How does the Fluent in Cyclops boon work?


Pathfinder Society

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I'd like my wizard to be fluent in Cyclops, but I'm a little bit confused as to how the boon of that name works. Do I just get to mark the Cyclops language on my character sheet, or do I need to learn it through taking the Multilingual feat or some other method? The name implies the former, but the description says "your characters can learn the Cyclops language", which implies the latter. In that case, is it correct for me to assume that you can't learn it using the Off-Hours Study boon, since Cyclops is not a common language? Or do I gain access to it and can learn it using that boon as well?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Can you quote the whole text?


Nefreet wrote:

Can you quote the whole text?

That's the problem. That is the whole text.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

I have not played that particular scenario, so I can't download the boon to check the whole text. Is it really just

Quote:
Fluent in Cyclops: your characters can learn the Cyclops language.

?

Or is there more text once you purchase and download the boon?

Scarab Sages 4/5

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There is more text on the boon.

First, the boon is only purchasable if you have played the scenario that it is associated with. That's publicly viewable right now, so I don't think that stating it's scenario 2-03 is an issue. I'll spoiler the rest.

There are definitely questions around how this boon works. I asked them in the GM thread, but it strayed into a more general discussion about how this type of boon should work, so it was rightly asked that we stop the discussion there so the thread could return to focusing on the scenario.

Fluent in Cyclops Boon:
You've come into contact with cyclopes or their cultural artifacts, and you get the sense that you could pick up their language with a bit of study. You gain access to the Cyclops language, allowing you to learn Cyclops the next time you gain a language (such as through the Multilingual skill feat).

SPECIAL This boon applies to all of your Pathfinder Society (second edition) characters.

The issues:

What is access?:
This question has been coming up in a lot of different ways. Here, the boon gives access to an Uncommon language that appears in the Bestiary. The Bestiary is listed on the Character Options Blog without any stated restrictions. Which might mean that everything in it is standard access, or it might mean that the section listing the restrictions is missing from the blog. Currently it reads as though everything is standard access.

The first question comes up when the boon mentions Multilingual. If everything in the Bestiary is standard access, and Cyclops is an Uncommon language, then you can already take Cyclops with Multilingual without having this boon at all.

So then what does this boon do?:
If you don't need the boon to use Multilingual to learn the language, what does it do exactly? Since it opens Cyclops up as a option for all of you characters, you can presumably take it as one of your starting bonus languages from intelligence on a new character. You could also take it with anything else that grants you a language to which you already have access. INT increase at level 5, Gnome Polyglot, etc.

Where do things get tricky?:
In my particular case, the character that earned the boon is still 1st level. I'd like to use the 1st level rebuild to change one of the starting languages I previously selected and take Cyclops instead. This creates a weird situation where either the character is taking a option with their starting languages after they earned access to the option, or where every new character that I have could take the language with their starting languages, but the one who actually earned the boon can't.

There was some difference of opinion on the GM thread, though it does appear according the the current rules I can rebuild into taking the language. The conversation turned more to whether or not that should be allowed and how these player wide boons should be treated.

TL;DR You have access. Whenever you would pick up a new language, through whatever means, as long as it allows you to take any language you have access to, you can select Cyclops. You do not gain Cyclops as an extra language automatically.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Wow.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

It is not *entirely* clear whether multilingual is supposed to be able to access this language, or if that was an oversight by the AR team. However, until they fix that oversight (if it was one) you can take that language with multilingual.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

I would probably have to say that you couldn't use Off-Hours Study for Cyclops, because regardless of Access, Off-Hours Study limits you to Common languages, not "Common languages, and those you have Access to".

Silver Crusade 3/5

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Wait. So we have to purchase the boons before we get access to the text that explains what it does?

That, to me, seems like a much bigger issue than this one particular boon.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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In this case, it's a free boon associated with a scenario. In the past it would have just been printed on the chronicle. You aren't costing yourself anything by buying it. I don't think we really need to be able to see the text of the formerly chronicle boons before we buy them if they are free. Provided, of course, none of them carry negative effects for assigning them to a character.

I believe Jared has said he's working on a page for the guide that lists the text of the AcP boons. I'll let him comment on if that's happening and how far off it might be.

Nefreet - Good catch. I didn't realize Off-hours study doesn't let you take Uncommon languages you have access to. I did think about that option, but given how much downtime it takes and how few scenarios there are, my character would have to play through the content where the language is most likely to be useful in order to get enough downtime to learn the language.

