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WearzManySkins
OK bringing this here rather than clutter up a WttS thread.

OK first issue/discussion
from BBB page 130
QUOTE
Charisma-Linked Skills and Language
When a character attempts to influence someone using another language, her persuasive ability is limited by her ability to convey ideas and concepts in that language. To reflect this, whenever a character uses a Charisma-linked Social skill to interact with another character in a non-native tongue, the Social skill dice used may not exceed the character’s Language skill rating.

OK Billy Raye Bobby Reddkneck is trying to Con a Japanese Businessman, Billy has Con of 6 with Pheromones +2(+1), and Emotitoy with empathy software of 6. But Billy only has Japanese at a skill of 3. So Billy has a modified Skill rating due to devices and bioware of 13.

How many dice does Billy roll for the Con Test?
1. 13 Dice?
2. 3 Dice?

Also to further complicate this is on Modified Skills.

Page 109 BBB
QUOTE
The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation or purchased during game play is considered to be the character’s base skill rating. Some spells, abilities and implants may provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating, but this does not change the base skill rating. These extra dice are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in Spellcasting 4 (+2). A modified skill cannot exceed the base skill rating x 1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the Aptitude Quality).


So in the case of Billy his base skill of Con 6 maximum modified skill 9, so the extra dice modifiers are useless?

Edited Pheromones to only provide a +1 bonus to Social Test ie half the rating of the Pheromones.

WMS
JBlades
QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ Mar 16 2008, 06:38 PM) *
OK first issue/discussion
from BBB page 130

OK Billy Raye Bobby Reddkneck is trying to Con a Japanese Businessman, Billy has Con of 6 with Pheromones +2(+1), and Emotitoy with empathy software of 6. But Billy only has Japanese at a skill of 3. So Billy has a modified Skill rating due to devices and bioware of 13.

How many dice does Billy roll for the Con Test?
1. 13 Dice?
2. 3 Dice?

The answer as I understand it is 3 dice from the skill + 2 dice from the Tailored Phermones (which are a dice pool modifier, see below) + 6 dice from the empathy software in the emotitoy (which is also a dice pool modifier), for a total of 11 dice. Only the skill dice are affected by the language gap.

QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ Mar 16 2008, 06:38 PM) *
Also to further complicate this is on Modified Skills.

Page 109 BBB


So in the case of Billy his base skill of Con 6 maximum modified skill 9, so the extra dice modifiers are useless?

Edited Pheromones to only provide a +1 bonus to Social Test ie half the rating of the Pheromones.

WMS

You have to look at whether each individual modifier is called a "skill modifier" or a "dice pool modifier". "Skill modifiers" cap at 9 (in this case, being as the base skill is 6), while "dice pool modifiers" keep on going, being essentially unlimited. So again, Billy is usually rolling 6 dice from skill + 8 dice from dice pool modifiers, for a total of 14 dice.

For an example of a "skill modifier", look at the "Improved Ability" adept power description:
QUOTE (BBB p.187 emphasis mine)
Improved Ability
...
This power increases the rating of a specific Active skill
by 1 per level. A skill’s maximum modified rating equals its
base rating x 1.5.
Improved ability must be purchased for a
specific skill, not a skill group.
...


Note: Why were you reducing the phermone's rating to half? I haven't seen that anywhere...
JBlades
For clarity's sake, I'll ad the descriptions of the phermones and empathy software, with emphasis, so you can see what I'm seeing...

First the phermones:
QUOTE (BBB p.339 emphasis mine)
Tailored Pheromones: The subject€™s body is altered to
release specially designed pheromones to subtly influence
others. Tailored pheromones add their rating as a dice pool
modifier
to Charisma and Social Skill Tests. This bonus has
no effect on magical abilities and tests.


and now the empathy software:
QUOTE (Arsenal p.60 emphasis mine)
Empathy: Empathy software is designed for use with
standard video/trideo cameras, carefully analyzing the behavioral
patterns of the subject to ascertain mood, interest, and so
on. Empathy soft ware can be used to make a Judge Intentions Test
(see p. 130, SR4) for emotional status using its rating as the dice
pool. It does not detect falsehoods; that's the realm of lie detection
soft ware. Empathy soft ware can be discreetly used in real time during
negotiations or social interactions, adding its rating as a dice
pool bonus
to the character's Social skill tests.


Now just one more thing: your sig. The vice president shoots people Wyoming, the president shoots them in Texas... Hope that clears it up! smile.gif
Shrike30
I agree with JBlades. The only thing being reduced is the skill dice, so he's effectively Conning as normal, with a Con of 3 (6, limited to 3 by his Japanese 3).
DTFarstar
In my games, you skill is limited by your language- not dice pool, but skill.

Chris
Glyph
I'll concur with the others - the tailored pheromones and empathy software both provide dice pool modifiers, so they aren't affected by the cap to the skill. Now, if your hypothetical character was also an adept, with improved ability/con: 3, then he would lose it, since that would be considered part of the skill rating.


One thing I have never understood about that rule is that it is only limited by the language skill of the character using the social skill. Personally, I think someone with a native language of English, trying to con someone with an English skill of 2, should be limited in the same way. I would probably house rule that the effective social skill is limited to the lowest rating of the language they are conversing in, looking at both characters' language skills.
WearzManySkins
From this Thread quote of Synner
QUOTE
For the record there is actually no such thing as a "bonus to skill rating" in SR4. There are modified skills and bonus/dice pool modifiers. The former are capped, the latter aren't.

*sighs* now if only the freelancers and Devs used the exact same terminology.

