Is Necril the ultimate language of accessibility?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Evilgm deserves the credit for this realization

But should Necril be the language of accessibility in Golarion? The undead, more so than any other group of people in Golarion can really come in all different shapes, sizes and access to sensory perception. It would make incredible logical sense, especially in a nation like Geb that is so practically minded, for the language of Necril to have been deliberately designed with redundancies of expression into every word. So the way you “speak” the language would include visual motions, sounds naturally produced by those motions, tactile senses of heat and texture, and probably olfactory senses as well, as the undead really should have no shame.

Is it just me, or does this add a really interesting and logical place for language scholars the world over to be interested in Geb and Necril as a language where an animated rib cage and a headless ghost are capable of communicating ideas back and forth to each other?


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In a world based on reason, this makes a great amount of sense. But the extreme anti-undead bias of the vast majority of Golarion's inhabitants has likely severely reduced its spread and popularity. This makes academic study and proliferation quite unlikely beyond small circles.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think that makes it even more interesting of a facet of Golarion cultural interaction. After all, a whole lot of nations take food from Geb because they can grow it the most efficiently. It makes for an interesting and salacious conversation starter at Golarion salons and soirees.

Very creepily, it would also fit in well with Urgathoa's domain for Necril to inherently be the most sensuous of languages as well.


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...and it gives the Gebbites something to feel superior about and claim moral high ground on, especially if Necril is widespread enough to makeit a viable use-language for, say, deaf humans. In some ways Geb really is more open, accepting, and welcoming than other places. The bit where the woman who wrangles zombies for a living is legit judging you for your prejudices and insensitivity has a lovely sort of dissonance to it that could be useful for refining PC moral stances on various subjects.


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Why would undead (universally) have no shame?
Liches seem haughty to me, and many famous vampires maintain a sense of decorum (when not rampaging). Others too debased to care would perhaps care as little for the development of language beyond their own demands.

Even though there are many more available senses, would that increase the usage of appropriate words if a majority of the other speakers don't have those senses? Seems there'd be jargon & slang, such as jokes that those with Lifesense get, but ones with Scent might not understand, but they have their own words to reflect their richer experiences. The effects could ripple through the culture(s), with art projects geared around different sensory combinations, especially Precise Senses that might be new to the fresh undead or which need a jolt for the ancient ones to keep themselves entertained (and I imagine some art would require living "participants"). Yet that's all thinking in mundane terms (and it's not like we don't have access to many alternate forms of language which haven't gone mainstream, yet do exist).

Which is to say it doesn't seem like a mundane language. I'm not sure how much Geb or any cultures at at all have to do with the development of Necril. I suspect it has to be more primal or metaphysical than anything on Earth since isolated undead acquire it. I doubt there are courses (except for the living) or grammar textbooks or even literature and poetry (except maybe in Geb?). Yes, it could be an exceptionally developed language drawing on speakers across the multiverse (an extreme fact to note BTW!) or it could be rather primitive, focusing only on the stunted/heightened needs of the undead. Or it could be so deeply intuitive due to its metaphysical insertion into undead brains that it strains the living to comprehend it.
And how does it compare/contrast with Requian?
Whatever serves the stories you're telling, I suppose. :-)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Geb has been around for thousands of years. The primary language there is still Osirion, and the undead generally do seem slow to seek change or adopt new trends in culture. And I agree the metaphysical connections of Necril to the Undead would probably have many eager students around Golarion interested in studying, probably all the more so because of the taboo around the language and its primary speakers.

But even just 1000 years is a long time for a language to develop, and I agree with Sanityfaerie that Gebbites would leap at the chance to assert their own cultural superiority over others. Urgathoa is a brilliant deity for such a nation because everyone would always be somewhat limited in which of the senses could fully be engaged in any artistic or poetic expression. There would be ghost poetry perhaps leaning on life sense (although can ghosts manipulate life force in a way to control its expression? Or is the art having living beings act in ways that only those with life sense can detect?) But then Ghouls and Zombies might prefer genres of media that more fully trigger their various hungers.

