Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Boss Gitsmasha

Starting Talents

49 posts in this topic

 

Latin isn't an older form of English. It's more like Anglo-Saxon/English.

Er... no.

IIRC, modern english is so heavily influenced by other languages, in particular Danish and Normannic French (itself influenced by the scandinavian languages), that it is not really that closely related to Anglo-Saxon as one might think.

 

 

Yes I am aware that English has been influenced by other languages, :)

 

It is not, however, a descendent of Latin, which is a whole other branch of Indo-European.

 

It does have a lot of Latin  vocabulary, mainly via French (which IS a descendent of Latin), but it is definitely not a form of Latin. What it is is Anglo-Saxon + some Norse influence on the grammar + lots of French words + general linguistic evolution.

 

Whereas Low Gothic is supposed to be "modern" High Gothic. So the relationship between Italian and Latin.

Edited by bogi_khaosa
Cail likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good sum-up, Cymbel.

I think we strayed a little from the topic with the language discussion. Although I did find it interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh definitely, Dutch and German are particular are fun languages to compare. I have the feeling that I can ALMOST read dutch because I know german, but it still remains out of reach (especially spoken).

 

My view for including stuff in a game is always think of the simplest way to interpret the rules/what would a jerk or by the book GM say. Like an Arbites gets lhos, but no lighter. Most folks don't get clothing by RAW, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see any reason why all characters, or most, should be literate. Why would they be? It's an obscure specialist skill in a medieval setting.

 

The Latin/English thing doesn't really work because High Gothic is supposed to be an older form of Low Gothic, right? Latin isn't an older form of English. It's more like Anglo-Saxon/English.

 

"or in some cases simplified English (US English)." ooh burn! :)

 

I actually didn't mean this in an offensive way, but a factual one. One of the key differences between the Webster dictionary (US) and the Oxford Dictionary (UK) is that UK English tends to keep the phonetic spelling patterns of derived words to show their history and which language they came from. US English tried to move away from this with Webster (which is why we have the difference in spelling between 'Colour' and 'Color') and removed words that it didn't see as necessary (which is why words like 'Learnt' don't appear in US English).

 

It wasn't intended as an insult, US is a more simplified version of the language if you compare them, but it was made so intentionally.

However, have you tried to read Anglo-Saxon? I studied it at university and its far closer to reading a language like Dutch than modern day English. Take this sentence for example "Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum, þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon". It doesn't even use the same alphabet. (That translates roughly to "Quiet! we the spear-danes in the days of yore, heard of the clan's king's glories"). So yeah. Its still not something you can just 'take a guess at' because you know a language decendant.

 

 

 

 

 

There is something called Old English though. It was used during Shakespeare's time in which The Canterbury Tales was written in. However, Old English sounds far different than modern English and uses different pronunciation.

Actually it's divided up in Old English (Beowulf), Middle English (Canterbury Tales) and Early New English (Shakespeare), plus modern English.

Old English was closer to the Germanic languages, then the Latin influences came.

 

Sorry for being a wiseass but I studied English linguistics :)"

 

 

You beat me to this one :D For the record Anglo-Saxon and Old English are the same thing, and technically English is still defined as a Germanic language.

 

Edited by Cail
Lok Hambrock likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't see any reason why all characters, or most, should be literate. Why would they be? It's an obscure specialist skill in a medieval setting.

 

The Latin/English thing doesn't really work because High Gothic is supposed to be an older form of Low Gothic, right? Latin isn't an older form of English. It's more like Anglo-Saxon/English.

 

"or in some cases simplified English (US English)." ooh burn! :)

 

I actually didn't mean this in an offensive way, but a factual one. One of the key differences between the Webster dictionary (US) and the Oxford Dictionary (UK) is that UK English tends to keep the phonetic spelling patterns of derived words to show their history and which language they came from. US English tried to move away from this with Webster (which is why we have the difference in spelling between 'Colour' and 'Color') and removed words that it didn't see as necessary (which is why words like 'Learnt' don't appear in US English).

