Languages in Next

No list of languages has been put up togheter in the Playtest Packet yet. But going through the Packet, you can find the following languages;  (and more will come as more Races makes their way in)

Abyssal
Aquan
Auran
Bullywwug
Commun
Deep Speech
Draconic
Dwarvish 
Elvish
Giant
Goblin 
Gnoll
Gnomish
Halfling
Ignan
Infernal
Orc
Sphinx
Sylvan
Terran
Undercommun
Yuan-ti

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Or, the alternative answer, assuming you mean real-world languages: English.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
No list of languages has been put up togheter in the Playtest Packet yet. But going through the Packet, you can find the following languages;  (and more will come as more Races makes their way in)

Abyssal
Aquan
Auran
Bullywwug
Commun
Deep Speech
Draconic
Dwarvish 
Elvish
Giant
Goblin 
Gnoll
Ignan
Infernal
Orc
Sylvan
Terran
Undercommun
Yuan-ti



There's also Halfling. They have a language now.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I have a feeling that by the end of this thread it'll be a 3 to 4 pages of a couple people arguing if they have to play the alignment of their Paladin Assassin Fey-dragon.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

There's also Halfling. They have a language now.

Forgot the Halfling and Gnome Thanks!  [added to list]

If someone find others please let us know here

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I hope they implement language groups, versus have 100 different languages. This is a useful tool when trying to understand ancient texts, or related items, to determine if a player has a chance to understand with or without magic.
I hope they implement language groups, versus have 100 different languages. This is a useful tool when trying to understand ancient texts, or related items, to determine if a player has a chance to understand with or without magic.



They should have 100 different languages and organize them into groups, and add a decipher script skill with the DCs varying based on whether you speak anything similar to what you're trying to read.
I like the idea of language groups.  i remember trying to figure out language groups for 3e.  Let's see if I can recreate it....
Start with Supernal, the original tongue.  Supernal is corrupted into Infernal, Abyssal, Giant, and Draconic.  Giant splits into four elemental languages: Aquan (water), Auran (air), Ignan (fire), and Terran (earth).  Draconic corrupts into Sylvan, which corrupts into Elvish and that corrupts into Gnome.  Aquan corrupts to Merfolk, which further devolves to the various languages of aquatic creatures, like Locthah and Sahuagin.  Terran corrupts into Dwarvish and Goblin. Goblin becomes the parent language to all the "savage" races, corrupting into Bullywug, GnollYuan-ti and Orc.  Dwarvish becomes the parent language of the "civilized" races, devolving to Common, Halfling, and Undercommon

Deep Speech is a completely alien language with no known connection to Supernal or any of its child languages (though it is suspected that Undercommon is a form of dwarven corrupted by Deep Speech)























































 



Supernal



FIRST TONGUES



Abyssal



Infernal



Giant



Draconic



IMMORTAL TONGUES



 



 



Auran



Ignan



Aquan



Terran



Sylvan



NOBLE TONGUES



 



 



 



 



Merfolk



Goblin



Dwarvish



Elvish



MORTAL TONGUES



 



 



 



 



Locathah



Sahuagin



Bullywug



Gnoll



Yuan-ti



Orc



Common



Undercommon



Halfling



Gnome


Question

Would anyone be interested in language stats for language fluency and vocabulary?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Question Would anyone be interested in language stats for language fluency and vocabulary?


I'd take a look at it.  I doubt I'd use it unless it was a high-intrigue campaign where language fluency would be important.
Here's an idea.  Going with my chart... instead of taking a fluency in a language, you can instead have studied a class of languages.  You cannot speak, read, or write these language fluently, but you can make an Intelligence check to decipher these languages as written, a Wisdom check to understand them when spoken, and a Charisma check to express yourself in the language. 

So you simply choose four related languages and learn them as a class.  Some examples:

Elemental: Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran
Magical: Draconic, Sylvan, Elven, Gnome
Aquatic: Aquan, Merfolk, Locathah, Sahuagin
Alien: Supernal, Abyssal, Infernal, Deep Speech
Savage: Gnoll, Yuan-ti, Orc, Bullywug
Noble: Merfolk, Goblin, Elvish, Dwarvish
First: Infernal, Abyssal, Giant, Draconic

Or make your own!
Interesting. Fluency groups sound interesting.

