I'd agree that this would work better as a one-time thing than a regular campaign feature. It's a neat idea, but you don't want the party constantly finding loot they can't use, whether that's because out of alignment/race/class restrictions or just because no one in the party wears heavy armour and all the BBEG have full plate.Charender wrote:One problem with this is that UMD specifically allows you to mimic any race when activating items. So even if you made the activation something that only X race can do, UMD still allows a human to emulate it close enough to activate the item.
The race restriction on items is more like a magic DNA test: an orc (or half-orc, or human with Racial Heritage Orc) who is raised among humans can activate an orcs-only magic item.
In the case of a Shibboleth command item, the biological identity of the user is not as important as the cultural identity - a human raised by orcs, without a drop of orcish blood, would be able to activate the item, but a full-blood orc adopted by humans would not have the correct accent.
A UMD may indeed still be useful in activating the item, but in terms of flavour it would be more like a "blind activation" task because the command word is, while not quite unknown, alien enough that you have to guess around a bit with the pronunciation (assuming you can physically produce the sound; if not you need to get creative).
My point was that if you can bypass magical restrictions on your actual race, then getting around hard to pronounce words should be easier.