We call it the First Language, and anything spoken in this most primal of tongues is law. Be the speaker king or peasant, the universe is compelled to shift the very fabric of its being to conform to that which is said. Complex beyond comprehension, this ur-tongue contains syntax and vocabulary capable of describing all that can conceivably exist in this, or any other universe. Though perfect mastery of such a construct is impossible for even the gods - this is why deities have portfolios - even a mortal can learn enough of the First Language to effectively BE a god with an incredibly narrow focus. These obsessive scholars and phoneticians are collectively called the truenamers, and their efforts to capture the power wielded by the gods themselves upsets everyone from clerics to cultists.
Ultimate Truenaming, part 3 of 3 of the Strange Magic project, expands upon 2014’s Libram of the First Language. Loaded down with new recitations, new inflections, new prestige classes and archetypes, and the new scion of discordia base class, what reviewer Endzeitgeist already heralded as “Truename Magic that ACTUALLY WORKS!!! YES!” is now bigger and better than ever!
- 2 base classes
- The truenamer, specializing in truename magic
- The scion of discordia, specializing in manipulation and chaos
- 9 archetypes
- The chessmaster (truenamer), presenting a wholly new way of preparing and using truename magic
- The disciple of discordia (scion), who mixes monk defenses with a customization Discordant Zone that actively chases its creator as he moves
- The discordant instigator (scion), effectively a smacktalking rogue rap battler whose insults bring the pain thanks to the First Language
- The orator (truenamer), which extends Truespeech to speechwriting
- The rulebreaker (scion), who can confound and pervert the very Laws of the universe itself
- The savant of heart and mind (truenamer), a restricted “school specialist”
- The truescribe (truenamer), capable of producing truename magic scrolls
- The tuneful inflectionist (truenamer), master of adding inflections to recitations
- The verminspeaker (truenamer), who extends the First Language to the realm of mindless animals and befriends them with its power
- 5 prestige classes
- The polycosmic theurge, whose visions of the entire multiverse meld ethermagic and truename magic into one cohesive whole [requires Ultimate Ethermagic to function]
- The speaker of the word, a holy man who has seen the truth of the First Language and now runs contrary to the established dogma of his deity’s church
- The trueshaper, cursed with limited vision, but blessed with an unparalleled ability to shape that which he sees
- The willshackler, specializing in First Language proper nouns
- The wordsworn defender, a truename magic-wielding tower shield specialist who affixes notes to the back of his shield to assist his pronunciation
- A 53-page spellbook broken up into four codices: Heart and Mind, Artifice, Far-Flung Spheres, and Realized Vision
- Heart and Mind and Artifice feature the classic “reversible recitation” mechanic
- 17 feats
- Bonus sidebars
- A guide to creating a nonsense language to recite for roleplaying purposes
- A guide to the relationship between wordsworn defenders and other practitioners of Truespeech
- A description of the rivalry between gnomish truenamers and gnomish engineers, culminating in the wordforged construct inherited template
Review by Megan R.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
"In the beginning was the Word - and a truename studies that word, and all the others that came after, using the power inherent in such words to manipulate reality. Most outsiders think he's just another wizard, but he knows he's not: his power is derived in a completely different manner. A truenamer's source of power is his encyclopedic, or rather dictionary-like, knowledge of the First Language, also known as Truespeech, or so we are told here.
So what is this Truespeech? Basically it describes everything that is, was, and shall be - items and concepts alike. If you knew it all, you'd have complete control over, well, everything. It is impossible for any sentient mind to manage that, of course, but even limited knowledge confers great power. Philosophy aside, the game mechanics create a spell-like mode of operation, with the truenamer using 'recitations' to cause desired effects by articulating the change he wants to take place.
As the truenamer rises in level, he understands more and more and has access to a wider range of recitations, and the ability to cause more complex effects. To increase the range of effects, there's a sort of meta-recitation called inflexion - it's all in the way you say it, as well as what you say... however the universe itself is more resistant to some things than others, so some of these variants are harder to cause.
As well as the core character class, several archetypes are given: the orator, the truescribe and the verminspeaker. These explore different aspects of truespeech, and introduce greater variety as to what you can do with it. Feats that enhance your use of truespeech and (of course) a whole bunch of recitations themselves are also provided. Finally, there are some prestige classes for those that progress that far.
It's a whole new area of study, opening up new horizons, and yet working mechanically within established patterns so it is not so hard or unbalancing to introduce it into your game. A nice concept to add to the wealth of magical theory."