Maybe if you have true fluency in one of the laguages in a group, you have advantage when faking languages in the group.

and nat 1s are insults aimed at the target's spouse or admitting to strange taboos.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The idea I had was that each "major" language has a bunch of dialects spoken by either variations on the race the language belongs to (wood elves and drow speak different dialects of Elvish) or based on location (humans in different areas speak different dialects). You can learn a language in its "Trade" form, which allows you to understand all dialects of that language, but your speech is poor and you don't always fully understand the dialect when spoken to or when reading it. It's essentially a crude form of the language. From there, you can learn to be fluent in specific dialects. Knowing one dialect of a language doesn't necessarily mean you know them all. "Common" wouldn't exist, and good ridance. It was silly that all humans spoke the exact same thing. Although their languages would still be less varied than the ones we have on Earth, at least you wouldn't be fluent in the Human language spoken across the sea!
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
In my campaign, I follow a similar guideline for languages as far as dialects are concerned, but i also include the ability to learn the languages of animals (bird, fish, canine, feline, equine, etc.) and have given rangers and druids the option to learn the language of trees and plants...nothing original (thank you, Tolkien) mind you, but a small addendum to make linguistics a more important aspect of character creation...
The real question is:  Can you take Thieves' Cant as a language?



And didn't Drow used to have a secret hand signal language? 


Carl

And didn't Drow used to have a secret hand signal language? 


Carl



Yes.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
The real question is:  Can you take Thieves' Cant as a language?



And didn't Drow used to have a secret hand signal language? 


Carl



I allowed a player to take Thieves' Cant as one of his bonus languages. Would definitely fit in better with a system of dialects than as an actual language, though.
Primordial is not in the Bestiary 032013 anymore so perhaps it was broken down in the 4 elemental languages (Aquan, Auran, Ignan and Terran)

I'd woulnd't be surprised to see Celestian neither. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Here's an idea.  Going with my chart... instead of taking a fluency in a language, you can instead have studied a class of languages.  You cannot speak, read, or write these language fluently, but you can make an Intelligence check to decipher these languages as written, a Wisdom check to understand them when spoken, and a Charisma check to express yourself in the language. 

So you simply choose four related languages and learn them as a class.  Some examples:

Elemental: Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran
Magical: Draconic, Sylvan, Elven, Gnome
Aquatic: Aquan, Merfolk, Locathah, Sahuagin
Alien: Supernal, Abyssal, Infernal, Deep Speech
Savage: Gnoll, Yuan-ti, Orc, Bullywug
Noble: Merfolk, Goblin, Elvish, Dwarvish
First: Infernal, Abyssal, Giant, Draconic

Or make your own!



So I emailled an old friend who was my former DM in 3.5. In that game he had a rule to multiple ranks of Speak Language.

Essentially it was

0 ranks: Can't speak or read fluently. Only repeat a few taught to words.
1 ranks: Speak fluently as a commoner of the language holder. Cannot read. Poor pronunciation and short sentences. Can trade.
2 ranks: Speak fluently as a commoner of the language holder. Can read. Fluent. Can hold advanced conversations.
3 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak at court and handle intense negotiations.
4 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak and read in any other language that shares in alphabet at rank 1 level.
5 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak and read in any other language that shares in alphabet at rank 2 level.

Our stupid jerk dwarf fighter had to speak for us in the Goblin king's court. They thanked Moradin for high rolls.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

So I emailled an old friend who was my former DM in 3.5. In that game he had a rule to multiple ranks of Speak Language.

Essentially it was

0 ranks: Can't speak or read fluently. Only repeat a few taught to words.
1 ranks: Speak fluently as a commoner of the language holder. Cannot read. Poor pronunciation and short sentences. Can trade.
2 ranks: Speak fluently as a commoner of the language holder. Can read. Fluent. Can hold advanced conversations.
3 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak at court and handle intense negotiations.
4 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak and read in any other language that shares in alphabet at rank 1 level.
5 ranks: Speak fluently as a noble or artisan of the language holder. Can speak and read in any other language that shares in alphabet at rank 2 level.

Our stupid jerk dwarf fighter had to speak for us in the Goblin king's court. They thanked Moradin for high rolls.


That can be a fine system, if you get plenty of skill ranks to slosh around, which the playtest does not appear to be granting.  Right now, you get some laguages based on your race, your Intelligence modifier, possibly your Background (which is how one can get thieves' cant), or class (secret language of the druids).  Presumably a Linguist Feat will be introduced so you can spend a feat to get extra languages.  I'd also allow you to use your skill improvement at 7th, 12th, and 17th levels to pick up a language instead.  And a new language if you raise your Intelligence modifier.  

The most languages you learn at 1st level are eight languages as a 1st level high elf wizard (Int 18) with the rogue background (common, elvish, thieves' cant, four languages for Intelligence, one bonus language for high elf).  There really aren't enough language slots to let people trade up in fluency as you suggest.

By grouping languages (or dialects) into families of four, a person can choose to be articulate in one language or inarticulate in four.  If your campaign has a lot of dialects, then you can also decide that fluency in one language grants you the ability to be inarticulate in related dialects.

