What are the specific effects of the Headband of Intellect in Pathfinder?
It is important to note that the Headband of Intellect pathfinder doesn’t give you extra skill points. The item’s description states, “This magic item’s enhancement bonus does not earn the wearer extra skill points when a new level is attained. Use the unenhanced Intelligence bonus to determine skill points.” The enhancement bonus that a headband provides to the wearer’s Intelligence score impacts every other aspect connected to the wearer’s intelligence score.
- ( Dungeon Master’s Guide 258) (4,000+ grams; 0 lbs.)
This Greyhawk region-wide feature Faerie Mysteries Initiate (Dragon #319 58-9). For example, the feat gives the person a lot of things. There is a possibility “to use the Intelligence modifier instead of Constitution modifier to determine bonus hit points.” It means the use of a headband will be a factor in these bonus HP. However, any additional hp will be lost if the Headband is taken off. More HP would be gained if the wearer to swap his previous Headband with a new one with an enhanced bonus.
Skill modifiers for abilities that use Intelligence as their primary ability can be affected in the same manner as if the creature’s score was greater. The enhancement bonus may influence a wizard’s saving throw DCs of his spells. It allows the wizard to gain more bonus spells because of a high Intelligence score.
There are benefits other than skills points that are unaffected by a headband’s enhancement bonus. The only thing not affected by the Headband’s enhancement bonus is the bonus languages. It is because of having an intelligence score of 12 or more. A smart character (one who had an Intelligence bonus at 1st level) speaks other languages. One additional language per point of Intelligence bonus as a starting character” ( Player’s Handbook 12). The majority of characters don’t begin at the level 1 stage with headbands. Therefore, the wearing of a headband is a common way to earn the bonus language of none.
Headband of Vast Intelligence details
The Headband Of the Vast Intelligence is a dazzling headband found in Pathfinder Kingmaker. The Headband’s intricate gold design is decorated with tiny deep purple and blue gemstones. The Headband gives its wearer an enhancement bonus of +x to Intelligence. Similar bonuses typically do not combine. This exquisite gold headband is adorned with a variety of tiny gemstones in deep purple and blue.
The Headband gives the wearer an increase in Intelligence, which is +2 (or +4) or +6. Consider this to be an ability boost within the first 24-hours during which the band is on. A headband with a high level of Intelligence comes with one ability associated with it for every bonus of +2 it gives. After wearing over 24 hours, this band grants the wearer a variety of ranks in these skills equal to the wearer’s hit Dice. These ranks cannot be stacked with the ranks that a creature already has. These skills are determined when the Headband is designed. If there is no skill listed, the Headband will be assumed to give skill ranks in random Knowledge abilities.
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- Price: 2,000 grams (+2) and 8,000 Gp (+4) 18,000 gp (+6)
What happens when a headband of vast intelligence grants ranks in linguistics?
There are generally two options that the community is willing to accept:
They are taught a language based on the grade of Linguistics learned. If the creator could speak many languages, then the GM must create a list of the wearer’s languages while wearing the Headband on his head. However, the creator has to select the language he is familiar with (just as the abilities) rather than the person wearing it.
If the designer is a tengu, the item will only grant one bonus language for each position per HD. Even if the person wearing it is a tengu, he will only be granted one bonus language for each HD as the item and not the person granted these ranks. The creator can select the abilities offered to the product; they must also decide which capabilities are granted before creating the item.
They acquire one language for every +2 points it awards, and, no matter the dice for the person wearing it, he’ll gain just a handful of specific languages yet get the full bonus when checking.
That eliminates the majority of issues with the Headband. Let us interpret it from two different perspectives.
- If you have an Int of 13, you get to the level of 4 and apply your increase in ability to Int. That increases the Int bonus you receive from +2 to +1 and grants you a second bonus in the language.
- Technically, int-enhancing products like a headband with enormous Intelligence will grant certain languages (in the same way as they provide proficiency levels).
Why is Linguistics Problematic in Pathfinder?
Languages are an entirely separate set of skills apart from abilities. A lot of characters do not have an academic rank in linguistics. Instead, they simply speak languages according to their race and their intelligence level at the time of starting.
Linguistics is a peculiar ability in Pathfinder because of two reasons. First, it’s the only skill in which getting a rank gives you a skill that can be utilized without passing a skill test. The only skill that requires a choice to earn a rank viz. selecting the language. Furthermore, and most importantly, linguistics is the only able to be used with any choice or selection. If a person puts the order in knowledge (local), it is important not to pick a different place for every rank. When a person places an order in a disabled device, they will not pick a different lock or trap to focus on.
Because linguistics is a particular field, it isn’t easy to find other instances we can compare to in deciding how learning languages operates. (The same is true for D&D 3.5’s spoken language proficiency, which is why we don’t examine 3.5 as a source of guidance. I can think that’s a smart design decision!) 3.5 avoided this entire issue because its Headband of Intelligence did not grant skills ranks.
A Possible Rules-as-Written Argument
The rule-as-written debate is centred around the wording used for the linguistics skills: “whenever you put a rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language.”
There’s also a discussion regarding familiars and the ability to speak. They use the master’s rank instead of their own, and some players have pondered whether the familiar that gains its master’s rank in linguistics can understand, speak and read the languages that its master picks. (Or even more important, if the familiar can select other languages that its master has chosen.) Of course, most familiars likely cannot write or speak these languages due to anatomical problems.