Retraining starting languages also doesn't seem to be a thing (or at least isn't explicitly stated to be a thing). Otherwise that would be an option as well.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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I only have text for the reputation gated boons so far, but it is up on the guide on the players tab. (On my phone at the moment or I would post a link.)

Off hours study is 4-6 games. I am not sure how I feel about that. Balance wise, you are getting 1/3 to 1/2 of a bonus feat for somewhere between 3-6 treasure bundles.

From the guide: If you satisfy the access condition specified in that option, then that option is common for you. Off hours can be used for Cyclops if you have that boon.

Grand Archive

Jared Thaler wrote:

It is not *entirely* clear whether multilingual is supposed to be able to access this language, or if that was an oversight by the AR team. However, until they fix that oversight (if it was one) you can take that language with multilingual.

Multilingual gives you access to two common or uncommon languages, and Cyclops is uncommon. Cyclops boon unlocks the cyclops language meaning you can take it without the multilingual skill feat, like if your intelligence bonus goes up.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Malfinn Eurilios wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:

It is not *entirely* clear whether multilingual is supposed to be able to access this language, or if that was an oversight by the AR team. However, until they fix that oversight (if it was one) you can take that language with multilingual.

Multilingual gives you access to two common or uncommon languages, and Cyclops is uncommon. Cyclops boon unlocks the cyclops language meaning you can take it without the multilingual skill feat, like if your intelligence bonus goes up.

Cyclops language is Uncommon, and from the bestiary. There is no language in the AR guide stating that all options from the bestiary are standard unless stated otherwise.

I am currently working with other VOs to find out if it was the intent that the bestiary languages be standard availability.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

Malfinn Eurilios wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:

It is not *entirely* clear whether multilingual is supposed to be able to access this language, or if that was an oversight by the AR team. However, until they fix that oversight (if it was one) you can take that language with multilingual.

Multilingual gives you access to two common or uncommon languages, and Cyclops is uncommon. Cyclops boon unlocks the cyclops language meaning you can take it without the multilingual skill feat, like if your intelligence bonus goes up.

Don't forget that in Pathfinder Society Organized Play there are actually TWO things that determine whether or not you can take an option. You have to meet the access condition as normal. But there's also a rarity component that is introduced for Society Play.

For example the Golden Legion Epaulet from Lost Omens World Guide is uncommon. However, per the PFS Character Options rules it is also limited. Which means it can only be selected if specifically allowed by a boon.


I'm pretty sure the interpretation that you can take uncommon languages using Multilingual is not RAW, and if not I'd say it isn't RAI. When they say "common languages, uncommon languages, and any others you have access to", the last part is meant to be exclusive. In the case of a non-PFS game, if you don't have access to the uncommon language through the storyline, you can't take it. In the case of Society play, you would NEED a boon like this in order to take the language at all. That said, there definitely does need to be clarification on this from the development team.

As for Off-Hours Study... there are FAR too many limitations on that boon. Using it to learn a language or Lore skill that would be useful for the current storyline is the ONLY use I can imagine getting out of it. I hate how the two Grand Archive-exclusive boons right now suck. Off-Hours Study grants a common language or a Lore skill. The former is ridiculous-it should at LEAST let you take an uncommon language if your character has access to it. The latter could be useful if it was something like Cyclops Lore, but I took the Loremaster Dedication. Esoteric Wayfinder lets you turn a critical failure on a check to Recall Knowledge into a failure once without any risk of blowing up your wayfinder, and if it turns out what you roll wasn't a critical failure there's nothing saying that use is not expended. It frustrates me that with the shift to Achievement Points the Grand Archive doesn't really have any decent boons anymore. If Fluent in Cyclops lets me take the Cyclops language using Off-Hours Study, that might actually warrant taking it even with the downtime expenditure. I have difficulty justifying spending a skill feat on Multilingual.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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You have interpreted the rules by jumping through hoops backward to make them not work, and then turned around and complained that the rules don't work.

Multilingual lets you take uncommon languages, provided they are standard availablity (and rare languages if you have access to them.)

Off Hours study lets you take uncommon languages to which you have access. (The guide explicitly states that access allows you to treat an option as common.)

Each of the wayfinder boons is a free benefit. You aren't going to get much for a free benefit.

Scarab Sages 3/5

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if the rarity and access rules made sense in PFS to start with I don't think we'd see so much hoop jumping - because we wouldn't have been told to expect hoops very recently - that is just using the same twisting thoughts that make the spell "clarification" make sense and applying it to the rest of the game.

