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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Cyrinishad Posted - 20 Mar 2017 : 14:51:10
I'm trying to brainstorm how Toril would be different if the "Common" language didn't exist... How do you think Toril would be different from Lore perspective? And, what would be some of the impacts from a D&D game mechanics perspective?

I've never been a fan of the existence of "Common" as a language, it is one of those D&D elements that has never quite sat right in my mind. Language and Culture are intrinsically tied to each other, and the universal existence of "Common" across all the D&D settings seems to undermine the authenticity of the wide variety of different Cultures presented. Essentially, over the thousands and thousands of years of Toril's history wouldn't the persistent use of a "Common" language water down regional cultural differences, and lead to a single prevailing "Common" culture across Faerun?

In terms of game mechanics, my anecdotal observations have been that the existence "Common" causes both players and DMs to simply ignore languages until they come across a Quest-related situation or item that references some type of "Ancient" language... and wouldn't the perpetual conflicts with monstrous humanoids make so much more sense when you don't have a "Common" language to communicate with them?

...Thoughts?

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Mar 2017 : 01:09:01
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
So it is not described the way you refer to it.

Let me try restating my position and see if that clears up this point of misunderstanding.

How Common is used is not how it is described because the system does not differentiate communications via Common versus any other language. Common is used in the game for PCs to FULL ON TALK TO, PERSUADE, NEGOTIATE WITH, ARGUE AGAINST, AND BULLY NPCs. When and how do you limit the use of Common by saying that it is just "a pidgin" and only a "trade language" when it has all the same use as a full real language? And why would anyone learn any other language if EVERYBODY already speaks Common?


Just because the game system does not enforce strict language rules does not mean the existence of a language makes no sense.
sleyvas Posted - 30 Mar 2017 : 00:11:43
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

In FR, there are "Common" (dialect of just happens to mostly coincide with Planecommon), Undercommon (Underdark pidgin), Serusan (Serosian common pidgin), corresponding to the large communities that deal more on the inside than outside. And if you include Zakhara, also Jannti (genie common). Sounds about right.



If you include Zakhara, its Midani, which is their version of common as a trade language.

And according to the wiki for Midani
"A version of Midani, known as Uloushinn by some scholars, was also spoken by the Bedine."
SaMoCon Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 23:48:30
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
So it is not described the way you refer to it.

Let me try restating my position and see if that clears up this point of misunderstanding.

How Common is used is not how it is described because the system does not differentiate communications via Common versus any other language. Common is used in the game for PCs to FULL ON TALK TO, PERSUADE, NEGOTIATE WITH, ARGUE AGAINST, AND BULLY NPCs. When and how do you limit the use of Common by saying that it is just "a pidgin" and only a "trade language" when it has all the same use as a full real language? And why would anyone learn any other language if EVERYBODY already speaks Common?

How long does a language need to exist before it is "mature" as the FRCS states? Is there a new Common every decade or every century or did Common not exist in the FR prior to the 13th century DR? Wouldn't Common be a fully matured language after the century jump? It does not make sense for Common to exist... period. Especially in not such a static setting as the FR.

And as far as lingua francas are concerned, everyone might do well by looking at real world examples of them and seeing that each one is a full language. From wikipedia: "Examples of lingua francas remain numerous and exist on every continent. The most obvious example as of the early 21st century is English, which is the lingua franca in most parts of the world. There are many other lingua francas in particular regions, such as French, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin, and Swahili." If anything, the language of the culture that has the most dominant influence in the region becomes a lingua franca.

Just by looking at the wiki I can see that what would count as "Common" would be the language available in a character's home region that is spoken by the majority of nearby regions or the most powerful nation in the region. By that standard, Chondathan would have sway over many heartland areas in pre-Time of Troubles Faerun with Illuskan being the common of the Northwest, Alzhedo in the South & Southwest, Damarran in the North & Northeast, and Mulhorandi in the Southeast & East. That would make far more sense than a thing called "Common" that is the same in Samarach as it is in Narfell and by orcs and giants as it is for humans.
Markustay Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 22:35:30
Latin used to work very much as the 'trade language' in Europe, and today English takes that spot (even though more people speak Chinese, and Spanish is more widely spoken). I have many international friends and they all speak English with me ('stupid American' that I am). English is also excepted as the language of the sciences, so there's that as well.

