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In my game (I'm the DM) I want to involve secret texts, in fact all texts that are in languages the players don't know would be treated as secret.

I downloaded 50 fonts that are unreadable (symbols) and want to use them as script for handouts and all other written things that the players don't understand.

The nice thing about it is writing everything normally and very easily converting it so I can reveal just small parts if I want to make it a challenge and the players roll mediocre. The symbols are very pretty and I cover all languages plus have many more ready.

Now those 2 spells can ruin all this fun. I like them for use in cases where no RP could be done for the different languages, but I think they could prevent a lot of fun when players cast a spell instead of finding NPC's to translate for them.

If I make my players go through the trouble of finding a translator they might need to find someone trustworthy enough, or the NPC could lie etc. I find it a lot better to drive plot as a DM.

But taking away much of the spell could feel unfair for players, and mine are not fond of mechanical disadvantages for story.

  1. Is it just me or am I making sense here? I'd like to hear other DMs tell me their opinion.
  2. How would I go about languages and handouts and all that without changing the spells? Is there something I didn't think of?
  3. I know as DM I can change whatever I want but I wouldn't want to be a tyrant. Players, tell me how would you feel about such change
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems pretty heavily opinion-based, but I think there may be a Q&A that resolves your issue. Would this be a duplicate for you?. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 19 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've removed comprehend-languages and tongues, we typically just use spells for questions about particular spells. The spells for which we have specific tags are exceptions here, as questions about these spells come up with alarming regularity, as in wish or polymorph. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 19 at 16:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've voted to close for Need More Focus, but this question may actually be what you're looking for here: How do I deal with instant-solution spells like Comprehend Languages? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 19 at 16:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a side note, but using a non-readable font basically makes it a caesar cipher. As a player, as long as it was sufficient long (10+ words generally), I wouldn't go looking for an in game solution, I would just solve the cipher. Things like that are often used as a simple puzzles in newspapers next to the crossword. \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Jul 19 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems like a prompt for a disscussion in chat or for a more loose format like reddit \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Jul 19 at 17:29