Tongues (spell)

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Range self
Duration 10 rounds
Area of Effect 60 ft. circle
Casting Time 2 rounds
Saving Throw none; see text
Level cleric (4th)

Tongues enables the caster to both comprehend and speak the language of any creature, living or dead. This includes idioms and elements such as sarcasm or general intent. While the spell is in effect, the caster may speak with as many people as are within the area of effect, and as many languages as required.

As with comprehend languages, the caster will also understand writings and symbols, even with long-dead languages. The spell can be used to understand coded material and ciphers.

The caster may not bestow the effects upon a recipient. The spell cannot be used to communicate with creatures of less than 5 intelligence, who have not invented language.


Babble is the reverse of the tongues spell; this may be cast upon a recipient up to a range of 30 ft., who is entitled to a saving throw against magic. If affected, the individual will be unable to understand or speak rationally with any other person for the duration of the spell.

Bringing the Spell into Play

Players should consider using the spell not only when speaking with those communicating in another language, but specifically where addressing persons of an unusual cultural or heirarchical background. We tend to make fools of ourselves because we expose our lack of manners, our uncouth nature or, indeed, that we are more educated than our peers. The spell enables characters to speak at the level of the listener, whether with kings or the criminal element, with scholars or the common people. Though the spell does not last long, when making an inquiry or giving a toast at a banquet, the caster can be as eloquent or ineloquent as the situation desires, quickly putting the listeners at ease and treating the caster as "one of their own."

See Also,
Speak with Dead
Speak with Plants
Stone Tell