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Avlis policy on: Speaking - Changelings, Shifters, Telepathy

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Avlis policy on: Speaking - Changelings, Shifters, Telepathy

PostAuthor: dougnoel » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:23 pm

Speaking Familiars
While familiars are magical animals, they do not all gain the ability to speak. Only the following familiars have vocal chords allowing them to speak:
Faerie Dragon
Imp
Mephits
Pixie

Speaking While Shapeshifted
Shifting into a new form does not allow you to speak with animals of that type. Nor does it allow you to communicate with Druids or Rangers. Most shifter forms are incapable of speech. In addition to PC races, only the following forms have vocal chords which allow you to speak:
Azer
Balor
Death Slaad
Demonflesh Golem
Dragons (Wyrmlings to Ancient)
Gargoyle
Giants (Fire or otherwise)
Harpy
Lupin
Medusa
Mind Flayer (Illithid)
Minotaur
Manticore
Rakshasa
Risen Lord
Spectre
Tlincalli
Troll
Vampire

Speaking as a Changeling
When a changeling changes form, he changes internally as well as externally. This means that if a changeling assumes a form without vocal chords, he cannot speak.

Telepathy
Telepathy can exist between mages and their familiars, depending on the species of familiar. This is the only form of telepathy to exist in Avlis.

No PC may speak telepathically to another PC. No PC may use telepathy or other similar powers to read another PC's mind. This is cheesing.
Last edited by dougnoel on Mon May 15, 2006 11:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostAuthor: Serineth Swiftpaw » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:26 pm

Doug, have you missed Fairy from the talking mage Familiars list?
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PostAuthor: Krator » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:34 pm

Can I have clarification on Hell Hounds? I thought could speak Infernal, and thus communicate with: Pit Fiends, Imps, Characters who can speak Infernal, other Devils and maybe some Formians depending on their intelligence.
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:42 pm

Serineth Swiftpaw wrote:Doug, have you missed Fairy from the talking mage Familiars list?

Yes, thanks.

Krator wrote:Can I have clarification on Hell Hounds? I thought could speak Infernal, and thus communicate with: Pit Fiends, Imps, Characters who can speak Infernal, other Devils and maybe some Formians depending on their intelligence.

Hell hounds can understand Infernal, but they cannot speak it.

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PostAuthor: Starslayer_D » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:05 pm

What about ravens? Even in RL, Ravens like Parrots can mimic voices.
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PostAuthor: Fifty » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:12 pm

Surely everyone knows ravens can talk ;)
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PostAuthor: Krator » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:20 pm

According to the PhB 3.0 ravens speak one language.
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:02 pm

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.

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Re: Speaking: Familiars,Changelings,Shapeshifters &Telep

PostAuthor: slave_of_emotions » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:07 pm

Telepathy
Telepathy can exist between mages and their familiars, depending on the species of familiar. This is the only form of telepathy to exist in Avlis.

With familiars can use telepathy to communicate with they masters ?
In NWN when clicking on a familiar all of them are able to communicate via telepathy with they maters, same dialog options for all.
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Re: Speaking: Familiars,Changelings,Shapeshifters &Telep

PostAuthor: dougnoel » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:32 pm

slave_of_emotions wrote:With familiars can use telepathy to communicate with they masters ?
In NWN when clicking on a familiar all of them are able to communicate via telepathy with they maters, same dialog options for all.

That's not telepathy, in fact anyone in the vicinity can "hear" those dialogs. Those communications should be considered OOC.

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PostAuthor: Wyrmwing » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:07 pm

I've assumed that the telepathy between a mage and his/her familiar is limited to empathy: the conveyance of feelings and emotions rather than actual conversation. Not sure whether that was the right approach, but it allowed for some nice rp possibilities.
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PostAuthor: szabot » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:03 pm

The way telepathy makes sense for me: for example, I possess my familiar and send him scouting somewhere; he then comes back to me; I unpossess him; I walk into the area. At this point, I might know where there are safe places to hide, take cover, flee and so on, because I sent my familiar there and he telepathically let me know what he saw (didn't speak to me about it, because my familiar is a beholder kin - I did play him as speaking before, but not since I found out that they can't).
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PostAuthor: Eef » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:56 pm

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.


So does this mean my changeling in raven form -can- speak but will be easily identified as an abnormal raven?
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PostAuthor: Fredegar » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:21 am

Hrm, what about trolls? You have a quest in the wilderness with speaking trolls.