So a 'common tongue' does exist, and eventually, if we don't blow ourselves up. we'll all be speaking local dialects of a universal pidgin tongue.

Except for France... they have rules about that. Silly France.

Personally, I never cared for the way everyone can simply communicate easily in Scify and fantasy. Its not very believable. I like the way it was handled in the well World novels (and perhaps borrow a bit from Doctor Who, in regards to planer travel - you just start speaking whatever is the most common tongue on the other end... say its just some sort of 'cosmic thing'). In the Weel World novels, they had some sort of psionic-based crystal that grew naturally in one of the places, and they could place inside your throat and people would be able to understand what you are saying (two-way communication was only possible if both parties had a crystal). And some races didn't have bodies in the physical sense, or were 'too alien', so it was an imperfect solution. I had planed to adopt that for my own homebrew world (something very similar, not the exact same thing). Maybe in FR/D&D use an Ioun Stone, or even a gem set in the forehead could serve the same purpose.

Something as simple as that would go a long way to solving the 'no-one really needs to learn any languages' thing which always bugged me. Whats the point of having all those nifty D&D languages when every bugbear and beastie can speak YOUR language?
TBeholder Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 21:58:43
In FR, there are "Common" (dialect of just happens to mostly coincide with Planecommon), Undercommon (Underdark pidgin), Serusan (Serosian common pidgin), corresponding to the large communities that deal more on the inside than outside. And if you include Zakhara, also Jannti (genie common). Sounds about right.
TBeholder Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 21:37:10
"Lingua franca" is what happens when there's enough of communication.
In FR, there are "Common" (dialect of Planecommon), Undercommon (Underdark pidgin), Serusan (Serosian common pidgin), corresponding to the large communities that deal more on the inside than outside. And if you include Zakhara, also Jannti (genie common). Sounds about right.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 19:26:20
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Darnit! I stumbled on this thread too late.

I agreed with the OP about how "Common" makes no sense. Who would learn a regional language when everybody already speaks Common as a language and can be clearly understood on any subject from the most simplistic (that way is North) to the most complex (Waterdeep's harbor moon coins are of lesser value after the Time of Troubles because the smelters used a lower gold content in the electrum alloy in the government's efforts to mint more coins to pay for reconstruction). That interpretation runs counter to how language mashes work and the descriptions of what Common is as provided from the various incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons.


As I noted earlier, page 84 of the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting explicitly states Common is a second language for those who speak it, and specifically states it is a trade language:

quote:
All speaking peoples, including the humans of various lands, possess a native tongue. In addition, all humans and many nonhumans speak Common as a second language. Common grew from a kind of pidgin Chondathan and is most closely related to that language, but it is far simpler and less expressive. Nuances of speech, naming, and phrasing are better conveyed in the older, more mature languages, since Common is little more than a trade language.


So it is not described the way you refer to it.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

A single common tongue for trade and diplomacy just doesn't exist.



And the lore does not describe Common as a language for diplomacy -- only as a trade language.
SaMoCon Posted - 29 Mar 2017 : 18:49:02
Darnit! I stumbled on this thread too late.

I agreed with the OP about how "Common" makes no sense. Who would learn a regional language when everybody already speaks Common as a language and can be clearly understood on any subject from the most simplistic (that way is North) to the most complex (Waterdeep's harbor moon coins are of lesser value after the Time of Troubles because the smelters used a lower gold content in the electrum alloy in the government's efforts to mint more coins to pay for reconstruction). That interpretation runs counter to how language mashes work and the descriptions of what Common is as provided from the various incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons.

The FR setting has languages. A single common tongue for trade and diplomacy just doesn't exist. In fact, the lore suggests that languages twist and change across distances rather than remaining unified and unchanged so any universal Esperanto would have broken up into regional languages over the roll of years. Languages and their implementation help to convey the fantastic world of the FR, which is why they were included in the campaign setting.

