I’ve started organizing information from my Astonishing ACKS campaign into actual pages on this gameblog. I’m posting this fragment today so I don’t misplace it…
All PCs are assumed speak Common and their cultural dialect. Degree of literacy depends on the character’s Intelligence score:
INT 8 or lower: Illiterate.
INT 9-12: Semi-Literate.
INT 13+: Fully Literate.
(Exception: Arcane spellcasters are always fully literate, even if their INT score is only 9-12.)
In addition, PCs can speak a second language based on their cultural background. Characters of Common/Mixed stock may select their second language, or if INT 9-12 can instead upgrade to full Literacy.
The following languages and dialects are common in my Hyperborea:
- Common (Spoken across Hyperborea.)
- Hellenic (“Old” Common; also spoken by Amazons & Atlanteans.)
- Norse (Spoken by Skandiks.)
- Keltic (Kelts & Kimmeri-Kelts.)
- Pictish (Picts and Pict Half-Breeds.)
- Tlingit (“Secret” language of Pict Half-Breeds.)
- Kimmerian (Kimmerians & Kimmeri-Kelts.)
- Thracian (Ixian and Subterranean Kimmerian dialects.)
- Eskuit (Coastal and Tundra dialects.)
Keltic and Pictish are mutually intelligible, as are the Coastal and Tundra Eskuit dialects. Interestingly, so are the Thracian dialects spoken by Ixians and subterrannean Kimmerians.
In addition, there are a number of rare or secret languages that PCs may be exposed to:
- Hyperborean (Can be selected by PCs with INT 16+.)
- Atlantean (Ancient “High” Atlantean; now a dead language.)
- Thieves’ Cant (Actually an instance of the Signaling proficiency.)
- Druids’ Cant (Secret tongue of the Keltic Druids.)
- Pnathic (Hissing, meeping language of the Ghouls.)
- R’leyhian (The Deep Ones’ croaking speech)
- Valusian (Spoken in the Serpent Isles.)
- Parseltongue (Pre-human Ophidian language.)
- Vhuurmis (Guttural beastman tongue.)