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 Post subject: Languages and Literacy
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:25 am
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Location: Dallas, TX
On tonight's episode of "rules questions that came up after the game session," we take a look at the Speak Language Skill and Literacy.

Witch Hunter 2nd edition, pg 117 wrote:
Spending one additional skill level, regardless of the character’s level in that language, grants literacy. This is denoted with an (L) after the language.


Ok, so the question came up as to when and how does one acquire literacy in a language. The language in the rulebook seems clear...except why would you EVER buy literacy in a language past the first rank? A character with 1 rank in French (Basic speech and comprehension) is going to spend 20 SP to be literate. If the same character waits until they are rank 5, then it would cost them 60 SP to be literate. Is that right? Why would anyone do that?

Unless...

...is literacy meant to be something of a "floating" proficiency? What I mean is, if I'm literate at Rank 1 of French and raise my skill to rank 2, am I still literate, or is my literacy still at Rank 1? This would make literacy almost a skill in and of itself...which makes sense to some degree though the book keeping is going to be a pain.

Unless this is the case, I'm going to propose that literacy in a language costs a flat rate of 20 SP. That's what it would cost to purchase it for a rank 1 skill. Alternatively, I could see giving it a base cost of 50 SP, -10 for every rank the character possessed in the language. This would motivate players to have a solid skill rank before picking it up, though in the end the 20 point cost is probably a wash. I might be inclined to give it a 30 SP cost to keep it consistent with Specializations, since that's kind of how the game is setting up literacy anyway: a specialization within a specialization.

But I want to make sure I understand how it's supposed to work before I make that ruling. Because if your level of literacy is dependent on when you buy it, that makes a HUGE difference (it also makes languages one of the biggest SP sinks in the game since to be literate you effectively have to buy it twice).

The rule is unchanged since 1st edition, so I'm sure this topic has come up before. But since there are no archives, anyone care to clear it up? Eric and Clint are off at GenCon but if anyone else knows the answer...

Thanks,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Languages and Literacy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:48 pm
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Here's my take on it:

The cost of getting a language to 5 with literacy will be the same whether literacy is purchased at the front or the back. A character with Speak Language 2 and a character with Speak Language 1 and literacy would both need to pay 30 survivor points (or 15 if it's a background skill) to go to the next level.

Literacy is effectively a sixth rank which isn't limited by a character's Reason. Since most characters will have Reason 2 or 3 (which limits all but the starting language ranks), it's unlikely to cost more than 30 survivor points, which would be the cost-equivalent of a focus.


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 Post subject: Re: Languages and Literacy
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:45 am 
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I just assumed that the character spent a SP equal to getting the language at rank 2 (10 for Background and 20 for Elective), regardless of what the Speak Rank was. This accounts for the fact that the first Rank is to speak.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Languages and Literacy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:19 am 
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Alright then. Done. That was easy enough. I'll add that to the campaign document. Thanks guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Languages and Literacy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:10 pm
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Expect to see a change in how literacy works in the new Revelations doc

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