Sign Language

Those who have mastered the use of sign language can communicate among themselves without words, provided they can see each other’s hands. Signing is a language unto itself: It conveys ideas that any other character who has the sign language proficiency can understand, regardless of his or her native language.

To use sign language for an entire round, all parties involved must make a successful check. Characters who succeed can converse together for an entire minute; those who fail can’t listen. When a PC signs successfully with an NPC, the DM should speak freely with the player for one minute per round. Every round of conversation requires another check. A failed check means that the speaker didn’t perform his finger movements accurately, the listener wasn’t watching the speaker closely enough, or something else blocked communication.

On Athas, many groups employ sign language for covert conversations. In some city-states, using sign language can be grounds for imprisonment. Though sign language throughout Athas is generally consistent, some secret societies employ special codes so that unwanted eyes can’t decipher specific conversations.

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