Grand Archive

GM_3826 wrote:

I'm pretty sure the interpretation that you can take uncommon languages using Multilingual is not RAW, and if not I'd say it isn't RAI. When they say "common languages, uncommon languages, and any others you have access to", the last part is meant to be exclusive. In the case of a non-PFS game, if you don't have access to the uncommon language through the storyline, you can't take it. In the case of Society play, you would NEED a boon like this in order to take the language at all. That said, there definitely does need to be clarification on this from the development team.

As for Off-Hours Study... there are FAR too many limitations on that boon. Using it to learn a language or Lore skill that would be useful for the current storyline is the ONLY use I can imagine getting out of it. I hate how the two Grand Archive-exclusive boons right now suck. Off-Hours Study grants a common language or a Lore skill. The former is ridiculous-it should at LEAST let you take an uncommon language if your character has access to it. The latter could be useful if it was something like Cyclops Lore, but I took the Loremaster Dedication. Esoteric Wayfinder lets you turn a critical failure on a check to Recall Knowledge into a failure once without any risk of blowing up your wayfinder, and if it turns out what you roll wasn't a critical failure there's nothing saying that use is not expended. It frustrates me that with the shift to Achievement Points the Grand Archive doesn't really have any decent boons anymore. If Fluent in Cyclops lets me take the Cyclops language using Off-Hours Study, that might actually warrant taking it even with the downtime expenditure. I have difficulty justifying spending a skill feat on Multilingual.

My character knows Cyclops I have the boon and took multilingual at level two right after the game. I’m covered either way. It does seem to me that by RAW multilingual allows you to learn two common or uncommon languages with or without a boon.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

Malfinn Eurilios wrote:
It does seem to me that by RAW multilingual allows you to learn two common or uncommon languages with or without a boon.

Read this blog.

The issue is that in addition to common, uncommon, rare, and unique access conditions, Pathfinder Society Organized Play has added another layer. Every option is also classified as standard, limited, or restricted availability.

Anyone can take a common/standard option.
You can take uncommon/standard if you meet the access requirement.
However, you can only take a common/limited (or uncommon/limited, etc.) IF you have a boon that specifically allows you to.

So even though multilingual lets you take an uncommon language it does NOT let you take an uncommon language of limited availability. This is a PFS specific rule! The "availability" levels don't exist in printed Paizo materials.

In the case of the Cyclops language (and other Bestiary languages) there is no blanket description in the Additional Resources saying that the languages in the Bestiary are of standard availability. Or, for that matter, saying that they are not. So what Jared is pointing out is that we don't know if the cyclops language is standard, limited, or restricted. If you have the boon it doesn't matter. The boon makes it available to you. If you don't have the boon, we don't know if multilingual can take Cyclops or not.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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I think I just had an aneurysm.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

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Nefreet wrote:
I think I just had an aneurysm.

Spoiler alert: I'm not personally playing PFS2. The PFS-specific rules seem to have added too much complexity for too little overall gain. It's not that I don't understand why each rule exists individually - it's just that when you put them all together it's overwhelming and lowers my fun. For me, a 10-year veteran of PFS.

Spoiler:
Challenge Points. Level Bumps. Mentors. Availability. Treasure Bundles. Scenario boon online-only text. Downtime blocks. Pathfinder Training. Multiple-Faction Reputation.

Thank goodness the Pregen rules have reset to simpler options (for now).

Grand Archive

Quote:
In the case of the Cyclops language (and other Bestiary languages) there is no blanket description in the Additional Resources saying that the languages in the Bestiary are of standard availability. Or, for that matter, saying that they are not. So what Jared is pointing out is that we don't know if the cyclops language is standard, limited, or restricted. If you have the boon it doesn't matter. The boon makes it available to you. If you don't have the boon, we don't know if multilingual can take Cyclops or not.

I just chatted with one of my local VO’s as this thread was making me think I couldn’t also take infernal without a boon, which I took at the same time as Cyclops and the boon. But it turns out I can take infernal because it’s in the core book.

I’m thinking the real problem is the society rules are so difficult to navigate (due to the web site layout) and in flux.

So the bestiary is legal for play, but had no access? So how can summoning work then?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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Kevin Willis wrote:
The PFS-specific rules seem to have added too much complexity for too little overall gain.

It's about the same number as PFS1, but honestly most are much easier to manage.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Challenge Points.

All you need is a spreadsheet formula to calculate this for you, whereas before, you had to find the average, adjust up or down depending on the character levels involved, then possibly still have to just ask the players whether they wanted to play up or down.