Also with golems I am sure some can not speak, but if the creator of the golem gave them the capacity to speak, wouldn't it be possible? I seem to recall in some campaign or somewhere speaking golems.

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PostAuthor: Chemical-Burn » Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:27 am

Do changlings that say change from elf to human sound the same? or do thier vocal cords change and therefore could not be identified by the voice?

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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:36 pm

Wyrmwing wrote:I've assumed that the telepathy between a mage and his/her familiar is limited to empathy: the conveyance of feelings and emotions rather than actual conversation. Not sure whether that was the right approach, but it allowed for some nice rp possibilities.

This is the way to go for all familiars except the pseudodragon. The only familiar that has actual telepathy is the pseudodragon. Talking familiars can convey things they have seen, heard or otherwise experienced, but can only do so by describing it and imparting any feelings they had. A mage can't see through a familiar's eyes.

szabot wrote:The way telepathy makes sense for me: for example, I possess my familiar and send him scouting somewhere; he then comes back to me; I unpossess him; I walk into the area. At this point, I might know where there are safe places to hide, take cover, flee and so on, because I sent my familiar there and he telepathically let me know what he saw (didn't speak to me about it, because my familiar is a beholder kin - I did play him as speaking before, but not since I found out that they can't).

Telepathy is a replacement for speech, so a pseudodragon can describe a room. Familiars without the ability to communicate (they have neither speech nor telepathy) can convey things like something scary is in that room (fear), something yummy is in that room (hunger), that room is nice (happiness), or that room is strange (curiousity).

Eef wrote:So does this mean my changeling in raven form -can- speak but will be easily identified as an abnormal raven?

Yes, a changeling in raven form can speak - with a few caveats. First, it is your responsibility to identify that you are a raven in some way. This is due to engine limitations. Stirges use the same model as ravens. Stirges cannot speak. It's your responsibility to let other players know through emotes or another way that the form you are in is a raven.

You would be easily identified as abnormal by anyone who heard you say more than one or two phrases, or if you reacted intelligently to speech (as mimicry does not constitute understanding.) If you do not seem to have a master, it is also possible that someone would find that suspicious. Also, keep in mind that if someone has not run into a talking bird before, they are under no obligation to assume that all ravens talk.

Regardless of a players suspicions about you being an abnormal bird however, they can only know you are a changeling if they see you change and make a successful spellcraft check or are told ICly by someone who knows you are a changeling. For more information on being identified as a changeling, read the thread on Detecting Changelings.

Fredegar wrote:Hrm, what about trolls? You have a quest in the wilderness with speaking trolls.

Trolls can speak. I was unaware that this was a form you could shift into. I can add it to the list if that's the case.

Frdegar wrote:Also with golems I am sure some can not speak, but if the creator of the golem gave them the capacity to speak, wouldn't it be possible? I seem to recall in some campaign or somewhere speaking golems.

Regardless of how one becomes a golem, (shifter, spell or changeling), the golem has no voicebox, vocal chords or tongue with which to speak. If you did encounter a speaking golem, it is most likely magically enabled to do so. So if a changeling were to copy a speaking golem, they would not be able to copy the magical ability to speak.

So yes, it is possible for NPC golems to speak. It is not possible for PCs taking the form of a golem to speak.

Chemical-Burn wrote:Do changlings that say change from elf to human sound the same? or do thier vocal cords change and therefore could not be identified by the voice?

The vocal chords would change. The only ways to identify a changeling are to succeed at the spellcraft check or be told ICly by someone. For more information on being identified as a changeling, read the thread on Detecting Changelings.

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PostAuthor: Zyndro » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:52 pm

the golem has no voicebox, vocal chords or tongue with which to speak.


What about demonflesh golems? They're pieced together from organic matter. They clearly have mouths (with tongues). No shifter at this point can turn into one (that I know of), and as far as I know, none will be able to for another half a year at least. However, it will come up eventualy. The other two golem shapes, iron and stone, abviously lack voiceboxes and vocal chords. It's only the fleshy one that I'm fuzzy on. I would imagine that if it could 'talk' its 'speach' would consist of incoherent sounds and roars. It's not like something that's patchworked together like that is going to be able speak clearly enough for it to be understood as language. Is this right, or way off the mark?
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:56 pm

Zyndro wrote:
the golem has no voicebox, vocal chords or tongue with which to speak.


