What's the in-universe etymology for Trompe L'Oeil monsters?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Seriously, how did the inhabitants of Golarion come to name the trompe l'oeils as "trompe l'oeils"? French doesn't exist on Golarion, does it? Sure, Common might be the Golarion version of English, but that's Translation Convention, isn't it?

And if I'm wrong and Common essentially *is* English on Golarion, then which language does French become on Golarion? Taldan? If Galt is essentially Revolutionary France, then is Hallit (which is the other language besides Common spoken in Galt) essentially French but just spoken on Golarion?

One wonders if the devs even thought about any of this when they wrote Horror Adventures.


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Sutehp wrote:
Seriously, how did the inhabitants of Golarion come to name the trompe l'oeils as "trompe l'oeils"? French doesn't exist on Golarion, does it? Sure, Common might be the Golarion version of English, but that's Translation Convention, isn't it?

I assume "trompe l'oeil" is itself just translation convention: Its English meaning, (an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the illusion of a 3D object), directly matches the creature.

(Insert oft-misattributed James Nicoll quote here.)

Sutehp wrote:
And if I'm wrong and Common essentially *is* English on Golarion, then which language does French become on Golarion? Taldan? If Galt is essentially Revolutionary France, then is Hallit (which is the other language besides Common spoken in Galt) essentially French but just spoken on Golarion?

Taldane/Common would probably be the French equivalent, given how it is spoken in all five of the "Frances", (Andoran, Chelax, Galt, Isger and Taldor¹). And, TBH, why shouldn't the lingua franca be the French equivalent?

1: The Revolution truly successful, First Empire but diabolic, The Terrors unending, Vichy, and First Kingdom's twilight.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sutehp wrote:

Seriously, how did the inhabitants of Golarion come to name the trompe l'oeils as "trompe l'oeils"? French doesn't exist on Golarion, does it? Sure, Common might be the Golarion version of English, but that's Translation Convention, isn't it?

And if I'm wrong and Common essentially *is* English on Golarion, then which language does French become on Golarion? Taldan? If Galt is essentially Revolutionary France, then is Hallit (which is the other language besides Common spoken in Galt) essentially French but just spoken on Golarion?

One wonders if the devs even thought about any of this when they wrote Horror Adventures.

You're about 40 years late with this argument, back when a T-rex became a T-rex in Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms despite none of those settings having people speak Latin.

"Real world names made their way into the setting despite nobody speaking that language there" trope is about as old as the fantasy genre is.


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It doesn't need one and there's no reason equate Common to English. Also why fixate on the etymology of trompe l'oeils and not rapier (French),sword (German), dragon(Greek), armour (Latin), Hell (old Norse), path (West Germanic), find (Germanic) and so on.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

They don't speak French on Golarion! Then why the f%+* have I been requesting a Galt AP for all these years.

Oh, right! Nothing better to do.


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Toss me in with everyone else saying this is a non-issue fantasy genre convention.

But to add to the list of etymological nonsense, I offer Lucerne Hammers that are named thus despite there not being a Lucerne place to give them said.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, you can just say Taldane is its own language, and something's lost in the translation to real-world languages.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or, as evidenced as possible in the Reign of Winter adventure path, the origin of the Trompe L'Oeil is from a Frenchman who happened into Golarion on accident, or was kidnapped and forced to paint. Same thing works for Lucerne hammers,etc.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Or, as evidenced as possible in the Reign of Winter adventure path, the origin of the Trompe L'Oeil is from a Frenchman who happened into Golarion on accident, or was kidnapped and forced to paint. Same thing works for Lucerne hammers,etc.

Could, but it gets more and more difficult as the number of things you need to explain that way gets larger.

It really is easiest just to explain it as translation.

My personal favorite is Paladin, which derives from the Palatine Hills in Rome.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kind of half and half on the difficulty. It can actually be fairly easy, and remind people of the power that was before Earthfall. An extraplanar trading company, and extraplanar expeditions, are just the sort of thing a Runelord of Greed would be interested in.