With Challenge Points, that's no longer a conversation, and it takes zero time.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Level Bumps. Mentors.

Remember how many bonuses existed in PF1? Bard song, flanking, Bless, Heroism, 4-player adjustments, and all the other obscure bonuses a GM had to account for?

Those are mostly gone, and replaced with a much more simple "Add +X to everything".

Kevin Willis wrote:
Availability.

I agree this is quickly becoming a problem, as the APG spells discussion highlights.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Treasure Bundles.

Remember how every encounter in PFS1 had a little chart at the end saying "reduce the PC's wealth by X, Y & Z if they fail"?

That's all gone, now.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Scenario boon online-only text.

I agree this is quickly becoming a problem, since it doubles the number of Chronicle Sheets in your stack (even if my stack is entirely digital now).

Kevin Willis wrote:
Downtime blocks.

I agree this could be a lot easier, but since most GMs I've encountered ignore it anyways, I think you'll be fine, too. The rule will change eventually.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Pathfinder Training.

I agree this just became more complex. Generalist didn't need to be added, and I haven't found a way personally to explain its sudden existence.

Kevin Willis wrote:
Multiple-Faction Reputation.

This just became much more simple, because you can honestly only ever champion one Faction if you want to unlock all of its benefits.

Hope that helps with your mindset ^_^

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Nefreet wrote:


Kevin Willis wrote:
Downtime blocks.
I agree this could be a lot easier, but since most GMs I've encountered ignore it anyways, I think you'll be fine, too. The rule will change eventually.

There is now a very simple table in the guide, under the GM section. Look up the PC level, compare their roll to the DC, write in the number. The multiply by 8 is already done for you. If they have field commission, do it again, but divide by 2 the second time.

If they want to do something more complicated, you can ask them to work out the math themselves, since downtime is now not one of the numbers the GM has to enter into the sheet. (In fact, if you want they can just roll the downtime and add it to the sheet after the game themselves.)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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Nefreet wrote:
most are much easier to manage for me

Fixed that for you. Each individual has to decide what they think is complicated or not. Just because I think 2E/PFS2 is easier to manage than 1E/PFS1 does not make it universal. It is not my (or your) purview to tell someone how they feel about the rules, with/out advice.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

TwilightKnight wrote:
Each individual has to decide what they think is complicated or not. Just because I think 2E/PFS2 is easier to manage than 1E/PFS1 does not make it universal. It is not my (or your) purview to tell someone how they feel about the rules, with/out advice.

Thank you Bob, I appreciate the response.

I don't think the society-specific rules are particularly difficult. Most of them exist for the purpose of smoothing out play between different groups or to give a little "nifty extra" to the players. It's just that for me overall they add a lot of (tedious) complexity to the bureaucracy around the game without adding (rich) complexity or fun to playing the game.

I'm not comparing to PFS1; I'm comparing to the PF2 rulebook and asking myself "how much of this is really necessary to make Society play function?"

Spoiler:
Nefreet wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
Challenge Points.
All you need is a spreadsheet formula to calculate this for you, . . .

I must admit this made me laugh out loud.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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TwilightKnight wrote:
Fixed that for you.

Don't put words in my mouth.

I didn't say "2E/PFS2 is easier to manage than 1E/PFS1".

I gave concrete examples of aspects that are, objectively, easier to manage, either because the work is already done for you, or because it's no longer an issue.

Horizon Hunters 2/5 **** Venture-Agent, California—Silicon Valley

Nefreet wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
Fixed that for you.

Don't put words in my mouth.

I didn't say "2E/PFS2 is easier to manage than 1E/PFS1".

I gave concrete examples of aspects that are, objectively, easier to manage, either because the work is already done for you, or because it's no longer an issue.

What TwilightKnight was trying to say was, just because you feel like the rules are easier to manage, doesn't mean everyone should feel the same. Not everyone's mind work in the same way. I personally enjoy the new rules and understand them well, but I know some people who have trouble with them, and that's okay. What we need to understand is that just because someone doesn't get something that you believe is easy to understand, it doesn't mean they are stupid or anything, they just don't think the same way as you. For all we know, they could be a savant as something you think is difficult to understand.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Nefreet wrote:
...without considering what was written.

Okay, let's consider...

Nefreet wrote:
All you need is a spreadsheet formula

That presumes using a spreadsheet is going to be easier for him. It assumes a level of spreadsheet proficiency that I/you/we are not in a position to make on his behalf. Using a spreadsheet might be an added complication and level of complexity he is not prepared to take on.

