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Languages are different methods of speech used by characters and NPCs on Arelith. The default language for most humanoids is Common, but other languages are represented with the Language System on Arelith. This changes text into a garbled version for characters who do not know the language being spoken.

Using languages

To use any language that your character has access to, simply type the corresponding command before speaking the language. To return to Common, simply type "--". Console command -language shows player all the languages available to their current character.

When putting an emote or speech on quick slot, don't forget to put /tk before it. More details are listed in article about communication in game.

When character speaks in a different language, player can surround parts of text with square brackets to speak those parts in common. Example: -el This is elven [and this is common].

Even when speaking a non-common language, anything written between star characters or double colons (i.e. *emotes* or ::emotes::) come out untranslated. The same is true for anything written in square brackets "[ ]", though the brackets are themselves not printed. So, for example, typing in Celestial "I pray.. *sighs heavily* the heavens will end the corruption in [Cordor] soon", prints "I qnaz. *sighs heavily* yrel relajelcl find elct yrel vunnoquiuc ic Cordor luuc." This allows third parties to pick out place names, or anything else that your PC speaks directly in common. It is also possible to write an emote between double brackets (i.e. [[emotes]]) will come out untranslated and surrounded in single brackets, making it possible to easily use that emote style.

Chat Format

There are three commands to change the way the chat is relayed, most of it related to the languages. Mind that "untranslated" refers to the raw text, regardless whether the character can translate the language or not.


colour_mode [number(0, 1, 2, 3)]

Variant 0: Both translated and untranslated text are coloured.
Variant 1: Untranslated text is not coloured but translated is.
Variant 2: Untranslated text is coloured but translated is not. [Recommended]
Variant 3: Neither is coloured.


prefix_mode [number(0, 1, 2)]

Variant 0: Render all language prefixes.
Variant 1: Render all language prefixes except Common. [Recommended]
Variant 2: Doesn't render any language label.
  • The prefix has a DC 21 lore check to recognize the language being spoken. Otherwise it will appear as [unknown].


console_mode [number(0, 1, 2, 3, 4)]

Variant 0: No untranslated text is not relayed to combat chat.
Variant 1: All untranslated text is relayed to the combat chat.
Variant 2: All untranslated text is relayed to the combat chat, except Common. [Recommended]
Variant 3: All untranslated text is relayed in the main chat, and the translation goes to the combat chat.
Variant 4: All untranslated text is relayed in the main chat, and the translation goes to the combat chat, excluding Common.

Understanding languages

Characters can speak any language given to them by their subrace or class, as well as any languages learned through other methods (see below). These are the only ways to speak languages.

Understanding languages that you can't speak is possible through several different methods. If your character has made progress learning a language (see below), you will understand lines of that language at a frequency corresponding to your current progress.

Otherwise, your character's comprehension of a language is based on their Lore skill. When another character speaks a language that your character doesn't have access to by default.

Lore contributes to language understanding, effectively giving a 1% chance of understanding any given utterance for every 2 Lore points, capping at 25% + monk levels + bard levels + harper levels.

Language recognition scales at a rate of 10% per 2 Lore points, capping at 100%.

Finally, a 1d20 skill check roll is added to your chance to translate. [1d20 + BASE lore + monk level + bard level + harper level + lore skill feats + old backgrounds]/ 2

A few notes regarding this:

  • Items increasing Lore do not count towards your Lore skill as it pertains to Language. Adding +2 Lore to all of your items won't increase your character's chances of understanding other languages.
  • Natural Ability Modifier, Feats (Skill Focus, Epic Skill Focus, Courteous Magocracy) and Bardic Knowledge will affect your character's chances of understanding other languages. A spell of Fox's Intelligence, for example, would assist in understanding a language thanks to an increased natural INT modifier.
  • Your character will make the above roll each and every time a line of text in another language is given. Understanding one line doesn't mean he'll understand the next.

Learning languages

Characters can learn to speak and understand new languages in one of two ways:

  • Language learning system is based around phrasebooks that can be found in bookshelves in the modules. With a phrasebook in your inventory, you will slowly progress in the learning of the language when you listen to the language. The roll to understand a language your character doesn't speak (see above) is separate the roll to update your progress learning it.

Rolls to learn a language are hidden. A plethora of little mechanical or semi-random factors exist, but they are meant to remain secret. Please note: this is not a quick process.

The amount of bonus languages you can learn is equal to your natural intelligence modifier. Free, bonus languages (Common, racial languages, class languages) do not count toward the cap. If you take the Gift of Tongues, then your intelligence modifier counts as +4 higher, allowing you to learn more languages, and faster. Bards get +1 language per 10 levels. Harpers get +1 language per (at) 5 levels. Monks get +1 language per 10 levels.

If you fully learn the limit of languages than what your intelligence score and bonuses can support, language learning will stop.

Natural ability bonus is gained on character creation, by increasing ability on leveling up or from epic feats. It is not counting effects that temporary increase or decrease this number (such as temporary spell effects or bonuses from items).

Soft intelligence helps to learn languages faster. As with understanding languages, Fox's Intelligence is your friend.


Phrasebooks allow characters to learn new languages. Phrasebook will still work with weight reduction, changed name or changed description. They work even when character is polymorphed/wildshaped. They do not disappear after their purpose has been fulfilled.

High-INT characters will learn languages faster. If you have three Draconic phrasebooks then only one will be used. But you can have Elven, Draconic and Hin phrasebooks in your inventory without any conflicts (This also means you can have different language books in your inventory and it will not slow the speed that you learn any one language).

Progress is saved in the character, not the phrasebook. This means that if you lose, sell or gift the phrasebook, you can acquire a new one at a later date and continue progressing through the language where you left it.

You can check your progress through the languages using the -language command. While you can't tell the exact progress, you can see a rough indicator measured in Unknown, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Fluent, where Fluent represents a completely learnt language.

The system supports learning Animal language, Drow Sign Language, Roushoum and Thieves cant through phrasebooks, but the books themselves are not available in game making them impossible to learn through this method. They will still be granted automatically with the proper race or class.

Available languages

Listed also here.

Languages by race

Note - All races speak Common by default.

Race Language
Aasimar Celestial
Dragon Draconic
Derro Dwarven
Shield Dwarf Dwarven
Gold Dwarf Dwarven
Duergar Dwarven
Wild Dwarf Dwarven
Moon Elf Elven
Avariel Elven
Aquatic Elf Elven
Sun Elf Elven
Wild Elf Elven
Wood Elf Elven
Drow Xanalress
Sign language
Fey Animal language
Fey'ri Elven
Firbolg Giant
Genasi, Air No Additional Languages
Genasi, Earth No Additional Languages
Genasi, Fire No Additional Languages
Genasi, Water No Additional Languages
Gloaming Undercommon
Gnoll Abyssal
Rock Gnome Gnome language
Svirfneblin Gnome language
Forest Gnome Animal language
Gnome language
Goblin Goblin
Green Hag Sylvan
Half-Elf Elven
Half-Giant, Cloud Giant
Half-Giant, Fire Giant
Half-Giant, Frost Giant
Half-Giant, Stone Giant
Half-Giant, Storm Giant
Half-Orc Orc language
Lightfoot Halfling Halfling language
Ghostwise Halfling Halfling language
Strongheart Halfling Halfling language
Hobgoblin Goblin
Human No Additional Languages
Deep Imaskari Undercommon
Shadovar Loross
Imp Infernal
Kenku No Additional Languages
Kobold Draconic
Minotaur Abyssal
Ogre Giant
Orog Orc language
Rakshasa Infernal
Tiefling Infernal if Lawful
Abyssal if Chaotic or Neutral
Troglodyte Draconic
Yuan-ti Abyssal
Vampire No additional languages

Languages by class

Class Language
Wizard Draconic
Harper Priest Celestial
Harper Mage Draconic
Harper Paragon Celestial
Hexblade Infernal if Lawful
Abyssal if Chaotic or Neutral
Druid Animal language
Paladin Celestial
Ranger Animal language at 6 levels
Red dragon disciple Draconic
Rogue Thieves cant at 7 levels
Cleric Celestial if any Good
Infernal if Lawful Evil
Abyssal if Chaotic Evil or Neutral Evil
Blackguard Infernal if Lawful
Abyssal if Chaotic or Neutral
Warlock Abyssal with Abyssal or Hag Pact
Deep Speech with Fathomless or Star Pact
Draconic with Undying Pact
Infernal with Infernal Pact
Sylvan with Unseelie Fey Pact
Loremaster Can learn languages with bonus languages and an unteachable language via Bonus Language V (Animal language, drow sign language, Roushoum, thieves cant. Deep Speech and Loross are currently unavailable to learn.)

Writing Languages

You can now read and write in languages using Writing Paper.

There is a 1000 character limit of special 'languages' on all items/fixtures except books and ritual circles


- You can write in any languages you are fluent in. - You can switch between languages in order to write multiple different languages within the same note, within the same paragraph, or even within the same sentence.

- The interface for note writing now has a new option, [Toggle Preview]. Choosing this option will switch the in-progress text you see in the dialogue window between the encoded input (the text with the tags) and a preview of the resulting output, complete with colorized language labels. - You can now customize the Name of your note; Names are no longer required to be the same as the note's Title. Note Names always display in Common due to game limitations.

Details: Writing in languages is accomplished by adding language syntax to the text in your note. This language syntax is fairly simple. Here are some terms that will help you understand it:

 i. A "language key" is the abbreviation you type after the "-" when switching to a language (e.g. you type "-un" to switch to Undercommon, so Undercommon's language key is "un". You type "--" to switch to Common, so Common's language key is "-".)
 ii. A "language tag" is the syntax marker you can type anywhere inside a Note that denotes the start of the language you wish to write in. A language tag is a language key inside of brackets (eg: "[un]", "[el]", "[dr]", "[-]")

Syntax Rules: 1. Any text prefaced with a language tag will be encoded as the indicated language until a different language tag is encountered. 2. Any text with no language tag preceding it is encoded as Common. 3. To switch to Common from a (non-Common) language, insert a Common language tag ("[-]").

If you don't want to bother with writing this syntax yourself, you can simply use Writing Paper as normal and the appropriate language tags will be applied automatically for you based on the language you are currently speaking.

Examples: 1. "Come to my party!" -> Produces "Come to my party!" in Common. 2. "[un]Come to my party!" -> Produces "Come to my party!" in Undercommon. 3. "[un]Come to my party! [dw]NO DERRO!" -> Produces "Come to my party!" in Undercommon and "NO DERRO!" in Dwarven. 4. "Come to my party! [dw]NO DERRO! [-]Humans are invited!" -> Produces "Come to my party!" in Common, "NO DERRO!" in Dwarven, and "Humans are invited!" in Common.


- Your reading comprehension depends on your fluency in the language you are reading. You will understand more and more words as your fluency increases.

- You additionally receive a reading comprehension bonus based on the following factors:

 i. For each 10% language progress you have learned in language(s) that use the same alphabet as the language you are attempting to read, you gain 1% bonus chance to understand each word, to a maximum of 10% bonus. For example, an elf attempting to read Xanalress (Espruar), gains a 10% comprehension bonus automatically for being 100% fluent in Elven (Espruar).
 ii. Hard ranks in Lore (including those gained from feats) increase the maximum comprehension bonus you can get from knowing similar languages by 1% per 5 ranks.
 iii. Clerics with the Knowledge Domain receive a 5% increase the maximum comprehension bonus for knowing similar languages.
 iv. Bards, Harpers, Loremasters, and Zhentarim Priests gain a flat reading comprehension bonus equal to .5% chance to understand each word per level, capping at 15% for 30 class levels.

(Be advised that all of the above may be subject to tweaking/adjustments.)

- You must be able to fully comprehend all languages within a particular note in order to read it aloud to others. When you do read a note aloud, you read it aloud in Common for all to understand (for now).

Item & Fixture Inscriptions

You can now inscribe written languages onto item and fixture descriptions using Dweomercraft Basins and Workstations. This feature can be used to inscribe written languages onto swords and armor, statues and signs, books, and more.

Details & How-To: Item descriptions now recognize two new syntax markers, [inscribe] and [/inscribe]. Any text between these two markers is interpreted in the exact same way that note language syntax is interpreted and is also subject to the same restrictions (e.g., you cannot inscribe in non-written languages, nor can you inscribe in languages you cannot speak).

Additionally, the interface for editing an item's description in the Dweomercraft Basin/Workstation has a new option, "[Inscribe item]." Choosing this option will put you into "inscribing mode" and apply all the appropriate tags for you automatically; all you need to do is choose the language you are currently speaking and append text using the interface. Players will find this to be a similar experience to writing a note. If you use [Set text from pin] you will have to write the syntax manually.

Choose [Preview description] at any time to see a preview of the item's description (this feature was broken; it is fixed now.)

See the screenshot below for an example: