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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23
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
132 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? (...
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
34
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2answers
4k 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
377 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
4k views

Can a Monk “turn off” the Tongue of the Sun and Moon feature?

The description of the monk's Tongue of the Sun and Moon feature states: Starting at 13th level, you learn to touch the ki of other minds so that you understand all spoken languages. Moreover, ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Language proficiency per week of downtime

One of my players does not speak common as they come from a village that speaks entirely elvish. We are coming up on a couple weeks of downtime in the campaign and another one of the players wants to ...
6
votes
1answer
484 views

Where and how often do the exotic languages appear?

I've chosen the Haunted One background for my new half-orc blood hunter. I get to pick an exotic language (Abyssal, Celestial, Deep Speech, Draconic, Infernal, Primordial, Sylvan, or Undercommon), but ...
6
votes
1answer
222 views

What ways can you give a creature the capability to speak?

I am looking for ways in 5e to grant the capability of speech to a creature, ideally permanently. To be specific, I am interested in granting an Artificer's Steel Defender and creatures like it the ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

How to read the elven on the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting cover?

The cover for the book in question has inscriptions in the espruar script on its outer circle. According to one of the authors, it means: “We remember cities now in ruin and forests murdered, yet ...
4
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2answers
150 views

Are there any canon examples of texts written in elvish?

I’m referring to the Elven language of the Forgotten Realms, usually written with the Espruar script. Are there any examples of messages, poems, paragraphs, ...? More specifically, ones that make ...
4
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2answers
264 views

The Espruar script seems to have changed from past editions. Is there an in-universe explanation given for the change?

Whilst exploring the internet, I’ve found a variety of different official scripts for Elvish. From my understanding of it, Rellanic is a generic one (not tied to a setting), and Espruar is Forgotten ...
22
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4answers
3k views

How does it affect the game if not everything speaks Common?

Going through the bestiary DBs, you find that of the monsters that speak a language, almost all speak Common as well. (Or have some form of telepathy or truespeech.) From the data my friend gathered,...
8
votes
3answers
454 views

How do I swear in Goblin? Orcish? [closed]

I have a character who speaks Orcish and Goblin in addition to Common. He's got a poor Charisma score, so I want to play him as being rather uncouth, adding a liberal amount of coarse language to his ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What PC races do not speak Common?

In 5e, seemingly all races know "Common and [at least 1 other language]" for their languages. Are there player races or subraces published by Wizards of the Coast, either officially or in UA, that do ...
28
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4answers
5k views

Can the Actor feat allow a character to effectively speak a language they don't know?

I have a player in my game I'll call "Joe" running a Bard I'll call "Hansel." Hansel has the Actor feat, and does not speak Orc. Hansel listened to an Orc for 1 minute a few adventures ago, a 2nd PC ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is Dark Speech?

In the D&D 5e DMG, the artifact called the Book of Vile Darkness has the following property (pp. 223-224): Dark Speech. While you carry the Book of Vile Darkness and are attuned to it, you can ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can a PC choose ‘Beast Speech’ as a language?

Lets say a PC gets to choose a language, can they choose to learn to speak beast? For instance they choose to play a Ranger with the UA Class Feature Variant Deft Explorer, the benefit Canny says: ...
9
votes
2answers
491 views

Does the Jack-Of-All-Trades edge grant basic proficiency in every language?

In Savage Worlds Deluxe, the Jack-Of-All-Trades edge grants the following benefit: Any time he makes an unskilled roll for a Smarts-based skill, he may do so at d4 instead of the usual d4–2. ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Is it possible to write a message in Thieves' Cant?

If a Rogue is in an alleyway and wants to recruit a group of NPC thieves to rob an enemy, could they use chalk to write a message in Thieves' Cant for anyone who can read it who comes by, or is ...
14
votes
1answer
929 views

Dominate Person: delegation of authority

A mage cast dominate person on two gnolls, and both failed their saving throws. He does not share a language with them, but an ally coached him in Gnoll to tell the gnolls to follow another that ally'...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

What are the most commonly encountered languages of Golarion?

Pathfinder campaign starting soon, I'm playing a human arcanist with high intelligence, which lets me take a bunch of languages. So far I have Common (automatic), Thassilonian (from Scholar of the ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Are there any ways to make an improved familiar speak with people other than its master?

Outside ones that can talk naturally, like the silvanshi (who has truespeech), I can't think of any way to get an improved familiar to talk with people other than its master. The mascot and decoy ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Thieves cant across different languages [duplicate]

All rouges know thieves cant. If one rouge in the party is talking to an enemy in a language that an ally rouge in the party does not understand, would the speaking rouge be able to use thieves cant ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Can a wizard learn spells written in an unfamiliar language using the Comprehend Languages spell?

If a wizard finds a spell book in an unfamiliar language, which he can understand via the Comprehend Languages spell (but not otherwise), can he transcribe these spells in his own spell book?
3
votes
1answer
344 views

Does “speak any language” include talking to animals?

