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Sign Language in PFS?


Roleplaying Guild General Discussion

Grand Lodge **

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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is there a legal/always available sign language in PFS?
Assume we can't just make up languages?

I want a sign language to talk to my Silent Image with.

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

The only sign language is the Sakvroth language from Into the Darklands, unfortunately I cannot find anywhere allowing it in PFS.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Only valid one I know is Covert Communique Gesters from Seeker of Secrets.

Silver Crusade ***

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There currently is not a legal option. However, we deaf Pathfinders would love for you to join our Petition for a Non Evil Sign Language that all Pathfinders could learn.

Grand Lodge *

Basically you're not going to find one for PFS. There are numerous (now 8) seasons of PFS that would have to be retrofitted to be able to account for a savvy party of Pathfinders that all know sign language. This is my short restatement of a post by John Compton from a while ago.

Sovereign Court ***

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Non-deaf characters that learn to speak in sign language have an unfortunate universal habit of speaking aloud as they sign.

Shadow Lodge ***** RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

John's expanded reply is actually in the thread Lyric linked.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

What am I missing?

Additional Resources wrote:

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Seekers of Secrets

Everything in this book is legal for play with the following notes.
SoS wrote:

The Pathfinder Society possesses a number of secret gestures, shorthand codes, and slang terms specific to the association. These furtive communications can vary wildly from region to region, with some being specific to certain venture-captains or initiate instructors under whom a particular Pathfinder has studied.

Gestures: Pathfinders have a variety of gestures used to communicate silently in dangerous situations, or subtly across a crowded room. Though rarely as versatile as a naturally evolved sign language, these gestures can prove invaluable, and every Pathfinder picks up a handful during training, most relating to combat, directions, and hazards, often varying with the cohort of initiates to which a given Pathfinder belonged. Even when two Pathfinders' signs differ significantly, certain gestures common to all who've studied in the Grand Lodge can go a long way toward establishing that an inquisitive stranger is in fact a fellow member of the Pathfinder Society.

While it isn't called "PFS Sign Language", it is a sign language, is legal today (maybe not intentionally), and people have used it on characters I've GM and played with.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

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I keep being told that it is not a true language but a collection of a few code signs.

Hmm

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

It's a language in HeroLab, I know that's not "proof".

But looks like a language write up rules section.

Do you have a link to where you have been told because if it's not allowed I'd need that to get it flagged correctly as not pfs legal in HL.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

James Risner wrote:

It's a language in HeroLab, I know that's not "proof".

But looks like a language write up rules section.

Do you have a link to where you have been told because if it's not allowed I'd need that to get it flagged correctly as not pfs legal in HL.

Where are you getting this? I just checked Herolab and I see no such option.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

It appears it can as an adjustment somewhere along the time between 2009 and now.
I'll send the adjustment to herolab tagged as not PFS legal as a lot of people have and do use that and there is widespread confusion from those who didn't understand including me apparently.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Houston aka Lord Valstaff

James Risner wrote:

It appears it can as an adjustment somewhere along the time between 2009 and now.

I'll send the adjustment to herolab tagged as not PFS legal as a lot of people have and do use that and there is widespread confusion from those who didn't understand including me apparently.

Did we ever get a confirmation or insight from John Compton?

Initially what is stopping me from making a handout of common tactical hand gestures and going over group tactics before our scenario mission with my fellow Pathfinders? Which would only strengthen roleplay throughout the session.

It's my understanding that Pathfinders share valuable information with each other whether it is tactical, educational, or fundamental. Going over group dynamics and adaptability seems logical. Including tactical signage. But it would help for future player characters if we had a definite answer or alternative to allow such characters the room to take such a language.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Cleveland aka GinoA

Jordan Agudelo wrote:
James Risner wrote:

It appears it can as an adjustment somewhere along the time between 2009 and now.

I'll send the adjustment to herolab tagged as not PFS legal as a lot of people have and do use that and there is widespread confusion from those who didn't understand including me apparently.

Did we ever get a confirmation or insight from John Compton?

Initially what is stopping me from making a handout of common tactical hand gestures and going over group tactics before our scenario mission with my fellow Pathfinders? Which would only strengthen roleplay throughout the session.

