We utilize the DMFI language system on Arleah, with many languages added in. Language learning is fairly straightforward as there are only a few ways to do so. New characters can choose 'background' languages upon creation in addition to their automatically granted racial languages; your int mod at level 1 determines how many languages you can choose from (we will ask for explanations for Challenging languages, and we will likely deny Extremely Difficult languages without an extremely good explanation. Characters can also purchase some languages via roleplay tokens (see RP Tokens section), and characters can learn languages from other players via roleplay (with some DM observation), if a sufficient amount of time and effort goes into it.
To further explain the mentality behind background languages - especially with Extremely Difficult language approval - these are languages that your character learned before becoming a level 1 character. For the sake of consistent review and approval, think of what a 'level 0' character would have to have gone through to learn an extremely difficult language. Most likely, this would have come at great personal cost, or with some sort of ongoing danger or challenge as a result of it. We look forward to your creativity for these requests, though we also encourage you to seek out player characters to try and learn these languages from if you are interested, as they generally end up as interesting interactions.
Below is a list of languages, as well as which races (or classes) attain these languages for free. In the flavor descriptions below, please note that 'similar to' means that it shares a written script / alphabet with the mentioned language.
List of languages in Cardathia
Easy to learn:
Common - This is not represented by a language token, this is simply the English language you type with to roleplay. It is only important to list this for those very few characters who roleplay not knowing it, and only to mention that it is easy to learn, should their character choose to do so. Primary language of any Human city or settlement, or any surface settlement with a wide variety of races.
Elven - Popular amongst non-Elves as a 'high society' language. Most common language spoken in Treetop Village, though due to trade with Arleah, they generally know Common as well.
Dwarven - Popular amongst mercenaries and craftsmen. Most common language spoken in Karak Lor'dannon. While Dwarven merchants and crafters make a point to speak Common primarily, most Dwarves are not adventurous and do not bother to learn Common.
Gnomish - Similar to Dwarven. A fairly archaic language, as Gnomes in Cardathia are rarely rude enough to hold conversations in Gnomish when even one participant cannot understand it. Though Cardathia does not have a massive population of Gnomes, this is still an easy language to learn, as a typical Gnome is more excited to teach on average than, say, a grumpy Dwarf or a haughty Elf.
Halfling - Similar to Common. This is spoken widely in Jeqigi, though nearly all Halflings speak Common primarily, as they share Jeqigi with a large number of Gnomes. The ease of learning is helped along by the fact that Halflings take more interest in Human society, as Gnomes are too wary to fall for their tricks and jokes.
Orcish - Similar to Dwarven. Though no settlement speaks this primarily, many speakers can be found in Wyvern's Gate, and many individuals of orcish descent who dwell in large cities speak it as well.
Undercommon - Similar to Elven. Serves the exact same purpose in the Underdark as Common does on the surface; a trade language, spoken by nearly all residents of the Underdark. The most notable difference is that no Underdark settlement speaks Undercommon primarily. The slaves of the Drow generally only know Undercommon, as the Drow are loathe to teach their language to 'lesser races'.
Drow - Similar to Elven. Primary language of Cerlynosha, though it is worth noting that most Drow are offended by any 'lesser race' presuming to speak to them in their language unless directly addressed in Drowish first. Though this renders it useless as a trade language, many Drow who live on the surface do not have such qualms, and many have learned the language simply because of how useful it is to eavesdrop on a race inclined to scheme against others.
Challenging to learn:
Draconic - Also known as the 'language of magic'. While most arcane magic users learn to speak Draconic as part of their training, few teach it to others, and few others are interested. The language of Dragons is a complex one, and fluency may take years.
Goblin - Similar to Dwarven. Viewed as a 'primitive' language by many. While the language is rather simple, goblinoids are rarely welcome in cities, and generally do not wish to integrate into these societies.
Giant - Similar to Dwarven. Given their hostile nature (especially with Dwarves), Giants are extremely disinterested in teaching their language to others.
Gnoll - Similar to Common. Given extreme hostilities with humans, those that speak the Gnoll language are generally looked down upon.
Extremely difficult to learn:
Abyssal - Similar to Infernal. Spoken by Demons and other chaotic evil outsiders, this language is magically infused. Simply speaking it can draw the attention of evil creatures or have side effects. Some settlements have outlawed speaking this language outright. Forcing a Demon to teach this language is a foolish venture; they could easily share phrases that would cause harm to the speaker, or free the Demon. It is rumored that speaking this language can cause permanent damage to one's soul; the more you speak it, the more dire the corruption.
Aquan - Similar to Elven. Spoken by water-based creatures, such as water elementals or sentient creatures who live in the ocean. Given the difficulty of getting to know such a creature, as well as how very different from civilized folk they tend to be, this is not an easy language to learn.
Auran - Similar to Draconic. Spoken by air-based creatures, such as air elementals or naturally-born flying sentient creatures. Given the difficulty of getting to know such a creature, as well as how very different from civilized folk they tend to be, this is not an easy language to learn.
Celestial - A unique language spoken by Celestials and other good outsiders. A certain exalted purity is required to speak this language without repercussions, it can be uncomfortable to speak this as a non-good creature. It is rumored that those who make promises in the Celestial language are bound by the gods themselves to see their promise through; breaking such a promise could indeed have dire results. Celestials rarely find any worthy of sharing their language with.