 

It wasn't intended as an insult, US is a more simplified version of the language if you compare them, but it was made so intentionally.

However, have you tried to read Anglo-Saxon? I studied it at university and its far closer to reading a language like Dutch than modern day English. Take this sentence for example "Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum, þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon". It doesn't even use the same alphabet. (That translates roughly to "Quiet! we the spear-danes in the days of yore, heard of the clan's king's glories"). So yeah. Its still not something you can just 'take a guess at' because you know a language decendant.

 

 

 

I know. I'm a professional translator--albeit not of Anglo-Saxon ;) , but I do have greater or lesser comprehension of English (duh), Russian, Latin, French, Greek, and German, and studied a wee bit of Icelandic ages ago. What little I can make out of Anglo-Saxon is through my knowledge of German. Modern English is much more divergent from its ancestor than say modern Latin (aka Italian :)) is from Classical Latin, or Russian from Old Slavonic (modern Greek is creepily close to ancient in comparison).

 

But anyway the point is that Low Gothic is supposed to be a "modern" form of High Gothic (if that makes any sense after 10 thousand years), so the parallels are Latin--Italian/Spanish/French/etc., Old Slavonic--Russian/Ukrainian/etc., or Old German--High German/Dutch, not Latin--English.

 

This is heavily derailing the thread, but really there is no one "British English" -- there are lots of dialects (which come to think of it is even more the case for Italian and German)..

Edited by bogi_khaosa
Cail likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah sorry, some of that rant was mixed in with the confusions people were making with Middle English/Anglo-Saxon/E.N English. It all kind of got a bit jumbled as it came out my brain. I just wanted to make a point about the lack of mutual intelligibility.

I actually didn't know it was meant to be an evolution (I don't remember reading anything to that effect). I always drew the comparison with Latin partly because of the way its always shown to be written, but also because I assumed it shared the relationship with Latin/Middle English. One being an everyday language for the commoners to speak, and the other being a language of scripture that only nobles and clergymen could read.

Edited by Cail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah sorry, some of that rant was mixed in with the confusions people were making with Middle English/Anglo-Saxon/E.N English. It all kind of got a bit jumbled as it came out my brain. I just wanted to make a point about the lack of mutual intelligibility.

I actually didn't know it was meant to be an evolution (I don't remember reading anything to that effect). I always drew the comparison with Latin partly because of the way its always shown to be written, but also because I assumed it shared the relationship with Latin/Middle English. One being an everyday language for the commoners to speak, and the other being a language of scripture that only nobles and clergymen could read.

 

You know, I'm pretty sure that LG is supposed to be a form of HG, but I'm not 100% positive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on point... should characters start with Linguistics (Low Gothic)? IMO, yes, most of them should and those case where they shouldn't can easily be accommodated in the way Only War handled it by Homeworld or, for DH2, be the level at which the character is or is not give the skill. To make all characters spend exp to buy it is simply another idiotic drain on exp making it more difficult to create functional, interesting characters in the game. It is bad game design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on point... should characters start with Linguistics (Low Gothic)? IMO, yes, most of them should and those case where they shouldn't can easily be accommodated in the way Only War handled it by Homeworld or, for DH2, be the level at which the character is or is not give the skill. To make all characters spend exp to buy it is simply another idiotic drain on exp making it more difficult to create functional, interesting characters in the game. It is bad game design.

 

It depends what you want from the game though, which is why what we are discussing IS on topic. If you want a game world that accurately represents a quasi medieval feudal society and continues to draw mechanical parallels to its source material, then keeping Low Gothic as a bought skill (or re-introducing Literacy) as a talent is very GOOD game design.

