D&D: fictional languages ​​you can use in a campaign

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the Dungeons & Dragons the multiverse is home to speakers of many different languages, and the average adventurer is usually fluent in at least two or three languages. A Dungeons & Dragons a campaign focused on exploration or puzzles might use fictional language as a plot device. Players might have to uncover the meaning behind individual characters and words, in order to uncover secrets or reveal hidden messages written by their enemies.

Fictional languages ​​have long been part of the fantasy and science fiction genres. In the fantasy genre, most people will point to the Elvish languages ​​created by JRR Tolkien for his Middle-earth setting as the most famous fictional languages, especially after being used extensively in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Filled. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the science fiction genre, the most famous fictional language is probably the Klingon of star trekwith the franchise featuring many conversations held in the language.

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The use of fictitious language in a J&D game and it involves certain spells. the understand languages and languages spells are two examples of magical workarounds for all the unknown languages ​​players will encounter. If the DM wishes to include fictional language in their campaign and have them play a major role in the story, then they must take steps to prevent players from breaking the game. There are a few J&D spells the DM should consider banishing for the duration of their campaign and players should be made aware of them before casting their characters. Rather than going through every book looking for every class ability or spell that can automatically read languages, the DM should establish that magical translations are impossible in their world.


Use fictional language in a D&D campaign


Candlelight Mysteries cover

The most obvious use of fictional language in a J&D the campaign comes in the form of a secret code. There are many evil organizations, such as cults or thieves’ guilds, that contact each other using a code known only to members. It’s up to the players to break down the code letter by letter, either by context or slowly given clues by the DM, in order to find out what their opponents are up to. If the campaign involves an army, such as the 3rd red hand of fate campaign, units would also communicate using codes, in case their messages were intercepted en route.


The other use of a fictional language is for languages ​​used by forgotten civilizations. A J&D A post-apocalyptic campaign that involves exploring a nation that fell into ruin centuries earlier would involve learning the lost language of the inhabitants. A lost Dutch town that has reappeared in present-day Faerun as part of the Forgotten Realms campaign would be a good setting for this type of campaign, with players having to learn the script used by its inhabitants, in order to uncover magical secrets and avoid deadly traps left by suspicious mages of the past.

Fictional languages ​​for use in D&D – Brittania & Ophidian, From Ultima


Ultima VI box illustration

One of the first series of RPGs featured several constructed languages ​​that the player would encounter on their journey. the Ultimate The series featured Gargish, which was the language of the gargoyle race, as well as the ancient runic script of Brittania. The Brittania language consists of runes heavily inspired by the Norse runic alphabet, so some individual letters should be familiar to players. the Ultimate Codex wiki has the full Britannia alphabet and its English equivalents. Brittania script would be a good replacement for celestial or primordial languages, as there are already dwarf scripts available in J&D books.


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Ultima VII, Part Two: Snake Island also contained a language called Ophidian, which also has its detailed alphabet and numerals on the Ultimate Codex Wiki. What’s interesting about Ophidian is that all of its characters look like snakes, making it a great language choice for yuan-ti, or the Undercommon language used by many J&D Underground races, like the drow.

Giak, the language of Lone Wolf enemies could be used in D&D


The Lone Wolf's Flight From Darkness cover art

lone wolf was a series of fantasy gamebooks in a style similar to the Choose your own adventure Where Battle Fantasy series. The main difference with the lone wolf books is that they were a continuous story, with the first twenty books following Lone Wolf and the remaining books following his pupil. the lone wolf was created by Joe Dever, who also wrote a supplement called The Magnamund Companionwhich details the world in which the books take place.


In the lone wolf series, there is a race called the giak, which are similar to the goblinoids or orcs of J&D. The Magnamund Companion features an entire section on the Giak language, including its alphabet, numbers, common words, and grammar. The Giak language has enough depth to meet the needs of a campaign and can easily be used as a J&D tongue of orc or goblin race. The Magnamund Companion is no longer in print, but Dever has allowed a PDF of the book to be made available at Aon Project, where it can be read for free.

Al Bhed, Spira’s tongue from Final Fantasy X in D&D


The Al Bhed language of Final Fantasy X is not so much a full language, as it is a replacement version of English. In FF10, the Al Bhed are a race of humanoids who wield the power of technology in a world where the overuse of science is considered a sin. The player encounters several Al Bhed during the early sections of the game and they speak in their unique language.

During the game, the player can find items called Al Bhed Primers, which reveal the language one letter at a time. Al Bhed simply changes the letters of the alphabet, so they still look like words, but players will have to dig deep before they can solve it. The game rewards exploration, because FF10The world map of is full of secrets, and uncovering the language leads to cutscenes with Al Bhed that make sense. Al Bhed’s page on the Final Fantasy wiki lists the different letters. A player could come up with their own replacement language, but Al Bhed’s has already been completed and it’s doubtful anyone but the most dedicated Final Fantasy fans would remember it by heart, so it should be safe to use in a Dungeons & Dragons game without the players getting away with it.


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Sources: Aon Project, Final Fantasy Wiki, Ultima Codex Wiki, (2)

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