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Thread: Languages

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    Languages

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    How do you as the DM do languages? I use the following useful tool:

    http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by cigamnogard View Post
    How do you as the DM do languages? I use the following useful tool:

    http://babelfish.yahoo.com/
    How so do you mean? Fantasy languages? They are there, I make no effort to speak or write them.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Whenever I DM I normally just gloss over languages m'self. Foreign languages, fantasy languages, forgotten languages of magic or demonic lore...it's much easier to just say "The cultist babbles incoherently" and then point out to whoever speaks it in-game what they said.

    Although ask anyone who's played D&D with me, "wutiki!" means you're about to get mooned in Goblin.
    But, for a certainty, back then we loved so many, yet hated so much; we hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind, whilst our laughter echoed under cerulean skies...

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    About the only thing I do in my fantasy game where I change the language is for the names of certain things. For instance, I've named the realm of the gods, my campaign world has a couple of different planes in it, but not quite as many as the official DnD planes. But the realm of the gods is call Secundum Vita, which I got by using a English to Latin web-based translater.

    Sometimes I'll use Babelfish, but I generally try and keep most names Latin sounding. I worked up with a Wikipedia for my campaign world, which I add to from time to time.

    Beyond that, if I need a document that is in a foreign tongue, I usually find a free ruinic font on the web and just type out the words I want to use in that font. If the players are interested enough to find said font on the web and translate the document, I let them. Otherwise, they can usually find someone in the game world that will translate the document for them.

    I did work up a language document for my game, as far as where each language came from and what languages are related to each other, but I normally don't worry about using it in game other than when the players can't speak a language in question. I based mine on various DnD languages I've seen through the years.
    Last edited by Skunkape; 07-29-2009 at 07:59 AM.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    I check who in the group might speak the language and take that player outside and converse with him. He translates to the group and any omissions and problems with the translations are his. Same goes for written foreign languages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by outrider View Post
    I check who in the group might speak the language and take that player outside and converse with him. He translates to the group and any omissions and problems with the translations are his. Same goes for written foreign languages.
    Ditto
    Windstar - Escapee from the D&D'ers retirement home. Trust in the Shadows!!

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    Talking

    I usually make characters with high int mods and I love the skill Speak Language whenever I can get it. The DMs that have had me in their games before usually just point to me and say "they said X" without even bothering to ask if I speak the language. (Usually if I don't speak it I speak up, but sometimes....)

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    ..but sometimes
    --- Merged from Double Post ---
    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    How so do you mean? Fantasy languages? They are there, I make no effort to speak or write them.
    I do both - I think it adds to the game
    Last edited by cigamnogard; 08-01-2009 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Automerged Double Post

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    Quote Originally Posted by cigamnogard View Post
    ..but sometimes
    --- Merged from Double Post ---


    I do both - I think it adds to the game
    How so? Sure, I have tegwar and runic fonts. Once in a while I do a fancy handout. However I don't understand these languages, my players do not understand them. In a game that is largely verbal I find it efficient to speak in a language that everyone understands.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    One of the main reasons Tolkien was so succesful with his stories was that he did invent other languages and employed them in his stories which he orally told to his family - years before they were written down on paper.

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    I don't have the time to invest heavily in creating entire fantasy languages for my settings. What I find to be an effective work around is to pick a relatively obscure area of the world, look at the map, and start looking for neat sounding place names to put on my map. If people don't recognize it, it sounds plenty authentic.

    I do the same thing for the names of that area, draw heavily on real world analogs.

    Heck, even if it's obvious, it helps people get the idea that said place and people are foreign. Which is about all I need at the onset.
    --
    Grimwell

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    One thing I used to do is create Language Trees. This created a little variation, local dialects and such, that gave minor (or major) penalties based on the linguistic distance between two speakers of the same language. Generally -5% (or -1 on a d20 roll) per degree of difference.
    It's as if there are people who play RPGs that don't have computers or something. Seriously, people need to upgrade to 1994 already. - - -TheRedRobedWizard

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    Oh, I have them, I just don't make a big deal of it trying to actually speak any.

    Code:
                                      
    Language          Typical Speakers                         Alphabet
     Human
     Ameridian          Amerid people                              none
     Frankessa          Anorian                                       Latinate
     Arabic               Hundred Kingdoms                      Arabic
     Arailanese         Arailaners                                     Tegwar
     Catilanese         The Domains                                Latinate
     Celtic               North-west Humans                       Latinate
     Common          Everyone, Trade argot                    Several
     Egyptian           Egyptians                                       Hieratic, Hieroglyphic
     Germanic         North Inner Sea                               Runic
     Greek              Greeks and others in the Inner sea     Greek
     Hindusaii          Hindi                                              Sanskrit
     Markian           Markia                                            Kanji    
     Norse              Nordic People                                  Runic
     Nubian            Central Humans                               Nubian
     Persian            Morland                                          Hieratic
     Piuctish           Picts                                                none           
    
     "Racial"
     Avian              Avains                                             Tegwar
     Centauran       Centaurs                                           Tegwar, Greek
     Draconic         Kobolds, dragons                               none
     Dwarven         Dwarves                                           Runic
     Giant              Ogres, giants                                      Runic (if any)
     Gnoll              Gnolls                                                none
     Gnome           Gnomes                                             Runic
     Goblin            Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears              Runic (if any)
     Leoman          Leomans                                            Tegwar      
     Orcish             Orcs                                                   none
     Quenya          Elves , fey                                           Tegwar
     Sindarin         Grey Elves, Scholars                            Tegwar
      
     Planer Tongues
     Abyssal          Demons                                              Infernal
     Aquian           Water Planer creatures                         Aquian
     Auran            Air Planer creatures                              Auran
     Celestial         Angels                                                Celestial
     Coveriss         Devas                                                Covern
     Ignan             Fire Planer creatures                            Ignan
     Lucarian        Devils                                                 Lucarian
     Terran           Earth Planer creatures                          Terran
      
    Magical
     Aij'h              Sects of Eecreeana                               Tegwar
     Arcane           Magicians                                            Arcane
     Celin              Craft                                                   Arcane
     Druidic          Tutha Da Dannan Clerics (Druids)         Ogma
     Finnish           Melikki                                               Ogma
     Hebin             Angleic Sects                                       Hebin
     Kellin             Fellowship of Plenty                             Latinate
     Latun             Church of Mephistopheles                    Latinate
     Quintana         Elven Priests, scholars                         Tegwar
     Russian           Church of Creation                              Crylic
     Sindril             Centaur Sects                                      Tegwar

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Very nice!

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