Could some regional languages be common?


Playing the Game


I'm just noticing now how much language learning is limited in the playtest compared to 1e. No Linguistics skill, maximum 1 extra language if you have high Int, Potion of Tongues is hella expensive. I'm not going to complain about that here; I think if it's been dialed down too far that's something that's only going to emerge after a season or two of 2e and seeing if there are too many mismatches between what a scenario makes use of and what a party can speak.

But here's one thing that immediately doesn't make sense to me: languages spoken by many nonhuman races are common, whereas all human languages but one are uncommon. I feel like it shouldn't be harder for an adventurer to have visited the massive empire of Kelesh or one of the large number of Lung Wa successor states than to have lived among giants or ogres, for instance, long enough to have picked up their language.

I'm not arguing for all regional languages to be common, but the ones associated with major political entities ought to be.


Generally, I agree with you.

Part of the rationality of why non-human languages are common is, I believe, because speakers of those exist all over the place and for some reason all speak the same language, and learning enemy languages is nice (pretty much all my character have picked up Goblin at some point, and I've never regretted it).

I would recommend the Mystara option: treat common languages (and Common) on a case by case basis. Look at where the character is from/where they are and determine what sort of languages are common in that area dependent on culture, political and economic power, etc. of the regional states. It requires a bit more work but does a much better job of making the world feel grounded and fleshed-out.
Also, I recommend the devs get rid all monolith languages (Terran, Aklo, Jotun, Draconic, etc.) and give regional dialects and language families to the Multiverse, then reinstate Linguistics as a skill.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Look at where the character is from/where they are and determine what sort of languages are common in that area dependent on culture, political and economic power, etc. of the regional states. It requires a bit more work but does a much better job of making the world feel grounded and fleshed-out.

I'd argue they should be more broadly available than that. Adventurers are the sort of people who like to travel, so why should absolutely none of them ever have been out of their home region long enough to pick up a language not spoken there before their adventuring career starts?


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There is a skill feat called Multilingual that lets you learn two extra languages each time you take it, so learning new languages is only marginally more difficult than in PF1.


Nekome wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Look at where the character is from/where they are and determine what sort of languages are common in that area dependent on culture, political and economic power, etc. of the regional states. It requires a bit more work but does a much better job of making the world feel grounded and fleshed-out.
I'd argue they should be more broadly available than that. Adventurers are the sort of people who like to travel, so why should absolutely none of them ever have been out of their home region long enough to pick up a language not spoken there before their adventuring career starts?

I don't think we are actually disagreeing. It's a matter of what languages are spoken in what area, what languages are spoken in neighboring areas, what the more 'powerful' languages in the region are, and how (for lack of a better word) common they are.

To make a real world comparison since the game world comparisons I can make are likely meaningless to most readers here, it would be less likely for someone from, say, 15th century England to know Arabic than French, however. English of some variety would be native, French would be easily available but Arabic would be uncommon.


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David knott 242 wrote:

There is a skill feat called Multilingual that lets you learn two extra languages each time you take it, so learning new languages is only marginally more difficult than in PF1.

Yeah, even with that feat I'm not happy with how they do languages. My Linguist Wizard from one of my Co GM's RoTRL campaign, who picks up esoteric languages is pretty much dead on arrival in conversion attempt. Think they wen't too far on the curve with languages.

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