All I am saying is that I had Geb pegged as a boring place trapped in long overplayed tropes about the undead, when the combination of things that exist as influences in Geb is really one of the most interesting takes on the Undead I have ever seen. It is way, way more interesting than anything going on with Tar Baphon in the north, and I think looking at Necril as a language, and having Gebbite Scholars (even the living ones) extolling the virtue of a supposedly superior language that actually few of them speak is another interesting facet to explore in the impossible lands cultural richness.

Scarab Sages

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Book of the Dead says that learning Necril makes it more likely to become undead, so I wouldn't call it accessible since it comes with risk


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Book of the Dead says that learning Necril makes it more likely to become undead, so I wouldn't call it accessible since it comes with risk

A lot of Gebbites would consider that a feature, rather than a bug... and further assert that it's only your own intolerance that makes you feel otherwise.

Liberty's Edge

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Why is there even a special language for undead ?

And one that anyone can learn and speak ?

Or is necril actually the language spoken by Urgathoa when she was alive ?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A Gebbite might say that the undead inherently understand that our need for communication transcends the limits of living forms and a truly superior language is one capable of being understood and communicated with by the lowliest hand servant (or servant hand).

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:
A Gebbite might say that the undead inherently understand that our need for communication transcends the limits of living forms and a truly superior language is one capable of being understood and communicated with by the lowliest hand servant (or servant hand).

Except that undead do not have more reason than the living for communication with a wide variety of people. Less actually since most undead are not moving far from their usual abode.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Unicore wrote:
A Gebbite might say that the undead inherently understand that our need for communication transcends the limits of living forms and a truly superior language is one capable of being understood and communicated with by the lowliest hand servant (or servant hand).
Except that undead do not have more reason than the living for communication with a wide variety of people. Less actually since most undead are not moving far from their usual abode.

"A Gebbite might say" and "this is actually the truth" are not necessarily the same thing.


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The only sound an undead monstrosity should make is the sizzling of a bucket of holy water on their unholy flesh.

- a phararasmite / knight of lastwall.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Even mindless undead need someway to understand the commands that have been given to them by their masters. The needs could prove less egalitarian than some Gebbite scholars would care to recognize, but even if the creation of the undead is accidental, it doesn't seem like the forces connected to it leave it for long before needing to be able to command and control it.

It is people who need to be able to communicate with the Undead that have the greatest need for a language that can often transcend the changing expectations of the senses often associated with undeath.

Wayfinders

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[Disclaimer: I think this is an incredibly rad worldbuilding idea and do not at all intend to dismiss it. I just like thinking about the social sides of language and accessibility too.]

I suspect that Necril will have a lot of ungroovy power dynamics built-in given how the undead tend to function on Golarion. It may be quite accessible in certain physical ways, but any language in which so many of the speakers are A: masters of mindlessly subservient or magically controlled minions (Necromancers) or B: harbingers of social inequality (Vampires, the intentional sort of Mummy, many others) seems likely to be linguistically limited in terms of healthy social dynamics such as accessibility.

That is to say, the language of cultures that encourage the idea that one's inferiors are tools might have difficulty being truly accessible to those who are considered inferior by those cultures. This includes the living, who form a significant minority in Geb and are supposedly quite common elsewhere, as well as rarely-sentient 'fodder' undead such as Skeletons and Zombies who likely lack means of self-affirmation within the language. "I am a Skeleton" might be an inherently self-deprecating sentence in the same way that "I am a tool" is in English, or may simply be grammatically incorrect.

That said, this sounds like a great idea for Gebbite scholars to push, whether or not it quite holds up in practice. The practical side of it would also be interesting for linguists across Golarion, who could search for ways to translate the practical benefits of Necril to more living-friendly languages. Those linguists would also probably see some significant pushback on that, and Golarion's "Tome Scott" equivalent probably has a fascinating Language Files entry on the whole affair.


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Nitro~Nina wrote:
...brilliance...

I just want to read in-universe research papers written by you.

Wayfinders

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Saedar wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
...brilliance...
I just want to read in-universe research papers written by you.

Aaaww, thanks! This sort of thing is fun to think about!

(I'm so stoked for Travel Guide for this exact reason.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nitro~Nina wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
...brilliance...
I just want to read in-universe research papers written by you.

