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Covert language for PFS players


Roleplaying Guild General Discussion

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Players should have a 'covert' language to talk privately in. The language should be useful in dad-to-day adventuring and have a decent number of speakers to make it useful. As it's intent is to be covert(private) the language should not be spoken/known by evil and/or monster types. Alas, humans are some of the worst offenders on the Evil chart.

I'd suggest in order of preference; tien, elven, kelesh, vudrani, ancient osiriani, (ancient) azlanti.

Dark Archive *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Clearly you haven't adventured with Pathfinder SWAT.

Halfling is our preferred language. Not available on a base language sheet unless you're Human or Halfling and nobody thinks to take the language of such an unassuming race. Although "Sasquatch" came in a close second.

It's all we speak when in mission.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Ross wrote:
ancient azlanti.

Double checking, isn't it just 'Azlanti' because there isn't a newer version? There's Ancient Osiriani only because there is a newer version of that language.

Sovereign Court ****

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:
ancient azlanti.
Double checking, isn't it just 'Azlanti' because there isn't a newer version? There's Ancient Osiriani only because there is a newer version of that language.

is there a Gilmen Language? that would be Modern Azlanti wouldn't it?

Dark Archive *****

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stephen Ross wrote:
Players should have a 'covert' language to talk privately in. The language should be useful in dad-to-day adventuring and have a decent number of speakers to make it useful.

So, a language based on bad jokes?

Scarab Sages

ARG has Gillmen starting with Common and Aboleth. Though I think the Azlanti aspects are native to the Inner Sea setting, so maybe this is addressed in Inner Sea Races (a book I don't own).

Scarab Sages

Anyway, mainly asking because that Scarab Sages faction trait that gives bonus ancient languages, do give Azlanti, but doesn't list Ancient Azlanti as an option. Was under the impression that Azlanti is the most ancient that this language goes.

Grand Lodge *****

No one expects us to know halfling. Not even the halflings! Though it was a little embarrassing during the mission in [REDACTED] that we needed to adjust to the halflings we found there.

Sasquatch just sounds too much like drunken Ulfen men when they are out carousing. Not something I need to hear on a daily basis.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

1 person marked this as a favorite.

fixed the adjective on azlanti so it wouldn't confuse some people. 8^) Kibitz on

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I can think of very few cases where the opposition will be native speakers of celestial.

Back in seasons 4 and 5, my tongues oracle loved having it as a private language with all the party aasimar.

Silver Crusade ***

Kelly Youngblood wrote:

I can think of very few cases where the opposition will be native speakers of celestial.

Back in seasons 4 and 5, my tongues oracle loved having it as a private language with all the party aasimar.

My oracle with the tongues curse took Shared Communal Language as a known spell, so he could teach his entire party Celestial or Infernal and be able to talk to them during combat.

Not being able to talk to my teammates in fights before then was tough, but fun at times. One of my best moments is when my battle oracle and the party paladin got ahead of the rest of the group while fighting in melee against some enemies. Once the first wave of enemies were done, when we were expecting a second wave to appear soon, he turned to me and said, "Should we head back closer to the rest of the party?", forgetting that my PC didn't understand him. I proceeded to just babble gibberish at him at the table, and everyone cracked up laughing.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

both halfling and celestial (or any outsider language) have the issue of limited distribution and usage in the general populace on golarion and thus limited use in PFS skill checks for the average player. Clearly there is a practical part to this thread. The language has to be useful for more than just talking to your party. I'd agree that for an Adventure Path/Module there would be obvious choices, and the same is true if your usual group consists of 50%+ aasimars (but by now (Season 8) that should be limited).
Should the fighter spend a skill point on Celestial or Halfling? I'd think Tian or Elvish might appear more frequently in PFS play and certainly Tian is handy(almost necessary) in any TianXia based scenario.

**

Kelly Youngblood wrote:

I can think of very few cases where the opposition will be native speakers of celestial.

Back in seasons 4 and 5, my tongues oracle loved having it as a private language with all the party aasimar.

I've seen two players who are mundanely professors of religion specializing in Buddhism have their characters converse in Celestial, and play it by speaking Tibetan.

We also have a player/GM who can use Mandarin to represent Tien.

Hmm. I also know someone who can speak Classical Latin. There ought to be a language on Golarion that Latin would make a good proxy for.

Grand Lodge ***

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Smallfoot wrote:
Hmm. I also know someone who can speak Classical Latin. There ought to be a language on Golarion that Latin would make a good proxy for.

Thassilonian, particularly if chanted ominously.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

1 person marked this as a favorite.

O Fortuna
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
egestatem,
potestatem
dissolvit ut glaciem.
...

Liberty's Edge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Officer Rikki Gunderson wrote:
Sasquatch just sounds too much like drunken Ulfen men when they are out carousing.

YOU SAY THIS LIKE IT IS A BAD THING!

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Check out Seekers of Secrets page 25 sometime...

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Smallfoot wrote:
Hmm. I also know someone who can speak Classical Latin. There ought to be a language on Golarion that Latin would make a good proxy for.

I think that Jistka would be a good analog.