The trick with languages is to balance proliferation with communication.

If you have too many languages, then players won't bother with fluencies.  Why bother, since the chance of them speaking a common language (if they plan on traveling) is very small.  So instead they'll spend their energies on magical means of communication like telepathy or tongues

If you have too few, then players will spread their fluencies around to ensure that someone can speak every (or almost every) language.  And then you might as well not bother with fluencies in the first place.

The sweet spot is to have enough languages/dialects so the players can reasonably expect to find a common tongue to communicate with most people without magical aid, and yet still have enough obscure languages so that the players do nto feel that the game is rigged when they meet someone who presents a communication challenge.

One way to do it is to have three or four languages that most traveled people in the world would know.  Sort of the way you can probably find someone to understand you in most major cities in the world if you speak French, English, German, or Spanish.  As long as your party has these common languages covered, you can do most of your trading without annoyance, and probably communicate with most nobles (the guys who tend to hire adventurers).

But rural areas might stick to their local language.  Sure, in Moscow there may be plenty of shopkeepers who speak enough English to get by, but when the local Tsar (who speaks fluent English, French, and German) hires you to go to Siberia to fight yeti, the folks there only speak Russian with some people speaking only their native Turkic, Mongolian, or Manchu dialects.  If someone chose to pick up Russian (or if the Tsar sent an official to escort you), they can probably communicate with most local leaders, but not with the rural locals who actually saw the yeti.  

Language then serves the purpose of setting up a challenge (how do you collect useful info) and also sets a mood.  Your party will feel very isolated when they are surrounded by people who do not speak any language in comon with them.

Of course, comprehend languages is a 1st level wizard spell.  But that only lets you listen, not speak. 
I was thinking of going by Intelligence score in DDN

12 INT Elf

5 ranks in Elven
5 ranks in Common
2 ranks in Dwarvish

or

3 ranks in each of Common, Elven, Dwarvish, and Halfling

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

That's intriguing.  That could work.
Learning foreign languages must be very rare beyond frequent interactions with the other culture.
D&D doesn't seem to have favored general languages studies like what we know.

In fact, I'm against the + Int mod. language, as many above average intelligent people never care about learning another language for the beauty of it. And people of average intelligence are perfectly able to earn a big number of languages with some dedication.

I think languages are in the domain of skills in the DDN system, not Intelligence.
Is there any reason why languages can't just be skills?

I was thinking of going by Intelligence score in DDN 12 INT Elf 5 ranks in Elven 5 ranks in Common 2 ranks in Dwarvish or 3 ranks in each of Common, Elven, Dwarvish, and Halfling

Nevermind.  This idea is waaaay better.
We need more things that use the whole score.

I'm not entirely sure we need six ranks for each language, though.

True

Personally I'd combine Skills, Languages, and Weapon proficencies into one system

A PC gets starting Knowledge points equal to their starting Int score + something.

They can spend KP for skills, languages, and bonus proficiencies.

Languages cost their rank.
Skills cost 1 for a d4, 2 for d6, 3 for d8, etc..
Weapons and armor are 1 for simple, 3 for martial, 1 for 'first rank" armor, 2 for the next up, etc...

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Using wholescores to "buy" abilities is damn brilliant.
Is there any reason why languages can't just be skills?


A language isn't generally as useful as a skill.  So getting the "Speak Languages" skill should probably let you learn a bunch of languages (or, under Orzel's scheme, like 12 points of languages).
Language is weird.

The rl resources required to learn a language to true fluency is high. But in D&D it has been either impossible or too easy to learn languages. Using the current DDN rules, a 14 "demihuman" is a UN translator where last iteration they were just bilingual.

And for those who, "let the DM handle it" doesnt cut it. The game doesnt handle partial fluency nor should it berequired for DMs to constant toss out "picked up" words. Once or twice but not every time the language appears. And just letting players spontaneously recognize words wont fly in most groups.

An incremintal laguage fluency rule would be great.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Learning foreign languages must be very rare beyond frequent interactions with the other culture.
D&D doesn't seem to have favored general languages studies like what we know.



Im usa'n pretty isolationist linguistically (Its pretty stupid) I am impressed with all the europeans I have met who are multi-lingual, it could be they are just travellers and intellectuals...

When I think of knights I think of them having a high tongue of the land and a low tongue... then a smattering of an enemies language  (enough to insult at minimum)... and I think of there being a religious language a latin if you will which is at minimum spoken by the priest and wizard .. but even some knights then when I pull in Rangers and Druids and fantasy starts coming forward even further and I think of animal languages and I think of the Wizard knowing more than just that scholarly religous language he knows an even more ancient one specifically for magic.(and possibly more than one). Then I start thinking of magical beings and fae becomes one of the languages of magic as does Dragon.. and I start to really want to be a multilingual wizard, and start to want individual languages of magic to have an effect ont he wizards abilities.


