House Rules: Skills - Linguistics

< House Rules: Skills

You are skilled at working with language, in both its spoken and written forms. You can speak multiple languages, and can decipher nearly any tongue given enough time. Your skill in writing allows you to create and detect forgeries as well.

Uses


Decipher Magical Writing (Master)

You can decipher magical writings (as read magic) by succeeding at a Linguistics check (DC = 25 + caster level). If you identify a written magical trap in this way, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Disable Device checks to disarm it.

Action: At least 1 minute.

Retry? No.

Proficiency:

  • Legendary: You can attempt to decipher magical text at a rate of one page per round. If you instead spend 1 minute per page, roll twice and take the better result.

Decipher Writing (Novice)

You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing. If the check succeeds, you understand the general content of a piece of writing about one page long (or the equivalent). If the check fails, make a DC 5 Wisdom check to see if you avoid drawing a false conclusion about the text. (Success means that you do not draw a false conclusion; failure means that you do.)

Both the Linguistics check and (if necessary) the Wisdom check are made secretly by the GM, so that you can’t tell whether the conclusion you draw is true or false.

Action: Deciphering a page of ordinary text takes 1 minute.

Retry? Yes.

Proficiency:

  • Master: If you succeed at a Linguistics check by at least 10 when examining writing, you can learn the precise meaning rather than general content, and you never draw false conclusions on a failed check. A successful DC 30 Linguistics check reveals the general meaning of speech, a successful DC 35 check reveals 1d4 pieces of specific information, and a successful DC 40 check reveals exact meaning.

Learn a Language (Skilled)

Whenever you put a rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language. Common languages (and their typical speakers) are listed below.

Create or Detect Forgeries (Skilled)

Creating a forgery can take anywhere from 1 minute to 1d4 minutes per page. Detecting a forgery using Linguistics takes 1 round of examination per page.

Table: Detecting Forgeries

Condition Linguistics Check Modifier
Type of document unknown to reader –2
Type of document somewhat known to reader +0
Type of document well known to reader +2
Handwriting not known to reader –2
Handwriting somewhat known to reader +0
Handwriting intimately known to reader +2
Reader only casually reviews the document –2
Document contradicts orders or knowledge +2

Forgery requires writing materials appropriate to the document being forged. To forge a document on which the handwriting is not specific to a person, you need only to have seen a similar document before, and you gain a +8 bonus on your check. To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy, and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person’s handwriting is needed.

The Linguistics check is made secretly, so that you’re not sure how good your forgery is. As with Disguise, you don’t make a check until someone examines the work. Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Linguistics check of the person who examines the document to verify its authenticity. The examiner gains modifiers if any of the conditions are listed on the table above.

Action: Varies. Creating a forgery can take anywhere from 1 minute to 1d4 minutes per page. Detecting a forgery using Linguistics takes 3 acts of examination per page.

Retry? Yes.

Proficiency:

  • Expert: You take half as much time to create a forgery per page. Detecting forgery only takes a simple action.
  • Master: You need to take only 3 acts to create a forgery per page.

Interpret Secret Message (Expert)

You can use Linguistics instead of Sense Motive to intercept and interpret secret messages (as the Bluff skill). Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Bluff check of the character transmitting the message. For each piece of information relating to the message that you are missing, you take a –2 penalty on your check. If you succeed by 4 or less, you know that something hidden is being communicated, but you can’t learn anything specific about its content. If you beat the DC by 5 or more, you intercept and understand the message. If you fail by 4 or less, you don’t detect any hidden communication. If you fail by 5 or more, you might infer false information.

Action: At least 1 minute.

Retry? No, though you may make a Sense Motive check for each Bluff check made against you.

Modifiers


Special—Members of the same organization (such as a city’s thieves’ guild) gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff and Linguistics checks to pass secret messages to each other, and on Sense Motive checks to intercept messages from their allies.
Special—A sign language or gestural system can be used as a free action to silently communicate simple concepts to others who know the language or code, so long as those communicating can clearly see each other. More complicated conversations require additional time, just as with verbal speech. Some gestural systems are too simple to communicate more than basic tactical information. Onlookers unfamiliar with the gestures can interpret the secret message with a successful DC 25 Linguistics or Sense Motive check.

Languages


Fluency: The fluency rarity of a racial language represents the chance that a person of the same race and native to the region is fluent. The language's fluency chance shifts one step rarer for other races that live in the region.

  • Common: The language is native to the region or the official language of the nation. Chance: 100%.
  • Uncommon: The language has been immigrated into the region along with its people, or was supplanted by significant changes to the demographics of the regions. Regardless, this language is still fluent among a significant number of people living in the region. Chance: 50%.
  • Rare: This language is spoken only by a small minority of people in the region. Chance: 10%.
  • Unique: This language is unknown in the region. It is spoken only by individuals who specifically learned of this language. Chance: 0%.

Abolus

Abolus is the foul tongue that was brought to Celesia by horrific creatures from beyond the stars. It was the thul-koon, the first servants of the Cosmic Horrors, that spread Abolus throughout the world. The very words themselves seep with the influence of the Old Ones, with every sound reverberating with unnatural horror. Naturally, all lore and magic derived from the Horrors are written in Abolus. The vile abominations that spawned from these horrors have since adopted Abolus as their native language.

Abyssal

Aeonic

Arachnus

Arachnus was the common tongue spoken by the tharaxin across the world during the height of their power. It has since become the common tongue among intelligent insect peoples, although many have developed their own distinct, lingual variations.

