All I Want For Christmas is for Halfling to be a Useful Language


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade

Every game I look at my Halfling Paladin's languages of Common and Halfling and go "one day this will be useful" as the rest of the players laugh. My local Venture Captain said he remembers only one time it ever came up, and he's played almost everything.

I have managed to make it a role-play thing though, my Paladin hiding his bad cussing habit using Halfling to do so instead of Common (he behaves like a bible camp councillor otherwise.)

Anyone else suffer from this feeling of frustration?


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Ancient halfling ruins?

Actually that sounds like a fun dungeon to create.


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I bet it's a useful secret language in Cheliax. Not sure how this helps in PFS scenarios, but it's a thought.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Actually, S.W.A.T. (a cop-themed group out of Minnesota) all chose halfling to be their secret language so that they can all communicate with one another without enemies knowing what they are saying! In their opinion, halfling is the language every Pathfinder should learn as a secret tongue.

Hmm


My girlfriend feels the same way about sphinx. Takes it on every character but has never gotten to use it

Silver Crusade

MrBear wrote:

My girlfriend feels the same way about sphinx. Takes it on every character but has never gotten to use it

At least that makes a little more sense though, sphinxes being all mysterious and all. Halfling is a core race, as iconic as Gnomes, Half Orcs, Dwarves, and Elves! I haven't been playing PFS for a very long time but I am still shocked at the fact I have yet to meet a single Halfling NPC and/or enemy.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Our new faction leader for Liberty’s Edge is a halfling. There are plenty of halflings in adventures set in Cheliax and Andoran, but some GMs don’t call them out as halflings.

Hmm

Grand Lodge 4/5

Halfling knifer gangs are well known in Absalom and show up occasionally as opponents. I had some calling tactics to each other in Halfling (which mostly helped with insulting the PC who understood it, since they weren't being complimentary).

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've encountered Sphinxes three times in PFS, but they all spoke multiple languages as well.

There's a scenario where you transport back in time to an Azlanti town, and when nobody at my table could speak Azlanti one person had the brilliant idea to ask around for a Halfling, since they existed back then (as opposed to Elves or Gnomes, and since Dwarves hadn't reached the surface, yet).

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Outside of Tien and the ancient languages, PFS just really isn't set up to make languages useful because if they're necessary, a lot of parties (especially at low levels) don't have a great way to get around the requirement. :(

Languages seem to be best for flavor and backstory, and for secret languages that regular players have in common. Like Halfling! And sometimes you can talk yourself into a circumstance bonus if you address someone in their native language.

Now if Paizo would publish more languages, say for Casmaron and southern Garund, I'd be thrilled... it's hard to make characters from outside the Inner Sea right now!

Grand Lodge 3/5

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I'm just waiting for Gnome to be useful language. Why speak gnome, when they all can speak Sylvan... eh?

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

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Have you tried asking for a pony instead?

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

I've had Cyclops come up more as a useful language than Halfling.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

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Terminalmancer wrote:

And sometimes you can talk yourself into a circumstance bonus if you address someone in their native language.

I wish that, in PFS, they decided that talking to somebody in their own language was ALWAYS worth a +2 modifier unless explicitly specified otherwise.

In the real world it pretty much is. People LIKE it when the obvious furriner at least tries to speak their language.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/5

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Actually, S.W.A.T. (a cop-themed group out of Minnesota) all chose halfling to be their secret language so that they can all communicate with one another without enemies knowing what they are saying! In their opinion, halfling is the language every Pathfinder should learn as a secret tongue.

Hmm

Well, that might be stretching it a bit, However, it is the language that we all speak, and only rarely has it not been a good choice.

Something about no one pays attention to anyone speaking halfling, so our tactical coordination is ignored.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Paul Jackson wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:

And sometimes you can talk yourself into a circumstance bonus if you address someone in their native language.

I wish that, in PFS, they decided that talking to somebody in their own language was ALWAYS worth a +2 modifier unless explicitly specified otherwise.

In the real world it pretty much is. People LIKE it when the obvious furriner at least tries to speak their language.

well... except for the French. Or at least I have been told that.


