D&D (2024) Bonus languages in One D&D backgrounds goes contrary to their other goals


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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Would anyone support the suggestion that the section about background being totally enriched by a few sentences so as to be linked to a specific character :
Yes. The 2014 PHB does a bit of this using Salvatore characters, and it's a good way to provide examples of how the rules work and, in this case, would be a good way of showing how to make custom backgrounds. A noble of Menzoberranzan (holy crap, I spelled it right the first time) should be wildly different than a noble of Al-Qadim.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Those have historically been separate languages though. I think FR has actual names for its racial languages, I wouldn’t mind if those were used.
I think Deep Speech is actually just for aberrations. Undercommon is what I think what was meant, and that has an analogous role to Common. I don't think most Underdark societies (who are generally paranoid and insular) would be using it as their primary language.
 



Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I could accept language-as-magic. Evolving less because people are longer lived, I am not sure, though. We certainly don't speak like we did 40 years ago. Sure, we don't speak the exact same language as teenagers, but we no longer speak as we did back when we were teenagers. I am not sure the increase in lifespan over the course of the 19th and 20th century led to more language staticality.
Keep in mind that unlike the real world in a typical D&D setting you have a) interplanar travel, b) some very long-lived species with fairly stable cultures, and c) deities, any of which can serve as maens of keeping a culture's or species' language vaguely consistent from place to place and time to time.

In a different post you said Common is "Human" as they don't have their own tongue. Humans have lots of languages, or should, in any setting. Common is the somewhat-bastardized result of trying to trade in all those different languages, plus with Dwarves and Elves and so forth who add even more languages to the mix.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It occurs to me that one not-necessarily-good side effect of giving so more mechanical heft to background is that doing up a background during char-gen now becomes mandatory rather than optional.

One can't really take the old-school approach any longer of rolling up the basics, getting it in play, and sorting out background and history etc. some days or weeks or even years later; as you now need that background info as part of those basics in order to make the character playable. Result: char-gen on the fly becomes more complex, and thus will take longer.
 

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