Writing Systems (3.5e Variant Rule)
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Under this rule, languages have different types of writing systems. Therefore, it is more difficult to acquire literacy in multiple languages that have different writing systems. Before going into detail, I'll explain what different writing systems there are.
- Logographic: Where a symbol represents a complete word
- Syllabary: Where each symbol represents a syllable which are used to make words
- Abjad: Where each symbol represents a consonant sound, there are no symbols for vowels.
- Alphabet: Like an abjad, but all consonant and vowel sounds have their own symbol.
- Abugida: Like an abjad, but each symbol is modified depending on the vowel around it (or lack of)
- Featural: Goes into the features that make up a sound, this can be attached to the previous systems other than logographic.
Most historical writing systems were not purely one type. But for the sake of the game, the languages would have a logographic, syllabic, abjad, alphabet, or abugida system.
The native (racial) language determines your native writing system. It takes two skill points to learn a language that doesn't share the same writing system as your native one.
So the writing systems under the vanilla D&D are:
- Common alphabet
- Elven abugida
- Dwarven abjad
- Draconic syllabary
- Druidic, Celestial, and Infernal logographs.
For game balance, humans will also have their own native language other than common. It uses the common alphabet under these rules.