Linguistics and Available Languages


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Each time a PC takes a Rank in Linguistics the PC learns a new Language.

Can a PC select a Language not listed in the Core Book under "common languages"?

For example,
Truespeech and
Envisaging are introduced in the Bestiary 2 but are no different than Infernal or Abyssal.

D'ziriak is just another monster like Gnoll with its own Language.

Thassilonian and
Azlanti are Dead Languages but both have been spoken in The Inner Sea region.

Skald and
Polyglot seemingly have to be allowed, right?

None of those are Secret Languages such as Druidic so Languages like those should be allowed, yes?

What's officially allowed?

5/5

Truespeech and Envisaging are both supernatural abilities, though they are entered under the Languages header because they are primarily about communication. Similarly, one could not choose Telepathy 100' as a language, though it tends to show up in the same line.

D'ziriak could be chosen, but I seem to recall it being one that involves sounds and pitches that cannot be heard or reproduced by most "normal" races. I think the Bestiary 2 says something about understanding the language but not being able to reproduce it fluently. EDIT: Actually, it just comments on the language being really obscure and mostly clicks. For me it would border on "okay."

The dead languages are perfectly fine.

Regional languages are also fine. As might find in the Inner Sea World Guide, human of various ethnicities now start with both Common (Taldane) and their respective regional languages. Anything you find in the language section of ISWG is permitted.

Grand Lodge

W E Ray wrote:
What's officially allowed?

Have you check the Additional Resources page?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea World Guide includes Languages: all languages on page 251 may be learned via the Linguistics skill.

It does not appear that any other sources currently provide legal languages beyond the Core Rulebook and the Inner Sea World Guide.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

This is a good question, and as good a place as any to ask the following question:

Deaf Oracles: Will a rank in Linguistics allow me to take “read lips”?

There is nothing in the rules regarding this, and the way that Ryan Bolduan, the Twin Cities VC has been running things up here in the frosty north, is that Deaf Oracles read lips automatically.

At Gen Con at the pre-con games at Scotty’s, Art Lobdell, VC for NY asked Mark Moreland as he passed through, as he was leaning toward it needing a rank in Linguistics. Mark said (and I paraphrase as I don’t recall his exact words), “Well it’s not in the rules… I would think a rank in Linguistics is appropriate… but it is up to each individual GM.”

This will largely become a moot point for my Oracle, because he just got 5th level and I’m going to give him that rank in Linguistics.

But this might be a good FAQ question for future deaf oracles.


I do not think Pathfinder does it this way, but I have seen other fantasy games, including older versions of D&D, I think, put reading lips in with other roguish or spy-type skills, since it can be used as a way to gain info and not just communicate.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:

This is a good question, and as good a place as any to ask the following question:

Deaf Oracles: Will a rank in Linguistics allow me to take “read lips”?

There is nothing in the rules regarding this, and the way that Ryan Bolduan, the Twin Cities VC has been running things up here in the frosty north, is that Deaf Oracles read lips automatically.

At Gen Con at the pre-con games at Scotty’s, Art Lobdell, VC for NY asked Mark Moreland as he passed through, as he was leaning toward it needing a rank in Linguistics. Mark said (and I paraphrase as I don’t recall his exact words), “Well it’s not in the rules… I would think a rank in Linguistics is appropriate… but it is up to each individual GM.”

This will largely become a moot point for my Oracle, because he just got 5th level and I’m going to give him that rank in Linguistics.

But this might be a good FAQ question for future deaf oracles.

We just had a discussion about this locally. If I were ruling it, I'd go with Sense Motive and adjudicate it based on the circumstances and message. Good visibility and simple sentence, no problem. Slightly complex sentence or dim light, DC 10. Full helmet or back turned, it isn't happening.

Linguistics can help you and others pick up a sign language, such as Sakvroth. However, perception or sense motive seem far more logical, since reading lips is not a new language and has nothing to do with the linguistics skill.

Grand Lodge

I would actually lean back on linguistics for the lip reading, if the player can speak the language, then a Linguistics check could be made. DC 5 for someone speaking right to you, higher for obstacles. miss the check by 5 and you get the wrong message. (Swirlly Whirlly Jungle Pants?)

Sense Motive can be used once the message is received, if not clear.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I’m not saying this simply because its my character in question here. I was surprised when my VC said that I didn’t need to take any linguistics at all. But I went with it. I also had no problem actually roleplaying through an entire module without the rank in linguistics. Made things interesting.

