Anything the players want. That’s what they do anyway, and I know from bitter experience that once I start in on listing appropriate names for cultures and races it’s just a short step to a naming language and then a full-blown death spiral into conlangs. So Umbry, Auxi-lock, Revenge, Expendable 1401, Tomato, Hermia/Horatia, Caboose, Hurlon, Poden Persas, welcome to the Land of Nonesuch! Hope you survive the experience!
Well, except for you Revenge, better luck next life.
One thing I haven’t really settled is how many languages there are and how many the characters know. Originally I was allowing each character one extra language per INT bonus, so pretty much all the characters had one or none. Everybody in the kids’ game wanted Orc, because that was the first group of humanoid monsters they ran into, and they were fun to talk to. Now I’m thinking that will be kind of dull when they run into other monsters, unless they speak common, and I’m also wondering if I’m taking too American a view of foreign languages. In a setting where you’re exposed to them regularly, it probably shouldn’t be so hard to pick them up. Maybe one extra spoken language per point of Int over 9, and one dead language per Int Bonus? It would be something to do with Int for non-Mages, given the system doesn’t really emphasize skills. And I want characters to be talking to the monsters, even the hostile ones, because that’s where the RP is.
Thoughts and suggestions? How do you handle it in your games?