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  1. #1

    Languages in Mongoose Traveller 2E

    Hi All,

    There's been talk of languages, of wants, of needs and of desires.

    I myself never worry about them, I assume any ship computer and any comm device TL8 and above can translate, very much like we almost have today.

    But this ruleset needs to work for all.

    I've spoken to Mongoose and they say the only languages that need skills are already in the ruleset, and these are:

    Anglic: The common trade language of the Third Imperium, derived originally from the English spoken in the Rule of Man.
    Vilani: The language spoken by the Vilani of the First Imperium; the ‘Latin’ of the Third Imperium.
    Zdetl: The Zhodani spoken language.
    Oynprith: The Droyne ritual language.

    But the rules also state:
    There are, of course, as many specialities of Language as there are actual languages. Those presented here are examples from the Third Imperium setting

    So if we can agree on an expanded list, that would be good. But the issue rermains, how does a character know the language of the Bwaps? There's no skill?

    Do we follow the example of DnD (a bit clunky but workable), and have a section on a Character Sheet detailing which languages a character knows? Or do we ensure that skills are checked, and Referee's would have to add the extra language skills and languages?

    Any thoughts to how this could work?

    Thanks,
    MBM
    Rulesets - Mongoose Traveller 2E & (1e)
    Now on my list, continue building the RQ ruleset

  2. #2
    In my game, every character gets a number of language skills points equal to their edu/4 at character creation. They can assign these points to one or more languages.
    Even with computer translation, local dialects and conceptual issues cause problems.
    This means that a cascade language skills roll applies to any interpersonal skill rolls, with the default unskilled penalty and the level of power of the translation software reducing the unskilled penalty

  3. #3
    Different campaigns may allow for different languages. For instance, 2300 will use Earth languages, someone trying to do a Star Wars game might use those languages, etc. I believe the best option would be something that allows the referee to establish a list of languages for the campaign and the skill table (and chat pull down) draws from that as the specialties. Might be tough but would give maximum flexibility.

  4. #4
    I like the simplicity of just having a section on the character sheet for languages the character 'knows', unrelated to their skills. This allows the Referee the flexibility to use the existing language feature in Fantasy Grounds as much or as little as they want. They could still call for skill checks to understand unique or extra difficult aspects, if they choose. I also feel like this would be the easiest load on the Referee, including adding additional languages.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dosfox View Post
    I like the simplicity of just having a section on the character sheet for languages the character 'knows', unrelated to their skills. This allows the Referee the flexibility to use the existing language feature in Fantasy Grounds as much or as little as they want. They could still call for skill checks to understand unique or extra difficult aspects, if they choose. I also feel like this would be the easiest load on the Referee, including adding additional languages.
    This is also part of the problem, how well does the character understand what they're reading/hearing/writing? In DnD it's binary, you either know the language or you don't.

    I could for example, when you add a skill for a language, add this to a simpler list on the character sheet (like in DnD), this means that all speciality languages will need adding as skills.

    Then when someone speaks in a language, if a player has the skill then we make a roll and if the target is achieved, it's translated or it's not. This sadly is binary, you understand or you don't, and it's not realistic, I for example in France would have a Skill of 0, so I'd understand directions, how to order beer etc.

    I welcome more thinking on this.

    Cheers,
    MBM

    Cheers,
    MBM
    Rulesets - Mongoose Traveller 2E & (1e)
    Now on my list, continue building the RQ ruleset

  6. #6
    I would like the language skills. Starting at 0-x like all other skills. In the Same way MBM with Spanish. I can order a beer, count to 20, find a bathroom, and order a sandwich. But I’m not fluent. So I would have a skill 0 in Spanish. But I’m far from fluent.

    I never liked the whole binary system that D&D uses. I would love to see the basic languages you listed and a custom tab so we can use any languages we want to add. Thanks for looking into this MBM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vayne187 View Post
    I would like the language skills. Starting at 0-x like all other skills. In the Same way MBM with Spanish. I can order a beer, count to 20, find a bathroom, and order a sandwich. But I’m not fluent. So I would have a skill 0 in Spanish. But I’m far from fluent.

    I never liked the whole binary system that D&D uses. I would love to see the basic languages you listed and a custom tab so we can use any languages we want to add. Thanks for looking into this MBM.
    I agree with the Binary, but the issue is that how do you implement it based on a skill level?

    My thinking is this, originally spoken in Oynprith was 'The craft Iron Horse jumped to Elise, carrying the plans with it'

    Do we against every 'word' roll the skill, and if the roll gets 8, we translate that word otherwise we just show jibberish?

    For example, someone with 'Oynprith Level 1', might see: 'The craft aashedy Horse aahjsdd ey Elise, carrying urrhe plans aspo nd'

    Cheers
    Rulesets - Mongoose Traveller 2E & (1e)
    Now on my list, continue building the RQ ruleset

  8. #8
    Skill rank 0 is basic speech, 1 fluent speech with basic writing, 2 fluent written and speach?

    Use your judgement as a referee on when to make a skill check would be my suggestion.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Vayne187 View Post
    Skill rank 0 is basic speech, 1 fluent speech with basic writing, 2 fluent written and speach?

    Use your judgement as a referee on when to make a skill check would be my suggestion.
    Yea but that's not how the translation works, when text is spoken in a set language a check is made then whether to display it correctly or not. Here-in lies the issue. Just not sure how to show this, which again is why I don't worry about it. Anyone working in accessibility for websites will see that in a few years we don't need to worry about languages.

    Cheers
    Rulesets - Mongoose Traveller 2E & (1e)
    Now on my list, continue building the RQ ruleset

  10. #10
    You do not need to know what every work in a sentence is to understand what is being said, just ask an speed reader as they skip words to read faster. I think the skill should represent the understanding and meaning behind what is being said. Example "The horse white runs the fastest", "The horse GHTRGTRF runs fastest" and you would still know that they was talking about the white horse.

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