Now, as a DM, I have a choice to how I want to run the game and what I or my players should ignore because playing using all the rules and setting information all the time actually interferes with enjoying the game. From previous posts arguing for Common, I can see a trend of DMs/players deciding that languages are just too much trouble - this is a practical decision of game play. That said, if languages were that much of an issue then why would the DM be running games that would go across borders and through multiple cultures including enemies? I think this is an issue of DM game preparation.

For example, I had made my own change to the 3E rules that makes an honest skill out of the Speak Languages skill. Basically, being understood by someone that doesn't have a shared language is a skill check with a DC based upon how complex the idea is to get across and modified by the yes/no differences in home regions, alignments, races, and creatures types. The possibility still exists for the characters to communicate with any intelligent creature but the effort and chances to fail makes the players want to seek out help for languages they do not know. Thus, "Common" is a mix of pantomime and attempts to use perceived vocalizations of the unknown language but talking to someone using this Common is time consuming and the more complex the subject the more frustrating the exchange for both parties.
KanzenAU Posted - 28 Mar 2017 : 03:35:42
That's awesome! Thanks sleyvas! Also thanks to Tom for the Speaking in Tongues errata, good couple of gems to come out of this thread!
sleyvas Posted - 26 Mar 2017 : 18:21:42
For those wanting to use some of the alphabets of the Eastern Hordelands/ Kara-Tur, I created fonts for them a couple years (4 or 5 years ago). I share them freely for anyone that wants to use them for their realmslore.

Ra-Khati Font

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8CYc8h_6sg8TEdfbVFKemJ2RTA/view?usp=sharing

Semphari Font

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8CYc8h_6sg8dG9fUzV4LVFsd28/view?usp=sharing

Shou-Chiang Font

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8CYc8h_6sg8YXBoRV9iMHBrbTg/view?usp=sharing

Tuigan Font

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8CYc8h_6sg8cWtTbG1iM0p3Rjg/view?usp=shari
TomCosta Posted - 25 Mar 2017 : 21:52:45
My pleasure. I'm glad folks still find something the article added something worthwhile to the Realms.
xaeyruudh Posted - 25 Mar 2017 : 17:42:09
Thanks very much Tom! The source list is very helpful and the clarifications much appreciated.

That was a great mailing list...
TomCosta Posted - 25 Mar 2017 : 16:27:17
Sorry missed the request for errata on Speaking in Tongues. Here it is...

The article’s second paragraph notes that the genetic classification chart appears first followed by the linguistic atlas. In fact, the linguistic atlas appears first (p. 26) and the genetic classification chart is entitled Faerûnian Languages and appears at the end of the article (p. 28-29).

The following languages were mistyped in the Linguistic Atlas of Faerûn chart: Illuski should be Illuskan; Ulutim should be Uloushinn; Akalaic should be Akalan; and Mari should be Maran.

Similarly, the following language groups and subgroups were mistyped in the Modern Language Proficiencies chart: Chessentic should be Chessan; Chessic should be Chessentic; Imask Patois should be Imask Creole; Durpari-Shaartan Patois should be Durpari-Shaartan Creole; and Alzhedo should be Alzho.

The article notes that official FORGOTTEN REALMS languages should be listed in italics. These languages are Bothii, Netherese, Ruathlek, Ulutiun, Uloushinn, Thorass, Thorasta, “Maiden’s Tongue,” Telfir, Akalan, Halardrim, Imaskri, Northern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Southern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Eastern Imaskari (and all of its dialects), Devic, Mulhorandi, Muhjuri, Untheric, Noga, Kadari, Midani, and Calishite Alzhedo, as well as Azuposi, Nexalan, Payit, Trade Tongue, Pazruki, Issacortae, Kao te Shou, T'u Lung, Kozakuran, Koryo, and Wa-an, which are listed in the Major Foreign Lands portion of the linguistic atlas.