Nefreet wrote:
I agree this is quickly becoming a problem...

So you agree

Nefreet wrote:
I agree this is quickly becoming a problem...

Again, you agree

Nefreet wrote:
I think you'll be fine

Sorry, none of us get to decide when another player will be "fine."

Nefreet wrote:
I agree this just became more complex...

Again

The point is, I/you/we cannot tell someone else what will make their experience better/easier/more efficient/etc. We can share those tactics in hope of helping, but making the judgement on the value of those tactics is entirely for them to decide. If that makes me a terrible person, then so be it.

Nefreet wrote:
there aren't "more" complex rules

That is a subjective evaluation that I/you/we are not in a position to make on someone else's behalf.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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There was a recent thread questioning the complexity of Access

It was locked.

There was a recent blog discussing Year 2 updates

It was locked.

Part of the frustration (certainly for me, but presumably for others) has been either the heavy-handed "this is the direction we're going" response from Leadership, or the perception that legitimate complaints are being interpreted as general disdain of change.

Any of those bullet points could certainly become their own thread (and as you point out, should be, since it's off-topic). I think the ones actively being ignored by the community have the greatest chance of being heard out. Things like Challenge Points and digital Boons are probably here to stay.

4/5 *****

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Potentially silly question but where can one preview the full text of a boon before purchasing it? My scenario doesn't have it, nor does the boons page. Is there somethign I'm missing?

The "Special" addendum on the boon is very important.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

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Doug Hahn wrote:

Potentially silly question but where can one preview the full text of a boon before purchasing it? My scenario doesn't have it, nor does the boons page. Is there somethign I'm missing?

The "Special" addendum on the boon is very important.

There is no place to preview that. It's important to note that there is NO COST associated with "purchasing" a boon from a scenario. If your character earned it during the adventure it's free to that character. It's just that the boons are now online instead of printed on your chronicle

So you might as well go ahead and "purchase" a chronicle boon if you earned it. There's no downside.

Yes, a lot of people do think that it's kinda silly that you don't know what the boons you earned do until you have a chance to log on and download the full text. But that's where we are at right now.

4/5 *****

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Thanks! This is a good workaround in the meantime.

I had originally tried purchasing it on a character who didn't play the scenario because I wanted them to know Cyclops instead of the one who got GM credit, but I get an error that says "That character does not meet the requirements for that boon."

So, it also seems that we need to purchase the boon on the PC who played the scenario, then create copies of the boon to keep with our other characters.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Doug Hahn wrote:

Thanks! This is a good workaround in the meantime.

I had originally tried purchasing it on a character who didn't play the scenario because I wanted them to know Cyclops instead of the one who got GM credit, but I get an error that says "That character does not meet the requirements for that boon."

So, it also seems that we need to purchase the boon on the PC who played the scenario, then create copies of the boon to keep with our other characters.

Yes, but unless you are playing in person and do not have access to a device at the table, that copy can be digital.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

The problem is that the system does not seem to recognize GM credit towards boon qualifications. They are working on it, but who knows how long that’ll take. In the meantime, the only solution I can find is to report your PC as an actual player at the table. Then download the boon. Then go back and edit the reported table to remove said PC and add it as a GM credit

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 **** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

TwilightKnight wrote:
The problem is that the system does not seem to recognize GM credit towards boon qualifications. They are working on it, but who knows how long that’ll take. In the meantime, the only solution I can find is to report your PC as an actual player at the table. Then download the boon. Then go back and edit the reported table to remove said PC and add it as a GM credit

A workaround if you reported the table. For GMs where someone else is reporting, it will not work.

I suggest to have a copy of the GM Chronicle available to show if asked.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South

@Gary I would advise against that solution as I have seen this causeing problems in the reporting system in PF1 (especially the scenario being marked as a replay) after you reported to a "wrong number" and fixed it afterwards, it still was counted as being "played" for both players.

So this could cause unintended consequences further down the line.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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Gary Bush wrote:
I suggest to have a copy of the GM Chronicle available to show if asked.

Sure, but that's the default. Your character should have their chronicles anyway, but the chronicle doesn't have the reward anymore so its not enough.

Anyone could create a table in the event system in order to report a character to gain access to the boon and then delete the record. Its not the "right" way to resolve this issue, but until Paizo fixes their system, its virtually the only work-around for a player to gain access to their reward. Players should not have to do without their earned rewards because the logistics of the system are not working.

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