Languages to me seem too limited. There's no way to represent a scout from Nirmathas, say that knows Dwarven because he had to liaise with Kraggodan. Or knowing Sylvan from interacting with Fey, or whatever. Also, I don't like multilingual being keyed to society as total wilderness characters don't care about civilization unless you take a very loose interpretation of civilization. I would also see rules for removing common as a starting language for elves or other characters that only know their regional language. And it would be fun to tie additional languages to a level so that when you're communicating in a language you aren't completely fluent in, you can muff what you're trying to say or what you understand them saying.
|JoelF847 RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16|
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Languages are far too limited in the rules currently. It's really not that rare for people to know multiple languages, but as written you need to either start with a 14 Int, or pick a skill feat for learning new languages (which are few and far between, so this is a pretty big cost - know how to pick locks or speak orcish?)
Is it really that unbalancing to have the PF1 rules for bonus langauges where you get one per Int modifier? This not only would allow a few more languages for many PCs, but also lower the threshold to Int 12 instead of Int 14.
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Especially considering how often PFS games would have the problem of no-one in the group having the needed language. Now with languages being much harder to gain there will either have to be a significant drop in the languages needed in adventures or the game will simple become more frustrating/less fun.
I currently play in a pickup game in a setting at my game tavern that doesn't really have a proper common language. In the PF version of the game it was possible to work around this thanks to linguistics and skill bonuses, in the 5e version were were even more likely to have parties that literally could not communicate with each other because various party members didn't know any similar languages. I haven't been following the playtest closely but this is one thing that I really don't like. I find the language issue in 5th edition to be far too restrictive and it seems like PF 2.0 went that direction as well. PF 1.0 language rules were fantastic. They did not break the game and allowed players to really find a niche for themselves.
I think I disagree with the over-all trend of OP and responders so far, but I think OP's example of Nirmathas non-Society-type knowing Sylvan is interesting.
Society makes some sense to know unusual Human and Demi-Human languages, but Sylvan makes more sense to have Nature pre-req. Likewise, Draconic and Auran/Ignan/etc having Arcane Pre-Req, Celestial/Infernal having Religion Pre-Req. Wait, Draconic is actually Human tongue in Xa Hoi, but you get the idea.
I have previously described a different handling of language that lent more emphasis to region and plurality of languages associated with each region, but I think addressing the base level functionality itself is valuable. I can see a Feat granting Fey Lore along with Sylvan for example, and the same for other creature types/languages I mentioned.
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I do kind of like learning a language to require more investment than "put a point in linguistics" since that way you get people who end up knowing 17 languages by the end of a campaign because they wanted to be good at forging documents.
But it feels like you could maybe give a bonus language at 12 Int instead of 14?
Of course, the 4x Stat boost system does make achieving 12 or 14 INT trivial for most characters,
although of course still dependent on language "access" via Ancestry/Region/Class/etc.
I do wonder how things like Region can slot into Ancestry Feats, or General/Skill, to offer focused benefits like this.
I don't think Region will be super strongly developed in CRB, just because that takes alot of room to do justice,
but I think it's fair to sketch out it's basic structure even without much material to fill it in,
just for that to be best accomodated within Core system, as well as simplifying the task for products which develop on Regions,
which otherwise need to independently develop those rules (f.e. somebody may play 2nd Edition Tian Xia without Inner Sea rules).
I think there is some aspects they are currently doing with Ancestries which appear to be Region-inclined,
e.g. Desert Dwarves, and having Region actually be included in CRB (if minimally) avoids the situations
where Region ends up conceptually smeared across different categories which complicates it's role.
(albeit conceptual questions exist re: if stuff like Fire Resist should be region or even Ancestry-tinged in first place )
That there may be very few Region options in CRB is not impediment to including it, IMHO (esp. if it is optional to char build).
This also relates to Region & Language, which is WEAKLY indicated (solely re: Human "ethnic" language) which can easily be improved too.
Forgery was mentioned (via 1st Edition Linguistics), and is now being handled via Society (as is deciphering documents),
but I am prompted wonder about activities which could be potentially construed as a dual-skill check.
It seems useful, if the game is already focusing on Level/Difficulty appropriate DCs, to also cover DCs and mechanics
for activities which would use two different skill (or other) checks, with idea that over-all chances match desired Difficulty.
Besides reverse-engineering the components of composite Difficulty for benefit of GMs (incl. disparate component DCs?),
basic rules might also be extrapolated on, e.g. if being Trained in only one component is enough to try a Trained-only usage.
(there could be different sub-variations of these composite challenges, some requiring both Trained, some "one of", some just un-Trained)