Language

Language skills are similar to Knowledge skills in that there are a huge number of possibilities. They are also relatively difficult to apply exact rules to.

The following are meant as guidelines, and should not be taken as being written in stone. For example, an illiterate character might have a high language skill (can easily speak and understand others), but just never learned to read or write.

  • 0: No communication is possible.
  • 1-10: Very limited communication is possible. Single basic words may be spoken and recognized when spoken or read.
  • 11-20: Reading of short sentences is possible, and slow speech is understood. Short sentences can be put together and spoken. Limited writing ability.
  • 21-30: Normal speech can be understood. More complex written material can be read. Writing ability increases slightly, and vocalisation of longer sentences is possible, although still halting.
  • 31-40: Most common words are understood, both spoken and read. Different dialects can pose a large barrier, however. Writing is not a problem, although clear expression of ideas through written material is still difficult. Normal speech is possible, although still with a distinctive accent of whatever the character's native language.
  • 41-60: Normal speech is understood. Dialects still pose a small problem. Slang words and technical jargon creep into the vocabulary. Writing ability allows for coherent paragraphs to be strung together.
  • 61-80: Rapid speech is understood. Dialects aren't much of a problem any more. Substantial vocabulary increase, including many less-commonly used words. Logical and consistent essays can be written with minimal difficulty. Accent when speaking is not as noticeable.
  • 81-90: Dialects are no problem. Accent is completely gone, and other accents can be feigned.
  • 91-100: Complete fluency. All but the most obscure of words are understood, and writing in almost any style (poetry, casual prose, formal prose, etc.) is possible.

There are situations which may require that a roll be made against a Language skill. For example, professionals of various occupations often have obscure terminology, and a character trying to pass as a member of that profession might have to make a roll in order to understand others of the profession, or speak in such a way that they are accepted by others.

There are similarities between different languages which the GM may wish to take into account at such times as when a character acquires a new language similar to one which is already known, encounters someone speaking in such a language, or attempts to read something written in such a language. For example, French and Italian are similar enough that, for someone fluent in French, many Italian words can be understood through a combination of comparison to known French words and examination of the context the word is used in. Most encyclopedias, and many dictionaries, have diagrams showing how various languages are interrelated. The GM may give a bonus in such situations, depending on the character's skill level in the known skill, and how closely related the two languages are.

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