  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

A lot of this is campaign-dependent.  The assumed D&D world has a common tongue and then racial tongues.  It doesn't assume nations or separate national languages. 

Fortunately, the game doesn't have to get into that.  The current system works fine for most groups.  For a game of intrigue or more political realism, one would want a language module laong the lines of what Orzel or I have suggested.  But that doesn't have to be in the Standard game.  It seems absolutely perfect for a module for campaigns geared towards intrigue or linguistic realism.
"Common" wouldn't exist, and good ridance. It was silly that all humans spoke the exact same thing.


     The problem is that everybody speaking one language is highly game useful.  Granted, it is not at all realistic.  Any "realistic" fantasy world would feature a host of languages and nobody would speak more than a trivial percentage of them.  But any such system means most of the party has to sit there like bumps on the log, and non-combat is hard enough for the game anyway.  Boring...  This is one of those areas where doing nothing is very possibly the best thing, and is certainly superior to all but very good systems.  So dropping all references to language is definitely on the table.
A lot of this is campaign-dependent.  The assumed D&D world has a common tongue and then racial tongues.  It doesn't assume nations or separate national languages.


Very much campaign dependent. Even so you could say D&D has a default game world and flavor. There is probably a point in there where it starts flavor interactions with the fantasy and to minor degrees the game. For instance a game which assumes Dragon is the primary language of Magic. used by and known by most Sorcerors and Wizards kind of has some cool pop to it. The only mechanical impact might be that Dragons are slightly more inclined to interact with those who know there language... how much so would be campaign dependent too.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Yes, a language module would be very campaign specific. There are few beings worth talking to in default D&D that dont know Common. And even in worlds without Common, an adventurer shorthand would be developed for "Shhn. ambush", "help!", and "Don't touch that!"

If Mearls is really pushing this legacy thing with kingdoms and strongholds then a Language modules to seperate the high class and the small people would be a great addition.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

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There is also Primordial in one of the bestiaries, I suspect Undercommon has replaced Deep Speech.

I suspect Celestial will be in. 



In the Bestiary, Undercommon is spoken by mind flayers, beholder, and drow.

Deep speech is spoken by Kopru, a race of underwater heat-loving amphibians.

There is also Primordial in one of the bestiaries, I suspect Undercommon has replaced Deep Speech.

I suspect Celestial will be in. 



In the Bestiary, Undercommon is spoken by mind flayers, beholder, and drow.

Deep speech is spoken by Kopru, a race of underwater heat-loving amphibians.



Oh, so maybe Deep Speech is an aquatic language (I guess Aboleths would dig it)?


I don't think we don't know yet what languages mermen, sahuagin, locathah, or other underwater races speak yet.  Might be deep speech.  Could be useful to have one underwater tongue.


There is also Primordial in one of the bestiaries, I suspect Undercommon has replaced Deep Speech.

I suspect Celestial will be in. 



In the Bestiary, Undercommon is spoken by mind flayers, beholder, and drow.

Deep speech is spoken by Kopru, a race of underwater heat-loving amphibians.



Oh, so maybe Deep Speech is an aquatic language (I guess Aboleths would dig it)?


I don't think we don't know yet what languages mermen, sahuagin, locathah, or other underwater races speak yet.  Might be deep speech.  Could be useful to have one underwater tongue.




We already have Aquan, so maybe Deep Speech is something different?
Yes, a language module would be very campaign specific.

Additionally, if it's an independent function of int instead of eating up skills, it becomes an optional component (or a module) that can be included or tossed on the whim of a table.

What might be fun, is using INT for languages known, and using WIS when a language is unknown.

Yes, a language module would be very campaign specific.

Additionally, if it's an independent function of int instead of eating up skills, it becomes an optional component (or a module) that can be included or tossed on the whim of a table.

What might be fun, is using INT for languages known, and using WIS when a language is unknown.





Like a Decipher Language skill, I like it.

The question needs to be asked, what game function do languages serve?


They only have one role in the game; as an obstacle. "Can we understand this NPC/Monster, Yes or No".


If it is necessary to progress the plot to understand the NPC/Monster, then the DM will make sure you will.

If it is necessary to progress the plot that you DON'T understand the NPC/Monster, then the DM will make sure you won't.

If it is irrelevant to the plot whether you understand the NPC/Monster, then it doesn't matter one way or the other

So, aside from immersion (which I'm not dismissing, it's just not the point I am making) what is the actual POINT in having different languages as anything other than fluff?