Archivist bardic performance, language dependency and animal companions


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

Hello all, I have an archivist bard who regularly adventures with a tiger loving Druid. Problem is my main bardic performance (Naturalist (See below) is language dependent, which means the tiger is unaffected by it normally. My question is if the Druid casts speak with animals on me, (See below) can it benefit from my bardic performance? (My bard speaks Sylvan, if that matters) Or does the Tiger actually have to learn the language?

Alternatively, would a casting of Tongues (see below) on myself or the tiger allow it to benefit?

All descriptions were copied from Archive of Nethys.

Naturalist performance:
Naturalist (Ex): An archivist who has identified a creature with a Knowledge check appropriate to its type can use performance to share strategies for defeating it with allies in combat. The archivist and any allies within 30 feet gain a +1 insight bonus to AC and on attack rolls and saving throws against extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities used by creatures of that specific kind of monster (e.g., frost giants, not all giants or all humanoids). This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and every six levels thereafter. This language-dependent ability requires visual and audible components.

Speak with Animals:
You can ask questions of and receive answers from animals, but the spell doesn't make them any more friendly than normal. Wary and cunning animals are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones make inane comments. If an animal is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.

Tongues:
This spell grants the creature touched the ability to speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, whether it is a racial tongue or a regional dialect. The subject can speak only one language at a time, although it may be able to understand several languages. Tongues does not enable the subject to speak with creatures who don't speak. The subject can make itself understood as far as its voice carries. This spell does not predispose any creature addressed toward the subject in any way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Speak with animals doesn't give an animal a language or give you the ability to speak a different language, it is simply a divination that gives you answers to questions via the medium of an animal.

Tongues is assumed to be cast on a creature that already has language, a translator rather than giving the ability to speak to something that normally can't. It doesn't mention specifically what happens if you try though, and you might get away with it. I wouldn't allow it personally. Tongues cast on you wouldn't work for sure as their is no 'Tiger' language for you to be speaking in.


Speak with animals technically doesn't involve a language, which would preclude language dependent effects from working. It isn't that it's a medium-based divination--the spell works both ways and allows you to request a service from the animal--but it isn't sophisticated enough to grant actual language.

Tongues is fine so long as you cast it on the tiger rather than yourself. It grants the ability to understand any language, and that's all that is required. If you cast it on yourself, it won't help, though; as Dave Justus said, a tiger don't understand any language by default, so no language that you could choose to speak would be understood by the tiger.

BTW, when your tiger gets an ability score increase, if you boost its Intelligence to 3 and either (a) spend months training it (the rules say "usually over the course of months") or (b) give it a rank of Linguistics, it can in fact learn to understand a language and all of these problems go away.

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