Dungeons & Dragons has plenty of different races and cultures that inhabit the universe. From Dwarvish, Elvish, Gnomish, and Common. Each of these languages will likely pop up at some point during a campaign. So it’s important for your party to be varied in the languages it speaks. But then there are languages that are a bit more special.
Alongside the eight standard choices, there are eight more exotic languages. These include Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Primordial, Sylvan, Undercommon, and lastly, Deep Speech. Each of these languages are far rarer in appearance, but can often be used to hide some interesting secrets. And in this guide we’ll be taking a look at what Deep Speech in Dungeons & Dragons is all about.
What is Deep Speech?
Deep Speech is a rare language that’s only commonly spoken by a few creatures, mostly aberrations and Mindflayers. Most of the time, you can expect these creatures to be evil. But if you can speak Deep Speech too, then you may be able to communicate with these creatures and learn more about their goals. The weirder aspect of Deep Speech is that it’s technically a telepathic language. This isn’t always the case, but those that know it can choose to communicate telepathically. But be aware that this doesn’t grant you any other telepathic abilities.
The uses for Deep Speech are honestly few. Since so few creatures actually know it, and the ones that do are extremely dangerous, there may not be many times when you could find a use for it. And the places that do use Deep Speech will likely use Undercommon far more. But it does give you some potential for an intriguing backstory if you choose it as a secondary language. Just make sure to prepare a convincing explanation as to how you know one of the darkest languages known in Dungeons & Dragons. Since it’s so rare and used by so few, you’ll need an interesting backstory to back it up.
Who Uses Deepspeech in 5E?
The types of creatures that know Deep Speech aren’t ones that you’d have a nice chat with. First up are Aboleths which are underwater creatures that typically live near the bottom of the ocean. They’re ancient beings that can easily use their telepathy to trick and enslave other creatures. Obviously these things aren’t very nice. Joining them are Beholders, and it’s not hard to see why these guys aren’t that great. They harbor a deep hatred for most other creatures, and it would be hard to reason with them even if you knew Deep Speech.
Mind Flayers are perhaps the most well known speakers of Deep Speech, but good luck trying to have a normal conversation with them. These creatures are inherently evil and only seek to control other beings. They are the perfect example for just how evil the Deep Speech language is. But if you can speak it, it may be interesting to talk to a Mind Flayer and see what’s going on inside their head. In all honesty that could be a really bad idea, but that’s half the fun of Dungeons & Dragons.
Should my character take it as a language?
If you want to take up Deep Speech as a language, there are a few things to consider first. For starters, Deep Speech is not at all useful for the majority of the time. Other standard languages have far more chances to be useful, so go for one of those if you want a more practical language. On the flip side, when Deep Speech does become useful, you’ll be able to interact with certain enemies and items in a very intriguing way. And you’ll likely be the only person in the party able to do it.
Ultimately, taking up Deep Speech is a decision that should give a major hint to your character’s past. It’s not a language that can be studied in a book like Dwarvish or Gnomish. It’s something that’s typically used by very evil beings in the furthest corners of the world. So make sure you fit your character around that choice to make it cohesive. You can take it in any direction you want, but it’s important that the backstory fits the character you’ll play.
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What does Deep Speech sound like?
This is something that’s a bit less clear. Deep Speech doesn’t have a defined sound or structure to its language. And that makes it a pain if you’re a DM that likes to use these languages and speak them to the players. There are plenty of places you could pull from though to make Deep Speech sound as imposing as it should be. Some DMs go as simple as describing it as a kind of whale song but more distorted. You could even say that to our ears it’s a series of sounds that are incomprehensible and difficult to pick out.
The fact that Deep Speech hasn’t got a defined sound does make it somewhat annoying. But it gives DMs the greatest weapon they could want, and that’s freedom. You get the chance to make Deep Speech a language that’s unique and memorable to your campaign. So you could make it as crazy as you wanted. Just don’t make it too disturbing. After all, you probably want your players to come back for the next session.
Deep Speech is just one of many languages in Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s up there for being one of its strangest. It’s something that can be hard to fit into a campaign, especially before players encounter very powerful enemies. But if implemented well it can make certain moments very memorable. All in all, it’s a fascinating language. But if you plan on picking it up for your character, bear in mind that it could take a while for you to find it useful. Also remember that choosing to learn Deep Speech is not a small feat. If this guide helped you understand Deep Speech a little better, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading our Deep Speech 5E Guide!
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