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Buying other languages using specialty cost? (house rule)

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  • Buying other languages using specialty cost? (house rule)

    I'm new to this game. The person who got me into it recommended using a particular house rule that she loved, and after finishing the core books (and hopefully understanding at least the basics!), it seems like a pretty reasonable one. That said, I'd love to bounce it off of you guys to see if there's any issues I might be missing. Everything past this is a straight cut-n-paste:

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    LANGUAGES

    The Language ability confers skill in your native language, usually Common Tongue. It has no specialties. However, when learning additional languages, purchase them as though they WERE specialties, (10 xp per level, not to exceed the level of your ability.) For example, if you have Language 3 (Common Tongue), you could add Valyrian 1 for 10 xp, 2 for 20 xp, or 3 (the maximum) for 30 xp. Use the existing rules for what this means; this house rule only changes how non-native tongues are purchased, nothing more.

    (Why this change? Because we Westerners vastly undersell how common it is for regular folk to grow up speaking two or three languages. It shouldn't take half of a kid's starting xp to do so, and learned characters from the books can often speak half a dozen tongues in fluency ranging from "just getting by" to "eloquent." Polyglot is a step toward addressing this, but it covers only those who are unusually literate, nothing more.)
    [B][URL="http://www.mygurps.com/mm3e.shtml"]My Collection of M&M (3E) House Rules[/URL][/B]
    Including . . .[LIST][*]Combat "Boosts," Investigation Montages, and more[*]New Powers, Advantages, and Gear[*]Worked Examples and Rules Clarifications[/LIST]

  • #2
    That's exactly the house rule I am using in my own campaigns... In my opinion, it costs way too much experience buying new languages.

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    • #3
      Interesting. I can certainly appreciate the reasoning, but in my experience, the acquisition of languages beyond native tongue is not easy, and typically requires near immersion to attain fluency. This is especially true for adult learners as picking up languages is easier for children and adolescents. I think something like this house rule might be appropriate at Character Creation, but not after that.

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      • #4
        Well, I agree that learning a new language is not easy in real life... English is not my native tongue, so I know it's not that simple. But it's a game after all, and players don't necessarily want to have "weaker" characters just because they would like their characters to be fluent and literate in more than just one language... Hell, in my campaigns, my players prefer to take the Polyglot benefit instead of purchasing new languages, even with that house rule in effect...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bodger View Post
          Interesting. I can certainly appreciate the reasoning, but in my experience, the acquisition of languages beyond native tongue is not easy, and typically requires near immersion to attain fluency. This is especially true for adult learners as picking up languages is easier for children and adolescents. I think something like this house rule might be appropriate at Character Creation, but not after that.
          I definitely get the "sure for kids, but not for adults" mentality here -- it's factually accurate that the difficulty of learning a new language has almost nothing to do with intelligence and almost everything to do with your age when you learn it. Put simply, it IS easier for kids to learn languages than adults, full stop.

          But . . . consider that this game lets you do things like add "Blood of (insert group here)" later on as a Benefit, and that's something that you had to literally be born with. The justification in the FAQ is that there should be some sort of "reveal" to justify it, where you learn that your great-great-whatever was actually (insert group here). In other words, you can add a trait when it becomes story-relevant, as opposed to when it should have logically been on your character sheet.

          As such, despite the reasonable suggestion, I don't think it makes sense to restrict this by age group, solely because adding the language to your character sheet does not necessarily represent you learning the language now -- it could simply be that your character has always known it but it just hasn't come up yet.
          [B][URL="http://www.mygurps.com/mm3e.shtml"]My Collection of M&M (3E) House Rules[/URL][/B]
          Including . . .[LIST][*]Combat "Boosts," Investigation Montages, and more[*]New Powers, Advantages, and Gear[*]Worked Examples and Rules Clarifications[/LIST]

          Comment

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