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Avlis policy on: Speaking - Changelings, Shifters, Telepathy

Rules and Guidelines

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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:27 pm

Malathyre wrote:since they aren't mentioned, I'd assume all those elemental forms that druids can take are incapable of speech, right?

Correct. Elementals can speak their planar language, but are incapable of speaking common naturally. Thus you can make noise, but cannot speak. Earth elementals can make rock grating sounds, fire elementals can make crackling fire sounds, air elementals can make whistling wind sounds, and water elementals can make crashing wave sounds.

Malathyre wrote:From spells, Polymorph self lets one change into an umberhulk, which I assume cannot talk but might be able to chitter or something.

Umber hulks can speak Terran, but not common. So you cannot speak, but you could chitter, click and clack with your mandibles.

Malathyre wrote:Shapechange lets one take the form of a Balor and Fire Giant, both of which I would assume can talk, but I figured it's better to ask, and maybe get them added to the list.

Added.

Godron wrote:Would the following scenario be alright for pseudodragon then ?

I instruct my familiar to seek out someone and make the person follow.
I possess the familiar, fly around town until I find the person.
When found (IC) then have the familiar use telepathy to 'ask' the person to follow.

So that it really becomes a replacement for speech or does the telepathy only work between mage and familiar ?

You could not do that. Telepathy only works between master and familiar, sorry.

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PostAuthor: Titanium Dragon » Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:56 am

dougnoel wrote:
Starslayer_D wrote:What about ravens? Even in RL, Ravens like Parrots can mimic voices.

Krator wrote:According to the PhB 3.0 ravens speak one language.

This is something the Team discussed a while back.

Mimicing is not talking. In NWN, raven familiars have an Int of 3. That isn't enough to carry on a conversation. And while it is possible to train a raven to mimic speech, that would require the Handle Animal skill. Since that skill isn't available, training a raven to mimic speech would fall under cheesing.

So, ravens can't talk. Sorry.


Not to step on any toes or anything, but technically in D&D 3 intelligence is "humanlike"; animals have intelligences of 1 or 2, but humanlike intelligence is defined as 3 or more - hence the rule of why half-orcs cannot have intelligence scores below 3, as then they'd be animals (and not suitable PCs). But *shrugs* what the team says is law, and so it shall be I suppose.
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:50 pm

Titanium Dragon wrote:Not to step on any toes or anything, but technically in D&D 3 intelligence is "humanlike"; animals have intelligences of 1 or 2, but humanlike intelligence is defined as 3 or more - hence the rule of why half-orcs cannot have intelligence scores below 3, as then they'd be animals (and not suitable PCs). But *shrugs* what the team says is law, and so it shall be I suppose.

Due to a Bioware engine limitation - the lowest score a creature can have in an ability is 3. In PnP, undead have no Con score. In NWN, they have scores of 10. This being the case, we have to alter the PnP rules slightly. Otherwise all animals would have humanlike intelligence and all undead would be alive.

3.5 PHB wrote:You apply your Intelligence modifier to:
The number of languages your character knows at the start of the game.

To overcome that, a creature with a 3 intelligence would have to put 5 points in the speak language skill. Since your familiar cannot put points into that skill, having a talking raven would be cheesing.

Still no talking ravens. Sorry.

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PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:47 pm

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PostAuthor: Veilan » Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:01 pm

Familiars regularly posess empathy, not telepathy... is the range of the empathy limited to 1 mile in Avlis as well, as it is in PnP? If yes, how long is a mile for game purposes, 1 area, 2, 3?
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:54 am

Veilan wrote:Familiars regularly posess empathy, not telepathy... is the range of the empathy limited to 1 mile in Avlis as well, as it is in PnP? If yes, how long is a mile for game purposes, 1 area, 2, 3?

It really depends on the area you're in. For the purposes of this discussion, you should consider the empathic range to be a single outdoor area and any indoor areas connected directly to that outdoor area. So two buildings within a city "block" area would be within range. So would the first level of a cave when standing outside that cave.