There are threads on the Paizo forums. The rule-of-laws debate is centred on the language used to “put a rank into this skill.” Certain players have argued that familiars cannot have ranks, which is different from putting rank into the skill. It is claimed that anything that simply substitutes your ranks is not functionally distinct from adding ranks to your skill. Moreover, it does not receive any additional benefit which comes from adding ranks to the skill.
A masterwork of rules-lawyering differs. The author argues that a spot in the rules employs a similar word to linguistics: class skills. The rules say, “You gain a +3 bonus on all class skills that you put ranks into.”
Most people believe that class bonuses can be applied to headbands’ granted abilities. Therefore, according to the same logic, you will also receive languages when linguistics is given from the Headband.
Assuming that you do learn the different languages And they’re “stored” in the Headband.
You decide that a Headband of Vast Intellect pathfinder with linguistics skill ranks gives the wearer the ability to speak in various languages. What happens then?
The moment you start, you’re confronted with the dilemma of determining the languages. Two options can be used in this regard. Either the creator selects the languages related to the skill’s rank. And then, the player picks the language of his choice. Both strategies produce counterintuitive results.
It is intuitively apparent that the selection of languages should be set at the time of creation. Since bonus languages (the ones that result from an intelligence boost) are set at the time of creation, as are the ranks of skill, this may create a precedent for every choice made in determining capabilities granted by the Headband are determined at the time of creation.
However, this can get a bit confusing extremely fast. The languages granted by linguistics differ from other choices. There is a distinct selection to be made for each rank on the Headband. If we’re committed to making these decisions at the time of creation, this means that we must be able to keep a list of the languages to be learned in a certain order. That seems like some bookkeeping, but a more interesting alternative could be that the DM has the final say about the language he learned instead of the player.
The creator could only keep the knowledge of languages he is familiar with. In the end, the wearer of the Headband could possess more chances to win than the creator. And he consequently has higher skill ranks and consequently higher levels of training than the creator. It’s just a little strange: surely there would be a point where the wearer is exhausted by all languages that the creator could have. Do they cease to acquire languages once they can roll dice? It seems strange.
The other possibility would be that person who created the Headband decides to create the Headband with a “pool” of languages associated with the Headband. However, how big is this pool? Do you have to choose 34 languages if the Great Old Hastur can kill you and steal your Headband?
Or 40 if Tengu can take your Headband? In reality”pool” solution is functionally identical to the user choosing their preferred language and presents the same problems as the “pool” solution.
Then there’s the matter of the character’s rank in the field of linguistics. The character could be able to attain an echelon or two in linguistics before acquiring the Headband. If the Headband does not have the two languages mentioned above, then what does it mean? If, for instance, the Headband’s benefit to a particular skill is greater than that of the player, the Headband’s ranks will replace the player’s.
Maybe they pick elvish or orcish. All suddenly, will the player cease to know the language they were previously familiar with? Or maybe they continue to use their language and begin to learn the Headband’s languages two ranks down?
If you do receive the language, however, the user gets to decide.
Now, we must decide and declare that linguistics is an exception to the general headband rule that linguistics-related choices are the only options that the wearer can make. However, the Headband of Vast Intellect pathfinder doesn’t allow you to select an additional language to reward Intelligence!
If the wearer can decide one, the GM will decide what will happen when the person pulls off the Headband and puts it back on days after. Can they choose completely new options for the language? Or must they stay with what choices they made before?
It seems that the former is the situation. The ability to use a magical item, take it off for some time and then take it off again to learn something completely distinct from the knowledge you had before is a bit ridiculous. It’s quite similar to the famous Paragon Surge, the misuse of which became to be so severe that they had to come up with an errata that allowed the use of the spell. It was a 24-hour timeframe.
It is possible to argue because there is no specific errata regarding this issue, and the wearer can select various languages every time. Since we all know that knowing more languages doesn’t mean you’re breaking anything, even if you have to wait for up to 48 hours (24 to remove the Headband, then 24 hours to adjust it again) to choose a new language. It will end up being GM to make a decision.
Are you not going to allow your player to decide this? You’re being forced to make a ruling on other aspects. Suppose the player has made their own choices and cannot alter them. It would be best if you also decided what happens when they discover a different superior headband. Again suppose they cannot make fresh choices when choosing the Headband they have purchased. You’re likely using the assumption that the band “unlocks” knowledge that the player could have gained when they had invested ranks in the related skills. However, by expanding that idea, if they lose the Headband and gain a linguistic rank, they’ll have to be forced to take the same decisions they did with the headband years ago in the game, and it’s a bit of a hassle.
The most straightforward rule you can make is that headband linguistics doesn’t offer the standard languages associated with this skill, according to the meaning of “put ranks in” discussed in the previous paragraph concerning the issue of familiars. That is the only rule that doesn’t force the GM to issue a myriad of other unjust rules later on.
Suppose you’re not keen to make that decision. In that case, letting the Headband give linguistics, giving the player the ability to select those ranks. The best option is to let them select the language whenever they return towards the Headband. That isn’t too bad and appears to me to be the most reasonable alternative.