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NokDrayen

How do you handle PCs/NPCs that don't speak Galactic Basic?

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49 minutes ago, DanteRotterdam said:

Yet I cannot recall any character in any of the movies or shows ever not understanding R2. 

So? I don't think that's accurate (especially given how much translating C-3PO does), but even if it is, that is not to say that these characters speak droid. There would be plenty of people in the Star Wars galaxy who don't.

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Watch Luke carefully.  Unless he's in his X-Wing reading off the prompter, all of his interactions with R2 are based on assumptions that he makes and he exclusively issues orders to the droid.  The only character who actually knows what R2 is actually saying is C-3PO.

In fact C-3PO makes it evident that R2 is making statements well outside what the other characters try to understand.

So my opinion is that actually NO ONE understands a thing that R2 says most of the time.  ;)

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12 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Watch Luke carefully.  Unless he's in his X-Wing reading off the prompter, all of his interactions with R2 are based on assumptions that he makes and he exclusively issues orders to the droid.  The only character who actually knows what R2 is actually saying is C-3PO.

In fact C-3PO makes it evident that R2 is making statements well outside what the other characters try to understand.

So my opinion is that actually NO ONE understands a thing that R2 says most of the time.  ;)

Yeah I think they work off of context and have a vague gist of what he says. But I suspect Astromechs Binary is far far denser than we realize. As in super verbose and detailed. and given C3P0s reaction quite rude at times. 

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1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

Watch Luke carefully.  Unless he's in his X-Wing reading off the prompter, all of his interactions with R2 are based on assumptions that he makes and he exclusively issues orders to the droid.  The only character who actually knows what R2 is actually saying is C-3PO.

In fact C-3PO makes it evident that R2 is making statements well outside what the other characters try to understand.

So my opinion is that actually NO ONE understands a thing that R2 says most of the time.  ;)

There is one other character in the saga films who does understand Binary: Rey. It's among several languages she is explicitly established as being fluent in, along with Shyriiwook.

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18 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

There is one other character in the saga films who does understand Binary: Rey. It's among several languages she is explicitly established as being fluent in, along with Shyriiwook.

I doubt she is actually fluent. She probably has the speak binary talents a couple times. but I do not think it is possible for non droid sentients to get all the data packed into binary. 

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2 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Watch Luke carefully.  Unless he's in his X-Wing reading off the prompter, all of his interactions with R2 are based on assumptions that he makes and he exclusively issues orders to the droid.  The only character who actually knows what R2 is actually saying is C-3PO.

In fact C-3PO makes it evident that R2 is making statements well outside what the other characters try to understand.

So my opinion is that actually NO ONE understands a thing that R2 says most of the time.  ;)

All good points. But there's at least one scene from The Empire Strikes Back that doesn't quite fit. When Luke crash lands on Dagobah, he's out of the cockpit standing on top of his X-Wing when he has the following brief "conversation" with R2-D2 (at the 1:30 mark):

R2-D2: (high whistle and squeaks)

Luke: No, R2, you stay put. I'll have a look around.

A couple lines of dialogue isn't much to go on. As you said, Luke could be simply assuming that he knows what R2's bleeps mean. R2 is curious and adventurous, constantly going off on his own and getting into trouble. That would certainly apply here on a mysterious new planet. But it sure plays like Luke understands whatever R2 is saying.

 

Edited by NokDrayen

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1 hour ago, Daeglan said:

I doubt she is actually fluent. She probably has the speak binary talents a couple times. but I do not think it is possible for non droid sentients to get all the data packed into binary. 

I don't doubt her fluency, particularly, that she actually acts as a translator for BB8 throughout TFA, particularly when she and BB8 are interacting with Finn on the Millennium Falcon, and repeatedly holds full conversations with him as if she knows exactly what he's saying. 

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Yeah, I mean there's "I got the gist of what the droid is trying to say," and "here's the name of a specific system."

There's an argument to be made that binary is like ryl - there's possibly more going on in the conversation than what a human can understand, but Rey and Anakin both seem to get a lot more from speaking with R2 and BB-8 than can be explained away with just "They get a basic idea."

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1 hour ago, AEinhorn said:

Yeah, I mean there's "I got the gist of what the droid is trying to say," and "here's the name of a specific system."

There's an argument to be made that binary is like ryl - there's possibly more going on in the conversation than what a human can understand, but Rey and Anakin both seem to get a lot more from speaking with R2 and BB-8 than can be explained away with just "They get a basic idea."

which to me would be the Speaks Binary talent. 