I've had loads of plot driven through this. It works especially well if you use handouts that the players actually have to read themselves rather than telling them the information. Don't have literacy? You don't get to see the hand out as a player! No one has literacy? Well, you had better think of a way to work around this problem (you'd be surprised how many creative answers I've had to this).

bogi_khaosa, Tenebrae and Cymbel like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite RPGs, Das Schwarze Auge, separates literacy from speaking each skill and while it makes sense in the XP market it has, it wouldn't work in the DH2e one (especially with the cost increases). I do think the distinction is an important one and lumping them together feels like a shame. And while I appreciate the move to roll together similar skills to reduce some of the more idiotic distinctions, some of the casualties like this are steps backwards.

Lok Hambrock likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Back on point... should characters start with Linguistics (Low Gothic)? IMO, yes, most of them should and those case where they shouldn't can easily be accommodated in the way Only War handled it by Homeworld or, for DH2, be the level at which the character is or is not give the skill. To make all characters spend exp to buy it is simply another idiotic drain on exp making it more difficult to create functional, interesting characters in the game. It is bad game design.

 

It depends what you want from the game though, which is why what we are discussing IS on topic. If you want a game world that accurately represents a quasi medieval feudal society and continues to draw mechanical parallels to its source material, then keeping Low Gothic as a bought skill (or re-introducing Literacy) as a talent is very GOOD game design.

 

 

That depends entirely in a view of the society which is not supported by the other game lines. For example, most homeworlds in Only War get Linguistics to start... are we to believe that Inquisition draws from a less learned segment of those worlds than the Imperial Guard?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The kicker is literacy, everyone could speak the common tongue, but the learned language and literacy are what has to be explicitly stated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a view of society not supported by the Only War game line, but that's poor design for Only War.

 

It is a feudal society in which ignorance is a virtue -- which by the way makes it more dark ages than the actual dark ages. There is no reason for 95% of the population in such a society to learn how to read, at all. Including for run-of-the-mill Inquisitorial Acolytes. What for? Outside of the Adepta, the written word isn't used. It's useless. It would be like me learning Esperanto.

 

What I always did in Dark Heresy was assume that characters all had minimal skills in the sense that a functionally illiterate person does -- they can recognize common words, but they can't put them together.

Edited by bogi_khaosa
Tenebrae and Cail like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite RPGs, Das Schwarze Auge, separates literacy from speaking each skill and while it makes sense in the XP market it has, it wouldn't work in the DH2e one (especially with the cost increases). I do think the distinction is an important one and lumping them together feels like a shame. And while I appreciate the move to roll together similar skills to reduce some of the more idiotic distinctions, some of the casualties like this are steps backwards.

A lot of RPGs do this, including just about every one I can think of in a non-modern setting. With the possible exception of the newer members of the D&D family, dunno about those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a view of society not supported by the Only War game line, but that's poor design for Only War.

 

It is a feudal society in which ignorance is a virtue -- which by the way makes it more dark ages than the actual dark ages. There is no reason for 95% of the population in such a society to learn how to read, at all. Including for run-of-the-mill Inquisitorial Acolytes. What for? Outside of the Adepta, the written word isn't used. It's useless. It would be like me learning Esperanto.

 

What I always did in Dark Heresy was assume that characters all had minimal skills in the sense that a functionally illiterate person does -- they can recognize common words, but they can't put them together.

 

Depends on the job function of the acolyte. An acolyte with a background in the Imperial Guard might not know how to read but an ex-arbite that served as an investigator should really know how to read. Linguistics could therefore be role based.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cadians, at least, are taught how to read and write- but admittedly, they're taught how to fire and field-strip a lasgun first. Literacy is still taught in the Guard (since being able to read is extremely helpful when it comes to recognizing signs and texted orders) but it's considered secondary to being able to shoot things.

Myrion likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And they do have the Uplifting Primer (one of my favorite pieces of 40k fluff btw), while some regiments may not learn to read (Catachans?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And they do have the Uplifting Primer (one of my favorite pieces of 40k fluff btw), while some regiments may not learn to read (Catachans?)