The article makes note of a reference portion. The following sources were used in putting together the article:

Anthony, Mark (1993), Crypt of the Shadowking.
Bennie, Scott (1990). Old Empires.
Cook, David “Zeb” (1990). The Horde.
Cunningham, Elaine (1996), “Rogue’s Gallery.” DRAGON Magazine Annual #1.
Greenwood, Ed (1991). Anauroch.
Greenwood, Ed (1990). Dwarves Deep.
Greenwood, Ed and Grubb, Jeff (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Grubb, Jeff and Hayday, Andria (1992). Al-Qadim: Land of Fate.
Haring, Scott (1988). Empires of the Sands.
Lowder, James and Rabe, Jean (1993). The Jungles of Chult.
Moore, Roger E. (1998). Errand of Mercy.
Prusa, Tom (1995). The Shining South.
Pryor, Anthony (1995). Spellbound.
Schend, Steven (1997). Lands of Intrigue.
Smith, Curtis and Swan, Rick (1990). Ronin Challenge.
Swan, Rick (1992). The Great Glacier.
Winninger, Ray (1995). Giantcraft.

In addition the author owes a great debt to the works of Eric Boyd and discussions that have occurred on the official FORGOTTEN REALMS listserver,
realms-l@oracle.wizards.com.

Lastly, the second paragraph on page 29 that begins “The dialect spoken…” should be a footnote to the Waelan Five Kingdoms’ dialect located in the Faerûnian Languages chart on page 28.

Wrigley Posted - 25 Mar 2017 : 07:24:13
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

I don't think it is unreasonable for the core regions of Faerun to have a single common tongue for trade and diplomacy (which would be a secondary language after a primary tongue). There are widespread trade networks throughout the heartlands, Sea of Fallen Stars, the Moonsea, and along the Sword Coast. It's possible the common tongue is a pidgin or creole, but that seems unlikely to me; more likely it is a simplified version of the most powerful trading group or political entity, or the tongue of an old empire (the language of Netheril, considering what it covered, seems likely to me if this third route were taken). Even if the whole of Faerun doesn't, there are a few areas that would certainly have a single common trade tongue: The Moonsea/Dalelands/Sea of Fallen Stars region, and the Sword Coast (although that could be split into a north and south region).

From history, there are a number of examples. In the ancient near east, Akkadian was the language of diplomacy and trade between many cultures, centered on the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires; Egypt and the Hittites would communicate in Akkadian, for example, and it was used even after Aramaic had become the primary language of the Babylonian empire. Greek and Roman hegemony replaced Akkadian with Greek and Latin, and Latin was used throughout Europe for diplomacy for a long time after the fall of the Roman Empire. The "lingua franca" of the middle ages was the language of the Venician and Genoese traders (most western Europeans were called Franks by the east), and of course the Holy Roman Empire instilled Low German as the common language throughout north-central Europe and the Baltics.

Regardless, so long as the PCs don't traverse the breadth of the continent, it is very easy for them to have a single "common tongue" for all of their adventures.

Jeff



I am on the same page here. I always found it strange that Common should be derived from Jhaamdathan when there is clearly a directly descendant language in all it's colonies - Chondathan. It is used in most locations around SotFS so Common should be unnecessary. I have Common as remains of Thorass - language originaly used in lower Netheril also known as Netheriese. It was later used mostly by non-native traders so it lost some of it's finer aspects. High Netheril used Loross - magic centered language with draconic script.
Ayrik Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 19:50:17
I suppose it makes sense for merchants - especially those who travel between cities/settlements - to have a sort of "merchant's cant". One which might vary between different regions and different trade networks/organizations/cartels. I suspect groups like the Zhents have all sorts of code words, p .hrases, and slang to identify each other and even discuss things (like bribes, threats, trade in slaves, drugs, weapons, and other contraband) "openly" in public earshot - and it might have become a complex and sophistocated "language" in itself after so many generations of daily use.

FWIW, I recall a Linguistics nonweapon proficiency from some 2E sourcebook. A skill representing the formal study of languages. One needed to already speak several languages fluently (have allocated NWP points to them). But the skill would then allow characters to "learn" languages quickly, enough to get by in basic conversations with some verbal fumbles and a thick non-native accent, without needing to allocate any more points.
Cyrinishad Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 13:48:40
This is a great discussion... everyone's comments have definitely helped me envision the utilization and purpose of the common tongue, and it'll help me refine how I present languages in my campaigns.

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

In 5e terms I'd consider using disadvantage for Charisma-based checks to influence people if using the Common tongue, as it's a bare-bones, coarse tongue. Keeps it nice and easy for everyone at the table to quickly understand.