But Sense Motive does not make sense in this situation.

Sense motive is for figuring out if someone is lying, their general demeanor, et. al.

Linguistics is for understanding what they are trying to communicate.


I added this an as edit to my previous post, but Sarta has posted after me in the meantime, so I am making the edited part a separate post. lol

Andrew,

I have the answer for you. In D&D 3.0 there was a Read Lips skill. When the system was updated to 3.5, Read Lips was folded into the Spot skill. When 3.5 was updated to PRPG, Spot was folded into Perception. So if you have ranks in Perception, you can attempt to read lips in any language you know. So you will have to learn individual languages and not just have generic ranks in Linguistics to read lips in specific languages.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

Seeing how many different answers there are for this, I think this deserves some sort of campaign specific FAQ answer. I have no problem spending ranks in one skill or another to make this a playable character outside my local area. But I shouldn’t have to put ranks into several different skills to accommodate how several different GM’s might rule this. I shouldn’t have to have ranks in Sense Motive, Perception, and Linguistics just to make this character playable.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Seeing how many different answers there are for this, I think this deserves some sort of campaign specific FAQ answer. I have no problem spending ranks in one skill or another to make this a playable character outside my local area. But I shouldn’t have to put ranks into several different skills to accommodate how several different GM’s might rule this. I shouldn’t have to have ranks in Sense Motive, Perception, and Linguistics just to make this character playable.

People gravitate to Sense Motive from its ability to pick up a 'secret message' that someone was concealing via Bluff. Reading lips is not a concealed message (So and so 'sleeps with the fishes'). But it's not that far of a stretch to see if you could get clues from things here.

Perception is the inheritor of the old Read Lips ability, but didn't get that detailed out in the PF writeup. Still it seems like it should fall here if anywhere.

Linguistics would make sense for Sign Language, but imho not for reading lips.

I would think that it should be the 3.5 default of a DC 15 perception (was spot) check, need to be within 30ft, and need to maintain line of sight to the 'speaker'.

Failing the check I would allow a Sense Motive check for "Lassie" moments to get an idea of urgency, anger, etc even if not making out the words.

But I don't see Linguistics coming into play, unless if they allow a Sign Language that can be taken.

-James
PS: I do think that these make excellent FAQ questions for the campaign coordinators as these are 'DM' calls that will directly impact your PC's build and thus should be at that level rather than that of table GM.

Lastly, might I tempt you into selling your soul? Diabolists get a companion with telepathy.. it can even shapechange into a 'hearing' ear- dog... ;)

Grand Lodge

While Perception may be the logical inheritor based on old rules systems, I would rather see it be part of Linguistics, and be treated as a language that you have to take a rank in.

It should also be very close range. Even 30' is a long way off to pick up the nuances of the mechanics of speech.

To be fair, I am biased against things like Read Lips and Sign Language due to past powergame experiences. It is a logical thing for a deaf Oracle to have... but the mechanics should not make it a no-brainer for every character to take.

All said, perhaps this discussion should be a new thread on the Rules Forum.

Sovereign Court

I find automatic reading lips to be a "deaf oracle thing only". They already have a huge drawback in initiative, perception, and what else! Reading lips automatically would just make the character viable without taking a rank in some skill.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

K Neil Shackleton wrote:

While Perception may be the logical inheritor based on old rules systems, I would rather see it be part of Linguistics, and be treated as a language that you have to take a rank in.

It should also be very close range. Even 30' is a long way off to pick up the nuances of the mechanics of speech.

To be fair, I am biased against things like Read Lips and Sign Language due to past powergame experiences. It is a logical thing for a deaf Oracle to have... but the mechanics should not make it a no-brainer for every character to take.

All said, perhaps this discussion should be a new thread on the Rules Forum.

Then could such lip reading be among the starting languages?

The problem is that, assuming a deaf oracle already knows the language in question, why spend a point in linguistics? The semantics and grammar aren't the problem, it's the inability to perceive one type of sensory input. Perception. I just can't see any other logical choice.

Reading lips is not the type of thing that linguistics does in a game, which is to aid in unfamiliar languages. If the language is familiar, you're not decoding anything the way you do with a linguistics check. The only way linguistics would make sense was if it was needed to hear a conversation on the other side of a door.

