The Language

Crypt is a cipher text inspired by necron glyphs from Warhamer 40k. It is a simple substitution cipher, meaning it is easy to use and can be easily adapted to any alphabetic language (ie, doesn't have to be English).

  • English characters map to Crypt symbols
  • Words are linked together along a common connecting path
  • Spaces are preserved between words
  • Common letters have simple symbols; rare letters have complicated symbols

Transcription is easy - just take each letter from your text and convert it to the appropriate character. Link letters together into words along (mostly) the central axis.

Some special cases:

  • Separation Character: Naive linking of some characters would lead to ambiguity (ex: D, F, G, S, T). If linking could cause ambiguity a special separation character is used:
  • Punctuation: periods connect to the previous character, commas hang off to the side from the previous character (I think, therefore I am.)
  • Need Moar: Not all characters have a Crypt symbol. I welcome suggestions! We could use a sweet number scheme and some more punctuation (?!).

A longer example:

Using Cipher Text in your Game

I have used cryptic texts in my games to provide flavor and hide information for the players to discover. One great aspect of this is that it can be nuanced - players may not realize until halfway through a campaign that all of the maps contain annotations in the same language that they can decipher - and they can do the solving offline. Solving the cipher is often fun and rewarding.

(Once the players solve it I often just provide translations for future text to avoid forcing them to mundanely convert it back.)

Use Cases:

  • Primary text on riddles (if you want to be heavy-handed) or encrypted messages
  • Annotations on maps (great for hiding bonus information)
  • On ancient dungeon walls, tombs, and tomes
  • Hidden in all sorts of places - it is great when players realize the decoration text in all those places had real meaning all along


A very simple Java program to generate similar images is available here. Feel free to develop improvements.

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