Aaaww, thanks! This sort of thing is fun to think about!

(I'm so stoked for Travel Guide for this exact reason.)

Me too!

I think it is really interesting to look at Necril as being a tool of the master with revolutionary potential for changing the way languages work, because it was built to facilitate language and communication with those deemed monsters to be destroyed (even if that is literally the case with much of the undead wanting to kill the living just because).

Perhaps there would even be room for something like this in the Firebrands, who might regularly encounter Geb traders on the open seas. Necril as a language of revolutions and rebellions around Golarion could be a very interesting and complex twist, especially with the baggage it has with purporting to draw negative energies.


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Book of the Dead says that learning Necril makes it more likely to become undead, so I wouldn't call it accessible since it comes with risk

Is there a rational reason for that, or it's more like a way to discourage/forbid players from taking specific languages?

Like "not being able ( probably not there right word, since it's just anathema) to teach the druid language to non druids"*

*leaving apart that once a non druid knows it, he'd be able to teach it to anybody, as well as transcript it and spread the book around Golarion.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hahaha. Very interesting notion, Unicore.


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Imagine a visiting Gebbite scholar teaching this course in Rahadoum for a semester.


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keftiu wrote:
Imagine a visiting Gebbite scholar teaching this course in Rahadoum for a semester.

-That transfer scholar from Geb really puts her heart into her work.

-Yeah, it's gross, and not too helpful to for us living to use as a magical component.
-I don't know, I find her enchanting.
-Yes, that's another issue!
-If she got tenure, how long would that last?
-It's for life, so she can't.

Do Gebbites send unliving emissaries? I'd think at minimum they'd prefer ones that could pass for living, if only for practical reasons re: diplomacy.
I wonder what kind of goodwill work they do to promote Geb.

Geb Tourism Motto: "Come for the nightlife, stay for a lifetime."


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Stuff like that is exactly the kind of stuff I hope to see in Travel Guide. I want art of an Absalom ball with a hot Gebbite vampire flirting with some scandalized Pharasmans. Gimme gimme.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Vampires bore me to no end, which has me a little nervous about the higher level Blood Lords modules, but what has been done with Zombies and Ghouls is super interesting in Pathfinder, between Book of the dead, Blood Lords, and I am hoping is in the Impossible Lands book. I would much rather see the scholar be a Husk Zombie with wigs and make up, showing Rahadoumians how they can communicate with a chattering jaw or crawling hand.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
...brilliance...
I just want to read in-universe research papers written by you.

Aaaww, thanks! This sort of thing is fun to think about!

(I'm so stoked for Travel Guide for this exact reason.)

Me too!

I think it is really interesting to look at Necril as being a tool of the master with revolutionary potential for changing the way languages work, because it was built to facilitate language and communication with those deemed monsters to be destroyed (even if that is literally the case with much of the undead wanting to kill the living just because).

Perhaps there would even be room for something like this in the Firebrands, who might regularly encounter Geb traders on the open seas. Necril as a language of revolutions and rebellions around Golarion could be a very interesting and complex twist, especially with the baggage it has with purporting to draw negative energies.

I get why the concept feels exciting.

But it makes zero sense IMO for Necril to even exist.

Why would undead have/need a truly common language when the living don't have one ?

Why would an Ustalav vampire, a Mwangi mummy and a Tian-Dan ghoul share a common language just because they are undead ?

After all, they didn't have one when they were alive.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I get why the concept feels exciting.

But it makes zero sense IMO for Necril to even exist.

Why would undead have/need a truly common language when the living don't have one ?

Why would an Ustalav vampire, a Mwangi mummy and a Tian-Dan ghoul share a common language just because they are undead ?

After all, they didn't have one when they were alive.

I like to think of it as being a supernatural form of communication inherent to being a sentient undead. Kind of like how many undead can see without functional eyes. It's never fully explained or understood. It just is.

Those without access to the supernatural can potentially learn how to emulate this link and communicate in turn, but as it is an Uncommon language, I imagine that's not as easy to do as with more traditional languages. In any case, everything about undead is generally considered a perversion of the living, so it makes sense to me that it would be different, and not make any sense. It's a mockery of the living languages that had to be born of the living.