You don't use linguistics here, though, you use perception. I see this as the closest thing in the rules to the situation of a deaf oracle. Reduced sensory input. Perception overcomes it.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Alorha wrote:
K Neil Shackleton wrote:

While Perception may be the logical inheritor based on old rules systems, I would rather see it be part of Linguistics, and be treated as a language that you have to take a rank in.

It should also be very close range. Even 30' is a long way off to pick up the nuances of the mechanics of speech.

To be fair, I am biased against things like Read Lips and Sign Language due to past powergame experiences. It is a logical thing for a deaf Oracle to have... but the mechanics should not make it a no-brainer for every character to take.

All said, perhaps this discussion should be a new thread on the Rules Forum.

Then could such lip reading be among the starting languages?

The problem is that, assuming a deaf oracle already knows the language in question, why spend a point in linguistics? The semantics and grammar aren't the problem, it's the inability to perceive one type of sensory input. Perception. I just can't see any other logical choice.

Reading lips is not the type of thing that linguistics does in a game, which is to aid in unfamiliar languages. If the language is familiar, you're not decoding anything the way you do with a linguistics check. The only way linguistics would make sense was if it was needed to hear a conversation on the other side of a door.

You don't use linguistics here, though, you use perception. I see this as the closest thing in the rules to the situation of a deaf oracle. Reduced sensory input. Perception overcomes it.

This may be true. However from a playability standpoint, making a player make a perception check with their character everytime they want to communicate with their friends is very clunky and cumbersome.

As for distance, yeah. I've been in modules where obscuring mist was blocking my character's view from the rest of the team. They tried asking him to do something, and I'm like, "um guys, obscuring mist. I can't see you, so I'm gonna do whatever I want." I've also been in a dark bar at night, and one of the players wanted to mouth something to my character. GM ruled it was too dark and I couldn't see well enough to read lips from that far away. Again no problem.

But to even have the chance, Linguistics is the right skill.

It is deciphering language, just in a different way. How you ask?

Well just because you know a language doesn't mean you know how the jaw looks, or the cheeks look, or the lips look when someone is saying a particular word. You have to decipher the facial language so to speak.


Andrew Christian wrote:

This may be true. However from a playability standpoint, making a player make a perception check with their character everytime they want to communicate with their friends is very clunky and cumbersome.

Have them take 10 out of combat. Likewise I would think sign language would be the use for linguistics here.

Andrew Christian wrote:


Linguistics is the right skill.

It is deciphering language, just in a different way. How you ask?

Well just because you know a language doesn't mean you know how the jaw looks, or the cheeks look, or the lips look when someone is saying a particular word. You have to decipher the facial language so to speak.

I disagree.

I think perception makes much more sense here. In fact look at what you wrote above.. notice one word that's used an awful lot?

Again I'd suggest that for linguistics that you get Paizo/Mark to approve sign language.. then anyone who wants to communicate with you can easily do so.

For others then you can take10 on perception against a base DC 15. After 5th level you get a +3 on this via your curse, leaving you with just needing a +2 net chance here. If perception is a class skill then even with a race that doesn't give bonuses and with a 7 WIS you'd just need 1 rank to pull this off outside of combat.

Meanwhile inside of combat I don't see it as reasonable to be able to read lips to communicate without ANY check, do you?

-James

Liberty's Edge 5/5

james maissen wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

This may be true. However from a playability standpoint, making a player make a perception check with their character everytime they want to communicate with their friends is very clunky and cumbersome.

Have them take 10 out of combat. Likewise I would think sign language would be the use for linguistics here.

Andrew Christian wrote:


Linguistics is the right skill.

It is deciphering language, just in a different way. How you ask?

Well just because you know a language doesn't mean you know how the jaw looks, or the cheeks look, or the lips look when someone is saying a particular word. You have to decipher the facial language so to speak.

I disagree.

I think perception makes much more sense here. In fact look at what you wrote above.. notice one word that's used an awful lot?

Again I'd suggest that for linguistics that you get Paizo/Mark to approve sign language.. then anyone who wants to communicate with you can easily do so.

For others then you can take10 on perception against a base DC 15. After 5th level you get a +3 on this via your curse, leaving you with just needing a +2 net chance here. If perception is a class skill then even with a race that doesn't give bonuses and with a 7 WIS you'd just need 1 rank to pull this off outside of combat.

Meanwhile inside of combat I don't see it as reasonable to be able to read lips to communicate without ANY check, do you?

-James

Well Bbauzh already has enough perception to make taking 10 a non-issue. So I’m not worried about that.