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19 hours ago, NokDrayen said:

A couple lines of dialogue isn't much to go on. As you said, Luke could be simply assuming that he knows what R2's bleeps mean. R2 is curious and adventurous, constantly going off on his own and getting into trouble. That would certainly apply here on a mysterious new planet. But it sure plays like Luke understands whatever R2 is saying.

Luke definitely has a back and forth conversation with R2 on the Falcon in Last Jedi.

With our Wookiee PC, we have him always accompanied by a small, hovering translation droid.

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:04 PM, Daeglan said:

Early Stargate messed with languages...but they quickly found it just slowed down story telling so they started handwaving. It wasnt worth it.

For another reference, Netflix's "Lilyhammer" has the main character speak English only, yet understand spoken Norwegian fluently. The other characters speak a fluent combination of both.

This happens quite a bit in the Star Wars films where Chewbacca speaks and Han understands, and vice versa. 

Plot > Overthinking 

 

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1 hour ago, DaverWattra said:

Luke definitely has a back and forth conversation with R2 on the Falcon in Last Jedi.

Last Jedi?  Was that one of those Comic book series that came out in the 80's or 90's?

I haven't bothered with those so that's a rather dated reference.  Plus, I'm wiling to ignore some of the more . . . weird references like the Star Wars "Holiday Special."  

Technically the Yuuzhan Vong are "cannon" but that doesn't mean that I need to pay attention to them or include them in my head cannon.

Although I did include the Givin species in my campaign . . .  (I had fun with that but the players wished that I'd given them a pass).

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50 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Last Jedi?  Was that one of those Comic book series that came out in the 80's or 90's?

I haven't bothered with those so that's a rather dated reference.  Plus, I'm wiling to ignore some of the more . . . weird references like the Star Wars "Holiday Special."  

Technically the Yuuzhan Vong are "cannon" but that doesn't mean that I need to pay attention to them or include them in my head cannon.

Although I did include the Givin species in my campaign . . .  (I had fun with that but the players wished that I'd given them a pass).

So, what is this exactly? 

You're bored and saw a mention of Rey, and decided to try and start a big The Last Jedi thread derail/fight? Because you're entirely off topic, your posts have nothing to do with language.

Also, a canon and a cannon are very different concepts, especially if you want to try and put one inside your skull.

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17 minutes ago, micheldebruyn said:

So, what is this exactly? 

To be fair (and in part): It's a cheap shot at the three Disney "Star Wars" movies.

And on pains of repeating myself:

1 hour ago, Mark Caliber said:

I'm wiling to ignore some of the more . . . weird references

Additionally DaverWattra referred to a source that I'm completely unfamiliar with.  He may as well be citing an obscure Timothy Zahn book (Actually Tim's books were pretty good IIRC) or a Dark Horse Comic as far as I'm concerned.

I'll argue that my post is actually QUITE relevant.  I'm engaging in a debate as to R2's ability to communicate with the rest of the characters in Star Wars.  In response to Daver . . . I'm positing (by rejoinder) that his point has little merit or relevance to this case.

And my anti Disneyesque Star Wars opinion has already been fairly well established over the years.  Long before you started participating on these boards (Welcome btw).

I do recognize that some people out there like the new Disney stuff and some people even like the Holiday Special.  If so, enjoy!

But I'm still going to impugn some of your parents kids from time to time . . . 

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In WEG there's an actual Languages skill you can roll to determine if the player understands a language.  You could probably use education, xenology, core worlds, or outer rim skill check as it seems appropriate.

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22 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

I'll argue that my post is actually QUITE relevant.  I'm engaging in a debate as to R2's ability to communicate with the rest of the characters in Star Wars.  In response to Daver . . . I'm positing (by rejoinder) that his point has little merit or relevance to this case.

If you were the OP, and you started the discussion by saying "I'm only talking about my headcanon, which includes these movies but not these ones," this would be a reasonable response.

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So, in our party, we have a human (who we have established speaks Basic and understands Hutteese and Ryl), an Ortolan (who speaks Basic and Ortoloan), a Zabrak (Basic and Zabrak), and a Jawa who only speaks Jawa and Jawa Trade Language, but who understands Basic and Hutteese.

We've established that all of the characters understand Jawa Trade Language, so the Jawa generally just speaks what she wants to say to the other PCs, but we all know that she's speaking in Trade Language. In addition, the Jawa has a backpack droid that has a protocol droid brain, who does most of the translation for "Master Nik" whenever the Jawa wants to talk to NPCs.

