(How) does Linguist (HoH:TL 25) influence the XP for early childhood, i.e. does it add a quarter of the 75 xp for native language?
I would allow 15 xp to be added for other skills from Early Childhood. But ask your troupe for their decision.
It's open for interpretation. I allow the extra quarter of the 75 points. I do question when it's not allowed because there are other ways to get bonus experience out of the 120 early childhood experience, so why not with this?
This means, that you increase 60 xp by a quarter - that is 15 xp - to 75 xp, when learning a Language skill up to 5. A quarter of 75 xp does not appear in this reasoning.
You start with a score of 5 in your native language, which is 75 experience points put into a language at character creation. Increasing that by a quarter would be adding a quarter of 75.
Edit: Note that even your suggestion above allows for this. You suggested diverting 15 experience to distribute as desired among the childhood Abilities. Well, stick those in a language, which is allowed, and then you would be adding a quarter of 75. I just don't divert those 15 points.
Some people claim it's just a score of 5, not 75 experience points, which is why I said it's open for interpretation. However, there are ways to avoid this issue and guarantee the 120 experience points from childhood (75+45) are actually that and then get the full bonus from this Virtue.
By ArM5 p.31 Early Childhood you start with a score of 5. With Linguist this costs 60 xp. What happens to the remaining 15 xp is the question to be adjudicated by the troupe - and I would suggest to make these available for further Early Childhood skills, distributed as the player desires.
This can also mean 15*5/4 = 18 xp (or even 19 xp if the troupe rounds up) in languages with further Linguist rebate - but it is not limited to this.
I would agree with One Shot on this one: assume gaining Native Language 5 only "eats up" 60, rather than 75, of your 120 childhood xp - freeing 15 for other purposes. In any case, 15xp is not a lot, and Linguist is a sufficiently weak virtue that it's ok to give it a small boost in usefulness.
I didn't want to have to spell it all out, but here goes since the reasoning was brought up and pointing it out didn't suffice. First, what the book says:
You get a score of 5 in your native language and 45 experience points in a limited list of Abilities. No, it doesn't say you can't have 1000 points in other Abilities, which would make sure the 45 experience point part is true (you would have the 45, and you would have more on top of it), but I think it is pretty well understood that that 45 points is not "at least 45 points" but is giving a specific number of points.
Here are the interpretations I'm familiar with that involve Linguist, and these will show the ambiguity I mentioned:
- (Mine) The score of 5 is placing 75 experience in the language, and Linguist increases this 75 by a quarter. So you start with your native language at 5 with an extra 19 points. (Does anyone round the 0.75 down when some similar things explicitly tell you to round the 0.5 up?) You also get 45 points distributed in a limited list of Abilities. Does this satisfy the three things? Native language at 5 - check. 45 points applied to limited Abilities - check. Bonus points added for Linguist - check.
- The score of 5 is a score of 5, whether you didn't have Linguist and you put 75 points in or you do and you put 60 in. So you start with your native language at 5, and you also get 45 points distributed in a limited list of Abilities. Does this satisfy the three things? Native language at 5 - check. 45 points applied to limited Abilities - check. Bonus points added for Linguist - check.
- (Yours) The score of 5 must be attained, and linguist lets you do this with 60 points, leaving another 60 of your original 120 points left over. So you start with your native language at 5, and you also get 60 points distributed in a limited list of Abilities. Does this satisfy the three things? Native language at 5 - check. 45 points applied to limited Abilities - no. Bonus points added for Linguist - check.
I'm not saying your version is a bad choice. When other things move points out of the native language, those points are returned in other Abilities, so your interpretation is consistent with those, and it is fair. But if you really want to bring up the reasoning as you did, you should recognize that the other two interpretations both actually fit the rules better than yours does. For yours to fit the reasoning properly without adding some exception (such as written in the Feral Upbringing description), we have to read the 45 points in the limited list of Abilities as the "at least 45 points" version of it. Do you allow players to put any arbitrary number of points that are no less than 45 into those Abilities and consider them to be following the creation rules?
I think this highlights why I don't like the second option, too. While it fits the reasoning, you end up telling the player to takes Linguist that they start with fewer points to allocate at character creation. Linguist isn't some overpowered Virtue. Why not let them have those bonus points? That's why I prefer the first and third interpretations over the second one.