Inside combat, I agree with you. And I don’t play my character as though I can clearly communicate within combat.

As a matter of fact, there have been some circumstances of the other characters trying to communicate with him with hand signals and such, and “I” failed my sense motive, and so Bbauzh ended up starting combat before everyone was ready. Was rather funny in a couple instances.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

W E Ray wrote:

Each time a PC takes a Rank in Linguistics the PC learns a new Language.

Can a PC select a Language not listed in the Core Book under "common languages"?

For example,
Truespeech and
Envisaging are introduced in the Bestiary 2 but are no different than Infernal or Abyssal.

D'ziriak is just another monster like Gnoll with its own Language.

Thassilonian and
Azlanti are Dead Languages but both have been spoken in The Inner Sea region.

Skald and
Polyglot seemingly have to be allowed, right?

None of those are Secret Languages such as Druidic so Languages like those should be allowed, yes?

What's officially allowed?

An explanation on legal languages is being added to the next revision of the Guide, which will be released as soon as it's been edited. Until that time, see here.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:

This is a good question, and as good a place as any to ask the following question:

Deaf Oracles: Will a rank in Linguistics allow me to take “read lips”?

There is nothing in the rules regarding this, and the way that Ryan Bolduan, the Twin Cities VC has been running things up here in the frosty north, is that Deaf Oracles read lips automatically.

At Gen Con at the pre-con games at Scotty’s, Art Lobdell, VC for NY asked Mark Moreland as he passed through, as he was leaning toward it needing a rank in Linguistics. Mark said (and I paraphrase as I don’t recall his exact words), “Well it’s not in the rules… I would think a rank in Linguistics is appropriate… but it is up to each individual GM.”

This will largely become a moot point for my Oracle, because he just got 5th level and I’m going to give him that rank in Linguistics.

But this might be a good FAQ question for future deaf oracles.

An FAQ entry has been made on reading lips and what the consistent, campaign specific interpretation of the RPG rules should be:
PFS FAQ wrote:

What does a deaf oracle (or other deaf PC) need to do in order to read lips?

In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, any PC may learn to read lips with a rank in Linguistics as if they had learned a new language. When reading the lips of a speaking creature within 10 feet in normal lighting conditions, the reader need not make any skill checks. In situations of dim lighting, extreme distances, or to read the lips of someone trying to hide their words from the reader, the reader must make Perception checks (DC determined by the GM based on the situation). A lip reader may only understand spoken words in a language it knows.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Mark Moreland wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

This is a good question, and as good a place as any to ask the following question:

Deaf Oracles: Will a rank in Linguistics allow me to take “read lips”?

There is nothing in the rules regarding this, and the way that Ryan Bolduan, the Twin Cities VC has been running things up here in the frosty north, is that Deaf Oracles read lips automatically.

At Gen Con at the pre-con games at Scotty’s, Art Lobdell, VC for NY asked Mark Moreland as he passed through, as he was leaning toward it needing a rank in Linguistics. Mark said (and I paraphrase as I don’t recall his exact words), “Well it’s not in the rules… I would think a rank in Linguistics is appropriate… but it is up to each individual GM.”

This will largely become a moot point for my Oracle, because he just got 5th level and I’m going to give him that rank in Linguistics.

But this might be a good FAQ question for future deaf oracles.

An FAQ entry has been made on reading lips and what the consistent, campaign specific interpretation of the RPG rules should be:
PFS FAQ wrote:

What does a deaf oracle (or other deaf PC) need to do in order to read lips?

In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, any PC may learn to read lips with a rank in Linguistics as if they had learned a new language. When reading the lips of a speaking creature within 10 feet in normal lighting conditions, the reader need not make any skill checks. In situations of dim lighting, extreme distances, or to read the lips of someone trying to hide their words from the reader, the reader must make Perception checks (DC determined by the GM based on the situation). A lip reader may only understand spoken words in a language it knows.

Thanks Mark!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Mark Moreland wrote:
An FAQ entry has been made on reading lips and what the consistent, campaign specific interpretation of the RPG rules should be:
PFS FAQ wrote:

What does a deaf oracle (or other deaf PC) need to do in order to read lips?

In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, any PC may learn to read lips with a rank in Linguistics as if they had learned a new language. When reading the lips of a speaking creature within 10 feet in normal lighting conditions, the reader need not make any skill checks. In situations of dim lighting, extreme distances, or to read the lips of someone trying to hide their words from the reader, the reader must make Perception checks (DC determined by the GM based on the situation). A lip reader may only understand spoken words in a language it knows.

