Questions tagged [languages]

For questions relating to setting-specific use of language in RPGs. Questions about real-world languages should be tagged with the specific language instead (e.g. [french]).

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What are Abyssal and Infernal called after the Remaster?

My character spoke Abyssal, but it is not available in Foundry after the Remaster. There is a table in the Remaster Core Preview document with the old and new names for the languages, but I do not see ...
András's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
317 views

Does Taldane (Common) in Golarion have non-gendered pronouns?

I have an Iruxi (lizardfolk) monk who would consider it rude to ask about someone's gender in normal discussion -- unlike those mammals, they just don't obsess about the dangly bits on other people's ...
papidave's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
433 views

How to use Firbolg's Speech of Beast and Leaf in game

In monster manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters there is a firbolg race with following racial trait: Speech of Beast and Leaf. You have the ability to communicate in a limited manner with Beasts, ...
xross's user avatar
  • 335
12 votes
3 answers
5k views

How would you deal with an (actual) etymology that makes no sense in-game?

In mythical worlds (such as, but not limited to, D&D) languages are a thing. People often speak two or more of them. Yet, for the sake of simplicity, players and DMs tend to speak and play in ...
Ar3s's user avatar
  • 263
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is there a way to speak with vermin (spiders specifically)?

Is there a method in any first or second party source, be it a spell, item, feat, class feature or what have you, that grants the ability to speak with vermin (spiders specifically)? I understand ...
Kuro_Neko's user avatar
  • 1,165
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I create a creature with a high Charisma score even if it can't speak?

I am planning to create a monster which should charm the players, but this creature doesn't talk (I am planning to create a gold golem, which should incentivize greed and lust). I wonder if high ...
Leonardo's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is my character who worships Gruumsh more likely to speak Infernal, Celestial, or Abyssal?

I'm making a half-orc cleric that worships Gruumsh, and the half-orc knows how to speak the language that Gruumsh speaks (besides Common and Orc). Would he speak Celestial, Infernal, or Abyssal?
TieflingDragon84's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

For the purpose of the Comprehend Languages spell, does beast speak (i.e. the language spoken by birds) count as a language?

I got into an argument with somebody regarding whether or not an incomprehensible language spoken by an animal (or monstrosity, as we argued) counts as a language for the Comprehend Languages spell. ...
TieflingDragon84's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
573 views

Can a creature that can't understand any languages understand the languages of a creature that can't speak if it is polymorphed?

An earlier question about a creature that can't speak(a displacer beast) got me thinking: what if the creature was polymorphed into a creature that could understand languages but couldn't speak, such ...
TieflingDragon84's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can Charm Monster be used to prevent a non-speaking creature from attacking the rest of the party?

Looking at the Charm Monster spell, given that many monsters do not have a spoken language, the term "friendly to you" can be confusing. For example, my bard once charmed a Roc as it swept ...
ActiveNick's user avatar
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24 votes
6 answers
5k views

How to respectfully roleplay sign-language without knowing it?

In my exploration based 5e game the group are about to enter an area where the local population (known as Forestfolk) communicate largely through sign language. I want to roleplay this effectively ...
linksassin's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the most common language shared by those who don't speak Common?

Finding the most common language is easy1, the number is written at the top of the Monsters section. Finding the second most common2 is also not hard, you just click through the list of languages, and ...
András's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can a player character understand the Giant Owl language when using abilities that allow communication with beasts?

Does the speak with animals spell (Basic Rules, pg. 277) or the circle of shepherds druid subclass feature speech of the woods (XGtE, pg. 23) let a player understand Giant Owl the language? I'm sure a ...
Litany's user avatar
  • 689
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Balancing Command while taking into account languages

The Command spell says: You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. The spell has no ...
comedroidrive's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can a Druid understand language while Wild Shaped?

Many of the threads on this focus on speaking. Other threads focus on understanding/speaking new languages that the Beast knows but the character does not know. I'm not interested in these questions. ...
Matt W's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
812 views

Translating in-game between player characters without breaking the game's rhythm

(I struggled to find a "decent" title that encapsulates the issue at hand, so if you have a title idea that fits the question better, I'll gladly take it over the current one) I recently had ...
Matthieu's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
333 views

What languages can a Professor Orb have?

