Watch your Language

So languages are one of the thing in D&D that just seem to have so much potential but not enough usage towards flavor and roleplaying. Sure you got the occasional instances of "only character A can understand the Goblins" or "you need to speek language X to solve this puzzle", but it doesn't really come up in roleplay too often. Maybe for some groups, but not really as a whole. I personally like bringing language to the for front of the table when I can to spice up the moment.

So my question is what can we do to fix this for 5e? And for that matter should we even need to fix this? For me, I personally think the alphabets of the languages should all be detailed, including how to write letters, what english letters they equate to and what sounds the letters make. If you can actually come up with words in a language simply, it makes roleplaying your characters languages more immersive if you ask me, even if you're just adding in a few words here and there among speaking your common.

4enclave. Infinitely better looking than the new Wizard's Forums

While entertaining, the problem is that to really make this work you need a linguist or least a very serious hobbiest to make it work. You can't just up and decide on pronunciation and parallells to English without some kind of rationale. This rationale isn't the easiest thing in the world to work out, even if it is completely arbitrary. There are extremely complete scholarly studies about why certain languages have some sounds but not others. Take Japanese, there is no labial sound like L in the language, this despite the fact that the Japanese people are perfectly capable of actually making that noise. You need to really get into the nitty gritty of language, not just spelling and words as whole to make it work, or be completely new.

Tolkien is probably the best example of what one can achieve with conlangs and how they are supposed to work and even he used preexisting structures for his Elvish languages for pronunciation. They most correspond to Welsh and Finnish AFAIR. This despite decades of work because he loved languages.

Another successful way to go is to use something like the way Klingon works. That basically works on the basis of the first actor to use a new word gets to decide how exactly it is pronounced and it gets added to the lexicon of Star Trek. This is kind of like how real languages work in that the people using the language get to decide how it sounds as they use it. There are broad suggestions in the script, at least as far as I've read and watched interviews, but its still up to the individual actor. That leaves some consistency, but not a great deal.

The other conlang is something like Esparanto which attempts to codify its grammar, spelling and pronuciation in very clear ways. This is usually for ease of learning, and tries to eliminate exceptions. The thing is it obviously uses corresponding European root languages. Most of them are romance languages with a dash of German and Russian. Even taking into account that Esparanto is technically a new language, but many of its rules are simplied from its root languages, usually the rule is the one that is "most" common or most "logical" to a speaker of the root languages.

How does this all relate to D&D? Well the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide had details of Elven and Dwarven script. It looked pretty cool, but it was a one-for-one replacement script. It's a fairly basic replacement cypher using different symbols for English characters, and you can even find some pretty cool fonts that replicate those characters on the internet. Those weren't a language though, they were a type face. I think the intention was pretty clear, use the script to write English as a puzzle for the players. This is generally as far I'd ever take using an alien language without having a bunch of wannabe Tolkien's in the group. Anything more and you lose people trying to figure out what the symbols mean, and then actually figuring out the words.

So, I guess my point in the end having some cool script that looks difference and using it as a replacement cypher in the PHB would be awesome. Attempting anything more than that is going to take way more effort that you'll get reward, at least for D&D as a brand, or it'll be so complicated that you'll never use the thing in the game.

At any rate here's a pretty good intro to conlangs for a story/novel/world/game/etc. It starts with this link and runs three or four more posts.

limyaael.livejournal.com/459655.html
I think it's vastly more important that languages have a proper rule-mechanical presence than that the game designers waste time developing constructed languages (conlangs).

In order to be usable, a conlang needs both a vocabulary and a grammar. I love languages, but I don't want to spend my preparation time for game sessions struggling to work out whether I need to use the Middle Voice in Elvish, or which of two different Future Tenses of Dwarvish to use. A language which was simply a relexification (new vocabulary) of English, or (even worse) a one-to-one transcription of English into some new alphabet, would leave me cold.

For example, the old Kara Tur trail map included the 'Shou Chiang' (IIRC), which was purportedly the Shou alphabet, but which was basically just Latin characters done up in an almost illegible orientalist font. This really didn't work for me. When you consider that a famous instructive work in RL Chinese is the 'Thousand Character Classic' - 250 4-letter sentences, all different - it should be clear why.

