Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cardinal origins and languages

Cardinal origins and languages for my Lost City campaign. 

Cardinal origins:

When you create your character roll a d6 and choose his or her cardinal origin. 
(The campaign is set in the eastern lands). 
  • 1- 2 Northern or Western
  • 3- 4 Western or Eastern
  • 5- 6 Eastern or Southern
Each cardinal region host many kingdoms and cities. I keep them vague for now, but later if we develop the campaign, I (or maybe the players) will be free to invent villages, towns or kingdoms of origin. 
  • Northern lands: the untamed north, cold and icy. 
  • Western lands: pseudo medieval-Europe, farms, hills and dark forests.
  • Eastern: pseudo medieval Middle-East, majestic mountains and lot of desert.  
  • Southern lands: vast savannas, jungles, rocky cliffs and volcanic islands. 
(But those are only broad and general traits, it is totally possible to deviate from them.) 
(And there is also the "far" north, west, east and south.)

Languages of men:
  • Cardinal Commons: each cardinal common (northern, western, eastern and southern common) can communicate with each other but with a reaction adjustment penalty. 
  • Great Empire: the language that unified the Great Empire before it fall. Can understand Ancient Empire with a reaction penalty.  
  • Ancient Empire: the near forgotten language of the first Empire of men. Can understand Great Empire with a reaction penalty.   
  • Thief speak: local secret and coded language. Can understand rat speak and other thief speaks with a reaction penalty. (Thieves quickly learn local thief speaks and loose their reaction penalty after they spend some sessions in a new city). 
Languages of the Earth:
  • Dwarven: can understand gnomish and old dwarven with a reaction penalty. 
  • Gnomish: can understand dwarven and old gnomish with a reaction penalty.
  • Old Dwarven: can understand dwarven and troll with a reaction penalty.  
  • Old Gnomish: can understand gnomish and troll with a reaction penalty.  
  • Troll Tongue: the old language of the Trolls (and giants). Can understand old dwarven and old gnomish with a heavy reaction penalty.  
  • Cave speak: common language of the underdark, there is so many variants that it always used with a reaction penalty. 
  • Old Folk: the language of house and field spirits. 
Language of the Forest:
  • Elven: understand fae idiom with a reaction penalty. 
  • Fae Idiom: the strange way of speaking of the faery. Understand elven with a reaction penalty. 
  • Sylvan: the language of the sentient threes and plants creatures. 
  • Slow Tongue: lizard men and reptilian creatures speak this ancient language. They can understand the Dark Egg Speak with a reaction penalty. 
Desert, Sea and Sky:
  • Sea Tongue: the secret language of intelligent sea creatures. 
  • Sky Song: the secret language of of intelligent avian creatures. 
  • Desert Tongue: the secret language of the desert. 
Chaos Spawns:
  • Spawns Tongues: the crude tongue of the cruel and brutish humanoids born from chaos (goblins, orcs, etc). They can understand each other with a reaction penalty.
  • Dark Egg Speak: the language of Kobolds and chaotic reptilian cults. Understand the Slow Tongue with a reaction penalty. 
  • Rat Speak: the coded language of were-rats and rat-creatures. Can understand thief speak with a reaction penalty. 
Alignment and magical languages:
  • The Tablets of Law: the lawful language in witch the gods wrote the Tablets of Law. 
  • The First Words: the neutral language that beast and human shared at the dawn of time. 
  • The Changing Tongue: the changing language of magic and chaos. (Read Magic let you read the ever changing magical variations of the language). Can speak with chaos spawns with a heavy reaction penalty.   
  • The Dark Utterance: the dark language of evil spirits and demons.
  • Elemental Runes: elemental languages only usable as written runes. Can be slowly "spoken" as a sign language with a reaction penalty.    
  • Gem Speak: the vibration language of gem creatures.
Any creature have a chance of 1 on a d6 to speak their alignment language (even animals). 
Magical creatures always know their alignment language (this include spell casting creatures). 

Extra languages
  • Humans, Halflings and Half-Orcs start with their cardinal common language. 
  • Dwarfs, Gnomes, Elves and Half-elves start with their racial language, a cardinal common language and a free additional language.
  • Thieves and assassins also start with Thief speak.
  • Clerics and Druids also start with their alignment language. 
  • Magic-users and Illusionists also start with the Changing Tongue.
  • Fighters learned a enemy language during a military campaign. But they now have a reaction penalty when dealing with this ancient enemy.    
A character origins and alignment determine his or her choice of additional languages: 
  • Northern : western or eastern cardinal commons, Great Empire, Dwarven, Sea Tongue, Sky Song, Troll Tongue, White Spawn, Blue Spawn.
  • Western : northern or eastern cardinal commons, Great Empire, Ancient Empire, Old Folk, Sea Tongue, Elven, Dark Spawn, Carrion Spawn. 
  • Eastern : western or southern cardinal commons, Great Empire, Ancient Empire, Desert Tongue, Elven, Gnomish, Sky Song, Blood Spawn, Wish Spawn. 
  • Southern : western or eastern cardinal commons, Great Empire, Dwarven, Old Folk, Slow Tongue, Sea Tongue, Ash Spawn, Green Spawn. 
  • Elf : any cardinal commons, Great Empire, Ancient Empire, Dwarven, Sylvan, Sea Song, Sky Song, Fae Idiom, any of the Spawns Tongues, Storm, Ice and Stars Runes. 
  • Dwarf : any cardinal commons, Great Empire, Ancient Empire, Old Dwarven, Gnomish, Elven, Troll Tongue, Cave Speak, Deep Spawn, Stone, Iron and Fire runes.
  • Gnomes : Great Empire, Ancient Empire, Old Folk, Old Gnomish, Dwarven, Gem Speak, Cave Speak, Deep Spawn, Dark Egg Speak, Stone Runes.
  • Halflings : any cardinal commons, Great Empire, Old Folks, Sylvan, Gnomish, Rat Speak.
  • Half-Orcs : any cardinal commons, Great Empire, Troll Tongue, any of the Spawns Tongues, Dark Utterance, Rat Speak.
  • Lawful : The Tablets of Law.
  • Neutral : The First Words. (Druid only: Sylvan and Fae Idiom).
  • Chaotic : The Changing Tongue. (Cleric & Magic-User only: Dark Utterance). 
  • Thief: rat speak.
  • Magic users: storm, ice, iron, stone, dust, water and fire runes. 


knobgobbler said...

This reminds me that I need to think more about stuff like this... and gives me the nugget of an idea...

Evlyn M said...

I started with wanting to name the alignment languages and I ended up with this. :P