Skip to main content

Say What?

"Thought is the blossom, language the bud, action the fruit behind it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm taking a short break from writing about the elements.  I wanted to write about something different while I collect my ideas.  And so, I'm writing this blog.

I spoke with my mom about my blog, and about the things that I'm writing/sharing and the ideas.  She suggested using these games and blog to promote other things.

So, today I want to talk about language.

The core DnD game has several languages.  Common, Goblin, Elven, etc.  The real world has several main languages.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Language is something that adds depth and character to the world around us.  I'm fascinated by language.  I spent some time studying German.  My grandfather can speak it, and I think it's cool to learn another language, as well as learning a part of my family history.  Many of my friends can speak other languages, or have dabbled in them.  I want to take this to the next level for DnD.

I could take different languages and apply them to the game.  Since my friends and I are all native English speakers, I could use English as Common.  I'm a huge fan of goblins, so I would probably want to speak in German when I'm speaking "Goblin".  My girlfriend plays an Eladrin, and knows a lot of French, so I think that would be appropriate for "Elven".

I have yet to apply this to my game.  There are too many languages, and I only really have an understanding of about 3.  For example, I don't really know any friends that have knowledge of Portuguese (a shame).  However, I could see some really cool things be done with it.

  • Role play an encounter with a player in a different tongue.  If that player is the only one who speaks Elven in game, and you both can speak Spanish, speak in Spanish with them.  Write notes if you have to, but really make the rest of the group clueless to the discussion.  Their reactions will be much more real.
  • Write letters/notes in different languages for certain characters to find/read.
  • Create your own language for the game.
Tolkien used different languages in his books, and I loved them because of it.  The man was a linguistic genius.  He spoke many languages and created his own.  His languages will probably be a lot more complex than what I (and probably you) will create, but it will add a lot to the game.

I started to create my own language back in the day.  It was pretty basic, but it was an interesting go.  At this point, I would rather just apply real world languages.  You can find level one language textbooks at college bookstores and start applying basic sentences such as "how far is that?" and "That costs 50 gold".  A dictionary between the two languages will also help.  One of the first words I looked up when I was in 9th grade was the German word for dragon (Drache).  I still remember it.

Comments

  1. That would be really cool. (: Yay languages! I know, I'm a nerd... :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good read Karl! keep it up!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

D&DNext and the Despair Deck

"Fear attracts the fearful." - Darth Maul
In May of 2011 (which seems like forever ago), Wizards of the Coast released a 4th Edition supplement entitled The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond.  One of the coolest things to come in the box set was a deck of 30 cards called the Despair Deck.  The deck, to quote from the campaign guide, "represents the unnatural behaviors and neuroses that can come over those who visit the Shadowfell."  I would like to that statement one step farther and say that the deck represents behaviors and neuroses that come over those who visit any place of horror.  Flipping through the deck, the cards are separated into three main categories: Fear, Apathy, and Madness.  Such traits create good roleplaying opportunities, as well as further demonstrating the horrors that adventurers face on a regular basis.

I thought the Despair Deck was a great addition to special encounters and events for D&D, and I've really wanted to c…

Revisiting the Trinket Lord

As I’ve gone back to dive into the options that are 4e D&D, I took another hard look at something near and dear to my heart: my 4e published article, The Trinket Lord. Published in Dungeon 205 (August 2012), it was another article in the Court of Stars series about the Archfey. With GenCon 2017 occurring right now, I figured it's a good time to talk about such things again.  I had always found the Court of Stars articles extremely intriguing and full of adventure hooks, but when I pitched this article, only two existed, The Prince of Frost (Dragon 374) and the Bramble Queen (Dungeon 185).
The Trinket Lord was originally pitched back in April 2012, when WotC accepted article submissions for their Dragon and Dungeon magazines. My contact for the entire process was Greg Bilsland (which was a major “whoa!” moment for me). I consider my relatively short interactions with Greg to have been extremely insightful, as he gave me a good mix of compliments and critiques and helped me im…

The Evils of Fey

"They were big and little creatures. Some were hairy with long, thin tails, and some had noses long as pokers. Some had bulging eyes and some had 20 toes. In they came -- crashing through the door, sliding down the chimney, crawling through the windows. They shouted and cried. They banged pots and pans. They twirled their tails and tapped their toes upon the wooden floor. He watched as the trolls gobbled the food and threw the plates and drank everything in sight. They continued to shout and scream, to scratch the walls and pound the floors and slap their tails upon the table. The tiny trolls were the worst of all. They screamed at the top of their lungs and pulled each others' tails." - The Brothers Grimm
In the previous post, I wrote about broadening the use of monsters in my campaigns.  I mentioned my love for the fey and the Feywild, and how I was trying to step away from it.  In today's post, I want to embrace the fey, and write about all of the wild i…