Liberty's Edge

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I would go with it being the long lost language that Urgathoa used when she was alive. And she used her divine power to imprint it in the undead mind template.

I wonder how a Rahadoumi undead would feel about this. And about Urgathoa.

This makes me want to create such a PC. Not sure it woukd fit well in Blood Lords though.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

... Isn't Necril just a mishmash of Osiriaani and Aklo? I always got the impression that it was propagated as a trade language. The ghouls of the darklands speak Necril and Book of the Dead establishes them as brokers of information and esoterica with a wide reach.

Necril becomes a popular language among Undead because the ghouls spread it and other Undead are the most likely to interact with ghouls. It's convenient to learn in the same way Taldan is convenient in the Inner Sea.

.. I like that a lot more than it somehow just being magically imbued into undead.


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I had always assumed Necril was a product of Negative Energy and its associated plane, in the way that each other plane had its own language, and in that way I don’t find an angel speaking Celestial any weirder than a mummy waking up knowing Necril.

Wayfinders

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keftiu wrote:
Imagine a visiting Gebbite scholar teaching this course in Rahadoum for a semester.

Oh my gosh, Rahadoum would eat this right up. The course could very well be called "Necril: The Language of Mortality", which is true in a sense.

...It could even be an unliving long-con to encourage within the eager-to-defy Rahadoum a faux-utilitarian "the dead are tools and anyone saying different is probably working for Sarenrae" sort of philosophy that leaves them vulnerable to Geb's necromantic influence. Akin to Eberron's Blood of Vol, except in a setting where most undead actually are inherently dangerous and non-evil faiths have a really, really good reason to want to destroy them.

Of course, whether or not this would actually work is another question entirely, but it might be worth a shot for Geb to try to tip the balance of power in northern Garund. Rahadoum would probably see that angle coming a mile off and certainly wouldn't want anything to do with Urgathoan faith even if she was a god-defying mortal once upon a time, but the idea might be compelling enough to get some edgy Rahadoumi students comfortable with the language. Once you've got that demographic... Well, Undead can be very, very patient.


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What the authors think about it (from the point of view of the still alive Geb, as I understand):

Book of the dead wrote:

Perhaps the most fascinating phenomenon of undeath is Necril, the mysterious tongue shared by all such creatures. A whispering tongue said to have ties to ancient Osiriani, Necril is the language of the dead. It seems to be woven into the negative energy animating such creatures, rising spontaneously within their consciousnesses even as their bodies raise from restless graves.

I have never encountered any undead unable to comprehend Necril. Skeletons and zombies, though incapable of speech, can obey commands in Necril and thus plainly have some grasp of the tongue. Ghouls use it in preference to any mortal language and have developed dialects unique to different communities. Among them, Necril has transcended—or regressed from—its magical origins, and it serves many of the same functions as mortal speech, signaling the speaker’s cultural and geographical affinities in addition to conveying literal meaning.
Even children raised in utter isolation, who never hear a word of any mortal speech in their short lives, can communicate in Necril once slain and animated as undead. From these experiments and others, I must conclude that somehow the knowledge is carried on the currents of negative magic, and gradually seeps into the undead’s awareness over the course of days or weeks.
Some, of course, learn Necril while still alive. Necromancers are well advised to make a study of the tongue, as it is invaluable for interrogating primary sources. The adherents of the Whispering Way consider the language one of their unholy secrets and use it as both code and communion within their sect.
But the study of Necril does not come without a price for the living. The language is so deeply imbued with negative magic that echoing its syllables and shaping one’s thoughts into its syntax invites an echo of the undead antipathy for the living into one’s soul. Any scholar of Necril knows to guard against its creeping influence, but the effect is so slow and subtle that few can effectively stave it off completely.
It does not go too far to say that the study of Necril imperils one’s very soul. And yet, despite that, I believe its rewards more than justify the risk, given vigilance and care.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Phrasmites would be all over trying to crush this scholarship which could make for a fun adventure plot hook as well, but I could see Gebbite scholars calling into question these associations of Necril exclusively with negative energy.