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It's Elven, that's why it has extra vowels and a random apostrophe.


The real problem is the names that are direct references to real places, like Lucerne Hammer (commonly found around the city of Lucerne).


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deuxhero wrote:
The real problem is the names that are direct references to real places, like Lucerne Hammer (commonly found around the city of Lucerne).

I'm not sure why we can get hammers from Lucerne around here, but not earspoons from Bohemia.


It is not so much a problem if you consider that, being a fictional setting with fictional languages, these are necessary approximations to make the reader understand intent and meaning.

Or, you know, this is a game that needs to be understood by people in the real world.


Chakat Firepaw wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
Seriously, how did the inhabitants of Golarion come to name the trompe l'oeils as "trompe l'oeils"? French doesn't exist on Golarion, does it? Sure, Common might be the Golarion version of English, but that's Translation Convention, isn't it?

I assume "trompe l'oeil" is itself just translation convention: Its English meaning, (an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the illusion of a 3D object), directly matches the creature.

(Insert oft-misattributed James Nicoll quote here.)

Sutehp wrote:
And if I'm wrong and Common essentially *is* English on Golarion, then which language does French become on Golarion? Taldan? If Galt is essentially Revolutionary France, then is Hallit (which is the other language besides Common spoken in Galt) essentially French but just spoken on Golarion?

Taldane/Common would probably be the French equivalent, given how it is spoken in all five of the "Frances", (Andoran, Chelax, Galt, Isger and Taldor¹). And, TBH, why shouldn't the lingua franca be the French equivalent?

1: The Revolution truly successful, First Empire but diabolic, The Terrors unending, Vichy, and First Kingdom's twilight.

Taldane is Greek because Taldor is the Byzantine Empire.


It comes from the same language as the fauchard or the bec de corbin. Whichever Golarion nation came up with those polearms first is the source.


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Common is not English. All the languages in the game are fictional and have no real relationship with any real language. But since writing something in a fictional language that the players don’t understand is going to make playing the game impossible to play. Typically what happens is when something needs to be named the game designer will use a real language so that the players can actually play the game. Since some cultures appear similar to real world counter parts they will often use something from those cultures to keep the feel of the culture.

Pretty much all names are based on the rule of cool. If it sounds cool that is the name that they go with.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, Paizo avoids the "well this language doesn't exist so we're not gonna use it in this specific example" because that opens an obscene can of worms.


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Come to think of it, the Norman Invasion of 1066 never happened in Golarion. Therefore, half the words don't make any etymological sense. The game is RUINED!

HRGH!


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
Yeah, Paizo avoids the "well this language doesn't exist so we're not gonna use it in this specific example" because that opens an obscene can of worms.

Yes, basically you would have to stop using the English language. As James Nicholl once said: "We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."


Is nobody going to point out that Taldane is Common? Well, for most Pathfinder campaigns.


Meirril wrote:
Is nobody going to point out that Taldane is Common? Well, for most Pathfinder campaigns.

The connection is made in the second post on the thread.


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Could aliens from our cosmos have planted the seeds of language and civilization in Golarion? Is such a thing possible? Yes. -Tsoukalos


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Common is not English. All the languages in the game are fictional and have no real relationship with any real language. But since writing something in a fictional language that the players don’t understand is going to make playing the game impossible to play. Typically what happens is when something needs to be named the game designer will use a real language so that the players can actually play the game. Since some cultures appear similar to real world counter parts they will often use something from those cultures to keep the feel of the culture.

Pretty much all names are based on the rule of cool. If it sounds cool that is the name that they go with.

There are various modules where English worldplay and spelling exist in Common. Even some puzzles.


deuxhero wrote:
There are various modules where English worldplay and spelling exist in Common. Even some puzzles.

In an infinite cosmos, these kinds of coincidences are bound to happen. I wouldn't read too much into it.


