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I was reading through the Argan Argar spell description for Speak with Insects and was wondering what benefit could come from a discussion with a ham beetle. None of the giant arthropods have intelligence scores, so how effective could oratory or fast talk be? Could the beetle tell you how to exit the cavern, or if other humanoids have passed through this cave recently? Same question regarding Speak with Herd Beasts?

In the old River of Cradles product, I thought it was so Gloranthan to have Brighteye the Catfish be the Zola Fel priest. I was wondering how common this might be with other animals.

 Lastly, if animals don’t have intelligence values, how can Animal Spirits have 3D6 INT? 

 

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22 minutes ago, OrlanthRex said:

I was reading through the Argan Argar spell description for Speak with Insects and was wondering what benefit could come from a discussion with a ham beetle. None of the giant arthropods have intelligence scores, so how effective could oratory or fast talk be? Could the beetle tell you how to exit the cavern, or if other humanoids have passed through this cave recently? Same question regarding Speak with Herd Beasts?

In the old River of Cradles product, I thought it was so Gloranthan to have Brighteye the Catfish be the Zola Fel priest. I was wondering how common this might be with other animals.

 Lastly, if animals don’t have intelligence values, how can Animal Spirits have 3D6 INT? 

IIRC, a small proportion (about 1%?) of MOST animal species are "awakened" (have an INT that is roughly human-scale).  I think Brighteye was one.

Then there are a few species where there are a *LOT* (most? all?) of them are intelligent.  The Baboons & Newtlings are probably the best-known.  The Lutrai (otter-folk) are another.

But the "Animal Spirits" are not AFAIK spirits that used to be animals (like ghosts & ancestor-spirits used to be human) -- they are more like semi-divine beings that oversee their respective species.  Think of lesser versions of the Herd Mothers of Prax.  I suppose the "awakened animals" could just be instances of an animal-spirit that decides to incarnate for a lifespan's worth of time...?

In my version of Prax, there's a wyter-like "herd spirit" that forms to protect every gathering of more than a raiding-party (or so) of any given Herd Beast.

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for me, the INT characteristic defines that the "owner" can use magic and things like that. That doesn't mean that animals have the same brain than a stone. So communicate with a "true" animal is obtaining little information but information

 

so are you angry ? (yes no)

afraid ? (yes no)

why ? (because humans track me, not because the clan of the great bear tracks me)

Where is blabla ? (behind / left / front / near water / ... not 2 hours from Pavis)

Have you seen a human ? (but you never know if the human was red blue or green, may be smell but do you know this human's smell .. .not sure)

When ? (just now, before eating, this night, long ago)

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15 hours ago, OrlanthRex said:

I was reading through the Argan Argar spell description for Speak with Insects and was wondering what benefit could come from a discussion with a ham beetle. None of the giant arthropods have intelligence scores, so how effective could oratory or fast talk be? Could the beetle tell you how to exit the cavern, or if other humanoids have passed through this cave recently? Same question regarding Speak with Herd Beasts?

One of our group of RQ2 GMs used to play that non-intelligent beasts only wanted to talk about food, sex and territory. So, conversations with beasts went along the lines of "Awk! Got anything to eat? You're pretty! Get off my patch!", so a waste of a Runespell.

I tend to play it a little more generously. If you succeed in a Fast Talk, Charm or similar roll, it would tell you about people who walked by, or what it has recently seen, what enemies are nearby and so on. It won't be able to tell who the passers-by were, but might indicate the species. It could certainly tell you how to exit the cave.

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16 hours ago, OrlanthRex said:

I was reading through the Argan Argar spell description for Speak with Insects and was wondering what benefit could come from a discussion with a ham beetle. None of the giant arthropods have intelligence scores, so how effective could oratory or fast talk be?

I think the mention about oratory bonuses is for those insects that happen to have INT. I know spiders aren't necessarily insects depending on how you classify things but, for the purposes of the rules, I think they fall under the purpose of the Speak to Insects spell. And some Giant Spiders do have INT (Tarantulas and Large Web Spiders have 7 on average, see RQGB p137/138). It's not clear to me if there's an evolutionary threshold there, or if, say, smaller Web Spiders also have INT but it's only a few points and the designers didn't bother with the stat?

It's also possible that this spell lets you add your Communication Skill Category modifier to your Animal Lore roll (Insect Lore?) when ordering insects around?

But otherwise, maybe it does indeed let you actually converse with insects, and thus use Fast Talk! It's magic!

Edited by lordabdul
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