The caveats to this are:
1.) Distance is subjective to a certain degree on Avlis. This ruling should not be construed as the official measurement of a mile, but instead the range of a mage's empathic link with his familiar.
2.) If a DM tells you otherwise in game, then the maximum distance of the link is however far the DM says.

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PostAuthor: Aerill » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:27 pm

Found an interesting article on Wizards of the Coast website on rules concerning familiars. Special attention to the much debated part concerning familiar's intelligence score. There is quite a lot of detail on this topic.

First Part: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050906a

Second Part: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050913a

Some highlights:

A raven familiar can speak one language of its master's choice as a supernatural ability.


Int: The familiar's Intelligence score. Familiars are as smart as people, though not necessarily as smart as smart people.


Empathic Link (Su): The master has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The master cannot see through the familiar's eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content (such as fear, hunger, happiness, curiosity) can be communicated. Note that the low Intelligence of a low-level master's familiar limits what the creature is able to communicate or understand, and even intelligent familiars see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this empathic link, the master has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does. For instance, if his familiar has seen a room, the master can teleport into that room as if he has seen it too.


Speak with Master (Ex ): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.


Speak with Animals of Its Kind (Ex ): If the master is 7th level or higher, a familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same kind as itself (including dire varieties): bats with bats, rats with rodents, cats with felines, hawks and owls and ravens with birds, lizards and snakes with reptiles, toads with amphibians, weasels with similar creatures of the family Mustelidae (weasels, minks, polecats, ermines, skunks, wolverines, and badgers). Such communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures.


Could the rules perhaps be updated with it in mind? I am specifically interested in ravens able to communicate in one language. :)

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PostAuthor: Anyamaur » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:48 am

Fifty wrote:Surely everyone knows ravens can talk ;)


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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:02 pm

Aerill wrote:Found an interesting article on Wizards of the Coast website on rules concerning familiars. Special attention to the much debated part concerning familiar's intelligence score. There is quite a lot of detail on this topic.

These articles discuss material that was available when the Team first made this ruling. The ruling is based on the fact that familiars in NWN do not gain intelligence as the mage levels. They don't even start with the base intelligence that a PnP familiar does.

Thus, to allow this would basically be cheesing because familiars do not have above-average intelligence. We have discussed before replacing familiars. If that were to happen, that might change things - but it would have to be something more invasive than the simple changes done in the CTS system.

Doug

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PostAuthor: GHENGIZ.KHAN » Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:54 am

bump
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PostAuthor: girlysprite » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:29 am

and I assume zombie form cant talk?
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PostAuthor: Curois » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:41 am

girlysprite wrote:and I assume zombie form cant talk?


Maybe something along the lines of "huuu huuuu" :lol:
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:57 pm

girlysprite wrote:and I assume zombie form cant talk?

No. The vocal chords would no longer be fully functional. Zombies do not have the intelligence to speak. You could possibly make a moaning noise though.

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PostAuthor: Glofindel » Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:45 pm

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PostAuthor: chilingsworth » Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:11 pm

A coupple of questions:

1. in PnP, shapechange and the like don't change mental scores, and don't remove skill points.

2. My main is a 1st level wizard, among other things. He has a panther familiar, her int is listed on the character sheet as 13.
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PostAuthor: TripleAught » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:26 am

chilingsworth wrote:A coupple of questions:

1. in PnP, shapechange and the like don't change mental scores, and don't remove skill points.

2. My main is a 1st level wizard, among other things. He has a panther familiar, her int is listed on the character sheet as 13.


what are your questions?
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PostAuthor: chilingsworth » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:38 am

TripleAught wrote:
chilingsworth wrote:A coupple of questions:

1. in PnP, shapechange and the like don't change mental scores, and don't remove skill points.

2. My main is a 1st level wizard, among other things. He has a panther familiar, her int is listed on the character sheet as 13.


what are your questions?


*coughs* :oops:

Sorry, my questions arrising from these observations are as follows:

If you don't lose you 'normal' mind, mental abilites, and so on while shapechanged, then doesn't that increase the number of forms that are cabable of comunication? Even if not speach, per say, what about clawing words into stone, or such?

As for my familiar, since she has int 13, yet is an animal (a Panther) what effect does that have on her communication ability?

