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Old 09-12-2007, 12:22 PM   #1
nerdvana
 
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Default Languages Question

In 3rd Edition (and previous) languages would have a difficulty that you could tweak from species to species (so you could say Species X's language is M/A for insectoids like them, but for mamalian species it is M/H). How would you do that with 4th Edition?
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:26 PM   #2
Sanity
 
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Default Re: Languages Question

You simply dont.

Languages got simplified to a pretty large degree. I find that a little sad, but I understand the reasons.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Languages Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanity
You simply dont.

Languages got simplified to a pretty large degree. I find that a little sad, but I understand the reasons.
Granted. Now, that's not really the answer I'm looking for. Basically I started this thread to see if/how people are doing it. Obviously, like me, you haven't found a way to do it that is satisfactory. :)

I'll toss an idea out... perhaps for some languages simply knowing them or being able to speak them requires an Unusual Background also? (to increase the cost of the language effectively)
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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My suggestion would be to charge Unusual Backgrounds for rare, exotic or complex languages. Maybe only 1 point for unusual human languages, like some rare dialect of Chinese, and 5 or 10 points for nonhuman or lost languages.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Languages Question

Even a 5 pt UB just to pick up a language seems like a lot.

You could require a perk in addition to the language, for the spoken version anyway: "Xslerbokeidjncjd Linguistic Familiarity" or something, for wierd non-human stuff spoken by a human. I'm assuming a written script would never require anything extra unless it's in 3d or inscribed in invisible psychic marks or something equally alien to our concept of literacy.

Or you could require that extra perk for an Indo-European speaker learning Arabic or Mandarin, if you wanted to be really hard-ass about linguistic differences, and save larger UBs for the truly wierd and out-there stuff.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Languages Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogo
Even a 5 pt UB just to pick up a language seems like a lot.

You could require a perk in addition to the language, for the spoken version anyway: "Xslerbokeidjncjd Linguistic Familiarity" or something, for wierd non-human stuff spoken by a human. I'm assuming a written script would never require anything extra unless it's in 3d or inscribed in invisible psychic marks or something equally alien to our concept of literacy.

Or you could require that extra perk for an Indo-European speaker learning Arabic or Mandarin, if you wanted to be really hard-ass about linguistic differences, and save larger UBs for the truly wierd and out-there stuff.
I think that is a good approach. May also have perk related tie-ins for writing too as some of the ways languages are written are very, very different. :)
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Old 09-12-2007, 02:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Languages Question

I like the Perk approach for learning a language that violates the character's linguistic assumptions, but if the problem is a matter of physical equipment there should probably also be some sort of cap involved as a 0-Point Taboo Trait.

Example: Snake Men and Hu Men can learn to understand and write each others' languages at no penalty after they pay for the Perk-Level UB, but neither possesses the palatte to properly enunciate the other's tongue and is at a maximum of Broken to communicate, persuade, or entertain verbally.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc
I like the Perk approach for learning a language that violates the character's linguistic assumptions, but if the problem is a matter of physical equipment there should probably also be some sort of cap involved as a 0-Point Taboo Trait.

Example: Snake Men and Hu Men can learn to understand and write each others' languages at no penalty after they pay for the Perk-Level UB, but neither possesses the palatte to properly enunciate the other's tongue and is at a maximum of Broken to communicate, persuade, or entertain verbally.
That fits what I was thinking of, yeah. Thanks for actually putting it into text. :)
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdvana
That fits what I was thinking of, yeah. Thanks for actually putting it into text. :)
No problemo. :)
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Languages Question

Another way to do it would be to simply invert the rules for related languages (p. B506), where similar languages grant a "default" at a lower level of fluency. A truly alien language might require an extra point or two to reach the Broken level (possibly adding a new step of Very Broken, where the usual Broken penalties are increased?). Such languages could also be capped at Accented for species whose vocal equipment is truly incapable of reproducing "Native" fluency.
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