What about demonflesh golems? They're pieced together from organic matter. They clearly have mouths (with tongues). No shifter at this point can turn into one (that I know of), and as far as I know, none will be able to for another half a year at least. However, it will come up eventualy. The other two golem shapes, iron and stone, abviously lack voiceboxes and vocal chords. It's only the fleshy one that I'm fuzzy on. I would imagine that if it could 'talk' its 'speach' would consist of incoherent sounds and roars. It's not like something that's patchworked together like that is going to be able speak clearly enough for it to be understood as language. Is this right, or way off the mark?

I can't find the demonflesh golem in the Monster Manual, MM II, Monsters of Faerun, Epic Level Handbook, Manual of the Planes or Book of Vile Darkness. Maybe it's in MM III. The Monster Manual has this to say about flesh golems:

Monster Manual wrote:A flesh golem cannot speak, although it can emit a hoarse roar of sorts.

So I suppose it's possible that a demonflesh golem could do the same. But it wouldn't have all the working parts needed to speak. It wouldn't even be able to make multiple noises.

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PostAuthor: Krator » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:02 pm

In Hordes of the Underdark there is a speaking demonflesh golem.
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:28 pm

Krator wrote:In Hordes of the Underdark there is a speaking demonflesh golem.

There are lots of speaking golems in Hordes. Those golems were imbued with intelligence by their creator. Normally, golems have no Intelligence score, so that particular demonflesh golem was not a normal specimen.

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PostAuthor: Fredegar » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:47 am

Ahh, when you had shapeshifted forms I was thinking of the spell shapechange as well as shifter/changeling shifting.

Troll is part of the level 4 shapechange spell I think.

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PostAuthor: Adhin » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:58 am

So what about ticks or beepings while in a golem form? not so much to attempte at a conversation but like, make a loud tick befor you run into battle or beep or something if some one asks you to follow them or whatever. Id also like to point out in the monster manual it says a Spectre regains all of its language skills in the afterlife. Basicly it can speak whatever it was able to speak befor it died, may wanna toss that on the list.

-edit-
I just checked D&D webpage for there 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 plz look it up and toss up what it says about there abilities of speech.

-edit, agan-
Id like to also point out shifters are a special case (the class) in that when they turn into something they littlery become that thing. So the Spectre one would retrain his 'magical' ability to speak just like Risen Lord (no cords in either of em). This is partly why I think if the iron golem form should be left up to the shifter them selves to deside as they're the ones who might give them selves the ability. Though I don't really see how it matters to much, can't talk in tiger form and i still manage to get people to follow me :P
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PostAuthor: dougnoel » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:57 pm

Fredegar wrote:Ahh, when you had shapeshifted forms I was thinking of the spell shapechange as well as shifter/changeling shifting.

Troll is part of the level 4 shapechange spell I think.

Yes, I was including that spell, so thanks. :) Are there any other forms that I missed?

Adhin wrote:So what about ticks or beepings while in a golem form? not so much to attempte at a conversation but like, make a loud tick befor you run into battle or beep or something if some one asks you to follow them or whatever.

Golems have no need to make noise, whether it's ticks, beeps, clicks, whirs or anything else. You could rub your hands together to create a grating noise if you wanted. But golems aren't robots, there are no gears to grate or sound synthesizers to beep.

Adhin wrote:Id also like to point out in the monster manual it says a Spectre regains all of its language skills in the afterlife. Basicly it can speak whatever it was able to speak befor it died, may wanna toss that on the list.

Done.

Adhin wrote:Id like to also point out shifters are a special case (the class) in that when they turn into something they littlery become that thing. So the Spectre one would retrain his 'magical' ability to speak just like Risen Lord (no cords in either of em). This is partly why I think if the iron golem form should be left up to the shifter them selves to deside as they're the ones who might give them selves the ability. Though I don't really see how it matters to much, can't talk in tiger form and i still manage to get people to follow me

Shifters on Avlis (whether they are native to Avlis or not) get their shifting ability from the gods. So the abilities are defined by the gods. Golems can't talk.

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PostAuthor: Malathyre » Thu Jan 20, 2005 4:15 pm

dougnoel wrote:Troll is part of the level 4 shapechange spell I think.

Yes, I was including that spell, so thanks. :) Are there any other forms that I missed?[/quote]

There have been so many questions here, I hate to ask more, but since they aren't mentioned, I'd assume all those elemental forms that druids can take are incapable of speech, right?

From spells, Polymorph self lets one change into an umberhulk, which I assume cannot talk but might be able to chitter or something. 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.
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PostAuthor: Godron » Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:17 pm

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 ?

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