Drow Sign - This unspoken 'finger speech' is a rapid and complex sign language. If perfected, one can convey complex words and sentences as fast and fluently as speaking aloud. Creatures with weak eyesight or lacking nimble fingers should not even attempt to learn this language. Drowish pride prevents Drow from teaching this to any others; only a few non-Drow have ever claimed to have learned it.
Ignan - Similar to Draconic. Spoken by fire-based creatures, such as fire elementals or sentient creatures with a fiery lineage, such as a fire giant. Given the difficulty of getting to know such a creature, as well as how very different from civilized folk they tend to be, this is not an easy language to learn.
Infernal - Spoken by Devils and other lawful evil and evil outsiders, this language is magically infused. Simply speaking it can draw the attention of evil creatures or have side effects. Some settlements have outlawed speaking this language outright. Forcing a Devil to teach this language is a foolish venture; they could easily share phrases that would cause harm to the speaker, or free the Devil. It is rumored that deals made in Infernal cannot be broken without dire consequences.
Sylvan - Similar to Elven. Spoken by Fey creatures, and on rare occasion, elven societies with very close ties to nature or forest-dwelling societies that have had close dealings with the Fey. Fey rarely share the privilege of knowing this language.
Terran - Similar to Dwarven. Spoken by earth-based creatures, such as earth elementals and other sentient creatures with 'mother earth' cultures, such as minotaurs. Given the difficulty of getting to know such a creature, as well as how very different from civilized folk they tend to be, this is not an easy language to learn.
Impossible to learn from another without significant life investment:
Animal - It is said that druids, shamans, some rangers, shifters and the like can learn to communicate with animals, but there is no way to learn this ability without following the same path as these individuals. Less intelligent animals may communicate only with basic 'words' to convey basic feelings, though sentient animals without the ability to speak might be great conversationalists for those with this talent.
Druidic - The secret language of Druids can only be learned as part of the bond with nature; one must become a Druid to speak it. It utilizes a unique set of letters, allowing druids to leave messages for others of their kind without fear of the wrong eyes reading it.
Thieves' Cant - A secretive sign language that is taught only to thieves that have fallen into the underworld deeply enough, and assassins who have secured their first kill. Said to have been borrowed from a discipline of organized covert warriors called 'ninjas' from a far away land.
There is one more language utilizing this system that is a secretive guild-given language. This is listed only for the sake of completion, it can only be learned if offered.
Race-Related Languages For New Characters
The following languages are not counted against your int mod for the listed races/racial types:
Elven subraces - Elven (Drow excepted)
Dwarven subraces - Dwarven
Gnomish subraces - Gnomish
Halfling subraces - Halfling
Orcish subraces - Orcish
Celestials (possibly other good outsiders*) - Celestial
Demons (possibly other CE outsiders*) - Abyssal
Devils (possibly other LE outsiders*) - Infernal
Fey - Sylvan
Goblinoids - Goblin
Giantlike - Giant
Gnollish - Gnoll
Dragonblooded/Reptilian races - Draconic
Any underdark race - Undercommon
Genasi - Air/Auran, Water/Aquan, Ignan/Fire, Terran/Earth
Drow and Drider - Drow, Drow Sign, Undercommon
Three class/template based languages:
Druidic - Druid, Shaman, Arcane Master Harper, Divine Master Harper, Harper Mage, Harper Scout
Animal - Shifter / PnP Shifter, All Lycanthropes, Animal Companion feat (Druid 1, Shaman 1, Ultimate Ranger 5, Ranger 6)
Thieves' Cant - Rogue, Ninja, Assassin, Ninja Spy, Beguiler
Warlock pact languages:
Warlock characters are potentially eligible for a class language based upon their warlock pact. These pacts are currently 100% roleplayed and not mechanical, and we've sought to reward that investment with relevant top-end languages. Warlocks are eligible for this at level 1. With that said, taking 1 level of Warlock only for the language token is strongly discouraged. These languages will not be automated and should be requested from a DM. Below is a short sample list of pacts and languages:
Infernal Pact - Infernal
Demonic Pact - Abyssal
Fey Pact - Fey
Eladrin Pact - Celestial
Elemental Pact (Air) - Auran
Elemental Pact (Earth) - Terran
Elemental Pact (Fire) - Ignan
Elemental Pact (Water) - Aquan
*We aren't going to run down each and every race and decide ahead of time; if you think it makes sense for the race you are choosing, let us know and we will make a decision. Also, see D&D Rule below.
"Half" Race Characters
Any half-race characters (half-elves, half-orcs, half-drow, Mul, etc) may take their language without impact to int mod if it makes sense for them to have learned it. This includes Aasimar / Celestial language, Tiefling / Infernal OR Abyssal, Half-elves / Elven, whatever makes sense.
The "D&D Rule"
There are simply too many races to go through and list exactly what languages they should get. If a race you are choosing gets an automatic language in D&D that we have available on the server, you can have it free of int mod at creation. Grabbing an administrator to double check will speed up the process.
Regarding Non-Racially Learned Languages
Please see the server rules (specifically, 'Requesting Languages' and 'Learning New Languages' under Miscellaneous) for new and updated rules and procedures for requesting languages at creation as well as restrictions and guidelines regarding teaching other players languages you know.