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Comprehend languages

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Comprehend languages was a divination spell that let one temporarily understand all written and spoken languages.


With this spell the caster could understand a text that was otherwise incomprehensible to him or her. The caster would see or touch the object or creature with the text in order to cast the spell. Despite being able to read the text the caster would not be able to write or speak the language of the text.[8][5][3][9] The inability to read did not effect the ability to use the spell and learn the meaning of the affected text. Every version of the spell except the first one gave the caster the ability to also understand the spoken words of the language.[5][3][9]

The reversed spell, confuse languages, took away the ability to understand normally comprehensible languages from the target for its duration.[5]


The spell needed verbal, somatic and material components. The materials required were a pinch of soot and a few grains of salt[8][5][3][9] that could be replaced by a spellcasting focus.[10]

Spellcasting TraditionsEdit

In the Rashemen spellcasting tradition of the vremyonni, there was no material component for this spell.[11]


The spell was attributed to Netherese arcanist Dace in -1864 DR, originally called Dace's comprehension.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 23,27. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211,224. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 212. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 133. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  6. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  7. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 65. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 224. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  10. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 203. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  11. James P. Davis (2008). The Shield of Weeping Ghosts. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-4877-2.

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