Consider the story of the deciphering of the Egyptian hieroglyphs: how it took both the Rosetta Stone and Champollion's knowledge of liturgical Coptic to figure it all out. There's a similar story for Assyrian cuneiform, and after that, Sumerian (which uses the same alphabet) was for a long time thought to be a priestly code, rather than a structurally unrelated language.

I'd rather be able to role-play this kind of discovery than see someone's ham-fisted attempt to simulate the subject matter itself.

My suggestion is that in whatever skill system 5e uses, there should be three features:

Speaking ability - If you have this, you can converse readily in this language.
Reading/writing ability - If you have this, you can read and write any language you know which uses this alphabet
Fluency/academic ability - If you have this, you speak the language to a high level, and are familiar with works of literature (or oral tradition, if you lack the alphabet) native to the language

The first and third could be combined if we're looking at a skill-rank system.

Z.
ive suggested in the past that languages have a skill level, from nil to fluent-plus, and that a character's level of a given language contribute to the effectiveness of Diplomacy, oratory, seduction, and persuasion.
-also suggested each language have some sort of Cross over bonus,

since some languages are excellent for learning things like mathematics, engineering, anatomy, law, art, and so forth, for various reasons. Some languages are needed to properly learn certain martial arts, and in fiction novels, certain skills like psychic powers or hypertechnology might only be taught initially in some strange language.

Computer programming is a language, and so is sign language - which could be really cool for tactics and ambushes. Finally, you could make some sort of language master Paragon/Prestige class who starts to understand some sort of Pure or Divine language that allows them access to supernatural powers like changing reality. Perhaps some languages like elven or dragon are inherently magical, and spells come from using them with proper diction?

Languages don't have to take a back seat to other Skills, they could actually be pretty Fun.
Options are Liberating
There's nothing to fix.  Trying to create a 'real' language would be a ridiculous amount of overdetailing that I can't imagine more than a sparse handful of tables ever actually making use of.  It would simply be too big a pain in the butt with virtually no payoff, because after you say 'Hi, how's it going' in your fake-language, the rest of the players are just going to ask 'What did you say?' and you waste time repeating yourself.

Expecting game designers to create a language for a game, and game players to learn a new language just for a game is a ludicrous concept.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I think it's vastly more important that languages have a proper rule-mechanical presence than that the game designers waste time developing constructed languages (conlangs).

In fact, if we had an infinite number of competent designers to work on 5E, I would still say they should spend precisely zero time on developing languages - at least, up to the point where they've already got not only the game itself, but all interesting settings, pretty well fleshed out.

I'm probably more interested in languages than the large majority of D&D players, and I don't want that stuff taking up space.

In a game session back at the end of the last year I was actually using Comprehend Language... at least once a day for most of the (several game day) session, WITH a Monocle of Comprehension to share the benefit with party members.  I (the player) could not tell you what a single word of the languages I was speaking sound like, or show you what the ancient inscriptions I was reading look like, and I kind of doubt if the DM could either. We didn't need to.  
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
There's nothing to fix.  Trying to create a 'real' language would be a ridiculous amount of overdetailing that I can't imagine more than a sparse handful of tables ever actually making use of.  It would simply be too big a pain in the butt with virtually no payoff, because after you say 'Hi, how's it going' in your fake-language, the rest of the players are just going to ask 'What did you say?' and you waste time repeating yourself.

Expecting game designers to create a language for a game, and game players to learn a new language just for a game is a ludicrous concept.


+1 to this.

Yes, if a DM has the desire and ability to make a complete language for his world then go him.  Otherwise, it is a huge waste of time; considering when every time a made up language is used it usually results in two things:  The rest of the group sitting around being left out (as Salla mentioned above), or after about 5 minutes of the language's speaking, the DM seeing the party's eyes glaze over caves in and says, "Ok, speaking in Southern Almosic, the Lord asks, 'Will you rescue my daughter?" 

Which begs the question: If the DM is not actually going to speak the language and the players too in response, then why have it?  On the other hand, if a DM required this to play in his game, I would probably bow out, for if I am going to go through that effort I would rather learn a real world language like Chinese or Spanish.

Now, a smattering of made up languages placed in the world and in scenarios to add flavor here and there?  I am all for that.
I think actually creating languages is a horrible idea.  A proposed alphabet for dwarven or draconic would be a fine Dragon article.  In fact a classic article did just that for dragons in 1st edition, mostly designed to let DMs name dragon-related areas and things with somethign that might sound appropriately fantastical.  (So if you wanted a legendary dragon's graveyard, you could go to the article and call it "dragmorath", which would mean "dragon's last flight".)  But inherently part of the game?  no.