Is a professor orb restricted in any way regarding the language choices it can have? For instance, can a professor orb know Modron or Vegypygmy as languages? Additionally, is it possible to possess ...
mrbw's user avatar
  • 53
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do humans start off with 1/3rd the languages of Other Races?

A character begins play speaking and reading Common, her racial tongue (if any), and the language of her home planet (if any). Common Racial language: the human racial language is Common Language of ...
Tristian's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
581 views

Can a Kenku that becomes a Hexblood speak normally?

The Kenku race's Languages trait states: Languages. You can read and write Common and Auran, but you can speak only by using your Mimicry trait. The features of the Hexblood lineage state: ...
Zweiclops1206's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

How would "Broken Fangs" be spoken in the Tabaxi language, or how can I make that up properly?

I want to have "Broken Fangs" be the name of a group of Tabaxis in D&D, and I'd like to know how that would be spoken in their language. However, I'm not sure where to find that ...
CosmicGiant's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does the "Dark Speech" granted by the Book of Vile Darkness artifact interact with spells like Magic Mouth and Programmed Illusion?

The Book of Vile Darkness (DMG, p. 222) is an artifact with numerous properties, one of which is listed as "Dark Speech": While you carry the Book of Vile Darkness and are attuned to it, ...
Scoopypoopy's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
140 views

Literacy rate of Rokugani

Rokugan is a setting taking heavy influence from the '80s and '90s perception of medieval Japan (through a north-American lens) and strewing in influences from other East-Asian countries, creating the ...
Trish's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can a Homunculus Servant speak? [duplicate]

Homunculus Servant's stat block reads: Languages understands the languages you speak It doesn't seem like it can actually talk back, though, because of the verb "understands" being used ...
order's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How do you pronounce "Mhurren"?

It's listed as a male half-orc name in 5e PHB. The question review process is telling me this question is "subjective and... likely to be closed", but the "similar question's list" ...
Esther's user avatar
  • 179
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do all D&D languages use an alphabet system with the same number of letters as English? [closed]

Pretty straightforward question, in a world of elves, dragons, and dwarves, how come they all use an alphabet system with direct equivalence to English? Did all races base their writing system off of ...
Attonwizard's user avatar
  • 2,175
6 votes
1 answer
253 views

Can a familiar translate for the owner?

For example, a sprite knows Elvish and Sylvan. Assuming the owner does not speak these languages themselves, would the sprite be able to translate for the owner? What about the pseudodragon which ...
Poseidaan's user avatar
  • 1,111
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would the Aarakocra language sound like?

I've been looking for this for a while, and I've only been able to find what the script would look like, and not what it would actually sound like. I know it's not directly necessary, but I would like ...
TheChickenSkeptic's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Communicate with Conjured Animals in Wild Shape

Can a Circle of the Moon Druid in Wild Shape issue commands to creatures summoned with Conjure Animals? The accepted answer to this question: Communicating with Conjured Creatures suggests that the ...
Aldinjo's user avatar
  • 325
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does telepathy with mute creatures work

Suppose player "Apple" has telepathy, and tries to communicate with creature "Bagel," whose stat block explicitly says "understands Common but can't speak." Bagel can't ...
JamesB's user avatar
  • 2,004
18 votes
4 answers
854 views

How do aquatic races write underwater?

There are lots of situations where underwater races will want to send messages to each other, write in spell books, create maps, etc. Are there any examples out there in D&D lore (any edition, any ...
mb345345's user avatar
  • 379
4 votes
2 answers
738 views

Can Spined Devils learn Common?

Spined Devils have 11 intelligence and they don't know common. Can they learn common language from a NPC/PC? For reference, I'm a player in this game. The DM said he remembers something like you have ...
Afşin Mangudai's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
904 views

What is the regional language of Absalom?

This is a question specifically about Pathfinder Society (Second Edition) Characters. If you create a Pathfinder Society Character, you get Common (Taldan) as starting language as well as access to ...
Pantheos Max's user avatar
  • 1,379
7 votes
1 answer
516 views

Is a Dryad able to issue commands to a charmed creature that doesn't understand Sylvan or Elvish?

A Dryad can use Fey Charm to charm a beast or humanoid. The result is that: The target is charmed; it cannot willingly harm the Dryad. The target is charmed; the Dryad's social checks against it have ...
Lovell's user avatar
  • 5,627
8 votes
3 answers
745 views

Are bestial languages such as Giant Elk and Giant Owl written languages?