Afterall, how do we know that Necril is not an embodied and em-spirited language of the Material Plane that is suppressed by the inhabiting of a soul. Perhaps Necril has only become associated with negative energy because necromancy is the only way to reanimate the body after that spirit has left it. Perhaps it is Phrasma that is preventing all people from tapping into a language that can inherently understood in the bones and flesh of all creatures of the material plane?

Liberty's Edge

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I don't know about any of you but I have a very hard time buying the idea that a language that, at least according to the described flavor of it, requires essentially all three components of knowing a language (Verbal, Tactile, Signed) to be used at the same time, and also one that is gatekept by decidedly evil nations full of EXTREMELY nationalistic xenophobic undead, to be in any way accessible to those who are meaningfully disabled... If anything it would be one of the most challenging languages one could spend any amount of time learning for such individuals.

All of this without even mentioning the fact that using the language quite literally invites fundamentally evil, negative, and unhealthy (for lack of a better term) vibes into your soul.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
I don't know about any of you but I have a very hard time buying the idea that a language that, at least according to the described flavor of it, requires essentially all three components of knowing a language (Verbal, Tactile, Signed) to be used at the same time, and also one that is gatekept by decidedly evil nations full of EXTREMELY nationalistic xenophobic undead, to be in any way accessible to those who are meaningfully disabled... If anything it would be one of the most challenging languages one could spend any amount of time learning for such individuals.

Is Geb gatekeeping Necril at all? Are they “EXTREMELY xenophobic” when their crops feed much of the Inner Sea? I don’t deny that Geb is an evil nation, but these other claims I haven’t seen much evidence for.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

I don't know about any of you but I have a very hard time buying the idea that a language that, at least according to the described flavor of it, requires essentially all three components of knowing a language (Verbal, Tactile, Signed) to be used at the same time, and also one that is gatekept by decidedly evil nations full of EXTREMELY nationalistic xenophobic undead, to be in any way accessible to those who are meaningfully disabled... If anything it would be one of the most challenging languages one could spend any amount of time learning for such individuals.

All of this without even mentioning the fact that using the language quite literally invites fundamentally evil, negative, and unhealthy (for lack of a better term) vibes into your soul.

I mean, I think there are a lot of people in Golarion who would push this narrative, and the alignment system of Pathfinder of course makes problematic associations of anything that some evil people do might inherently just be evil, but there are non-evil undead, and even the Negative Energy Plane is not an inherently evil plane any more than the positive Energy Plane is inherently good. Being associated with negative energy doesn't make Necril Evil in a planar sense.

The real question is why these good gods haven't inherently been teaching their servants languages that can be understood and communicated through regardless of one's abilities or senses?

Liberty's Edge

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They are an insular nation run by a LITERAL bloodthirsty upper caste of CE, NE, and LE intelligent undead that consider anyone underneath them, be they living or undead, to be little more than raw materials to create more slaves to undeath and fuel for their hyperdrive ultra-capitalist mercantile economic engine.

The only way I could reasonably consider it to be accessible, I guess, would be that more or less anybody can BECOME undead (or consent to becoming evil for the sake of communication) and thereafter be made to understand the language without any training whatsoever but that's ... uh, not exactly accessible in the traditional sense given that one must literally either consent to dealing with evil undead and/or necromancers and letting negative energy into their very soul (jeopardizing their afterlife) tainting them forever or otherwise being murdered/committing suicide and being raised again (in the vast majority of cases as an unintelligent undead) to learn it.

I just don't get it at all... and while I haven't done a HUGE deep dive into Book of the Dead lore or the new AP I have a hard time believing that the lore and worldbuilding around Geb and other undead nations has been so softened/watered down that one could justify Necril as being even remotely close to something like ASL or other intentionally accessible languages.

Maybe it's just me /shrug


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Necril isn’t a Gebbite language, though, is what I’m saying. They can’t gatekeep something they don’t own or have a monopoly on; I imagine the Magaambya has Necril tomes in their possession, as do any number of Ustalavic nobles and institutions, and plenty of others besides.