There are only two uses for languages.

Modern languages are a challenge of communication

For DMs: Until the PCs get Comprehend Languages or Tongues, which is usually a low-level ritual, the DM can use languages to introduce NPCs that cannot be interrogated easily, or eavesdropped upon.  In response, the players try to make sure all their characters know a wide range of languages.  However, this doesn't last long.  Once the spellcasters get access to tongues, the age of miscommunication is effectively over.

For Players: If all the PCs can chosoe something obscure as a second language, they can effectively speak in code around NPCs.  For instance, in AD&D, anybody with a bonus language could learn halfling, but other than actual halflings, nobody in the various Monster Manuals were ever given it as a language, and NPCs rarely had any reason to learn it.  (In contrast, everyone knew Common, anybody living near woods may learn elven, and anybody living undergroung had reason to know dwarven.)  Halfling made a great obscure language for PCs. 

Ancient languages are a puzzle.
Old Elven, or Osgiliathan make fine languages.  Nobody bothers to waste language slots on them, so lots of DMs use (or invent) ancient pictoglyphs as a puzzle.  Heck, in 4e, I used actual ancient Sumerian hieroglyphs to make a puzzle, which went smashingly.  Back when thieves could learn Decipher Script, it actually gave them something to do with that skill.  It's a fine predicate to a trap-based encounter (think of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade trying to remeber that in Latin the "J" in "Jesus" was actually an "I").  But I don't know that any formal mechanics are necessary.


The real question is what are we trying to accomplish with languages?  Should we bother with it at all?  Make it an optional module?  Should languages be racially based, as as always been done in D&D (thanks to Tolkein)?  Should they instead be regional?  Both?  Maybe there should be tiers?  Divide languages into Common, Rare, and Exotic, and have different mechanics and spells for learning them. 
Until the PCs get Comprehend Languages or Tongues, which is usually a low-level ritual, the DM can use languages to introduce NPCs that cannot be interrogated easily, or eavesdropped upon.  In response, the players try to make sure all their characters know a wide range of languages.  However, this doesn't last long.  Once the spellcasters get access to tongues, the age of miscommunication is effectively over.

There was an interesting suggestion last time this topic came up that makes this a bit more interesting. The game could give different DCs to the difficulty of using comprehend languages to translate something.

You can imagine comprehend languages as tapping into universal knowledge of living people who know the language. The more widely it is know, the easier it is to cast comprehend language for that language. Dead or those known only by a handful of specialists, or languages that are inherently magical might even be impossible to translate with the low level ritual. Essentially, the common/rare/exotic type suggestion you mention below. I think some variation of this is a great idea.

Making comprehend languages easy has also removed the possibility of playing a linguist character as a viable character, I ran into this with 4e with a player who wanted to create a diplomat who was a professional linguist. I had to work with him to tweak the character heavily, because what the player saw as the defining traits of the character would be obsolete skills very quickly.

However, I have also been in games where the DM created a slew of custom languages for the world. In these games, having a linguist in the party became a necessary skill. Which is somewhat annoying when nobody really wants to be a linguist.

The real question is what are we trying to accomplish with languages?  Should we bother with it at all?  Make it an optional module?  Should languages be racially based, as as always been done in D&D (thanks to Tolkein)?  Should they instead be regional?  Both?  Maybe there should be tiers?  Divide languages into Common, Rare, and Exotic, and have different mechanics and spells for learning them. 

As for what, languages are trying to accomplish two things. Simulate the real world, where language problems are common issues. Create an interesting and fun game. Like many things that put a problem in the party's way, there is a trade off between those two things. A world without languages is so unrealistic that some campaign world related explanation would have to be given as to why there where not multiple languages, and a range of interesting problems is removed from the game. However, creating a really deep and complex set of language rules doesn't add much to the game except complexity. The solution has to be balance between the two, and probably tilt towards simplicty because languages are not a central factor of a normal D&D game.

As for how the default languages should be organized, I like racial languages for that. It is fairly reasonable, is easy to understand, moves well between campaign worlds and plays well in the game. However, I would like the game to support replacing the language list better then 4e did. In particular, feats/options that let you learn more languages need to scale based on the number of languages in the game.