Jistka wrote:
The language of the Jistka Imperium that stretched across northwestern Garund and southwestern Avistan during the Age of Anguish and into the Age of Destiny, Jistka is remembered for forming the basis of the alphabets of many human languages. Skald, Taldane, and Varisian have numerous letters from the Jistka alphabet, and the Jistka numerals (where I is 1, V is 5, etc.) are still used by scholars and royalty for their most formal documents.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Jistka is a root language, but PF doesn't really get into that level of detail in rules for language similarities and dependence, it's just handwaived. The vast majority of GMs just treat languages as independent.
That puts Jistka squarely in the realm of scholars or those with esoteric knowledge. I suppose a modern analogy would be speaking sumerian or phonecian.
One of the issues with old languages, particularly ancient ones before printing, is the range of expression. Latin is a very simple language and many modern concepts can only be implied, not directly given words. I assume the same would be true of Jistka, Thassilonian, and Azlanti.

Dark Archive ****

Grippli works good

Shadow Lodge ****

I tried to introduce Catfolk, but nobody took it. Dwarven and Sylvan have been fairly useful though. At least with the former it's usually clear when the opposition might understand it.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

I have a halfling bard who uses Share Language to make sure everyone can use Halfling as a private language.

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Obviously all Pathfinders should learn and speak fluent Elder Thing.

**

Protean could be an interesting language. Wih it's mutable nature,even the party won't know what they're talking about half the time, never mind how hard it would be for an enemy to figure out.

Sovereign Court * Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Wayang would also work, as would Nagaji.

The Exchange ***

I love taking Necril on my characters. Almost nothing knows this language.

Sovereign Court * Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I retract any previous claim, Flail Snail is the best possible covert language.

Liberty's Edge

Graham Wilson wrote:
I retract any previous claim, Flail Snail is the best possible covert language.

...because the party can't communicate in it, only understand it?

Flail Snail, PRD:
Flail snails are intelligent gastropods that subsist on fungus, mold, and vermin, though they may attack larger creatures in self-defense. Known for their magic-warping shells and club-like tentacles, flail snails roam slowly through subterranean caverns [u]writing great epics in their slime trails.[/u]Underlined emphasis mine

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Graham Wilson wrote:
I retract any previous claim, Flail Snail is the best possible covert language.

Flail snail is not legal for PFS.

Additional Resources entry for Bestiary 3 wrote:
All languages found in this book are available for a character to learn with the linguistics skill, except flail snail.

Silver Crusade ***

Yesterday, we actually had two druids at the same table (a storm druid and a sky druid, both Gozreh worshipers), which was the first time I've ever actually used the Druidic language.

Sovereign Court * Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Michael Eshleman wrote:
Graham Wilson wrote:
I retract any previous claim, Flail Snail is the best possible covert language.

Flail snail is not legal for PFS.

Additional Resources entry for Bestiary 3 wrote:
All languages found in this book are available for a character to learn with the linguistics skill, except flail snail.

I hadn't thought to check if it was PFS legal or not, I guess now I would say Gug (it is PFS legal)

Grand Lodge ***

technarken wrote:
Obviously all Pathfinders should learn and speak fluent Elder Thing.

I have a character who does (having spent some time interacting with them) and may get another, depending on the schedule to sanction material. It might have to be a seeker level thing though.

****

It's a bit short in duration, but there's a language option that literally no one will be able to decipher, not even you after it's over: Codespeak. I've used it during infiltration missions or when we need some privacy in a home campaign. It works great, until someone gets caught and they have no idea why you're only able to communicate in gibberish.

Silver Crusade *** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Korolan

Graham Wilson wrote:
I retract any previous claim, Flail Snail is the best possible covert language.

If only it was PFS legal...

I imagine pathfinders running around, with Hands in fists over their head, waving them around erratically.

Best. Language. Ever.

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is what I imagine would happen if humanoids tried to speak Flail Snail.

Sovereign Court ****

Kelly Youngblood wrote:

I can think of very few cases where the opposition will be native speakers of celestial.

Back in seasons 4 and 5, my tongues oracle loved having it as a private language with all the party aasimar.

Celestial is all my paladin oracle inquisitor speaks. He keeps asking the foes to surrender, but can't get a clear reaponse.

***

Consider Jitskin, Azlanti, Ancient Osirion, or Thassolonian. If your going to spend a skill point, it might as well help you in more ways than simply speaking in code.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Several players in my region (myself included for tactically-minded characters) actually come up with a series of codes during character introductions.

A popular one (ironically owing to the fact that we have several lodge members with varying degrees of arachnophobia) is characters using "number of legs" to openly call out how hurt you are during combat.

That said, I'm still hoping Pathfinder Hand Sign from Seekers of Secrets (and referenced in several other places including a scenario or two) eventually becomes a PFS legal language.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

so no real consensus so far...

celestial is understandably popular, especially given Oracle's tongue curse and recent season's influx of aasimars.

Halfling was somewhat of a surprise.

My point is still the same, talk to your party members/group at level 1. Choose something most people can also choose that works for a variety of situations.

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