When learning it is as simple as conjuring something from the Negative Energy Plane or finding yourself even a moderately-polite undead, I can’t really understand the idea that Geb’s got much of anything to do with evaluating the language.


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keftiu wrote:

Necril isn’t a Gebbite language, though, is what I’m saying. They can’t gatekeep something they don’t own or have a monopoly on; I imagine the Magaambya has Necril tomes in their possession, as do any number of Ustalavic nobles and institutions, and plenty of others besides.

When learning it is as simple as conjuring something from the Negative Energy Plane or finding yourself even a moderately-polite undead, I can’t really understand the idea that Geb’s got much of anything to do with evaluating the language.

Yeah, My claims here mostly would be that Geb Scholars would of course try to make nationalistic claims on Necril, but that would not make it inherently true.


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Unicore wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Necril isn’t a Gebbite language, though, is what I’m saying. They can’t gatekeep something they don’t own or have a monopoly on; I imagine the Magaambya has Necril tomes in their possession, as do any number of Ustalavic nobles and institutions, and plenty of others besides.

When learning it is as simple as conjuring something from the Negative Energy Plane or finding yourself even a moderately-polite undead, I can’t really understand the idea that Geb’s got much of anything to do with evaluating the language.

Yeah, My claims here mostly would be that Geb Scholars would of course try to make nationalistic claims on Necril, but that would not make it inherently true.

My comments are mostly aimed at Themetricsystem here. I’m not denying that Necril imperils the soul or that Geb is bad, just the assertion that Geb is some kind of gatekeeping, xenophobic island of culture with any control over the language’s place in the world.

Wayfinders

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Unicore wrote:
The real question is why these good gods haven't inherently been teaching their servants languages that can be understood and communicated through regardless of one's abilities or senses?

Is there any reason to suspect that they haven't? I mean, we're being very speculative about Necril and, while I do love the idea of in-world scholars making those same assumptions and pushing the narrative of Necril being especially accessible, it seems unfair not to speculate similarly about languages that don't pose risks* for anyone with a pulse.

Celestial is the obvious one. Good is Good, and it seems unfathomable to me that beings composed of cosmic kindness would find their ability to communicate unduly limited by the abilities of those they are trying to reach. There's not much use in saying "do not be afraid" if nobody in the room can hear it, and it paints the forces of Good in an extremely silly light if that's something that they haven't considered. That said, I would imagine that among the heavenly host there are numerous communicators who specialise in different mechanisms of communication, for reasons I will get to in a moment.

Utopian may be another, for various pragmatic reasons to do with the inexorable decline of the Primordial Inevitables and the realities of living in the most ancient and cosmopolitan city in the universe.

Protean ditto for the exact opposite reasons; is it fun to have to shapeshift your mouthparts into something different just to say hello to your friend who happens to be trying out a new set of senses this month?

Abyssal whispers should be able to tempt any sinner.
Infernal contracts cannot afford to do less.

And so on.

However, perhaps the reason that there hasn't been some sort of universally-accessible language from on-high might be because, well, that's not how language or accessibility work. There will always be people whose needs are excluded by a focus on the needs of others, and that's okay so long as multiple solutions are available (providing both a ramp and stairs, for example). A language spoken by all undead might not be accessible to the living, a language spoken by Angels may burn the tongues of their fallen, a signed language will present problems for those with poor vision while a tactile language will present problems for those who can't cope with touch. And so on. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to disability, and I'm actually glad that there isn't a language for that in this setting.

Either that or it's because Ihys was in charge of language and none of the other gods can quite work it out. Thanks, Asmodeus.

----

* maybe a little real:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but many disabled people live with conditions that would make a language imbued with literal death energy seem a little less of a harmless frivolity. Even if it isn't a physical risk, fatigue and apathy are bad enough when they're not being mystically enhanced. Now, I think it'd be fascinating to explore that dynamic as someone who has myself experienced a lot of "Oh, but this could help you!", but that relies on making it clear that the people pushing for this language in-setting are irresponsible at-best.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree completely.

Wayfinders

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Hm, on re-read that may have come off a little more prescriptive than I'd intended, sorry. I do now want to play a planar linguist who takes everything I just said as a personal challenge, going on a mighty quest to create or discover the true best-fit language for all conscious souls. Perfection is a good goal insofar as it gets you to "really bloody good", after all.