There was an article on Theives Cant this week.  I checked it out but don't plan on using that level of game material detail in my campaign. 

But I am glad that it's available for people if that's what they are looking for.
Language becomes a bean to count.  I am into that stuff and wanted to actually remove common when gearing up for our current campaign but none of my players liked the idea.  I would really be in favor of a stricter Language Optional Rule.

Maybe have a very small list of Languages, not even racial, for the core game.  So there is no language barrier 90% of the time but when there is, it's a real barrier.  Then as an Optional Rule give a wider range of Languages.  Since you've already established in 5th that language barriers exist, this Optional Rule become significant. 
As for what, languages are trying to accomplish two things. Simulate the real world, where language problems are common issues. Create an interesting and fun game.


If we want to simulate the real world, then languages should be based on region, not race.  As for your second, that's obvious.  The question is how languages create an intresting and fun game.

As for how the default languages should be organized, I like racial languages for that.


Simple?  Sure.  But certainly not realistic. 

Base it on geography.  The campaign would have a home language (call it "Common" for convenience).  Players could then choose to learn Uncommon languages (i.e., the languages of the home territory's neighbors).  Or with more effort, the players could learn Rare languages.  (i.e., languages of distant lands, like the Underdark or distant continents.  And true scholars might even learn Planar languages, like the languages of demons, angels, etc.

The DM could be given some examples.  For instance, someone in England would know English, the common tongue, and could learn Irish, Welsh, French, or German (Uncommon).  Among the educated, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew may also be considered Uncommon languages.  With more effort, he might learn Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, or any number of Slavic languages (Rare).  And finally, only a handful of people might learn Enochian, or truly exotic languages like Chinese or Korean (Planar... for purposes of an analog).

Now, few campaign worlds will have the linguistic diversity of Europe.  (The other continents of Earth had equally diverse langauges before the modern age.)  But this allows the DM to craft his own languages with enough structure to allow players to join in the fun. 
Note that "common" doesn't need to sound the same everywhere. At a time people of one government (before national identity was a thing) often had very diverse dialects but somehow managed to communicate (within reason).

But I wouldn't translate this to game, it would became to much of a chore; using a less common language as a code or a barrier sounds reasonable tough.
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As with pretty much everything, I think it's important to think back to how stories work and the role of language within them. Language in the terms of narrative are almost always a barrier that needs to be crossed. Whether it is to stop the Shifter Barbarians from attacking you on sight, convince the Feyqueen you are Elf Friends, discern the ancient glyphs to avoid the trap, or gain access to the Thieves moot where you can confront the King's Assassin.

There are Three ways known language interacts with this barrier.

Knowing a language passes a barrier: You know the language, so the obstacle is avoided, nothing more need done. You know the tribal language and explain your business, you speak Goblin you can read which door leads out.

Using Language as a Shibboleth: Language proves that you are part of an in-group, which helps you out. Knowing Thieve's Cant allows you a +2 bonus to insight when evasdropping, using Druidic to talk to a Treant shifts a skill check from hard to moderate.

Using Language as an abstraction of familiarity: Related to the one above, this one is a little more abstracted. It uses an assumption that knowledge of a language represents a history of texts or social interactions that have happened to the character off screen. History checks in a Dwarven ruin are easier for someone who speaks Dwarven because that person is more likely to have read the Histories of the Dwarven Kings VOL I-IX. This helps differentiate backgrounds, the former Illithid slave who speaks deep speech suddenly feels different mechanically then the Drow ranger when they make dungeoneering checks versus aberrent creatures or a fane of Lolth.

-------------------------

I think there are also a couple of "Meta" Game languages, which are skill checks that could be added to represent the challenges of a world that speaks different languages rather than requiring someone to spend feats to learn them. Some languages represent deep scholarly knowledge of past cultures, good for ruin exploration, some languages represent minor dialects encounterd throughout the world that can be accumulated by adventuring. The former is the domain of sages and it's assumed more to do with their background, the latter is the domain of explorers and represents their quick wits.

Ancient Arkhosian: Related to Draconian a creature can read or understand Ancient Arkhosian if they speak Draconian and pass a moderate History or Arcana check, if they pass the Hard DC they can also converse in Ancient Arkhosian. Dragonborn and Dragonblood sorcerers get a +2 bonus to this check. This check must be made everytime Ancient Arkhosian is encountered. A Comprehend Languages Ritual automatically succeeds this check.

