Linguistics

Linguistics (Int)
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.

Linguistics Check: 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.

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

Create or Detect Forgeries: 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 Deception, 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.

Learn a Language: Whenever you put a one rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language. Common languages (and their typical speakers) include the following.

  • Aboleth (aboleth, and aboleth minions)
  • Abyssal (demons and other chaotic evil outsiders)
  • Aklo (derros, inhuman or otherworldly monsters, evil fey)
  • Aquan (aquatic creatures, water-based creatures)
  • Auran (flying creatures, air-based creatures)
  • Boggard (boggards, grippli, and other frogfolk)
  • Catfolk (catfolk, knuk, qi’tar, and other catfolk)
  • Celestial (angels and other good outsiders)
  • Common (humans and the core races from Races)
  • Dark Folk (dark creepers, dark stalkers, and their ilk)
  • Draconic (dragons, reptilian humanoids)
  • Druidic (druids only)
  • Dwarven (dwarves)
  • Elven (elves, half-elves)
  • Giant (cyclopses, ettins, giants, ogres, trolls)
  • Gnomish (gnomes)
  • Goblin (bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins)
  • Gnoll (anpur, gnolls)
  • Halfling (halflings)
  • Ignan (fire-based creatures)
  • Infernal (devils and other lawful evil outsiders)
  • Kripar (dromite, kripar, and other insectile races)
  • Maenad (maenads, inhabitants of the Sharira)
  • Mahr (primitative language of the mahrog)
  • Mâlite (mâlites, followers of Mâl)
  • Manxic (femanx, diplomats to the Advent Imperiax)
  • Old Porphyran (aboriginal humans, zendiqi)
  • Orcish (orcs, half-orcs)
  • Necril (undead creatures, followers of the psychopomp users)
  • Ophiduan (serpentfolk, ophiduans, and other slithery folks)
  • Proteans (erkunae, proteans, servitors of chaos)
  • Sign Language (deaf, drow, rogues, and those wishing to communicate silently)
  • Sphinx (enignom, sphinx)
  • Strix (harpies, strix, and feathered folk)
  • Sylvan (centaurs, fey creatures, plant creatures, unicorns)
  • Tengu (tengu, and feathered folk)
  • Terran (earth-based creatures)
  • Undercommon (drow, duergar, morlocks, svirfneblin)
  • Xeph (xeph, inhabitants of the Pinnacle Lands)
  • Zif (zif, and the deeply inebriated)

Action: Varies. Deciphering a page of ordinary text takes 1 minute (10 consecutive rounds). 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.

Try Again: Yes.

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a - All text is Open Game Content.