Find the Words: Linguistics. With a bit of thought, you can find the perfect words for any situation. Maybe someone has been waiting for just the right phrasing to change their ways. Or perhaps you need a hint for the password to a barred gateway. The nature of this hint is up to the GM’s discretion, but it should generally be something useful that changes the question before the player to an easier one. (For example, if the password is “cat,” the GM might hint “This culture likes to name things after household pets.”) The DC for this check is generally high, Linguistics 35 and above, although the more context you have (found similar passwords in the same area, deep knowledge of the culture of whomever created the password) the lower the DC becomes, generally in increments of 2. Making this check can take some time, and the action can often take an hour or more.
See the Soul’s Defenses: Perception. Your eyes are so quick that you can spot the warning signs of danger before even your enemies know how to react. When you make a Perception check to notice foes at the beginning of an encounter, you get a +1 bonus on your Initiative check in the ensuing encounter for every 10 by which you beat their Stealth or other DC.
One problem that can come up for many gamemasters when using puzzles happens when something turns out to be too hard, or when they can’t come up with a reasonable explanation for how the players could get across an obstacle–the classic problem being an enspelled door with a password. It can be hard to come up with any reason why the password would be anything the players could possibly figure out. This use of Linguistics allows the players a believable way of bypassing such puzzles in an interesting manner.
This use of Perception gives a reason for players to keep building up their Perception skill, even when they are already bypassing such DC’s with ease, for a small but significant benefit.