The Tongue of the Ice Talons: A unique tongue of the shifter barbarians of the frostfell it is automatically known to rangers, shifters, and primal characters who stated they came from the Frostfell when they created their characters. Passing a hard Insight, Streetwise, or Nature check allows rudimentry communication with the tribe (-2 to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Insight and Streetwise). This check needs to be achieved once, from then on a character is considered to know this language, 5 levels after succedding this check a character is considered fluent. A Comprehend Languages Ritual automatically grants fluency.
To explain a little bit about my last comment,

Meta-Languages are to represent the minor pockets of languages without creating strange game balance issues. Here a minor setback can be overcome by anyone, but very easily by players who have invested time into their back story. Without having to come up with an exhaustive list of tribal languages.

Primal characters are given the option of knowing Common, A racial language, and their tribal language, which will mostly be a forgotten part of their character sheet unless the DM wants to integrate that story thread. Rangers all start with knowledge of one tribal language. Either the DM cares and asks the player to tell them, or doesn't and assumes that the Quaggoth's in his adventure are of a different tribe than the one his Svirfneblin ranger is familiar with.
ive played in a game with a shinto style priest while studying Kanji. We found a bunch of cool kanji with various stroke counts and applied levels to them, then if I could write them out, I could cast the effect.

I think a system like this is good if you have a symbolic language and want to use some sort of real world effect, but I got rewarded for learning, and the number of terms was probably far less than even the numbe of spells in the PHB, like 50-250.

Some players and DMs prize this kind of stuff, but I must say it would be a terrible waste of time if you were memorizing made up symbols that don't even carry over into some kind of context. When I ended up in China and Japan, years later, I was quite glad I had studied those symbols. This is good 'flavor'. I don't want to learn symbols and terms that would only help me at a Science Fiction convention.


That's why i suggested levels of fluency and synergy bonuses to other skills and abilities, rather than straight up linguistic capacity of the player.
Options are Liberating
I like the crossover and skills bonus idea.

I had begun to write a PoL flavored campaign that stated that the Dwarves kept the knowledge of the Gods alive during the time that Nerull seperated the divine passage away from mortals, so Dwarven was now the official religious language. Elven was the language of Arcana, and Draconic was the scholarly language of the ancient Empires and therefore most beneficial to the study of History. All of these gave a +2 bonus to the skill,


In the end though I decided there were too many floating +2's to skills so I scrapped the idea.
I think that, as far as D&D (and every TT game), languages need to be streamlined and made simple. No rolling, you just know it or you don't. Mainly because no game has ever gotten the concept of language correct. And please, please stop with the lame cipher alphabets and the poor understanding of what words like 'gutteral' mean.
我的氣墊船充滿了鱔魚
The question is, what is "getting it correct"

It's certainly not correct to assume that the whole world only has a handful of languages shared by tribes and ancient cultures. However how do engage these ideas without creating impossible barriers except to people who spend a whole bunch of language feats, and I've never met a player who got excited about forgoing flail expertise to learn three different dialects of Elven.

I studied Language Ideology at the University of Chicago. It was fascinating stuff . . . but it would make an awful game. This is the whole versimmilitude versus drama question, and with language it's probably the clearest cut case to just forsake the former for the latter. The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis just doesn't make for compelling game drama. The intrepid Anthropologist-Hero able to barter with the Wood Woses where the bull headed fighter can only smash his way through creates good drama.

The only place I thought rolling has a place with language is for the "role" of sage and explorer having a mechanical representation of being able to get past a barrier. A local language that the party is assumed to not know, or an ancient language from a lost past that it is challenging to anybody but the most intellgient heroes to decipher.
Exactly. That's why a streamlined oversimplification of Language is fine for an action fantasy game like D&D. It should not play a major role, because most people do not want to deal with it. Anecdotal evidence being in a game where my character didn't speak common and needed her brother to translate for her for half of the party. There was no reason for her to know common, even though it is called common, because she was from the underdark and this was her first excursion to the surface. Though some of the group thought it was interesting and fun (the DM included), two of the players became increasingly annoyed that we role played out the learning process because the rules state you can put a rank into the skill and know the language, so there was no reason to role play that out (we were playing 3e), and plus it is called common so everyone knows it. That, those two players, seem to be the overwhelming majority when it comes to languages in D&D. Most players would rather brush it aside than have to deal with talking to humans (let alone any other race) from another Kingdom who don't speak your language and so you have to learn it, or what's worse, coming to a village where the language is related but completely different from the ones the players speak. Few D&D players will find Proto-Elven fascinating and want to understand how the thirty two different Elven languages are connected by roots, or how Desert Elven retains the rhoticised vowels that all other Elven languages lost long ago. Most players want to write Elven on their sheet and be done with it. And in a game like D&D, that's perfectly acceptable.
我的氣墊船充滿了鱔魚
The question is, what is "getting it correct"

It's certainly not correct to assume that the whole world only has a handful of languages shared by tribes and ancient cultures.