 

And probably just about all feral worlders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's dumb how Catachans are portrayed as illiterate. Sgt. Harker has "PAYBACK" engraved on his heavy bolter. Why would he do such a thing if he can't read?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's dumb how Catachans are portrayed as illiterate. Sgt. Harker has "PAYBACK" engraved on his heavy bolter. Why would he do such a thing if he can't read?

 

The same reason a 20 something year old college kid might consider getting Kanji or other asian calligraphy, even if completely lacking knowledge of the character's meaning.

 

Because it is supposed to look cool among your peers ("Awesome tat!  What does it mean?" "Courage!  And Dragon!  And according to some giggling asian guy, Whale ******."  "OMG SO COOL.") and hopefully intimidate or impress (both if you're lucky) your more literate enemies or rivals.

 

 

That said, it is perfectly reasonable for most people growing up on a death world to put book learnin' as, well... secondary.  Catachan's homeworld seems like it would fit that bill.  That isn't going to stop anyone dedicated enough from learning, but given a lack of societal need for it... why would most bother?

 

Training time is thrones, and even the Emperor's pockets aren't limitless.  Are you going to suggest to the Catachans that they cut back on survival or weapons training to make sure they can all read The Adventures of Pooh Bear in between bouts of battle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly, the average feral worlder in this respect doesn't have the time to focus on that, while a Hive Worlder has little choice with the urban environment and a Shrine Worlder reads holy scripture (so may know a little high gothic), Nobles are schooled in both.

 

So while there are feral worlders who read, they are more an exception or brought to learn it because of their role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be useful for reading, say, enemy intelligence documents they might come across, or perhaps texted orders transmitted to them. It'd be inconvenient and embarrassing for the Commissar to have to read their own orders to them, especially since Commissars have a startlingly short life expectancy when assigned to Catachan regiments.

 

Catachan isn't even a feral world, it's a death world. While the two often overlap, they are separate classifications.

Myrion likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are various levels of illiterate.

 

Somebody knows what the symbols "PAYBACK" mean because he's been told what they mean. For the same reason, anyone is going to recognize particular symbols that he sees repeatedly and relate them to something else. Say, I know that the sign with the symbols "BAR" means a place where I can get beer. Any illiterate in a modern society in our world can probably spell his name simply because he's seen it all the time.

 

That doesn't mean that he knows what sounds B, A, and R are connected to (or that they are connected to sounds at all), what these weird dots (. , " ' ?) mean, that thefact that the symbols run from left to right is important, etc.

 

So I have always assumed that all player characters, even without Literacy, can do this kind of thing. When Guardsman Bob gets an order to "go to the armoury," he doesn't flounder trying to find it because he's seen "ARMOURY" before (and has probably had it drilled into him what it means). (Either that, or in a truly 100% illiterate area, it would be indicated by a picture of guns instead of a word a la medieval taverns and inns.)

 

Reading a book is a bit beyond that level though.

 

Anyway in most societies throughout history, and by all appearances for most societies in 40K, reading has been/is a pretty much useless skill for most people. Especially in 40K where access to knowledge is strictly controlled.

 

PS the hive world urban environment does not equate to the written word being used everywhere, especially if people never leave their neighborhoods. Illiteracy is not that rare in modern inner cities.

 

EDIT: in  a society with the Imperium's attitude, you absolutely do not want grunts reading enemy intelligence documents. :) Orders would be conveyed in the exact same way that they have been in militaries throughout human history -- verbally. Which is a lot easier if you have vid screens actually. Literacy is LESS important in such a setting. (And you can't read xenos intelligence documents at all.)

Edited by bogi_khaosa
Lok Hambrock and Tenebrae like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its also possible that some feral worlders can infact read they just cant read low gothic or really any language used regularly by the guard, they may understand there homeworlds regional language but outside that one planet its largely useless.

Alrik Vas likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0