Muse. wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:

And sometimes you can talk yourself into a circumstance bonus if you address someone in their native language.

I wish that, in PFS, they decided that talking to somebody in their own language was ALWAYS worth a +2 modifier unless explicitly specified otherwise.

In the real world it pretty much is. People LIKE it when the obvious furriner at least tries to speak their language.

well... except for the French. Or at least I have been told that.

Many Quebecois don't like France French, I assume it goes both ways.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Selvaxri wrote:

I'm just waiting for Gnome to be useful language. Why speak gnome, when they all can speak Sylvan... eh?

Oh, there's a scenario where Gnome is *very* useful, as it allows you to help suss out the race of a particular NPC.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...how about an entire Adventure Path into ancient Halfling ruins that uncover...

...the Truth about Humans and Halflings...

...after all, it's only hinted that the Veiled Masters 'modified' the Azlanti...

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

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I have a halfling bard who uses Share Language to make sure everyone in the party can speak Halfling as a "secret" language just because so few people speak it. It has turned out to be useful several times.


halflings are often nomadic, so a GM could include warnings carved into trees or stones in halfling in wilderness areas that might help players avoid or prepare for natural encounters.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

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Muse. wrote:

[

well... except for the French. Or at least I have been told that.

Nope, definitely includes the French. Both the ones in Quebec AND the ones in France.

Oh, there are some Quebecois and some French who love to be all superior and dis your attempts. But they tend to occur largely in Montreal and Paris and are the exception even there.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

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A good idea for PFS is to have some underwater ruins found on the Andoran/Cheliax border. Historical artifacts sized for halfling and with some inscriptions in halfling may indicate a halfling civilization that succumbed to the disaster of Earthfall. (There was a landbridge between Garund and Avistan near where Rahadoum and Cheliax are and I imagine that there was one on the other end between what is Osirion and Qadira, otherwise the Obari Ocean would have flowed into what is now the Inner Sea.) Cheliax could be scandalized at the thought that halflings had an independent culture and Andoran could be pleased to learn this -- and it doesn't hurt to rub something in the faces of Imperial Cheliax.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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William Ronald wrote:
Cheliax could be scandalized at the thought that halflings had an independent culture and Andoran could be pleased to learn this -- and it doesn't hurt to rub something in the faces of Imperial Cheliax.

I could speculate there are some in Arcadia. With ornithopters.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Actually, S.W.A.T. (a cop-themed group out of Minnesota) all chose halfling to be their secret language so that they can all communicate with one another without enemies knowing what they are saying!

Hmm

Since Halfling is a tonal language (like Chinese in the real world) that softens r's to w's and k's to g's, people speaking Halfling always sound Teddy Ruxpin adorable, even if they're barking out military orders.

That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Silver Crusade

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Chris Mortika wrote:
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Actually, S.W.A.T. (a cop-themed group out of Minnesota) all chose halfling to be their secret language so that they can all communicate with one another without enemies knowing what they are saying!

Hmm

Since Halfling is a tonal language (like Chinese in the real world) that softens r's to w's and k's to g's, people speaking Halfling always sound Teddy Ruxpin adorable, even if they're barking out military orders.

That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

I've always thought of Halfling to be like Welsh, the Welsh name Dafydd (pronounced Daveth) is what I named my Halfling paladin

Dark Archive 4/5

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Of course I speak halfling! It is important to be able to flirt with all sentient races.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

"The problem being, the one time we really, really needed to be stealthy, the foreman on the job was a dang'd halfling. Luckily some of us are smarter than others and we were able to keep going in Celestial."

Silver Crusade 1/5 5/5

"We're not all damned! Gramma Snowfoot would take exception to that! We're good hard-workin' folks with a few rotten apples, just like anyone else!"

5/5

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Is it a given that every race would develop their own language? Of course, this gets into what "race" means anyway, but I've always thought halflings have been so ingrained into humanity that they've adopted Taldane as their "native" tongue. I love the idea that the true halfling language was largely lost, but has been re-energized by its use as a secret language. Halfling code-talkers... new PC concept.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

"I find it is best to have many options for conversation."