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deuxhero wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Common is not English. All the languages in the game are fictional and have no real relationship with any real language. But since writing something in a fictional language that the players don’t understand is going to make playing the game impossible to play. Typically what happens is when something needs to be named the game designer will use a real language so that the players can actually play the game. Since some cultures appear similar to real world counter parts they will often use something from those cultures to keep the feel of the culture.

Pretty much all names are based on the rule of cool. If it sounds cool that is the name that they go with.

There are various modules where English worldplay and spelling exist in Common. Even some puzzles.

That is because we speak English. How many people actually speak the fictitious language their characters speak? How many of these languages actually exist? Other than Elvish and Klingon I don’t know of many fictitious languages that were actually developed. If the puzzle was actually in a game world language it would make absolutely no sense to the players. Also puzzles in, Elven and every other language are also written in English.

Imagine a GM handing you a piece of paper with seeming random marks on it and telling to figure it out? That does not work in a game so the GM gives you the equivalent in English.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Common is not English. All the languages in the game are fictional and have no real relationship with any real language. But since writing something in a fictional language that the players don’t understand is going to make playing the game impossible to play. Typically what happens is when something needs to be named the game designer will use a real language so that the players can actually play the game. Since some cultures appear similar to real world counter parts they will often use something from those cultures to keep the feel of the culture.

Pretty much all names are based on the rule of cool. If it sounds cool that is the name that they go with.

There are various modules where English worldplay and spelling exist in Common. Even some puzzles.

That is because we speak English. How many people actually speak the fictitious language their characters speak? How many of these languages actually exist? Other than Elvish and Klingon I don’t know of many fictitious languages that were actually developed. If the puzzle was actually in a game world language it would make absolutely no sense to the players. Also puzzles in, Elven and every other language are also written in English.

Imagine a GM handing you a piece of paper with seeming random marks on it and telling to figure it out? That does not work in a game so the GM gives you the equivalent in English.

Exactly. It's all translated. Don't think about it too closely, just run with it.

It is part of the reason I don't like those kinds of puzzles though.


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thejeff wrote:

Exactly. It's all translated. Don't think about it too closely, just run with it.

It is part of the reason I don't like those kinds of puzzles though.

I'm telling you, it's not translated. By sheer staggeringly improbable coincidence (which is virtually certain to happen in an infinite universe), Taldane uses exactly the same lexicon as 21st century English. It's the only explanation that fits all the facts.


deuxhero wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Common is not English. All the languages in the game are fictional and have no real relationship with any real language. But since writing something in a fictional language that the players don’t understand is going to make playing the game impossible to play. Typically what happens is when something needs to be named the game designer will use a real language so that the players can actually play the game. Since some cultures appear similar to real world counter parts they will often use something from those cultures to keep the feel of the culture.

Pretty much all names are based on the rule of cool. If it sounds cool that is the name that they go with.

There are various modules where English worldplay and spelling exist in Common. Even some puzzles.

That argument starts with the logical falicy that Common exists. None of the languages detailed in Pathfinder actually exist. Even the creators of the game have put no effort into making any of them a real, functional language. Everything in the modules is written in languages we understand because we are the intended audience.

/sigh I'm taking this way too seriously.

Shadow Lodge

Chakat Firepaw wrote:


Taldane/Common would probably be the French equivalent, given how it is spoken in all five of the "Frances", (Andoran, Chelax, Galt, Isger and Taldor¹). And, TBH, why shouldn't the lingua franca be the French equivalent?

1: The Revolution truly successful, First Empire but diabolic, The Terrors unending, Vichy, and First Kingdom's twilight.

I hadn't looked at the 5 that way before, but I like it.

Silver Crusade

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The place where my personal suspension of disbelief tends to break down is in the use of actual place names. Those I try and change to something that is both recognizable but different.

So, for example, in a recent PBP post I talked about "Diljonit mustard". I wanted the readers to clearly understand that I MEANT Dijon mustard (the type of mustard was actually important :-)) without using a place name that doesn't exist in the universe.

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