It's my understanding that Pathfinders share valuable information with each other whether it is tactical, educational, or fundamental. Going over group dynamics and adaptability seems logical. Including tactical signage. But it would help for future player characters if we had a definite answer or alternative to allow such characters the room to take such a language.

We have a local player that does exactly that with one of his PCs. Well, not exactly, he actually role-plays out the lesson.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Jordan Agudelo wrote:
Did we ever get a confirmation or insight from John Compton?

Well, I'm taking his "we don't want to add this" as a sign it isn't allowed.

Ideally, it would be nice to note the Seeker of Secrets Additional Resources to say "everything except Covert Communication". Mostly because everything is everything and explicitly includes covert communication. At worse with a skill rank in linguistics. At best for free.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

James Risner wrote:
Jordan Agudelo wrote:
Did we ever get a confirmation or insight from John Compton?

Well, I'm taking his "we don't want to add this" as a sign it isn't allowed.

Ideally, it would be nice to note the Seeker of Secrets Additional Resources to say "everything except Covert Communication". Mostly because everything is everything and explicitly includes covert communication. At worse with a skill rank in linguistics. At best for free.

It isn't needed because the section "Covert Communique" doesn't introduce any rules elements, it is entirely lore.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

That is a very reasonable interpretation of that page, but if you prefer you can call it table variance on whether or not that is rules or lore.

Grand Lodge *

It's not a language. It's just a series of commands/hand signals. I.e. come, go, halt, danger, etc. There's nothing there that says "this is a full language and you can learn it via linguistics."

Shadow Lodge **

claudekennilol wrote:
It's not a language. It's just a series of commands/hand signals. I.e. come, go, halt, danger, etc. There's nothing there that says "this is a full language and you can learn it via linguistics."

Precisely this. You can't ask about the weather in Pathfinder Hand Sign, but you can indicate that there are two enemies and a pit trap around that corner.


Since Pathfinder Sign isn't a language, does that mean it's legal for my characters to know it without a feat or skill-point expenditure? Because I've already roleplayed my sorcerer as knowing it without any such expenditures (though the rest of the party just stared uncomprehendingly, as they had skipped that lesson).

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I find it a handy in-game explanation for simple tactical signs. Saves the party explaining "When I do this, that means go". Just so long as it stays in hand.

***

claudekennilol wrote:
It's not a language. It's just a series of commands/hand signals. I.e. come, go, halt, danger, etc. There's nothing there that says "this is a full language and you can learn it via linguistics."
Give a +5 RP bonus if they discuss these commands at the beginning.
Quote:
Secret Messages: You can use Bluff to pass hidden messages along to another character without others understanding your true meaning by using innuendo to cloak your actual message. The DC of this check is 15 for simple messages and 20 for complex messages. If you are successful, the target automatically understands you, assuming you are communicating in a language that it understands. If your check fails by 5 or more, you deliver the wrong message. Other creatures that receive the message can decipher it by succeeding at an opposed Sense Motive check against your Bluff result.

Tell them to Take 10.


The issue there is the phrase "assuming you are communicating in a language that it understands."
Which means you have to select an extant, legal language to convey the secret message in. So you can convey a secret message in Elven, but not in "pantomime" or "varisian hand-sign" because they aren't extant, legal languages you can learn via linguistics.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a trait (Expressive Pantomime) to make it possible to communicate simple messages without a language.

**

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claudekennilol wrote:
Basically you're not going to find one for PFS. There are numerous (now 8) seasons of PFS that would have to be retrofitted to be able to account for a savvy party of Pathfinders that all know sign language. This is my short restatement of a post by John Compton from a while ago.

In a game where Endure Elements and Create Water make desert travel a casual stroll, standard issue Handy Haversacks bypass carry capacities, and Eidolons auto succeed most smuggling missions, I find the "imbalance" of the party speaking sign language to be trivial at best. Besides, NPCs can (and often should) be on their guard when PCs begin speaking in a conspiratorial manner in a language they do not understand.

I've been working on a rudimentary sign language based on Spellcraft. Maybe I should make a formal write up and pass it around.

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