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Is it a given that every race would develop their own language?

I sometimes "miss" what I believe to have been the single stupidest rule in AD&D (I forget whether or not it was in the original White Box D&D).

Alignment Language.

EVERYBODY in the universe who could speak could speak in a special Alignment tongue that NOBODY not of that alignment could speak.

There are reasons that my respect for Gygax isn't quite as high as some others have :-)

Scarab Sages 4/5

Cassidy-Allison wrote:
MrBear wrote:

My girlfriend feels the same way about sphinx. Takes it on every character but has never gotten to use it

At least that makes a little more sense though, sphinxes being all mysterious and all. Halfling is a core race, as iconic as Gnomes, Half Orcs, Dwarves, and Elves! I haven't been playing PFS for a very long time but I am still shocked at the fact I have yet to meet a single Halfling NPC and/or enemy.

I mean, I can think of at least one Halfling enemy. He's more likely to crit you with his greataxe than to talk to you, though, in any language.

The Exchange 5/5

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Ferious Thune wrote:
Cassidy-Allison wrote:
MrBear wrote:

My girlfriend feels the same way about sphinx. Takes it on every character but has never gotten to use it

At least that makes a little more sense though, sphinxes being all mysterious and all. Halfling is a core race, as iconic as Gnomes, Half Orcs, Dwarves, and Elves! I haven't been playing PFS for a very long time but I am still shocked at the fact I have yet to meet a single Halfling NPC and/or enemy.
I mean, I can think of at least one Halfling enemy. He's more likely to crit you with his greataxe than to talk to you, though, in any language.

I tell ya, I'm a reformed Halfling! Sense I've been 'saved' by the grace of Cayden, sense finding my new life in the bottom of a tankard, I haven't killed nearly as many Pathfinders as before. It's sometimes hard to see thru the alcoholic haze... but really! I'm reformed!

though I get flashbacks to that time in the ally, the middle of combat, looking closely into the eyes of the rest of the team and saying (in Halfling) "I know what you're thinking... you're wondering to yourself, did he rage for six rounds, or only five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a 44 inch Great Ax, the most powerful hand weapon in the world and could take your head clean off in one crit, you've gotta ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" Yeah - knowing Halfling might not have helped much...

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

GM Lamplighter wrote:
Is it a given that every race would develop their own language? Of course, this gets into what "race" means anyway, but I've always thought halflings have been so ingrained into humanity that they've adopted Taldane as their "native" tongue. I love the idea that the true halfling language was largely lost, but has been re-energized by its use as a secret language. Halfling code-talkers... new PC concept.

I mean considering the last few times halfling appear in PFS and sanctioned modules they know absolutely nothing about Taldor makes the argument kind of nonsensical.

Sovereign Court 1/5

MadScientistWorking wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Is it a given that every race would develop their own language? Of course, this gets into what "race" means anyway, but I've always thought halflings have been so ingrained into humanity that they've adopted Taldane as their "native" tongue. I love the idea that the true halfling language was largely lost, but has been re-energized by its use as a secret language. Halfling code-talkers... new PC concept.
I mean considering the last few times halfling appear in PFS and sanctioned modules they know absolutely nothing about Taldor makes the argument kind of nonsensical.

While the halflings may not know of Taldor, specifically... Cheliax never bothered to create their own language. Our breakaway colony likely put a great deal of work into spreading Taldane among their slaves.

Shadow Lodge

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
I mean considering the last few times halfling appear in PFS and sanctioned modules they know absolutely nothing about Taldor makes the argument kind of nonsensical.

The argument makes a hell of a lot more sense when you know that in setting, the language the rule books refer to as "Common" is called "Taldane".

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

SCPRedMage wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I mean considering the last few times halfling appear in PFS and sanctioned modules they know absolutely nothing about Taldor makes the argument kind of nonsensical.
The argument makes a hell of a lot more sense when you know that in setting, the language the rule books refer to as "Common" is called "Taldane".

I meant to say that most halflings in recent scenarios and modules aren't integrated into society and know bumpkiss about the outside world.

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