Thursday, July 16, 2009

Languages other than common

The flaw I'm discussing today is only a flaw if you are a fan of cunning linguists. In a lot of RPG's there tends to be a "Common Tongue" that everyone speaks. This does smooth over a lot of things, never are there people you cannot speak to.

The simplest solution is to remove the "common tongue" that everyone speaks. Piecemeal does this, this is one step. This creates the problem then of not being able to talk to anyone. True that is realistic, but cuts out a lot of hero archetypes. The Daniel Jackson or the C3P0

Thus Piecemeal ensures the Bard Class can act as "interpreters" and explore brave new lands. Likewise the priest can use the "understanding" miracle to "get the point across" to locals.

Why is this good?

1.) It enables a greater level of mystery
2.) It makes language skills useful
3.) It supports exploration style play that much more. (along with travel XP)


You have to be willing to overlook the "everyone speaks English" trope that is very common in science fiction and fantasy. That is a fun trope in its own way.

1 comment:

  1. You are right - not everyone speaks English.

    An interesting video can be seen at Professor Piron was a former translator at the United Nations. A glimpse of the Esperanto language can be seen at