D&D General Languages in D&D Are Weird, Let's Get Rid of Them.

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Now there’s an interesting point. If elves live centuries and can remember past lives, why would they develop writing?
My guess would be they'd develop writing mostly to use in communication with other species, and for trade purposes. They might not put their own language to writing but they'd still write in other languages.
 

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Edgar Ironpelt

Adventurer
I would rather (and I have) homebrew regional languages instead of useing the D&D ones... but when I don't feel like putting that in it's just as easy to say "elven"

in the game I am playing tonight (and waiting for the DM right now as I type this) he took the names of his empires and said "Oh this land all speaks this" and that land all speak this other... then even made draconic an ancient empires language...
I've done both. It depends on the game-world. In games using D&D I stick to the D&D languages or a lightly modified version. (Dwarvish and Gnome are a single language with two different accents. "Dialect" is a new language, spoken by humans, that abstracts all the variant human dialects and languages out there. And anyone can speak broken or pidgin Common if they know Dwarven/Gnome, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Gnoll, Halfling, or Orcish. They don't have to have "Common" listed as one of their officially-known languages.)

On the other hand, I have a non-D&D game with regional/cultural languages, due to the races being highly cosmopolitan. Even among the barbarian nomads, the (e.g.) Turtle Clan will have bands of humans, elves, orcs, goblins, and lizardmen, all of whom consider each other to be kinsmen - while Turtle Clan people will see people from the Million Kingdoms as outsiders speaking a different language, even when the people on both sides are elves.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
I agree with the premise of the thread that there is a problem.

The problem to me is that languages can shut down social interaction. It sounds like it might be fun to find different ways to communicate with other creatures but in practice it gets tedious and disincentives talking.

I propose giving disadvantage to any social check that arises if there are no shared languages but otherwise let them converse*.

* Exceptions can be made for truly alien creatures
 

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