Celestial

Centauri

Vronti

  • Common:
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Viridian Marches

Cyclopean

The cyclopean language traces its roots to Ancient Titan, but has since evolved and diverged enough to no longer be part of the family of Giant languages.
Carpathi

  • Common:
    • Carpathos League
    • Incendiar Enclave
    • Issosi League
    • Minossus League
    • Oxyeleos Enclave
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Venicar Republic
    • Viridian Marches

Draconic

The Draconic tongues are the languages spoken by dragons and their close kin. Though distinct from one another, each derive from Old Wyrmish which is no longer spoken, but can still be found in ancient texts and as the lingual root of arcane words of power. Because of their long lives and far travels, dragon languages never developed their own regional dialects, only along racial lines.

Auric is the tongue spoken by gold dragons.

Argentis is the tongue spoken by silver dragons.

Coerulic is the tongue spoken by blue dragons.

Pyros is the tongue spoken by bronze dragons.

Rubean is the tongue spoken by red dragons.

Viric is the tongue spoken by green dragons.

Druidic

Dwarvish

Moradan

Elvish

Corellar

Eiranor

Lunarin

Valderin

Giantish

Gnollish

Gnomish

The gnomish languages descend from the fairy tongue of Sylvan.

Nomdalin

  • Common:
    • Valendar Wilds

Goblish

Garzhani is spoken by goblinkind in the northern regions of Asteropa.

  • Common:
    • Confederate States of Garazhan
    • Krussivyk
    • Principality of Sarkovia
    • Xaos Dominion

Zharnash is spoken by goblinkind in western regions of Asteropa.

  • Common:
    • Kingdom of Helzharn
    • Istval
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valroy Republic
    • Venicar Republic

Human

Merassimi

  • Common:
    • Merassimi
  • Uncommon:
    • Viridian Marches
  • Rare:
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valroy Republic

Prydwish originates from the human tribes of the Aerdwyn isles. It is the primary language of the Aerwyn Empire and its vassal states, and remains commonly spoken across its former colonies across Asteropa.

  • Common:
    • Aerdwyn Empire
    • Darsa
    • Erland
    • Kingdom of Hynaeria
    • Kingdom of Lehdan
    • Kingdom of Malbarek
    • Pendrik
    • Senwarth
    • Kingdom of Sorliss
    • Republic of Valkirk
  • Uncommon:
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Muldor Wilds
    • Pravica
    • Principality of Sarkovia
    • Kingdom of Skrivia
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Domnion of Xaos
  • Rare:
    • Confederate States of Garazhan
    • Krussivyk

Svenic originates in the northwestern region of Asteropa.

  • Common:
    • Krussivyk
    • Pravica
    • Principality of Sarkovia
  • Uncommon:
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Kingdom of Skrivia
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valroy Republic

Venici originates from the human tribes of the Istvali Peninsula that created the Venicar Republic.

  • Common:
    • Carpathos League
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Minossus League
    • Holy Radimus Empire
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valroy Republic
    • Venicar Republic
  • Uncommon:
    • Issosi League
    • Istval
    • Merassimi
    • Kingdom of Rodaria
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Viridian Marches
  • Rare:
    • Ashaki Empire

Xianyu originates from Xian, the first human empire. The language spread across the world through the empires many colonies. It became the de facto tongue to use for diplomacy and trade. It is most commonly spoken on the continents of Zhoulong, Ramvata, Asteropa, and Khaliram. Athough less widespread, Xianyu is still used in certain parts of Sengola, Anowakowa, Anzica, Inuktavit, and Tunakuraq.

  • Common:
    • Kingdom of Xifangsaifu
  • Uncommon:
    • Aerdwyn Empire
    • Arkonian Concordat
    • Darsa
    • Erland
    • Kingdom of Hynaeria
    • Pravica
    • Senwarth
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Valkirk Republic
    • Dominion of Xaos

Infernal

Kitish

Cougri is spoken in western Anowakowa.

Nylix is spoken in eastern Asteropa.

Pumic is spoken in southern Anowakowa.

Silvris is spoken in western Asteropa.

Theracian is spoken in northern Asteropa.

Kitsune

Legarish

Mulgash

  • Common:
    • Muldori Plateaus

Remlish

  • Common:
    • Remulor
    • Kingdom of Skrivia

Liantis

Lucklyn

Lucklyn is the family of languages spoken by the halfling people.

Valois

  • Common:
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Valroy Republic
    • Viridian Marches

Machine

Mintar

Necron

It is said that Necron was the language developed by ancient necromancers when they first explored using magic to control life and death. However, it would be more accurate to say that these primordial necromancers uncovered the secrets of this tongue. For reasons that continue to elude sages to this day, undead creatures are raised innately knowing this language.

Orcish

Nogrish

  • Common:
    • Norgrimm Moors
    • Pravica
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valendar Wilds
    • Viridian Marches
    • Xaos Dominion

Piscean

Protean

Sakkadish

Serpentis

Serpentis was the primary tongue of the sserassin. This language was spread far and wide throughout the sserassin world empire, and imposed upon their servant races. To this day, the tongue of the sserassin has become the common language of reptilian races that descended from those servant races from long ago, although many further developed their own distinct, lingual variations.

Skrivish

Rivian

  • Common:
    • Lurindor Compact
    • Pravica
    • Principality of Sarkovia
    • Kingdom of Skrivia
    • Tassimar Reach
    • Valroy Republic

Sylvan

Tengal

Serat

  • Common:
    • Kingdom of Skrivia
    • Tassimar Reach

Treant

Tritonis

Vanar

Vishku

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