Also, on a sidenote, does saying that elementals can speak their appropriate elemental languages completely prevent them from communicating with characters? Afterall, can't humanoids learn these languages if they so chose, or take them as bonus languages at character creation? I know that the PH lists all the elemental languages as ones that characters are eligible to take. Also, I saw an elemental (during the deep elemental invasion of Nutz) speaking at least broken common, showing that some elementals have the capacity to make the sounds of the common tounge, thus if in an elemental form, with one's normal mind, wouldn't they be able to expand on that?

Just wondering.
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pstanton wrote:I think it is time to stop bickering like children and find a way to release Gurth from the Seal in such a way that people like Grag don't have collective heart failure.

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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:47 am

chilingsworth wrote:
TripleAught wrote:
chilingsworth wrote:A coupple of questions:

1. in PnP, shapechange and the like don't change mental scores, and don't remove skill points.

2. My main is a 1st level wizard, among other things. He has a panther familiar, her int is listed on the character sheet as 13.


what are your questions?


*coughs* :oops:

Sorry, my questions arrising from these observations are as follows:

If you don't lose you 'normal' mind, mental abilites, and so on while shapechanged, then doesn't that increase the number of forms that are cabable of comunication? Even if not speach, per say, what about clawing words into stone, or such?

Yes, you could try clawing something, although not into stone. Dirt, perhaps. Doing so however is a dead giveaway that you are shapechanged in some way (changeling, druid, shifter or wizard.)

chilingsworth wrote:As for my familiar, since she has int 13, yet is an animal (a Panther) what effect does that have on her communication ability?

That's interesting. She still does not know a language. Theoretically she could learn one, but since there is no Speak Language skill, that would be cheesing. This means she cannot speak, read or write. She could act intelligentlly however, by growling, trying to get people to follow her, reacting to others, remembering people encountered before, etc.

chilingsworth wrote:Also, on a sidenote, does saying that elementals can speak their appropriate elemental languages completely prevent them from communicating with characters?

Yes, since even if you shift, you don't know the appropriate elemental language.

chilingsworth wrote:Afterall, can't humanoids learn these languages if they so chose, or take them as bonus languages at character creation? I know that the PH lists all the elemental languages as ones that characters are eligible to take.

Yes in PnP, but that would be considered cheesing in Avlis.

chilingsworth wrote:Also, I saw an elemental (during the deep elemental invasion of Nutz) speaking at least broken common, showing that some elementals have the capacity to make the sounds of the common tounge, thus if in an elemental form, with one's normal mind, wouldn't they be able to expand on that?

As mentioned before, DMs are exempt from these rules - as are area builders.

Doug

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PostAuthor: pstanton » Mon May 15, 2006 4:36 am

*casts raise dead on the thread*


Just idly wondering, since this came up recently one night at Elf Gate.

Shouldn't Eyeball familiars have some form of communication, they have mouths, but me and those around me weren't sure....

But it seems that if they have a mouth, they should be able to talk, right?
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PostAuthor: Sephira » Mon May 15, 2006 6:18 am

Adhin wrote:-edit-
I just checked D&D webpage for their pictures (it has all the art listed out by book). The Demon Flesh golem is in the 'Fiend Folio'. So if anyone has 3E of that please look it up and toss up what it says about their abilities of speech.

(edited for typos)

Sure thing. ^_^

Fiend Folio wrote:Unlike most golems, a demonflesh golem is reasonably intelligent, and it speaks and understands Abyssal. (Int 8 )


Hope that helps.
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Mon May 15, 2006 11:28 pm

pstanton wrote:Shouldn't Eyeball familiars have some form of communication, they have mouths, but me and those around me weren't sure....

But it seems that if they have a mouth, they should be able to talk, right?

No. They are basically dumb animals. In this case, dumb (Int 2) aberrations. They cannot speak normally, so like other familiars, don't have the physiology necessary for communication, even if their intelligence is magically enhanced.

Sephira wrote:
Adhin wrote:-edit-
I just checked D&D webpage for their pictures (it has all the art listed out by book). The Demon Flesh golem is in the 'Fiend Folio'. So if anyone has 3E of that please look it up and toss up what it says about their abilities of speech.

