Truespeech (3.5e Variant Rule)
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When the gods created the multiverse, they did so by speaking in a long lost tongue. By finding and learning scraps of this language, you can greatly control the multiverse. However, to use a word, you must truly understand it and then say it with absolute clarity. The knowledge behind this is represented by the skill of Truespeech (3.5e Skill) and those who have it can claim the title of Truespeaker (3.5e Class).
To speak a phrase, you must first choose what phrase you wish to speak. You can choose any phrase in your Lexicon. To speak a phrase, you must be able to speak. All phrases are spoken as a standard action.
Once you have chosen what phrase you want to speak, you need to make a Truespeech check. The DC of this check is 10 + double the level of the phrase. If you fail this check, the phrase fails to take effect.
If you succeed on the check, the phrase takes effect and you suffer Drain. Every phrase has two drain numbers listed in the form -X/-Y. X is known as Long-Term Drain, while -Y is known as Short-Term Drain. Both of these numbers are imposed as a penalty on all Truespeech checks to speak phrases, but the two penalties go away at different rates. Both types of Drain stack.
Short-Term Drain goes away very quickly. To remove Short-Term Drain, you merely need focus for 1 minute. Doing so removes all Short-Term Drain.
Long-Term Drain sticks around much longer. In fact, to get rid of any of it, you must sleep or rest for 8 hours. Doing so removes all Long-Term Drain and Short-Term Drain.
If a truespeech phrase allows a saving throw, the DC of that saving throw is equal to 10+the level of the phrase+your Intelligence modifier.
Phrases are supernatural effects; however, they can be dispelled as if they were spell-like abilities. In addition, phrases create magical echoes that can be detected with Detect Magic as if they were spells; however, phrases do not have a school.
Each Phrase has two labels; its Chain Name and its Word. The Chain Name tells you the name of the chain the phrase is part of and how far into the chain the phrase is. The Word of a Phrase is the new truespeech word you learn when you learn the Phrase.
To add a phrase into your Lexicon, you must fulfill two requirements. The first requirement is a level requirement; your Truespeaker level must be at least double the level of the phrase minus one. The other is a chain requirement; to learn a phrase, you need to know all phrases before it in its chain (i.e. to learn Air II, you need to know Air I; to learn Fire III, you need to know Fire I and Fire II).
If a phrase has a duration longer than Instantaneous, the truespeaker that spoke the phrase can end the phrase early as a move action (no truespeech check is required to do this).
If a phrase allows a saving throw, the DC is 10 + the phrase's level + the speaker's Int modifier.
Note on Languages
Most truespeakers will keep Speak Language at maximum ranks; combine that with All-Speaker and they learn 3 languages every 2 levels. The GM will need to ensure they don't run out of languages to learn; the constant increase in languages known is a critical part of the balance of this system. Without more languages, their Truespeech bonus falls behind what it needs to be.
A list of phrases can be found here: 3.5e Phrases. Other articles related to this variant rule include:
- Amulet of Words (3.5e Equipment)
- Phrase Tablet (3.5e Equipment)
- Tome of Infinite Lore (3.5e Equipment)
- Expanded Lexicon (3.5e Feat)
- Truewhisper (3.5e Feat)
- Craft Truespeech Item (3.5e Feat)
- Metaphrase (3.5e Feat Type)