If it makes for a better game, of course that's correct.  And I don't see 'the PCs can't communicate with the majority of the things they encounter' as a better game.  I definitely prefer 4e's '99 percent of everything that has a language speaks Common' technique.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Well it makes for a better game to keep story options like:

 "the map is covered in Rellanic runes, however this ancient  form of Elven is unfamiliar to even your party's wizard"

 and

"the halfling swamp dwellers have you surrounded with their blowguns aimed, the chieften is barking madly at you in a chirping language, can you convince him you are not part of the Iron Circle's raiding party?"

Which is why I suggested to make an artificial distinction between languages like common, elven, draconic, etc. and languages that only exist in skill checks.
A foreign language should be a puzzle for the characters to solve, not an impossible obstacle between the players and a fun game.

At least we know from IRL how to learn a language, but are you really going to stop your game for a few weeks while the players buy CDs from the Rosetta Stone Company and figure out how to translate that old parchment?

If you and the players all want it, you can do more work on languages.  Then it adds to your fun.  But if somebody is looking at you and asks, "Can I just use Arcana to read the note?" then your table is not going to enjoy this side quest.

Although IMntbHO, this is a great time for an authentic-looking handout.

My own proposal: besides Common, add (3?) regional tongues (English, Mandarin Chinese, Akkadian).  Note that all three use different written representations.
Have an old language now only used by wizards and the professional educated classes (Latin or Draconic).
Have an extinct language from ages gone by (like Egyptian, with hierioglyphics and everything).
Racial languages to suit, not all need be literate; few goblins can live a life of study.
You now have several sources of 'foreign tongues' with different levels of difficulty figuring out 'what did he say' or 'can you read this'.

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />My own proposal: besides Common, add (3?) regional tongues (English, Mandarin Chinese, Akkadian).  Note that all three use different written representations.
Have an old language now only used by wizards and the professional educated classes (Latin or Draconic).
Have an extinct language from ages gone by (like Egyptian, with hierioglyphics and everything).
Racial languages to suit, not all need be literate; few goblins can live a life of study.
You now have several sources of 'foreign tongues' with different levels of difficulty figuring out 'what did he say' or 'can you read this'.


I don't understand what you mean by any of this. What does Chinese have to do with this?
我的氣墊船充滿了鱔魚
Какво не е наред с моя език?
Reviews Blog: thegrumpycelt.blogspot.com/ Image Gallery: grumpy-celt.deviantart.com/gallery/ --- Right, where was I...
Какво не е наред с моя език?



Your language is fine. I had a sparring buddy from Bulgaria in an Uchideshi-like program, we met on the same day Sensei taught "head throw".

Options are Liberating
Какво не е наред с моя език?


Cicho tam!
Motto - Don't Damn Me, Guns N' Roses http://adhadh.deviantart.com/ - my dA page adhadh.png
My own proposal:
- The Common Tongue works everywhere.  Everybody can speak it, most people who can read/write can read/write this language as well as their native language.  (English in modern world)
- Regional tongues (French, Mandarin Chinese, Akkadian).  Note that all three use different written representations.
- Have an old language now only used by wizards and the professional educated classes (Latin or Draconic).
- Have an extinct language from ages gone by (like Egyptian, with hieroglyphics and everything).  Nobody living uses this language in day-to-day life.
- Racial languages to suit; some are verbal-only because few goblins/orcs/&c  can live a life of study.

You now have several sources of 'foreign tongues' with different levels of difficulty figuring out 'what did he say?' or 'can you read this?'.


I don't understand what you mean by any of this. What does Chinese have to do with this?


Anything in parenthesis is an IRL example.  I edited for - I hope - more clarity.  If not, then pass on.

Best complements I have yet received:

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Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign