To be able to converse with the world’s denizens in DnD 5E, characters must utilize Languages. The importance of Languages in a strategy is decided by the DM; however, they can always add a good little flavor to your character.
Languages are simply just the various kinds of speech used by various peoples and creatures of a world, whether it is a Homebrew or even a canon world like Forgotten Realms or Eberron. For the sake of brevity, I’ll cover the beds base Languages found in the Player’s Handbook and most basic campaigns.
How Do You Choose a Language?
In general, a large proportion of normal society can speak the Common language. All Player Characters can speak Common automatically, as it’s less a language and more of a handwave to express there is no language barrier.
That being said, other languages may be gained from your character’s race, background, class, and feats. Standard languages are standard languages spoken by the many inhabitants of a world, particularly ones which are playable to some capacity. Exotic languages are spoken by rarer creatures that are normally not playable. You will be needing your DM’s permission with an exotic language.
Your Race will know what languages your character speaks automatically, while your Background may possibly give you access to additional languages.
DnD Languages List
The below mentioned dnd 5e languages list has been collected from the players handbook from 123 page, they’re giving to the players with their selecting characters those that can choose an official language in several choices. Below is a list of Standard and Exotic Languages and who their native speakers are, along with Race- and Class-specific Languages.
|LANGUAGE||TYPICAL SPEAKERS||LANGUAGE TYPE|
|Deep Speech||Aboleths, Cloakers||Exotic|
Initial Languages are further determined by your chosen background. Every character starts with knowing Common, then depending on which Background you select, you may get allowances for several additional languages. Make sure to run your language choices by your DM ahead of starting the campaign.
This is a set of bonus language choices per Background option (from the Player’s Handbook):
- Acolyte – Two of Your Choice
- Charlatan – None
- Criminal – None
- Entertainer – None
- Folk Hero – None
- Guild Artisan – Among Your Choice
- Hermit – Among Your Choice
- Noble – Among Your Choice
- Outlander – Among Your Choice
- Sage – Two of Your Choice
- Sailor – None
- Soldier – None
- Urchin – None
Using a mix of your Background, Race, and Class, you can find yourself having your character be fluent in many languages that would be greatly advantageous to your party as a whole. If your character can speak Draconic, it might make encounters with Dragons be particularly interesting. Exotic languages may require approval from your DM obviously, but even having multiple Standard languages could prove to be a great asset.
Changes with 5E
In Fifth Edition, small changes were designed to language rules. Originally, the Primordial languages were separated into different languages per Elemental. Now these languages—Aquan, Auran, Ignan, and Terran—are combined underneath the Primordial tag and are considered different dialects of exactly the same language. Creatures of the elemental planes that can speak one language natively can generally understand speakers of another dialects, though your DM may decide whether a Player Character can.
Because Languages are so straightforward, they’re often overlooked or under-utilized when building your character. They’re generally limited, but if you have a pursuit in rounding out your character’s Language knowledge, you can find alternative options to getting access to even more.
If you determine to play as a Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard, you could have access to the spell 1st Level spell “Comprehend Languages.” This spell lets you understand any spoken and written language for starters hour. To learn more on the mechanics of the spell, you can go through the entry on DnD Beyond.
These same classes, along with Paladin, also have access to the next Level spell “Tongues” which will enable a targeted casting on another creature. This will give any creature the ability to understand and speak a language known by the party, like Common.
If you do not want to focus as a spellcaster, you could always take the Monk class. At Level 13 you gain the power “Tongue of the Sun and Moon,” providing you the ability to understand and speak any language. The caveat to this is that level 13 is rather late into most campaigns, and this ability won’t be accessible until later.
Without taking race and class into account, there’s always the option of taking the feat “Linguist” to gather more language knowledge. This feat boosts your Intelligence by 1, to a maximum of 20, and allows you to learn three languages. You may also gain the use of ciphers, which may be found in some interesting ways. Perhaps your character is really a paranoid wizard that’s terrified of losing their spellbook, and the cipher is the perfect chance to guard the coveted grimoire.
They’re great alternative choices for if you would like more language abilities compared to the standard allotment.
Ultimately, Languages in many cases are underused regardless of the interesting flavor they can increase any given campaign. Their usage must certanly be determined by the DM, but if you are about to DM a strategy of your then maybe you are interested in looking into them more. Additionally you will find information regarding languages in extended materials such as for example Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and the Guildmasters’Guide to Ravnica.