Languages and Cultures

For purposes of the Language and Cultural Familiarity options in GURPS, here are some of the most common choices. Note that humans and demihumans all have widespread communities, so an elf could have, say, Western Reach familiarity with no Heartlands familiarity, or a human could have been raised in the human enclave of a dwarfhold and have Barak Tole familiarity, etc. Halflings and gnomes live all over and don’t have one specific ancestral home.

Cultural Familiarity: Western Reach
Language: Common

Cultural Familiarity: Kazikar
Language: Kazik

Cultural Familiarity: Lustria
Language: Lustrian

Cultural Familiarity: Plains of Marune
Language: Marune

Cultural Familiarity: Islands of Kesh
Language: Kesha
note – this Cultural Familiarity would also enable one to understand the intricate system of tattoos and body modifications of the Kesha people

Cultural Familiarity: Dwarfholds of Barak Tole
Language: Dwarven

Cultural Familiarity: Heartlands
Language: Elven

The Ashen Wastes don’t really have one unifying culture, but one might be familiar with Northern Orc Tribes and speak Orcish, as one example from that area.

Other language options:

- Trade Pidgin (very widespread; Spoken only, does not have its own alphabet; no proficiency above Broken [ 1 ] is possible, as it is not capable of conveying complex ideas)
- Old Tongue (a mostly dead human language, essentially like Latin)
- Halfling
- Gnomish
- Orcish
- Goblin (uses the dwarven alphabet, so some PCs may only need to pay for Spoken)
- Giant (kind of a mashup tongue spoken by true giants, ogres, trolls and the like; uses the orcish alphabet, so some PCs may only need to pay for Spoken)
- Draconic (spoken by dragons and other intelligent reptiles; many ancient magical texts are written in Draconic, so it’s a common language among wizards)
- Celestial (good outsiders such as angels and archons)
- Infernal (evil outsiders such as demons and devils)
- Aquan (water); Ignan (fire); Terran (earth); or Auran (air) (native tongue of certain elemental outsiders)

Note that it is highly unlikely that a PC would have any cultural familiarity with species or regions of the Underdark, but Undercommon is kind of the “trade pidgin” of the Night Below.

Languages and Cultures

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