In AL can humans choose an exotic language as starting language? We know that it is possible to obtain exotic languages through the background and that it is allowed learn them, but can you already know one through the race(human)?

At p.123 PHB it seems to be up to DM, but in AL what does it mean?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose this would also include any unspecified extra language obtained via race as opposed to background or class, such as for High Elves for example. Not that the question needs to change - specific questions are good - but just as an aside... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    May 22, 2018 at 10:19
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Which languages are allowed when building a customized background in AL? [although I might suggest reversing the dupe to be honest] \$\endgroup\$ May 22, 2018 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Surely it state which source you can use to choose an exotic language when you are choosing an exotic language, it doesn't say when you can choose an exotic language, and it is the answer to a question about learning language and not about starting languages \$\endgroup\$
    – Asking
    May 22, 2018 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


You can choose exotic languages at character creation

At first glance this question seems pretty straight forward:

Humans typically learn the languages of other peoples they deal with, including obscure dialects. SRD p. 5

The use of the word obscure would seem to imply to me that an exotic language is a legitimate starting pick.

But wait, there's a complication..

Talking about langauges more generally, the SRD says:

‘Choose your languages from the Standard Languages table, or choose one that is common in your campaign. With your GM’s permission, you can instead choose a language from the Exotic Languages table’. SRD p. 59

GM permission? Could there be some restrictions, after all?

So do you need permission in order to create an Adventurers League character with an exotic langauge? No.

This quote from the DDAL FAQ (on page 4), in a question specifically about selecting languages at character creation, seems to clear up any uncertainty:

Characters may choose exotic languages from any allowed rules source, even if that rules source wasn’t used to create that character (i.e., a character created using the PHB and VGM may still choose a language from the SCAG).

Great news for lovers of exotic languages.

P.S. Following discussion in the comments:

This might not be RAW guidance as explicit as finding a text saying...

'Exotic languages are allowed to be chosen, as racially gained languages, during AL chracter creation'

..but in the absence of a RAW argument that exotic languages should be prohibited, it makes sense, following the reasoning in my answer, to consider it Rules as Intended that exotic languages are allowed as racial picks.


Languages. you can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. ("Human Traits," PHB p.31)

According to the PHB any human can know Common and one other language at character creation. There's nothing in the trait that restricts one to standard languages--common, dwarvish, elvish, giant, gnomish, goblin, halfling, orc--so exotic languages are on the table.

Does AL separately prohibit an exotic language? Nope. The Adventurers League Players Guide only mentions languages twice: noting that at creation one may take SCAG's "Human Languages" variant (SCAG p.112) without listing that as your "+1 resource," and as an example of logging a downtime activity.

Go ahead: be exotic with your language choice =)

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer is good, but there is a quote in the Adventurers League FAQ that is specific to this. \$\endgroup\$ May 22, 2018 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. I never thought to look there, since it's clear in the PHB and ALPG. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    May 22, 2018 at 14:26

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