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How does a PC go about learning to read / speak thassilonian?

Rise of the Runelords

It seems as tho Thassilonian is not on the linguistics 'learn a Language' list, so how are my PCs ever going to learn it? I guess multiple ranks in linguistics would help to read/understand it but at level 11 none of my players has put a point in it and spending the next few levels getting them to put points into it seems like a bad pay off vs its usefulness.

I'm running rise of the runelords so that party has access to a sage that can decipher the language in there home town but other then that I'm a bit stuck and now with more and more people muttering the language or having scrolls wrote in it my party want to learn it for thereself, so any ideas how?

Thanks in advance to anyone helping! I'll reward xp and loot to you, tho the loot contains Thassilonian scrolls =D

The Core Rulebook only shows default langauges, not Golarion specific languages. Its up to the GM as its a dead language like Latin so it would be far easier to read opposed to speaking for a PC but there is no reason the resident wizard can't know the language. There are plenty of adventures with RotRL that will bring them in contact with the language.

looking at the spell list 'Comprehend Languages' would do it, the only spell casters a druid tho.. they seem to be the only one not able to use this spell

thanks Kyle

Given the lack of party wizard and anyone thats been reading thassilion so far how would people pick up a 'dead lauguage'? is it something that putting 1 point into linguistics is going to be able to pick up or whould it require more points and or study?

It seems down to GMs choice, i am a very noobish GM

By the rules, one rank of Linguistics = understanding a language with reading, writing and speaking. However, you could take this as a role play oppurtunity and force the characters to find Thassilonian tomes and make charcoal etchings of words found in ruins.

You're the GM, its up to you. Otherwise, someone has to sink a rank into the skill to learn it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's pretty much up to GM interpretation. Some may say it's a matter of taking a skill point in Linguistics, others may impose other requirements first.

Liberty's Edge

I would think that in PFS a character could go to the lodge and spend time with one of the Masters of Lore (and pick up another rank of Linguistics). Since there's no defined time between scenarios there really doesn't need to be a In Game justification.

Just my thought on the matter though.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How characters learn/get trained on skills (or feats, class features, etc.) is one of the things that the rules gloss over or handwave away. While some groups embrace the "realism" of training and time requirements for their characters gaining abilities, many find the added bookkeeping (finding a trainer, calculating time spent, tracking living and training expenses, etc.) more trouble than it's worth. Especially if characters can be "self-taught" or "learn by doing" instead of needing formal training.

For organized play, spending time at the table on covering such peripheral details instead of running the central scenario would probably be a poor choice.

Grand Lodge

Well the way I went was my tattooed tiefling wizard, of Varisian descent, started young looking into the origins of her tattoo (she has the Varisian tattoo feat) and has been a bit of a language nut since childhood as a result. She learn thassilonian in Korvosa at the wizards school there and was brought into the society as a result of her interest in 'dead cultures and languages' as she also speaks ancient oscirian

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Page 251 is one of my favorite pages from the Inner Sea World Guide - I'm working up a loremaster-type character whose goal is to learn every language :)

Additional Resources wrote:

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea World Guide


Languages: all languages on page 251 may be learned via the Linguistics skill;


EDIT: Just to clarify - Thassilonian is on the list of Ancient Languages from this page of the ISWG, meaning your character can learn it.

Umm in rise of the runelords specifically in the players handout at the beginning, their is a character trait, that allows you to learn thassilonian. Read/write, etc... im certain no one thought it'd be a good idea, but well there it is. Always remember you are the gm. You can make anything happen. :)

Probably the same way anyone learns a language: a great deal of time at study. A noted linguist once answered that after about four years of modest study time, you can acquire a basic understanding and use of a language. Historically, you went to the monastic or royal library where the scholars taught you for a decade or two. In game, Thassalonian would be acquired in that way. Self-study would seem an extreme bit of guesswork without a lot of references. You would never acquire idiomatic and contextual knowledge easily.

That said, players would simply head on down to some mentor who would introduce them to the discipline. In PFS, eh. Pick up the pencil and write 'Thassalonian' on your sheet.

Dark Archive

I've had several of my more academic characters pick it up as a point of pride as they leveled. They've read the Pathfinder chronicles about all of these strange things coming out of Varisia, and one of those strange things is a language that everyone thought was dead. It's just logical to make a study of it, either to help out or just to impress people.

I allowed one of the PCs in my game to learn Thassilonian after studying with Brodert Quink by spending the normal skill point in Linguistics.

I'd probably also let someone learn it after getting a book on the topic from Quink or the Pathfinder Society. More arcane means like consulting with the dead could also work.

If you want to "gift" Thassilonian to the characters without them spending a skill point and you have a player wearing a Sihedron medallion, I'd suggest having them start "remembering" words over the course of a few sessions. It's a good bit of foreshadowing.

Personally, though, I'd just leave them unable to understand it without investing in Linguistics or some source of Comprehend Languages. If they're not willing to invest a single skill point in knowing what's going on, that's on them. I'd make it clear it is an option if they ask, however.


I just wondered how different thassilionian was from Azlanti, as they came from Azlant

If you're looking to find and in-game path (I used this for my character):

Speak varisian and shoanti, both are descended from thassilonian. The excuse is that your character "backtracked" the language.

YMMV. My character is an aasimar cleric (took truespeaker instead of skilled. Wants to learn more abour his varisian ancestry... and so collects languages like other people collect coins. Maxed out linguistics as well...

Your character would probably be able to learn from the Cyphermages over at Riddleport, if not also in other parts of Varisia where there is an interest in the ancient empire of Thassilon. It is quite likely that the Pathfinder Society, along with some other organizations, would also have extensive amounts of information concerning the topic as well as the language. I could also see some Blackfire Adepts who have such information, if only because some Runelords were keen on pulling off crazy summoning stunts and fiend worship.

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In my campaign, many deep scholars of Thassilonian had "cracked" the meaning of the Thassilonian language due to high linguistics combined with liberal use of comprehend languages. However, nobody had any idea how it was *truly* pronounced, so they created their own phonetic system for each of the runes. I determined that some runes were nothing more than phonemic placeholders that could be combined to make words (these were cracked by linguistics checks) while most had a strict meaning assigned to the rune itself (these could be determined using comp lang). After this, these scholars could read Thassilonian for comprehension, so they then assigned a random phoneme to each of the runes so they could pseudo-pronounce them aloud. At the start of the campaign, PCs could use ranks in linguistics to train with those who knew this version of Thassilonian like Brodert Quink or Lyrie Akenja, and some of them did so. However, after finding the clockwork librarian (they technically had chances before this, starting as early as Erylium, but killed those NPCs because they were evil) they laboriously relearned Thassilonian with the correct pronunciation, thus becoming world-renowned for bringing the true pronunciation back to Golarion at large. I required them to take another rank in linguistics before they could do this (I didn't make them pay for it twice--they still also got a new language when taking that second rank in linguistics, but it represented continuing studies).

So that's what I did, anyway.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When we started, I was running the original version, converted to Pathfinder. We started before the APG came out, so I didn't use traits in the campaign.

I did write my own version of the Players Guide, and there was mention of the Thassilonians and their legacy. One of the PCs wanted to be an expert on Thassilonian history, so I just let him spend skill points in Linguistics to know the language.

When the PCs encountered the magic hologram of Karzoug in Thistletop, I did point out that he was speaking Thassilonian in an accent they'd never heard before. The PC Thassilonian expert (correctly) posited that was how the language was actually spoken thousands of years ago.

Yeah I pretty much played it as Haladir did for my players as well.

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