As for other languages, we've been handling it on a case by case basis, with my players and me deciding if it makes sense for them to understand a language as we encounter it. For example, when they stole the Krayt Fang, because it made the story more fun, we decided "No one speaks Trandoshan." As they made their way to Ryloth and had to decide as the Twi'leks were communicating amongst themselves if anyone understood Ryl. we just kind of talked it out at the table, and that's how we decided that the human pilot had an understanding.

When they encounter another NPC who doesn't speak to them in Basic? We'll figure out who (if anyone) understands that language.

But I have a lot of trust and faith in my players not to abuse this lackadasical approach.

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I mostly handwave it. I try my best to imitate the various languages we've seen in Star Wars for the first sentence or two when an NPC speaks in a different language. I even have a collection of Huttese phrases to use. But for the most parr, after I've set the feel for the character, I just speak "translates basic" for the players.

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On 2/18/2020 at 1:02 PM, NokDrayen said:

Have you ever had players speak in an alien language (Shyriiwook, for instance) at the table?

Yep, I ran a one shot recently that required my players to all roll a d20, and they were given a character depending on the roll. (I had 20 prepped)

One player gets a Wookiee, I then inform him he understands basic, but can only speak Shryiiwook, and the rest of the party don't understand it. 

It made for a comedic and fun game, with him making Wookiee noises and moaning in frustration when they didnt understand his hand waving and frantic gestures! XD

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On 2/21/2020 at 2:10 PM, DaverWattra said:

If you were the OP, and you started the discussion by saying "I'm only talking about my headcanon, which includes these movies but not these ones," this would be a reasonable response.

I disagree.

Ep VII - IX were so horribly ill conceived, poorly written, and internally inconsistent that its both laughable and irresponsible to consider them as reasonable sources in regards to a discussion regarding the Star Wars universe.  Especially for the FFG materials which cover the Star Wars story immediately previous to Ep 7-9.

Those movies are so . . . different from what we understand that you might as well consider it a completely different subject matter.  It's about as relevant to our discussion as a Star Trek reference would be to this game.

 

And while I'm not the Original Poster, I am a GM who is actively GMing an FFG Star Wars RPG game (sort of . . . I've modified the rules quite a bit.  To be fair, the FFG rules are still "mostly" intact).

 

There's also the problem that I've never seen the Last Jedi and ergo have no idea what you're talking about.  So you may as well be referencing one of the comic's that came out that I also didn't read.

 

Getting back to the advice bit of this thread; One things about Star Wars is that there's about as much garbage out there as there is gold.  You can (and I have) take something utterly horrible and you may be able to mine something useful out of it.  In my own campaign the Givin and Yag'Dhul are one such example.  My first thought about the planet and the species were not complimentary and I nearly rewrote the entire system from scratch.

However, after careful thought I realized that there was some interesting concepts being explored and decided to keep it (mostly) intact.  It allowed the players to deal with some truly bizarre Givin and I think it was beneficial to introduce some unique social obstacles for the PC's to wrestle with.

As far as dealing with foreign languages, part of the question that you have to ask yourself as a GM is how much do I want to deal with this hassle?  I think my tolerance is a bit higher so I don't avoid foreign language barriers.  But if you consider the flavor of FFG Star Wars, that's not something the writers would think would be interesting so language isn't dealt with in the RAW.  Right up until you get to the "Understands Binary" Talent.  Each RPG group is different and do what works well for your group.

As a GM, make a decision.  But I think my previous counsel and advise is sufficient for this thread.

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3 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Ep VII - IX were so horribly ill conceived, poorly written, and internally inconsistent that its both laughable and irresponsible to consider them as reasonable sources in regards to a discussion regarding the Star Wars universe. 

🤷‍♂️  Well part of me admires your purism... but only if you're a real OT purist who also hates eps I-III and all the cartoon shows.  I think that's a coherent position to have although it's a harsher standard than I would apply myself.

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5 hours ago, DaverWattra said:

🤷‍♂️  Well part of me admires your purism... but only if you're a real OT purist who also hates eps I-III and all the cartoon shows.  I think that's a coherent position to have although it's a harsher standard than I would apply myself.

What if I’m 53, was 11 when what was originally called just “Star Wars” came out, and I quite dislike all of the PT, but I do actually like the first two animated series that Dave Filoni was involved in, and hate the third cartoon?

Can you find any coherence in that?

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10 hours ago, bradknowles said:

What if I’m 53, was 11 when what was originally called just “Star Wars” came out, and I quite dislike all of the PT, but I do actually like the first two animated series that Dave Filoni was involved in, and hate the third cartoon?

Can you find any coherence in that?

I do... That's how I feel myself, with some caveats about the weird portrayal of the Force in CW and Rebels.  But I think in that case you ought to also appreciate at least one of the Disney movies. 

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