August 5th, 2006

2012 Richard

Invented languages in fantasy games

Hello all

I've been agonizing over something for a few days now and thought I'd get some different points of view.
I have a fantasy world that I have been working on off-and-on for a few years now and recently have developed a desire to flesh it out some more and actually use it in play (possibly even try and publish it online as a pdf).
Anyways, when i first started working on it a I had a lot of free time and I decided to create a language for the setting (it is just one primary cultural group, so there is just one language with some regional differences). There are however, other cultures that haven't been developed yet, who speak entirely different languages.
Now, since I'm not a linguist I worked out a language that was based on an existing one (in this case Italian) and twisted by implementing several consonant drifts (the G sound becomes TH for example) and made up a 1000 word or so dictionary.
Now, there is no way I am going to hand a 40 page word list to my players and expect them to seriously digest any of it, but I like the idea of a specific language for my world.
So, here are my choices (and the point of my post, in case you were wondering):

1) Have all the place names and character names use the created language and just accept that the players are going to be confused by not knowing what the names mean.

2) Just use the created language for place names and let all the character and NPC names be just English words (all the names are things like Middleson True Heart, things of that nature, so they all have obvious meanings).

3) Pitch the whole idea and just use English words for place names and people's names.

I'll be curious to see what other people have to say.

Here is a link to the dictionary if anyone wants to see what I am rambling on about...

Ooops... I forgot that that link is just the pronunciation guide. The dictionary is a word document:

[crossposted to worldbuilding]