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Communication between creatures of an enemy group

Let's say there's a cult and several of the cultists and mercenaries that were hired don't have any language in common. Do you just make them unable to communicate with each other, other than via handsigns? But how do they made deals or issue commands? Or would you just think "anybody joining a cult where the leader speaks common also learns speaking common"?
 

Nebulous

Explorer
If they're all from the same region, it's most likely they all know enough Common to communicate. If they're from drastically different regions or continents, they wouldn't share a language, like how the Dothraki couldn't speak to Danaeryes.
 

Len

Prodigal Member
Do some of the cultists speak common? Do they all need to converse with the mercenaries? (Beyond pointing & shouting in combat, which works pretty well regardless of language.) The mercs will be taking orders from their leader, not from any random cultist, and vice versa. As long as the leaders can communicate, even through an interpreter, they'll be able to work together as groups.
 

iserith

Explorer
Let's say there's a cult and several of the cultists and mercenaries that were hired don't have any language in common. Do you just make them unable to communicate with each other, other than via handsigns? But how do they made deals or issue commands? Or would you just think "anybody joining a cult where the leader speaks common also learns speaking common"?
I suppose it would be like any other wordless communication - perhaps somewhat spotty and prone to misinterpretation. (The rules suggest communicating wordlessly might be a task with an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure and thus call for an Intelligence check.)

I would strongly examine why as DM I'm presenting this setup to the players. Perhaps it's to afford the PCs an opportunity to interfere with this communication in clever ways that would see the NPCs/monsters act in suboptimally. But since there's no guarantee the players will actually do that short of making that a requirement of the challenge in some way, it doesn't seem like a thing I'd present except in very niche circumstances.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Let's say there's a cult and several of the cultists and mercenaries that were hired don't have any language in common. Do you just make them unable to communicate with each other, other than via handsigns? But how do they made deals or issue commands? Or would you just think "anybody joining a cult where the leader speaks common also learns speaking common"?
All hail the great and glories Jasper. Hollow be his name. May his d20 roll max. What Rya does not understand me. Give him a beating and send him to language classes.
You have two choices, they all speak a common language. Or only some of the mooks speak the common language and you give out bonus points if the pcs snipe the speakers.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
why would the Dark Lord of Doom Keep want to hire mercenaries and minions that he cant communicate with?

they'd at least need to understand - Attack!, Defend! and Kill All Elf-spawn!!!
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
Detail, immersion, realism; these are things 90% of DMs worry about. And about 10% of players worry about. If its not part of the plot, if it doesn't increase enjoyment for those playing, don't bother with it.

Do the PC's care if the cultists can talk to each other? Nope, all they care is how to defeat the cultists. If you put a group of cultists in the dungeon that can not communicate well with the other cultists, ok fine. But are you building a roleplaying opportunity for the players to defeat the group or to have something interesting happen? If not, then don't do it.
 

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