I've noticed how a monk's Tongue of the Sun and Moon and an oracle's Tongues curse allow them to "speak with any creature" and "speak and understand any language" respectively. My question is, does ...
8
votes
1answer
358 views

Does casting Tongues on the tarrasque (a language-less monstrosity) let it understand language?

Tongues description: This spell grants the creature you touch the ability to understand any spoken language it hears. Moreover, when the target speaks, any creature that knows at least one ...
16
votes
3answers
326 views

Can the Balhannoth speak?

From Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes comes the Balhannoth (p. 119). In the Languages part of its statblock, it says: Languages understands Deep Speech, telepathy 1 mile Normally when a creature speaks ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Does the multilingual feat allow me to choose a language I don't have access to?

The Pathfinder 2e multilingual feat says: You easily pick up new languages. You learn two new languages, chosen from common languages, uncommon languages, and any others you have access to. ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

How can I qualify for the Necril language?

Necril is an uncommon language in Pathfinder 2e, meaning that you need some special feature to qualify for it. Are there any existing ways for a player character to have access to the Necril language?...
27
votes
2answers
4k views

What the heck is the luraic language?

Our party is currently playing through Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (no spoilers, please!) and we're nearing the end of the campaign. The other night our party was discussing a teaching exchange of ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a way to make a Beast Master ranger's animal companion able to read a language?

Let's say I am a Beast Master ranger and have a baboon animal companion. Is there a spell or magic item that would let it know how to read? Write?
23
votes
1answer
3k views

Does a gnoll speak both Gnoll and Abyssal, or is Gnoll a dialect of Abyssal?

In the Dungeons and Dragons 5e Monster Manual, the gnoll statblock lists their language as Gnoll. However, in Volo's Guide to Monsters, the section on gnolls indicates that they communicate with ...
17
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2answers
4k views

Is Thieves' Cant a language?

In a recent question there was some confusion as to whether or not Thieves' Cant is a language, a class feature, or both. Which is it?
19
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3answers
3k views

Are there any other rule mechanics that could grant Thieves' Cant?

Thieves' Cant is a class feature of Rogues in 5e. As it is a method of communication, can it be taken as a language? If not, is it mechanically equivalent to something that can be swapped so that ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Looking for a generic name substitute in Elvish, Draconic, Celestial, or Sylvan

I have a Far Traveler Sorcerer High Elf character who has lost most of his early memories so he does not remember his name. I am looking for a generic word or name substitute to make him more playable ...
9
votes
2answers
593 views

Does a race without a list of bonus languages still get extra languages from a high Intelligence score?

The Player's Handbook on Race and Languages says All characters know how to speak Common.… A smart character (one who had an Intelligence bonus at 1st level) speaks other languages as well, one ...
10
votes
2answers
776 views

What's the difference between a monster that can't speak and a monster that doesn't speak?

In their languages section of stats for some monsters, the wording sometimes says "can't speak" and sometimes says "doesn't speak." What functional difference is there between these two wordings? ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a polymorphed creature understand languages spoken under the effect of Tongues?

Let's say we have a spy that has been True Polymorphed into a sheep (to blend in, obviously). The spy originally knew Common + some other languages. As a sheep, though, she can only bleat. True ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Elf (adjective) vs. Elvish vs. Elven

Are there rules on when to use elf (as an adjective) versus elvish versus elven in D&D? For example, would any of the following sentences be more or less correct than the others? "Many of them ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Do grungs have a written language?

It is unclear. Do grungs have any written language at all? And if they do, which script do they use for it?
21
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4answers
3k views

What's the easiest way for a whole party to be able to communicate with a creature that doesn't know Common?

My party befriended a Faerie Dragon who is now tagging along with us, but only one of us (a Dragonborn) is able to communicate with it. According to the MM, faerie dragons only know Draconic and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is known about tabaxi language and terminology, particularly the word “tabaxi” and the name of the Cat Lord?

According to this Dragon+ article, the term tabaxi originates with the race of cat people (at least in the Forgotten Realms setting as of D&D 5th edition): Tabaxi with a capital T is the ...
9
votes
2answers
865 views

What kind of check is needed to read a language you don't speak to a character that doesn't know how to read?

So, I have a party with a Half-Orc Barbarian who cannot read and only speaks very simply. The last session ended with the party discovering a note written in Orc, which nobody other than the barbarian ...
12
votes
1answer
370 views

Is there an Undercommon word for beholders, as “illithid” is for mind flayers?

This answer states that "illithid" is Undercommon for mind flayer. Is there a similar word for beholder?
7
votes
0answers
109 views

Using D&D as a medium to help learn IRL language? [closed]

I am a DM of a small group of friends; we prefer D&D 5e but this question can apply to any TTRPG. My friends have some experience with English, but are not comfortable with it. Lately I've been ...
14
votes
2answers
993 views

Does the Detect Thoughts spell work against an Intellect Devourer?

The spell Detect Thoughts has the following limitation on potential targets: You can't detect a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or lower or one that doesn't speak any language. An Intellect ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Do these creatures from the Tomb of Annihilation campaign speak Common?

There are some creatures in the plot of ToA that my players will interact with. The problem is that their stat block says they speak only their specific language, which my players' characters don't ...