Language Question

This came up earlier when I was trying to design a character. Imagine I have Romaic Greek 6 -- TSE tells us that Classical Greek in this instance can be understood at 4. However I wish to learn Classical Greek to 5 so I can write books, as fluency is required, so I decide to put 25xp in to the Ability: Classical Greek. Do I end up with Classical Greek 2 (10xp) or Classical Greek 5? It's actually quite an important point for characters who possess related languages... My feeling is that one should be able to build on the default ability, rather than having to learn from scratch, but what do the rules say?

cj x

I haven't seen anything in RAW to suggest that this would give him Classical Greek 5. The rules say that the related language is intelligible, and that knowledge in the primary language gives you an "effective score" in the related language. Unfortunately, an effective score is not the same as actually having a score.

So it would probably be saga-specific as to how those 25 xp would give the character.

Personally I'd lean towards it, or something similar, because a related language should be easier to learn, IMHO.

On the other hand, languages are messy, and sometimes you have to unlearn habits of a language to improve your fluency in a related language.

ArM5 currently does not support GURPS-style skil defaults to be build on, not even for languages.
More's the pity

CJ I personal would vote for a house rule giving the Classic Greek 5 if it is about our IRC RPG even if this means I have to redo something with Ramon.

Agreed the language rules could use some loosening up, particularly in a game where musty old tomes written in rare archaic languages are supposed to be common. I have no problem with House ruling advancement from default. I think most ArM characters know entirely to few languages.

I can't see such a system open to much abuse. The language research route for learning Adamic would go considerably faster though.

As far as I know, the best RAW way to do this would be to invest 35 points into Romaic Greek, giving Romaic Greek a score of 7 and an effective Classical Greek score of 5.

I have played in a game where defaults are the starting points, and I like that house rule.


In my way to interpret rules, the related language score given is a kind of a puisance. So, with limitations. I would go for a house rule that helps related languages as having an affinity or a puissance ( up to the max score or the highest related language)

Another very very nice way is to houseruling is, that the related score, is not a score but a rigthfull abillity. Languages are tricky you know... :unamused:

Anyway im with callen pay 35 for greek 7 and will have no rule problems :neutral_face:

I agree that "buying from default" would be nice. But then again I'm also an old dog with GURPS.

However using Metacreator this would be a bother to implement as a House Rule, I have ni clue how to do it. And as out Constantinople saga has been cut it's not quite so relevant now, but may come up with other languages.

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was looking at a hack the other day - if I can make it work, I'll show you.

Select the ability, open up it's properties, click "New", open the folder which says "Abilities", select "Starting score" and set it to where it should default.

I like the idea of pretending the character has an Affinity with the new language, until its actual score gets up to the effective score provided by the old language. Kind of splits the difference between the two extremes. (Which means that maybe nobody likes it! :wink: )

The problem with the affinity is that gives less than the actual rule already gives . So how sounds to you the idea of:

Use an "affynity" to one language (the highest) to help the rellated;

Greek 6: 105xp so an affinity gives 52 px

Then you have=> classic greek: 52

Then that only goes from high to low not inverse to prevent explode. And keep the record of both points origin to prevent the socalled affinity to raise the lower language above the higher. Example given:

You have
Greek: 106
C Greek: 55

With that you could get 55+53=108 that is above the higher. So the affinity is reduced to, as much, to match the higher.

Then 55+53-2= 106

Hope i not made it complicated, :unamused:

Area Lore abilities can have similar problems, albeit not quite the same.

Eg Area Lore: France, Area Lore: Provence, and Area Lore: Local can all overlap.
Obviously the more specific your Area is, the more detailed information you know about that area, but in practice few characters have very many Area Lores, they each cost a lot, so as a SG you end up using whichever one is the most relevant and gaining all the info that the SG wants to impart, almost regardless of the actual score/dice roll!

I wouldn't want to go into the pit of blackness that was Rolemaster similar skills from RM Companion 2 (anyone else ever played that?), but I can see a need for characters being able to pick up 'casual' knowledge abilities much more cheaply than is currently allowed.

Eg grant exposure xp in things like area lore and languages (which is already capped at a max score of 4, if I remember correctly) AS WELL AS whatever is being studied for that season...but then you get other problems, like 'how much exposure is your mage actually getting in the local lingo when he's always in his lab?'

Or: extra set of virtues/flaws like 'knack for languages' and 'complete inability at learning languages'...which would rapidly get very unwieldy and need a lot of work to write enough of them and balance them. However, some real-life people can pick up languages to a reasonable level within days of living in a country whereas others could live in a country for years and still struggle to order food in a restaurant.

Digression aside, to answer the actual question asked, I'd go with the house rule already suggested - Romaic Greek 6 grants Classical Greek 4, so any extra xp in Classical Greek adds onto that starting score...with the additional question of: If/when the character gets Classical Greek 9, does his Romaic Greek become 7?

I agree with Gilarius
take i.e. a Recap who travel a lot even over Tribunal borders, (s)he for sure need to have a Area Lore to find all the covenants but at what scale should one put this Area Lore.
Beside that taken Redcap also would need infos where (s)he can stay for the night and get food.
But compared to languages the problem is not this big because if you take the Area Lore on the bigest posible area you only need to get this skill high enough and its substitude for all smaller but with languages its not this easy.
A other problem of the Languages is to know what language is spoken where and how different is it in relation to other languages the player know.
Given that the Rhine Tribunal alone mentions 5 Living and 1 Dead language beside Latin it get extrem confusing handling the languages if one play a campaing like the City of Ivory and Jade from CJ.

What about the interaction betwen languages of the same root

What if you speak languedoc and sardish you will learn galaic, french or /and castilian as hell :open_mouth:

Not hoping to include that anywhere... But who knows