak common when he needs to.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's cool, but then you need to know exactly what language do you need. With Tongues you automatically understand/speak every language. Probably worth noting. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2017 at 8:51


The most versatile and best value is a wand(s). Tongues is a 4th level cleric or 3rd level Bard spell so either of you can use it and you can target anyone or everyone in the party. its a bit expensive at 21,000gp if made by a cleric but only 11,250gp if made by a Bard.

You get 50 uses (how many will you really need?) and if someone dispels it you can just cast it again.


Not as cheap on a per spell basis (375gp vs 225gp) as a wand but maybe you only need 10 castings of the spell. Given that you are unlikely to be using Tongues in a combat situation the difference between a a spell completion and spell trigger item is irrelevant.


Twice the price of a scroll but anyone can use them.


For a continuous effect you will spend 30,000gp. You can reduce this to 27,000gp for unlimited command word use, which, given the nature of the effect is probably a saving worth making.

If you want to go with charges per day, you will spend 6,000gp for each daily use.

These can be any type of magic item you like: ring, wondrous, staff etc.

If you want to make it so whatever it is doesn't take up a body slot, double the cost.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ 11,250 GP is a lot of gold for a character who has 30,000 available. More than one third of the total budget. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2017 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ All of this is true, but it doesn't seem helpful: OP already knows how wands and scrolls work, and the question is about what cheaper spells or abilities are available. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Aug 15, 2017 at 20:09

The Old Fashioned Way

Why not just hire experts in those languages and tote them around?

As a minimum cost, the hirelings table lists unskilled workers starting at 2 silver pieces per day. By my count, the Linguistics page lists 34 languages. Your cost per day to hire 34 commoners to translate into their own native language could be as low as 68 silver pieces per day!

Many practical considerations could increase this price (where do you find a day laborer fluent in Necril?).

The Traveler's Translator

The magical item Traveler's Translator costs only 775 gp. It psychically translates between one language of your choosing and common each day. You can change what language it translates to and from each day. Assuming that you don't encounter a large number of different languages in a given day, this is an inexpensive way to offset the risk that you encounter a language that isn't covered by your Linguistics skill.


The Fully Functional Legal but High level Way:

As a Cleric, You can do it with Miracle at 17th level. Using 5th level Wizard Permanency: Tongues

Duplicate any other spell of 7th level or lower.

The Long Probably Not Permitted Spell Research Semi Legal Way:

You can research a Cleric version of Limited Wish, "Minor Miracle" for 7th or 8th level (at 13th or 15th level), following the same text structure as the conversion from 9th level Wizard Wish to 9th level Cleric Miracle. And that may be easier than getting to 17th level.

The Faster, in character Expensive Bartering Way:

But easier than that is hiring a wizard to cast the permanency spell. You could, at your level, pay by exchange of services or contract, such as a promise of free resurrect or restoration or similar XP valued spell or critically useful to the wizard, if gold or bartering magic items is insufficient.

I recommend the Bartering Way if you want it now, and the Miracle way if you are patient and want it to be totally legal without question.


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