Suggestions for Language learning house rules


Homebrew and House Rules


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What do you guys think about this:

Learning Languages:

-Learning additional languages is not automatic. Character must spend time immersed in target language to acquire fluency.

-Common is not a language by itself, but a pidgin. You have to have a mother tongue.

-Max. languages = INT modifier;

Levels of fluency:

Rank 0: Common; -3 to Diplomacy & Bluff;
-Requirements: None

Rank 1: Elementary; -1 to Diplomacy & Bluff;
-Requirements: 5 hours of study

Rank 2: Intermediate; +1 to Intimidate, Diplomacy & Bluff;
-Requirements: 2 days of study (20 hours total)

Rank 3: Fluent; +3 to Intimidate, Diplomacy & Bluff;
-Requirements: 5 days of study (50 hours total)

Rank 4: Master; +5 to Intimidate, Diplomacy & Bluff;
-Requirements: 20 days of study (200 hours total)


I'd suggest an Int check required after a sufficient period of exposure (1 week might do the trick; if a character fails, they can attempt again after another week). Perhaps the DC could be determined by the complexity of the language (10 for simple languages; 15 for more intricate languages; 20 for very intricate languages). You could provide circumstantial bonuses on the check if the character speaks a similar language (one that shares an etymological root).


I like this idea, though. I've never liked the fact that languages are tied to skill ranks.


Detect Magic wrote:
I'd suggest an Int check required after a sufficient period of exposure (1 week might do the trick; if a character fails, they can attempt again after another week). Perhaps the DC could be determined by the complexity of the language (10 for simple languages; 15 for more intricate languages; 20 for very intricate languages). You could provide circumstantial bonuses on the check if the character speaks a similar language (one that shares an etymological root).

I was actually including all sort of features and aspects such as the one you suggested and then I realized that making it too complicated won't help at all. The players will just get used to playing with a penalized and defeated sense of using Diplomacy and Bluff.

Arguably, I'd like to make it simpler.


simpler: three tiers for -2, +0, +2

also i second the idea that it takes an INT check to 'qualify' the hours spent - you could just stick with DC 15 (with maybe one or two DC 20 languages...)

finally, i would differentiate Study and Interaction with Reading/Writing and Speaking


Agreed. The -2/+2 should be categorized as circumstantial.


I'd recommend checking out the Midnight d20 language system. It is similar in some respects to what you present, but definitely my favorite language system to date - so much so that it has permanently replaced the way languages are handled in my homebrew setting.

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