Languages in D&D: Common, Alignment, etc

I’ve been writing about languages in D&D:

Common is ~800 Words…/common-is-800…

What Are Alignment Languages?…/what-are…

I’d be really interested in any published D&D material (TSR era) that provides an example of an alignment language that is written down or chiseled into runes or something. I’m unclear if these languages are spoken-only.


Looks like I’ve an excuse to dig into some of my old D&D stuff to see if I can find this :slight_smile:

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In my Old School Essentials (B/X) game, I got rid of alignment language except for Clerics, and call it “ecclesiastic”.

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Huh, this is the first I’ve ever heard of alignment languages and, yeah, it’s just as cryptic as alignment itself. Simple in presentation, confusing upon application.

Ah, Gygax, you sly dog. If immortality is gained by the living discussing your name after your body has turned to mush, then this must have been his master plan all along. Alignment feels like a perfect fit for mimicking religion as it’s incredibly vague and yet dissected as if each of the nine alignments were brought down from a great mountain on tablets of stone. I remember getting caught up in this tabletop theological discussion years ago when I published a 100+ page book on alignments. Eventually, just like religion for some, it’s impact turned to dust in my hands and I gave it up in order to eat meat on the weekend.

Still, I find our fascination in translating and interpreting alignment to be itself fascinating.


Though you touch on it in your alignment article, common exists in my campaigns because of the divine. I a reversal of the tale of Babel, a divinity or group of divinities granted the gift of common to “all” sentient beings so that knowledge and/or the arts could be shared.