Saturday, December 12, 2009

Languages - Planet Algol Common

Algol Common - A synthetic language created by one of the civilizations of the Ancients.

Algol Common is responsible for the "Ur-Language" hypothesis espoused by some Earth Men scholars. Algol Common was engineered for the human brain, and has "linguistic virus" properties with true humans such as Earth Men and Algol Men. This allows such true humans to learn Algol Common rapidly when immersed in an environment of it's speakers or when someone is teaching it to the subject in a period ranging from hours to weeks depending on the subject's intelligence; but usually taking a week for one of average intelligence.

Algol Common can be learned and spoken by nonhuman and semi-human beings, but in such cases it takes half of the normal period of time to learn; Algol Common was designed to be easily learned but was engineered for true human brains. Many nonhuman species, especially inhuman individuals or those possessing limited intellects, are only able to capable of using simple words and concepts when communicating in Algol Common, and such creatures prefer using their own languages.

Algol Common is spoken almost universally by Algol Men, aside from pocket exceptions of extremely isolated or isolationist societies, and many nonhumans know it as well, making it the language of trade and diplomacy planet wide. Although one of the races of the Ancients created Algol Common, it does not seem to have been widely used by the civilizations of the Ancients, although exceptions are found. However, there are assorted specialized and secret languages utilized by Algol Men as well.


  1. I wonder if the existence of "Common" is a feature unique to British and American RPGs. There seems a universal resistance (on the part of designers, DMs and players alike) to the idea of a world in which multiple incomprehensible languages exist and any effort needs to be spent on learning them. Everyone, it seems, wants a Lingua Franca.

    Any time I've tried to create a campaign setting with a six or eight or a dozen overlapping linguistic groupings, I always get players asking, "But which one is the Common Tongue?"

  2. I'm certain that matters of expedience and convenience are a great motivation for the implementation of "Common."

    I like what Mongoose's Conan RPG did re. languages, where PCs learned a new language at every second level, thereby greatly facilitating polyglot play.