(edited for typos)

Sure thing. ^_^

Fiend Folio wrote:Unlike most golems, a demonflesh golem is reasonably intelligent, and it speaks and understands Abyssal. (Int 8 )


Hope that helps.

Thanks. I'm going to go with yes on this one. The list has been updated to reflect this.

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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Mon May 15, 2006 11:34 pm

The wiki entry on this ruling has also been updated and reformatted.

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PostAuthor: dilvish » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:36 pm

pseudodragon...
well...i didn't read the MM for a pseudodragon (as the book is now at home and i'm 400km away), but..intelligence 10 and dragons can speak...i think that therefore pseudodragons should be able to speak...

i confess..i have a pseudodragon and, unaware of this rule, i played him as a speaking pseudodragon..did some smallplots with him...just today i was warned about this, so i investigated...i rly don't know what to do..some PCs already heard him speaking, but there is this rule...i don't knw if it's ok just to forget it as it might be a little off...ald also changing him to faerie dragn n lvl up is against my character...

as the pseudodragon is named after my lost brother, i think there could be a magical way to allow my brother to talk thru him IC...
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PostAuthor: chilingsworth » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:40 pm

Doug wrote:chilingsworth wrote:
As for my familiar, since she has int 13, yet is an animal (a Panther) what effect does that have on her communication ability?

That's interesting. She still does not know a language. Theoretically she could learn one, but since there is no Speak Language skill, that would be cheesing. This means she cannot speak, read or write. She could act intelligentlly however, by growling, trying to get people to follow her, reacting to others, remembering people encountered before, etc.

chilingsworth wrote:
Also, on a sidenote, does saying that elementals can speak their appropriate elemental languages completely prevent them from communicating with characters?

Yes, since even if you shift, you don't know the appropriate elemental language.

chilingsworth wrote:
Afterall, can't humanoids learn these languages if they so chose, or take them as bonus languages at character creation? I know that the PH lists all the elemental languages as ones that characters are eligible to take.

Yes in PnP, but that would be considered cheesing in Avlis.

chilingsworth wrote:
Also, I saw an elemental (during the deep elemental invasion of Nutz) speaking at least broken common, showing that some elementals have the capacity to make the sounds of the common tounge, thus if in an elemental form, with one's normal mind, wouldn't they be able to expand on that?

As mentioned before, DMs are exempt from these rules - as are area builders.

Doug


More questions/comments:

Wizards/Sorcerers can possess thier familiars. Therefore, couldn't an arcanist use thier familiar to "reach out" to someone else? This would be done, presumeably, by clawed messages unless the familiar had mouthparts that could in theory be used for speach.

As for "no speak language skill= cheesing" bit: that skill isn't the only way to have languages other than common. Some (most, actually) races get languages other than common automatically (elves, elven, orcs orcish, etc.) and at character creation, a character gets one bonus language per point of intelligence bonus, chosen from a list specific to their race and/or class. Humans can chose any nonsecret language as a bonus language. Clerics get the alignment-related Plannar languages (Abyssal, Infernal, Celestial) as possible choices, Wizards gain Draconic.
Ignoring these alternate non skill point based ways of learning languages would mean that, in essance, no PC can ever be allowed to know any language other than common, period. Afterall, for them to would be cheesing.
The sweetest obession
to keep me awake
sleep loss entailed
by the love that we make.

Don't spawn me a lover
Don't spam me with choclates
just return my affections
or just set me free

pstanton wrote:I think it is time to stop bickering like children and find a way to release Gurth from the Seal in such a way that people like Grag don't have collective heart failure.

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PostAuthor: chilingsworth » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:20 am

Oh, and another question: Say if two characters decide they want to develop a code or "secret language" for use between them, would doing so be cheesing?
The sweetest obession
to keep me awake
sleep loss entailed
by the love that we make.

Don't spawn me a lover
Don't spam me with choclates
just return my affections
or just set me free

pstanton wrote:I think it is time to stop bickering like children and find a way to release Gurth from the Seal in such a way that people like Grag don't have collective heart failure.

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