I really like this as a simple mechanism to reinforce the importance of regional languages to my players...
AuldDragon Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 05:41:24
I don't think it is unreasonable for the core regions of Faerun to have a single common tongue for trade and diplomacy (which would be a secondary language after a primary tongue). There are widespread trade networks throughout the heartlands, Sea of Fallen Stars, the Moonsea, and along the Sword Coast. It's possible the common tongue is a pidgin or creole, but that seems unlikely to me; more likely it is a simplified version of the most powerful trading group or political entity, or the tongue of an old empire (the language of Netheril, considering what it covered, seems likely to me if this third route were taken). Even if the whole of Faerun doesn't, there are a few areas that would certainly have a single common trade tongue: The Moonsea/Dalelands/Sea of Fallen Stars region, and the Sword Coast (although that could be split into a north and south region).

From history, there are a number of examples. In the ancient near east, Akkadian was the language of diplomacy and trade between many cultures, centered on the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires; Egypt and the Hittites would communicate in Akkadian, for example, and it was used even after Aramaic had become the primary language of the Babylonian empire. Greek and Roman hegemony replaced Akkadian with Greek and Latin, and Latin was used throughout Europe for diplomacy for a long time after the fall of the Roman Empire. The "lingua franca" of the middle ages was the language of the Venician and Genoese traders (most western Europeans were called Franks by the east), and of course the Holy Roman Empire instilled Low German as the common language throughout north-central Europe and the Baltics.

Regardless, so long as the PCs don't traverse the breadth of the continent, it is very easy for them to have a single "common tongue" for all of their adventures.

Jeff
xaeyruudh Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 05:21:27
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

First, I'd include the errata I submitted to Dragon at the time and they ignored.


There's errata? Where?


quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

As I recall, some of the things I thought about migration patterns and such were subsequently invalidated (not many, but a few).


Ah, so there is room for moving things around a bit. I am thus emboldened to pull Midani and Alzho out of the Rauric family. The Kara-Tur and Maztica languages need families too.


quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

That said, I'm baffled as to why things subsequently were changed for 4E and again 5E (which went back to something similar, but still different from 3E).


I'm baffled by everything 4e. I shall bite my tongue there, and say no more.

Except thanks again for the ideas. And I'm glad you're still writing stuff!
Varl Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 04:11:56
As for Common, I decided long ago to call Common "human". Human is the only tongue the vast majority of my Realms denizens know and can read and write. Racial languages tend to be the most common (pun not intended).

I suppose I could make some dialects and variations throughout the Realms to add spice, but in the end, unless language translation adds some element to the adventure the characters are currently undertaking, I do not use it. I do think a magical item similar to Star Trek's "universal translator" would be a nice trinket to find. Also, a NWP/skill/trait in which a character could possess a uncanny knack to understand foreign languages just through listening would be a fun talent to know, a la Jadzia Dax.
TomCosta Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 02:00:45
For whatever its worth, here's what I said about "common" in the article....

Trade Pidgin had two dialects one for the Heartlands and one for the Inner Sea.

"Trade Pidgin is a simple pidgin used primarily by traders and merchants across the Heartland of the Realms. However, following the Crusade against the Tuigan hordes, a number of military terms, mostly from Cormanthan, have worked their way into Trade Pidgin’s vocabulary. Trade Pidgin’s two dialects while constituting the same language are, due largely to accent and vernacular, almost incomprehensible to speakers of the other dialect, unless the speakers have reason to traffic the areas between the two regions, such as the Dragon Coast, where both dialects are spoken. While both dialects are firmly based in the roots of the Central Thorass language group, the Inner Sea dialect also draws from the other Thorass language groups and the other tongues of the Inner Sea, especially Easting. Someone properly schooled in the language would learn both dialects as a matter of course."

And

"Pidgin languages are simplified hybrids of two or more languages having only rudimentary vocabulary and grammar, are not spoken as native tongues, and are most often used as a means of communication between groups speaking different languages."

