[RPG] spell or magic item that allows a character to speak Orcish


I have a player at my table that wants to use the spells disguise self and comprehend languages to pass herself off as an Orc so she can walk through a vast war encampment, which sounds great to me.

But then we ended the session before she could try, and now that I've had time to think about it, I'm wondering: based on the text of the spell, could she actually speak to any of them if they started questioning her? Seems like all it allows the spellcaster to do is understand what they're hearing, not respond.

I really want my players to be able to pull this off, but unfortunately none of them thought it was a good idea to take Orcish as a bonus language.

The team's Cleric is a high enough level to have access to tongues and the Warlock has telepathy, but neither of those options will allow them to talk to a pack of Orc guards without giving themselves away as foreigners to the rest of the group.

How do I get them through this without doing some serious DM hand-waving?

Is there a spell, magic item, or something else that allows a character to speak a language she doesn't know (without giving herself away)?

Best Answer

I say to your players, something else is the way to go. Fake it til you make it. Give 'em the old razzle dazzle. Sell the sizzle.

You can't speak orcish, but maybe you can fake it with the best of 'em. Whatever the orcs say, nod, shrug, moan, make a vaguely orcish grunt, point to your mouth and move on. Or maybe when an orc says something to you, nod, try to make a sound that sounds like a sound the orc just made, and keep moving.

Some props might help. Wrap a bloody bandage around your lower face, and fake an orc with a ogre-size toothache. Maybe some real orc blood will help sell the smell. Maybe drag a "dead" halfling along like you're taking the body to the boss.

A little charisma and maybe some proficiency in performance and deception and some luck is your best bet. Any other spells you got, use 'em -- suggestion, charm person, friends, enhance ability, could all be useful.

A distraction might help. Illusory elves attacking on the other side of camp maybe. Elves, man, orcs hate 'em. Or maybe an ally lobbing a fire arrow into the other side of camp might cause a distraction. Setting fire to the tents is always an option worth considering.

And when the jig is up, and they're getting wiggy on you, you can point in the distance, wide-eyed, make some orcish grunts, and heel-and-toe it out the door. Haste might be helpful.