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Thread: Language Flavor
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 12:14 AM #1
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Anyone have "flavor rules" for powerful non-human languages? For example:
- Mortals cannot lie in Celestial, but Fiends are less restricted.
- Oaths spoken in Infernal are eternally binding, sometimes in horribly literal ways. (Some cultures have dabbled in using Infernal for wedding vows, with dark and disasterous results.)
- Abyssal adds a +2 Circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks, which increases to +4 when dealing with Chaotic Evil outsiders.
Anyone have other good ones?
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Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 12:43 AM #2
No ... but I love the way you think, Penguin! I never even thought of the concept before truthfully.
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 12:49 AM #3
Novice (Lvl 1)
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 12:57 AM #4
To an extent...
Anyone in my campaign who speaks a language other than common or their native tounge gets a +2 or -2 bonus on all social rolls when dealing with a native speaker of that tounge, depending on the race in questions attitude. Either offense that someone else knows their language (Most outsiders), or pleased that someone has taken the trouble to learn it (Dwarves, etc).
Anyone who speaks both Celestial and Infernal gets a +2 bonus to all spellcraft checks, conditionaly. Celestial and Infernal are the two languages of magic... Very similar, and there is no real difference between them in terms of how magic works, which language a caster chooses to use is normaly just a matter of taste, though some orders forbid casters who cast with one language or another. Knowing both gets you a slight bonus, but not much... They are already pretty similar.
The common form of dwarven is a very technical language, but not very good at some things. +2 bonus when dealing with a technical subject in Dwarven, -2 when dealing with a very abstract subject (Metaphysics, most forms of magic, etc). On similar notes, High Elven is good at matters related to abstract subjects, but very poor at doing things quickly (up to a +3 bonus in explaining an abstract subject, but I apply time constraints to get that bonus. It takes a while to explain things.). Low Elven (Wild Elven) is very good at matter related to nature, growth, animals, etc (+2 bonus), and quite good at describing physical activities (Another +2) but abysmal at anything dealing with magic (-2) or things of a technical bent (-2).
Mind you, these really only work when you understand I have some house rules regarding languages (How easy it is to learn them, when a dice check is needed, etc.)
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 12:59 AM #5
What are your 'social' rolls, Tysr?
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 01:11 AM #6
For speaking to a native speaker?
Basicly, anything that could come up in social contact (Dealing with a receptive merchant, talking to people in a tavern, etc), would count as a "social" roll... So haggling for a better price, or gathering information, things like that. This does NOT include intimidate, bluff, things that would not be affected by a persons perception of your linguistic skills
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 06:20 PM #7
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Alrighty then, more from me:
- Sylvan is vague and euphamistic, and more full of indecent proposals than a typical American's perception of French. -4 to all Intimidate and Sense Motive checks for speakers & listeners, respectively, and a +2 Circumstance bonus to any seduction attempts conducted in Sylvan.
- Draconic is the language of Arcane magic IMC. So, +2 to Spellcraft checks vs. Wizards, and +2 to Knowlege (Arcana) dealing with things written in Draconic. However, speakers of Draconic know exactly how weak the language's creators consider humanoids, and therefore gain a +2 Circumstance bonus to Sense Motive checks against dragons, but take a -2 penalty to Will saves vs. a dragon's Frightful Presence.
- Abyssal: Mere knowlege of this language by mortals saps their sanity. -2 to all Will saves vs. Tanar'ri, and Tannar'ri make Intimidate checks against speakers with a +4 Circumstance bonus. "He who gazes into the Abyss..." and all that.
- Druidic oaths are as binding as Infernal ones, but the agency enforcing the oath is far more benign. It is a pity that the language is not more wide spread. However, Druids always trust each other's word, and this lets them to function together more cohesively than their loose organization would seem to allow.
Sunday, 27th July, 2003, 08:48 PM #8
Novice (Lvl 1)
Wow. Excellent ideas.
My thoughts: tie the language bonuses to Bard abilities. Since there are strong game-mechanical effects here, possibly require a Feat to use them. "Linguistic Mastery [general]" or some such.
Draconic: This is the language of magic. Countersongs in Draconic grant a +1 circumstance bonus to the subject's saving throw. Breaking Enchantments in Draconic grants a +1 bonus to the bard's caster level check.
Elven: The beauty and flow of this language raise the competence bonus to +3 when Inspiring Competence in a Dexterity or Charisma based skill.
Dwarven: The subdued power and trance-like quality of Dwarven chants raise the competence bonus to +3 when Inspiring Competence in a Strength or Constitution based skill.
Gnomish: The fiendish complexity of the Gnomish grammar raises the DC of the saving throw against Fascinate by 1. However, the selfsame complexity makes it difficult to give exact orders, so a Suggestion given to a Fascinated creature has its saving throw DC reduced by 1. Gnomish also has the effects of Elven/Dwarven with relation to Intelligence based skills.
Sylvan: The tongue of the free-willed fey makes it easier to Break Enchantments, granting the bard a +2 bonus on his caster level check if the effect being dispelled is an Enchantment or of the Mind-Affecting type. Sylvan also has the effects of Elven/Dwarven with relation to Wisdom based skills (except Profession).
Celestial/Infernal: Good and Evil creatures are heartened by these powerful words. Inspired Courage, Greatness, or Heroics linger for 7 rounds when sung or chanted in the appropriately-aligned language, but only for 2 rounds when the opposite language is used.
Abyssal/Infernal: Harsh and grating, but full of mind-twisting power, the Evil tongues grant bonuses/penalties to Fascinate and Suggestion that are the opposite of Gnomish. It is easy to use them to bluff, intimidate, and otherwise twist words, but it is difficult for mortal ears to listen to them in the first place.
Monday, 28th July, 2003, 12:27 AM #9
I spend one skill point on a language and then get bonuses that are not circumstance-specific? That seems rorty. If I only get the bonuses in certain situations with speakers of that language, okay.
Otherwise, I'd recommend that you require 5 ranks to indicate full fluency in a language before giving a synergy bonus (maybe native speakers have rank 5, but it could be less than that). And only give a +2 synergy bonus, or similar small effect. i.e. Make sure language skills are balanced relative to other skills. If someone is a major in French (5 ranks) and gets +2 synergy to Diplomacy out of that (Middle Ages - French was regarded as the tongue of nobles), then it's not unbalanced.
Just my thoughts ...
Monday, 28th July, 2003, 03:18 AM #10
Novice (Lvl 1)
Wow. That's a cool idea. Gonna talk to MojoGM about incorporating something like that into our game
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