"For the purposes of this work, a dialect is a distinct variety of a language, differentiated by vocabulary, pronunciation, and/or grammar, and used by a group of speakers within a specific speech community, especially a type of speech differing from the culture’s standard literary tradition. For example, Cockney and Vernacular (American) Black English are distinct dialects of English. Dialects bordering one another are usually mutually intelligible, however, over increasing distances, the differences between dialects may grow to the point where they are almost mutually unintelligible."
TomCosta Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 01:56:44
Thanks. First, I'd include the errata I submitted to Dragon at the time and they ignored. Then, I'd have to go back and re-research things. As I recall, some of the things I thought about migration patterns and such were subsequently invalidated (not many, but a few). I'd also want to re-adjust for new lore, not the least of which is the changing of the official languages from my article to 3E to 4E to 5E.

I totally got why Sean Reynolds cut my article down to a more manageable/playable scale for 3E and was supportive of that, and I'd probably try to streamline things from my article a bit more, maybe by creating a few more linkages than I originally had.

That said, I'm baffled as to why things subsequently were changed for 4E and again 5E (which went back to something similar, but still different from 3E). For example, Bothii was introduced in 2E's Giantcraft (a product set around novels set up around Hartsvale that were subsequently ignored, then sort of reintroduced, and ignored, and reintroduced and ignored even with the Storm King's Thunder 5E campaign). I included Bothii in my article because it was official. It was cut in 3E and replaced with Illuskan (fine). Both were dropped in 4E and now both (as well as several languages I made up for the article) are back in 5E. Go figure. In any case, I'd want to come up with some explanation for that to add some consistency if I could.
Ayrik Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 01:47:48
I've never had much issue with using Common to discuss common things.

Although in my Realms every major region had a distinct "Common", more influenced by local languages (or language roots), less influenced by tongues spoken halfway around the world. There may be a little difference between "North Common" and "Moonsea Common", but "Western Common" and "Zakharan Common" and "Shou Common" would have very little in common indeed. While the Commons spoken on Oerth or Krynn would literally be completely alien. Note that each elven subrace has a different language, each dwarven subrace has a different language, each halfling subrace, each gnomish subrace, etc - why should humans (and dubiously humicking adventurers) be the one exception to the apparent rule?

Certain nations/cultures/races develop their interests in things like magic, smithing, war, medicine, law, or religion to an unusual degree. So they would certainly be influenced by any other languages (even ancient/dead languages) which are used to discuss or study such topics. Just as the English language (especially in medical or legal vocabularies) is profoundly influenced by Latin and Greek.
xaeyruudh Posted - 21 Mar 2017 : 00:37:06
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Thanks for the should out to my article in Dragon.


Of course! Of all the articles, in all the Dragons, that's one of the few that sticks in my mind. You do good work.

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Any comparisons to Earth languages was just to be illustrative to help folks get an idea of how they might shape accents and the like


I'm seeing that, now that I'm burying my nose in it again. And I agree with your suggestions; I think it was just jarring at first to see "Azerbaijani" next to Imaskari, etc. I'd probably just gotten annoyed by one of the many "so what earth culture did Narfell correspond to?" threads, when I read it the first time.

I absolutely love "Yipyak" as the kobold language.

I would support the creation of a Questions for Tom Costa thread, but since we don't have that, may I query you here about it? Any follow-ups, tweaks, or additions you would make if Dragon called up and said they were going to print a paper magazine again and they want your article updated?

I can neither confirm nor deny that I'll be wishing for that when I blow out the candles at my next "I am 6 yrs old forever"-themed birthday party.

TomCosta Posted - 20 Mar 2017 : 23:58:56
Thanks for the should out to my article in Dragon. I tried to track the known (at the time) migration and trade patterns and take into consideration natural barriers or history that might lead to different languages. Any comparisons to Earth languages was just to be illustrative to help folks get an idea of how they might shape accents and the like, not to imply there was necessarily a direct correlation to the real world (there are some that are inescapable like Midani to Arabic or Mulhorandi to Ancient Egyptian).

And of course, I too agree with Wooly.
KanzenAU Posted - 20 Mar 2017 : 22:51:01
In 5e terms I'd consider using disadvantage for Charisma-based checks to influence people if using the Common tongue, as it's a bare-bones, coarse tongue. Keeps it nice and easy for everyone at the table to quickly understand.

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