Sunday, July 6, 2014

Setting & Society Sunday - Language Trees

I've seen a number of good "language trees" over the years but the one on Wikipedia accompanying their Indo-European Languages entry is particularly good.  Check it out full-sized here.

The image above was humorously touched up a bit by someone on Facebook.
While you don't necessarily need to make anything so elaborate for a tabletop RPG setting, would it be so wrong if you wanted to do so?  I think not.  In fact, if you have a world with many cultures and a rich history, it would be very useful to build one to aid in other creation projects.  If a PC discovers a book, you have a ready way to place it in time and space based on the language being used in the text.  Someone in-game might identify a weapon with particular runes as being from an ancient empire that was the progenitor of another, giving a clue as to where one might find out more or discover other related artifacts.  An obscure link between two nations might be a way for the characters to prevent a war.  The possibilities are endless, so have at it.

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