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Language of the Shadow Plane

Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

My Paladin is currently spending some time between adventures on the Shadow Plane.

She just leveled, I'm willing to throw a skill point into Linguistics to pick up the local lingua monsterica.

What language is spoken on the Shadow Plane?

It'd make sense if they spoke Shadowtongue there, but I do know they speak Common, D'ziriak and possibly Undercommon.

I might be wrong about that, though. I guess it depends on race. Umbral Dragons probably still speak Draconic.

Well, Fetchlings (a race native to the Shadow Plane) by default have only Common as an automatic langauge, so by the core rules there is no Shadow Plane language. What races did your paladin meet on that plane? I would go with whatever languages those races spoke.

Fetchlings understand D'ziriak, right?

That's one language unique to the Plane of Shadow, at the very least.

Good point. D'ziriak is a bonus (not automatic) language for Fetchlings, and they can only learn to understand it, not speak it. Presumably all other player character races would be under the same restriction.

That's because the race that "speaks" D'ziriak is a bunch of alien bug people.
Kinda hard to talk back when your mouth is anatomically different from theirs.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would imagine the Plane of Shadow would have different languages than the Prime Material. I don't think their "common" would be our common. Heck, I have neve rliked the whole "common" language thing, but hey, that's my beer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think Golarion as a setting does well using "common" in a generic way to describe the sort of "most common trade gestalt of the inner sea". It's not that there aren't plenty of places where no one speaks "common," nor that there aren't plenty of places where the local "common" isn't the same as the Inner Sea.

Saying that you don't like the whole "common" thing is kind of like saying you don't like the whole "English" thing in our world. I can go to places in Quebec, Louisiana, New Mexico or Puerto Rico where, if people do speak English, they won't necessarily be willing to speak it to me... The same thing probably occurs in plenty of parts of Varisia, Cheliax, Qadira and others...

But where trade goes, common languages tend to develop, especially in regions where insular religions aren't the primary vector of education, and since religion is more a matter of alignment (in the generic sense, not the game mechanic sense) in the Inner Sea, a more fluid communication is more likely.

Yeah, but that analogy kind of breaks down when you can go to Mendev and meet Kellids that won't speak common, but then you can go to say the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire and you find genies wandering around there that will.

In light of stuff like that, it makes me wonder if common is called Taldan because Taldor more or less invented it, or because (more likely, in my view) they were the first human nation to adopt a language already spoken across the planes.

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