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Kith

Importance of Language in the games?

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While I know the unique language of the 40k universe helps keep player minds in the game and set the mood.  I've a sever language problem and I often find myself stumbling over the pronunciations and even meanings of many of the words.  Finding myself for example not only able to pronounce Arbitus but forgetting that they represent the police.  As I've been running the game for close friends who are 1) great role players and 2) highly tolerant of my disability this hasn't proven too much of a problem, in many cases they have picked up on the language and use it while ignoring my slip ups. 

 

Unfortunately fate has lead all the members of my group in different directions and I am left seeking new players.  So I am forced to ask, what is the typical player's expectation of the adherence to the language of the 40k verse?

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It can be quite important to set the tone of a game, but as long as your players know who your talking about then it shouldn't make too much difference.

A point of reference the Adeptus Arbites are not a police force is the sense of what we see as the police.  Local law Enforcement is done by the Imperial governor normally through brutal squads known as enforcers.  The Adeptus Arbites are responsiblie for maintaining the Imperial Creed so Pay your Tithe, don't deal with xenos, and don't rebel against the Imperium.

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Arbites can act as a local policing force as needed depending on the location.  In some of the hives you'll be lucky to find policia or even government brute squads, but the Arbites are out keeping the laws of the Imperium, not necessarily the local laws, but there is still plenty of over-lap, killing, theft, arson, mutation... all of which would be covered by the local law can also fall under the role of the Arbitus as well.  Small time stuff they will just ignore, bigger things, like when your under cover agents kill a room full of people because they "might" be heretics...

But back to the actual question, language is important for creating the atmosphere, generally players just want to have fun so as long as mispronunciations or incorrect descriptions don't slow the game down or confuse the players, it should be fine.

Since your having trouble with the words and pronunciations I'm assuming you never studied Latin.  Most of the Gothic language is a bastardised version of Latin, if you google a Latin pronunciation key and familiarize yourself with that, and maybe a few common Latin phrases, like "habius corpus" or "tu es rana!" it might help.

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Hallo Kith,

I doubt my group is the typical one playing Dark Heresy but - perhaps right because of this - we don't care about the setting's specific language or terms: the mood we gave to our games is more gloomy than grimdark, meaning our adventures are set in a hopeless universe living day by day, mostly without caring about tomorrow (the people's attitude resembles that of the "Dying Earth" books by Vance).

Just to stick to the example you cited, in our games there's little difference between arbites and enforcers as for what they do and look, and no one of us cares about it: like most characters in our games, they're mostly caricatures of real people, caring more for their interests than the Imperium's.
Most of them smoke, of course, but they don't smoke those "lho sticks" but your usual cigarettes or sigars, whose names spoof the existing ones: and the same applies for most things, it's just a "futurible" version of today's world.
We like it "tongue in cheek" and this way the setting is working fine for my group, which is made by experienced players but no hardcore Warhammer fan. And I think this is also a good way to draw new players into the setting: given the setting's general harshness, I think  a Warhammer's gung-ho group isn't the best way to attract random gamers.

So, as far as my experience goes, language isn't an issue, as long as you and your players are having fun: this way, of course, most of the work is up to you, in that you have to keep the story interesting and put in as many "comic relives" as you can, leaving your players free to add "ad lib".

I wish you all the best for your search!

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I'm going to echo the statement of Gothic being a anglicised bastard Latin, difference in High and Low Gothic is pretty much a difference in everyday spoken English and say 'Queen's English'.

For the Arbites, cast them in the shadow of NSA/INS/FBI mixed liberally with Judge Dredd, less worried about any given theft or murder unless it starts falling into a pattern that indicates something big.

As much as you can, use the 'universe' term, sure it's all a real world analog but Recaf just feels different than Coffee.

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Kith said:

Unfortunately fate has lead all the members of my group in different directions and I am left seeking new players.  So I am forced to ask, what is the typical player's expectation of the adherence to the language of the 40k verse?

I'm sure whatever new group you find will learn to work around your inability to pronounce the words, just as your old group did. Maybe look for groups you can join as a player at first, so you maybe won't have to use the words you have trouble with as often, or something.

Or you could just find a resource to practice pronouncing Latin words to see if that helps you.

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phantomoftruth said:

For the Arbites, cast them in the shadow of NSA/INS/FBI mixed liberally with Judge Dredd, less worried about any given theft or murder unless it starts falling into a pattern that indicates something big.

The trick with the Adeptus Arbites is this simple question: Does a given crime affect the Imperium? If so, then it's an Arbites matter.

The majority of people in the Imperium are not directly Servants of the Imperium, but that significant few, collectively known by the title of Adeptus (which refers to essentially anyone working within the Adeptus Terra, Adeptus Ministorum, or any other organisation with a name beginning with Adeptus or Adepta) are the ones that matter to the Arbitrators.

A random manufactory worker gets knifed on the way back to his hab? Who cares? A Menial (a low-ranking nonskilled worker within the Administratum, recruited from amongst the general populace) or Subordinate (hereditary indentured workers within the Administratum) gets murdered... well, that's worthy of investigation, because the life of an Adeptus is worth more to the Imperium.

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Kith said:

While I know the unique language of the 40k universe helps keep player minds in the game and set the mood.  I've a sever language problem and I often find myself stumbling over the pronunciations and even meanings of many of the words.  Finding myself for example not only able to pronounce Arbitus but forgetting that they represent the police.  As I've been running the game for close friends who are 1) great role players and 2) highly tolerant of my disability this hasn't proven too much of a problem, in many cases they have picked up on the language and use it while ignoring my slip ups. 

 

Unfortunately fate has lead all the members of my group in different directions and I am left seeking new players.  So I am forced to ask, what is the typical player's expectation of the adherence to the language of the 40k verse?

Varies massively.  I have some players in my group who don't really know a huge amount about the WH40K universe as such.  As long as you get the 1984 meets Name of the Rose feel down then the specific terms you use for a factory or the Federal Police or whatever aren't very important.

On the othe rhadn I have some players in my group who like all the terms to be as used in the setting they don't get annoyed when they aren't but they will use the 'correct' terms themselves.

The easiest way of dealing with this is generally to use the term once or twice (the manufactorum for example) and then explain what it is for the benefit of those who don't know (a factory).  Fro mthat point on you can if you wish interchange between factory and manufactorum.  Also use handouts with the words written down.  That way even if you struggle to say the words you can still invoke the setting.

Also possibly consider just have a printed out glossery of terms as a GM aide.

 

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That reminds me, a while back I had made up some hand outs to kick off the new DH campaign that is still going (although they are very near the end)
Anyway, if you want to check it out, take a look here artanyis.deviantart.com/art/Inquisitorial-Dossiers-220017559

If you think this will help appease your new players I can create new ones for your campaign, if the game your running lets them know information like this.  Also if anyone wants the individual  parts, like the paper or font, or something, let me know.

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Thanks, your worlds bolstered my confidence and I just sat down with a cheat sheet and sort of steered through a how do you want/feel theses words should be pronounced .  I'm sure we are off the gird for their proper pronunciation but at least we are all speaking the same dialect.

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