It seems that most languages are assumed to have a written component i.e. Common, Elvish, Dwarvish, etc. This general assumption should hold for any language inherited from the character's race. From ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
4k views

Can NPCs be assumed to be able to read and write?

Dungeons and Dragons has generally always been in a medieval European setting (there are execeptions like Darksun and Ebberon) but one with magic, gods, monsters etc. In actual medieval Europe though, ...
Allan Mills's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can a Fathomless Warlock effectively communicate with any fully submerged creature, regardless of languages known?

The Fathomless Warlock's 6th level feature Oceanic Soul states: You are now even more at home in the depths. You gain resistance to cold damage. In addition, when you are fully submerged, any ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
16k views

What language do undead speak?

I really need help with creating my ranger. For my "favored enemy," I chose undead, but I don't know what language they speak (if they speak one at all). Do I just look for a single undead (...
LoJaTa50963's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can someone who fails the save against a Zone of Truth spell lie non-vocally?

The description of the zone of truth spell says: you create a magical zone that guards against deception But later on, it says: On a failed save, a creature can't speak a deliberate lie while in ...
Keverly's user avatar
  • 609
3 votes
0 answers
162 views

Does a Ring of Mind Shielding affect the dream spell? [duplicate]

The party warlock recently acquired a ring of mind shielding in Tales from the Yawning Portal The party patron is a spellcaster who is in a city distant from them. She is about to contact them via ...
Kirt's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
79 views

How does Primordial work with all the dialects? [duplicate]

In dnd-5e, there is a language called primordial, which is the language of the elements. The PHB says it is spoken by elementals, but most elementals actually don’t speak it. They speak “Auran”, “...
TheDragonOfFlame's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can Comprehend Languages understand a language similar to "Darmok and Jalad"?

This is inspired by, but I don't think duplicates, questions about artificial languages and "secret" "codes". In crossing geekdoms, the Tamarian language comes from a Star Trek:The ...
MivaScott's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does comprehend languages let you understand artificial languages?

For example, let's say some cultists created totally new language that only people inside the cult know. It doesn't use any words from any other existing language. Does this spell still let mages ...
Aniki's user avatar
  • 203
20 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the origin of Faerûn's languages?

I'm not a D&D pro but I'm writing a thesis about how Tolkien created his languages and which was/is their following influence. A friend of mine told me that the languages of Faerûn are inspired by ...
Giulia Serra's user avatar
25 votes
9 answers
7k views

Is there an alternative word to be used in place of Humanoid?

I find the term Humanoid to be (obviously) human centric, and am looking for a more generic term to use in place of it to define all intelligent creatures that exist in standard society of these ...
Jon Aristotle's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
291 views

What language would be appropriate for texts to be written in about Thor (Forgotten Realms)?

In our LMoP campaign, there is a Cleric whose deity is Thor. He has come across several texts that discuss Thor (myths and religious texts). What language would those texts most likely be written in? (...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 196
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can the Giant Owl language be learned with the Linguist feat?

The Giant Owl can speak the language Giant Owl: Languages Giant Owl, [...] Notably, this language does not appear on any of the tables of languages in any sourcebook (e.g. the Languages tables in ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
34 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why are so many languages written using the Dwarvish script?

If you look at the list of Standard Languages, you'll see that most of them use Dwarvish as their script: Common: Common Dwarvish: Dwarvish Elvish: Elvish Giant: Dwarvish Gnomish: Dwarvish Goblin: ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 4,105
0 votes
1 answer
165 views

Sharing a language vs. sharing a vocabulary vis a vis the Command spell

The Command spell reads: You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. The spell has no ...
Felix the Wary's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
304 views

Does a zombie or skeleton explicitly need to have spoken in life?

The SRD claims that both the Skeleton and the Zombie have the following mastery in languages: Languages Understands the languages it spoke in life but can't speak I've always taken this as that the ...
Randium's user avatar
  • 371
6 votes
2 answers
998 views

Can Dragonbait read or write Common, since he is able to understand it?

In D&D 5e, Tomb of Annihilation includes Dragonbait, a saurial. His stat block claims that he can understand Common but not speak it, due to the strange way in which saurials communicate. From ...
NathanS's user avatar
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