Languages in role-playing games

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Role-playing games often make mention of the languages spoken in the game world. There are also usually game mechanics to deal with the multilingual nature of the game world. However, in most RPGs, the languages are not elaborated. Rather, general descriptions are given, such as The Elvish language is very subtle and musical or The language of Earth elementals sounds like being spoken with the mouth full of pebbles. Elaborations of RPG languages are often fan work rather than officially licensed publications, and are in most cases of the simplest kind, showing few if any of the features ascribed to them. Often, just an alphabet exists, which often turns out to be a letter substitution cipher of the Latin alphabet.

A common trope is that of the racial language: all members of a race speak the same language (e.g., all Elves speak Elvish). Sometimes, even higher taxonomic units have a common language (e.g., all Goblinoid races, all Reptilian races). Or at least, all languages of a race are demonstrably related. In some game worlds, humans seem to be the only race with deep internal linguistic divisions.

Of course, the poor elaboration of RPG languages has a simple reason: a well-designed conlang would be a major inconvenience to the players - who usually don't want to learn an actual language just in order to play a game.

List of RPG languages