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After I read the Forgotten Realms novel "Dawn of night" (Paul Kempf) I wondered how does the Dark Speech work in a D&D 3.5 FR campaign.

It seemed to me that in D&D it could be a feat, isn't it? Or is it something else?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you perhaps explain a bit better what makes Dark Speech 'special' for those who have not read the books. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2012 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah the Dark Speech (in the novels) is a twisted language which is granted by dark powers. Listening to the language is painful for beings of the Material Plane who don't know it. That's what I knew before Khaal answered. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2012 at 14:48

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In the book of vile darkness, there is a feat called dark speech.

DARK SPEECH [VILE] The character learns a smattering of the language of truly dark power. Prerequisite: Base Will save bonus +5, Int 15, Cha 15.

Benefit: The character can use the Dark Speech to bring loathing and fear to others, to help cast evil spells and create evil magic items, and to weaken physical objects (see Dark Speech in Chapter 2). Normal: Attempting to utter a word of the Dark Speech always ends in immediate death for a speaker who is not trained in its dark power. Fortunately, it is impossible to make someone use the Dark Speech if he or she is unwill- ing, because the language’s pronunciation is so exacting. Special: The character gains a +4 circumstance bonus on saving throws made when someone uses the Dark Speech against him or her.

Also, dark speech has some other affects, as mentioned below:

Dread: You speak in Dark Speech, causing fear to those around you that fail a certain dc, and depending on their level, hit dice and alingment. This damages your Charisma.

Power: You can increase the caster level of a spell, if it is evil it's cost does not change.

Corruption: You can reduce an object's hardness in half as a standard action. One time for each object, no side effects.

Dark Unity: You can create a hivemind of vermin, that do as you command for certain actions and a certain time. This drains your Constitution. More on hiveminds on the Book of Vile Darkness

Dark speech has no written form, and mortals that wish to utter even fragments or words of the language need the feat. Evil outsiders may not need it due to their nature. You can communicate with dark speech with some one knowledgeable of the language but you must be carefull not to harm yourself or the listener. Words like mercy, compasion, and generally good ideas do not exist in this language. There are some more details and roleplaying material on chapter 2 of the Book of Vile Darkness.

Edit: edited in order to avoid copyright issues.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I added some moar mechanics from the book, also some fluff to go with it, for a complete idea of it look at the book. If you like evil in general the book is rather twisted and vile, one of my favourites:) \$\endgroup\$
    – Khaal
    Feb 12, 2012 at 15:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey man, take it easy on the copying from a book. This is getting pretty close to copyright problems IMO. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk I am sorry, i did not know that there are such issues, do i have to delete it or reword it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Khaal
    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do as you think is right, there is no hard limit, but I would say copying more than a paragraph directly from a book is a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 13, 2012 at 2:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to be sure i changed it to something that portrays what dark speech does but copies only the feat itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Khaal
    Feb 13, 2012 at 3:12

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