What about the Pathfinder Society Sign Language that appears in the novel “Price of Wolves”? I believe that there were some other references to the Society having their own sign language but in the novel it is how one of the main characters (who is an oracle) communicates.

Grand Lodge

Even though it's not exactly a Paizo adventure, I Flaged the previous post for a spoiler.

Just a coincidence, over the weekend I finally read what that post was referring to (fun read if you get through the boring first pages) and, especially since PFS Players can get a Chronicle from it, it would be nice if the sign language were available to PFS Players.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

If such a language ever appeared in a rulebook, it would likely be made available to players. But the number of potential issues with taking content out of fiction and then treating it as rules are more than I care to deal with.


Doctor Smite and Mark,

Here is what Josh Frost had to say about it from last year.

And here is the description from Seekers of Secrets and the specific post from him for those that are in a hurry. ;)

Seekers of Secrets wrote:
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.

and

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
I'm not sure where the post is, but it's just assumed Pathfinders know this. It's not a complete language (not even close), it's more akin to baseball signs or football hand signals or military hand signals for maneuvers and scouting and I can't imagine that taking a skill rank to select it like Undercommon would take, for example.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Doctor Smite and Mark,

Here is what Josh Frost had to say about it from last year.

And here is the description from Seekers of Secrets and the specific post from him for those that are in a hurry. ;)

Seekers of Secrets wrote:
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.

and

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
I'm not sure where the post is, but it's just assumed Pathfinders know this. It's not a complete language (not even close), it's more akin to baseball signs or football hand signals or military hand signals for maneuvers and scouting and I can't imagine that taking a skill rank to select it like Undercommon would take, for example.

I have multiple characters with a rank in Linguistics devoted to Pathfinder Sign. It solves the "How are you communicating in the silenced spell area?" question. Just point to the sheet. Seeker of Secrets was part of the core assumption, so it was perfectly valid to use.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Then according to Frost's post, sounds like you need to pick a new language for that linguistics rank, since the Pathfinder signals don't need it.


Jiggy wrote:
Then according to Frost's post, sounds like you need to pick a new language for that linguistics rank, since the Pathfinder signals don't need it.

I always figured it worth the investment to settle any proficiency question.

Sometimes, there's "needed to meet the rule requirements" and sometimes there "needed to keep the GM from squawking".

And hey, with that one rank, I can claim that I read and write Pathfinder sign. (I can draw nifty pictures of hands???)

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

Mark Moreland wrote:
If such a language ever appeared in a rulebook, it would likely be made available to players. But the number of potential issues with taking content out of fiction and then treating it as rules are more than I care to deal with.

Damm I guess that means we can't have magical black panther animal companions? PFS is TOO restrictive! :P

Mike

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Qstor wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
If such a language ever appeared in a rulebook, it would likely be made available to players. But the number of potential issues with taking content out of fiction and then treating it as rules are more than I care to deal with.

Damm I guess that means we can't have magical black panther animal companions? PFS is TOO restrictive! :P

Mike

Wasn't that a figurine of wondrous power animal companion that broke all the rules of a figurine of wondrous power (or was it that it was more of a minor artifact figurine of wondrous power?)


W E Ray wrote:

Even though it's not exactly a Paizo adventure, I Flaged the previous post for a spoiler.

Just a coincidence, over the weekend I finally read what that post was referring to (fun read if you get through the boring first pages) and, especially since PFS Players can get a Chronicle from it, it would be nice if the sign language were available to PFS Players.

Is there currently a chronicle sheet for Prince of Wolves? I looked under Additional Resources and didn't find anything, only one Tales book was listed. Did I miss something?

Grand Lodge

Pickguy wrote:
W E Ray wrote:

Even though it's not exactly a Paizo adventure, I Flaged the previous post for a spoiler.

Just a coincidence, over the weekend I finally read what that post was referring to (fun read if you get through the boring first pages) and, especially since PFS Players can get a Chronicle from it, it would be nice if the sign language were available to PFS Players.

Is there currently a chronicle sheet for Prince of Wolves? I looked under Additional Resources and didn't find anything, only one Tales book was listed. Did I miss something?

As far as I know, "Plague of Shadows" is the only Pathfinder Tale with a chronicle at this time. But checking out the Pathfinder sign in Seeker of Secrets might be on the agenda for this weekend.

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