The Druid’s Spirit Tongue: this works all the time, no roll required right?

The Druid’s Spirit Tongue: this works all the time, no roll required right?

The Druid’s Spirit Tongue: this works all the time, no roll required right? Do you impose any kind of limitation on number of questions asked or the amount of real world time they can converse with the animal in question?

I’m only asking because my wife was tearing my mystery based adventure to shreds last night. She was politely interrogating every woodland creature that crossed her path. I had to get really creative to avoid spilling the beans on the entire adventure due to her clever questioning. This move is crazy powerful O_o

18 thoughts on “The Druid’s Spirit Tongue: this works all the time, no roll required right?”

  1. Just because you can talk to a critter doesn’t mean it is smart. They can be clever, but animals don’t understand most human rituals and customs. Try dumbing down the animals.

    Try to think, “Would a squirrel know what a wizard looks like?” Heck no. A squirrel would be like, “I saw a pack of two leggers come through here. There was a bunch. Do you have food? I love food! Share food with me now yes? A wizard? What’s that? Is that food?”

  2. If a player insists on using this move over and over and is taking a lot of game time doing it, I would cut to the chase, “OK, you talk to 50 squirrels and the best answer you get is X”.

  3. Also, give your animals agendas. Even if they’re stupid agendas. For a Druid, animals are a good supporting cast. Just like a normal TV mystery, the animals could have reasons to obfuscate, lie, and run.

  4. Hi Marques Jordan ! Good observations from Rory MacLeod and Giovanni Lanza.

    Some Considrations:

    – Animals are kind of “dumb”.

    – The druid understand them, not talk to them (so you could just say how they’re feeling).

    Also, it’s a mistery based adventure, right? You could tell her that the animals are presenting an odd and disturbing behaviour and some are hurting themselves and even comiting suicide.

    I guess she wont be talking with to much animals after this. In fact, she’ll avoid them after you disturb her mind with the crazy screams of terror that come for those poor animals around you since you walk into that dark dark forest…

  5. Giovanni Lanza since the Druids connection to an animal is Magical in nature, I don’t think they would need to be in a relevant animal form to speak with all animals, unless it was an anatomical issue that prevented them from mimicking their vocalizations.

    I’m loving these suggestions. Are we sure about Spirit Tongue not allowing you to speak to the animal? If you can understand them by recognizing all the possible vocal patterns that a massive group of different species can make, it only makes sense that somebody in tune with nature could replicate those sounds enough to be, at least, roughly understood.

    Think of human children:

    Step 1. They are born with the ability to make sounds to vocalize their feelings.

    Step 2. Through observation they are often capable of understanding basic speech/commands (No, Stop, Yea!, I love you, Peek-A-Boo, etc…) long before they can form words themselves.

    Step 3. A little bit later they can form basic words, though their pronunciation is off and they usually lack proper sentence structure. This is the point where they start to really learn how to communicate back and forth.

    Step 4.  A little while later and they speak well enough to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

    So lets say there are four levels of communication. The question is, where does a Druid rank? Keeping Studied Essense and Born of the Soil in mind, I would argue that a Druid is at Step 4 for any creature born of her land(s) or that she has studied the essence of. For other creatures I would say Step 2 or 3, depending on the species or the PCs personal experience being around said animal. I.E. It is unlikely she is at Step 3 with a Shark if she’s never seen one before.

    The limitations present when dealing with a simple minded species still apply, but I don’t think it is by fault or limitation of the Druid’s linguistic capabilities.

  6. I imagine it would say “and you can totes talk to animals too, dude” if that were the intention.

    Edit: or if you really need justification, no amount of barking with an elf, halfling, or human throat will make you sound like a seal. Better shapeshift into one so you don’t insult the seal’s mother accidentally.

  7. Am I the only thinking that if you create a mystery, then you shouldn’t be a dick on how and why the characters resolve it, cause you know, dungeon world is all about finding out what happens and if what happens is “the character unmasks everything in the first 5 minutes”, then that’s what you have to roll with?

    Also: both the gm and the player should agree on how the move works. But most of the times, it should be just the player who says “the move works this way, be prepared.”

    Or: what were your fronts and dangers? Tell us more about it!

  8. How long of an attention span do you think a squirrel has? A dog can tell you more about what someone smells like than what they look like. Think of things like that. Answer honestly from an animal’s perspective.

  9. This reminds me of a episode of Dr. Katz from long ago.  Aquaman greets a fish.  The fish says, “Hi Aquaman!”  Aquaman asks the fish a question.  The fish says, “Hi Aquaman!”

  10. Sure, but::

    – to talk to a squirrel, you have to turn into a squirrel

    – sounds like you’re closely studying a situation or person. I think there’s a move for that, even if you’re studying it by proxy through interviewing squirrels. 

    – the answers to the questions that come out of that move are going to be richer if you do it while you’re shapeshifted.

  11. I love the advice I’m getting! You guys are really making me look at this from different angles =D. I think my problem with requiring she be shapeshifted for all animal encounters just to speak is that shapeshifting requires a move. I’d hate for her to find an animal at a key time and then miss the opportunity to communicate due to a failed roll. Yes that is how the system works and maybe she should have to deal with those hard knocks. But I want to be a fan of the character and portray a fantastic world. Requiring the shapeshifting makes me feel anal and restrictive. Do you guys disagree?

  12. I disagreee with then otion that animals have to be dumb. 

    IT totally works but portray a fantastic world_ can mean the critters could be really smart too. No need for realistic approaches. 

  13. And i don’t think you need to turn into an animal to talk with them. I can talk to my dog and she understands really basic concepts. And i am not a druid. 

    Gimping the move to much is not fun. 

    I’d say either have “dumb” animals or require the druid to shift into animal form but then have them be cleverish NPCs. 

  14. When we say that animals are dumb i mean that they have a limited inteligence, more directed to theyr needs.

    To an animal understand what you want to say you gotta have a conection with it, like the relation that a ranger has to its companion.

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