The idea of universal language is really compelling and finding tidbits of it in tongues as taboo as Necril would be a fun character journey too. Especially when their open-mindedness inevitably leads them to pick up a book with more apostrophes than sense and unleash some sort of linguistic elder evil...

But this is perhaps getting quite off-topic. I want to run a game with the preciousness of knowledge as a major theme quite soon so this sort of thing has been knocking around my mind. :P


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Conspiracy Theory: Necril is a long con being played by Kabriri, the demon lord of ghouls. Kabriri invented Necril, which is why it is associated primarily with ghouls, and used his divine power to interweave it into the fabric of negative energy. Those who become fluent in Necril become bound to his domain. Kabriri's ultimate goal is to gain enough power through these souls to devour Urgathoa and become the true god of undeath.

Liberty's Edge

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Nitro~Nina wrote:

Hm, on re-read that may have come off a little more prescriptive than I'd intended, sorry. I do now want to play a planar linguist who takes everything I just said as a personal challenge, going on a mighty quest to create or discover the true best-fit language for all conscious souls. Perfection is a good goal insofar as it gets you to "really bloody good", after all.

The idea of universal language is really compelling and finding tidbits of it in tongues as taboo as Necril would be a fun character journey too. Especially when their open-mindedness inevitably leads them to pick up a book with more apostrophes than sense and unleash some sort of linguistic elder evil...

But this is perhaps getting quite off-topic. I want to run a game with the preciousness of knowledge as a major theme quite soon so this sort of thing has been knocking around my mind. :P

The quest for universal language reminds me of Tabril. And we know how well that went.

And I liked your mentioning Ihys. Good deities not forcing a common language on people looks to me as respecting free will.


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In the category of "messed up ways for necromancy to substitute for other schools", if you know necril and can raise or convert somebody to an intelligent undead, then you can always make a translator instead of repeatedly using one of the linguistic spells.

Regarding celestials wanting to make their words known, some types have truespeech to address the issue.

I don't think necril has too much advantage in accessibility even setting aside the mental effects (increased hatred of life) and increased likelihood of rising as undead. It's not a designed or fluid language- because the knowledge of it is imparted directly to undead, any additions or conventions that the nation of Geb might add (sign language, etc.) aren't going to be part of that package. It's also just knowledge of the language that's imparted; we know there are undead that understand it but can't speak it.

So, Geb trying to push for it as a universal language probably falls under the same category as trying to get celestial/utopian/infernal/draconic adopted as a universal language. I suspect that PF1 giving wizards access to draconic means that it's been adopted as a common scholarly language, at least in magical circles.


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Errenor wrote:


Even children raised in utter isolation, who never hear a word of any mortal speech in their short lives, can communicate in Necril once slain and animated as undead. From these experiments and others, I must conclude that somehow the knowledge is carried on the currents of negative magic, and gradually seeps into the undead’s awareness over the course of days or weeks.

I like how the passage just casually skips past raising kids in complete isolation and then murdering them and raising them as undead to see if they'd still speak Necril like it's a completely normal thing barely worth mentioning. Can't do science without the occasional moral atrocity!


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Paladrone wrote:
Errenor wrote:


Even children raised in utter isolation, who never hear a word of any mortal speech in their short lives, can communicate in Necril once slain and animated as undead. From these experiments and others, I must conclude that somehow the knowledge is carried on the currents of negative magic, and gradually seeps into the undead’s awareness over the course of days or weeks.
I like how the passage just casually skips past raising kids in complete isolation and then murdering them and raising them as undead to see if they'd still speak Necril like it's a completely normal thing barely worth mentioning. Can't do science without the occasional moral atrocity!

In Geb those are known as “whoopsie-doodles.”


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Paladrone wrote:
I like how the passage just casually skips past raising kids in complete isolation and then murdering them and raising them as undead to see if they'd still speak Necril like it's a completely normal thing barely worth mentioning. Can't do science without the occasional moral atrocity!

Yep, that's Geb for you. Funny guy.

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