I was looking at the Augmentation Pheromones not the BBB.

As for my sig, the current US Vice President did shoot a fellow hunter down in Texas, with a shotgun, has he been hunting humans again outside of Texas? grinbig.gif

WMS
WearzManySkins
QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 16 2008, 11:20 PM) *
One thing I have never understood about that rule is that it is only limited by the language skill of the character using the social skill. Personally, I think someone with a native language of English, trying to con someone with an English skill of 2, should be limited in the same way. I would probably house rule that the effective social skill is limited to the lowest rating of the language they are conversing in, looking at both characters' language skills.


Yes good point you make there. Good house rule.

WMS
Edge2054
Empathy Software?!?!

Man my face needs some of that!!
JBlades
Ah! I see they were nice and vague in the Enhanced Phermone Receptors description and didn't mention what type of "bonus" it was, but I'd assume dice pool, as it's not saying "adds to X skill or attribute", but rather just says to add 1/2 it's rating to the roll.

I thought the vice prez was at home in Wyoming when he shot that guy. He's not from Texas, he's from outside Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Oh well, I could be wrong. Not a big deal. smile.gif

Someday when I have a load of free time, I've been thinking about making a list of things that provide skill/attribute modifiers vs. those that provide dice pool modifiers, as that might be the single best cheat sheet for character creation from a GM's PoV, but since I never have loads of free time...
Fortune
QUOTE (Edge2054 @ Mar 17 2008, 03:38 PM) *
Empathy Software?!?!


Yep. Emotitoys from Arsenal. smile.gif

I agree with the others as to the Skill issue, but then WMS knew that already, since it was my character that sparked this discussion. smile.gif

The only things that add directly to the Skill itself in SR4 (so far) are the Adept Improved Ability Power, Reflex Recorders, and Move-by-Wire's Dodge bonus. Everything else is a dice pool modifier.
Shrike30
QUOTE (JBlades @ Mar 16 2008, 08:43 PM) *
I thought the vice prez was at home in Wyoming when he shot that guy. He's not from Texas, he's from outside Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Oh well, I could be wrong. Not a big deal. smile.gif


Cheney shot Harry Whittington in Kenedy County, Texas.
Edge2054
QUOTE (Fortune @ Mar 17 2008, 04:46 AM) *
I agree with the others as to the Skill issue, but then WMS knew that already, since it was my character that sparked this discussion. smile.gif


Same. I had to reread that section a few times to get it but it basically says that you can't use more social skill dice then you have language skill dice.

This does bring up the reverse though, would + dice to language skills allow you to add more social dice? By RAW I'd say no but something like a mnemonic enhancer lets you communicate better so my logic says that it should.

Along those same lines an interesting house rule would be to cap social die pools at your language die pool, since your base attribute in the language plays a role in communicating as well. So cha + skill dice can not exceed int + skill dice. Additional modifiers to the pool would have to be taken on a case by case basis, pheromones certainly cross language barriers for instance.
Fortune
Shrug. I know people that can be very damn intimidating without speaking a word. I think that if a limit is needed, then the canon limit is ample. Limiting the Pool itself would be far too restrictive.
WearzManySkins
@Fortune
You had better put a rating 6 firewall on that emotitoy, a hacked one could have most interesting interactions in game.

WMS
WeaverMount
Honestly I think the whole skill capped by language is silly. Children begging in Mexican border towns don't say anything in English, but man do they have the con skill (This isn't to say they aren't actually poor and in need of care, but they work it hard). Intimidation, flirting, and blending in can all be totally non-verbal social rolls. More over the first to have a lot to do with fairly primitive cross-cultural bio-social wiring. Now where I would hammer someone for not speaking the native language in well word play. Fast talk? nuhah. Haggling? penalty. Intimidate with the goal of getting someone to fuck off? totally cool. Intimidate for information? penalty. Honestly I'd be more willing to cap social skills by knowledge (cultural X) than a language.
Edge2054
QUOTE (Fortune @ Mar 17 2008, 06:20 AM) *
Shrug. I know people that can be very damn intimidating without speaking a word. I think that if a limit is needed, then the canon limit is ample. Limiting the Pool itself would be far too restrictive.


It'd be different but wouldn't mean every character would end up with less dice. I suppose most faces would but someone with 5 int and 3 cha would actually be less restricted.

Anyway the system's really alright the way it's written. My suggestion on a house rule is just for those that want to take into account that there's more then just your language dice that affect how well you can communicate in a language, intuition being one of those things (mnemonic enhancers being another).

masterofm
Bah I have never been a big fan of this whole stupid thing especially how the BBB defines ranks in skill

I'm sorry but if a skill of 3 lets you do something professionally... you know like say oh I don't know... speaking a language then why even bother rolling if someone's language skill is 3+. At that point there should really be very little lost in translation going on. A skill of 0-2 yeah there should be penalties, but why not just let someone with a language skill of 3+ just speak the damn language w/o restriction (for the most part) as if they knew what they were doing..... I mean it's not stupid that way and you don't have to break your back over game fundamentals and funky dice rolling.

If you can speak Spanish like a pro then it just would baffle me that a social face will run into large troubles. Will they mistake chingar with chiqua or even something more subtle? Would a professional in a certain field of language really screw up or maybe they are just good enough to not do the stupid mistakes that many people tend to make. Should a professional be able to critical glitch saying to someone "hello my name is mr. ___ please do not mind my friends and I as we are just out for a stroll."
JBlades
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Mar 16 2008, 09:57 PM) *
Cheney shot Harry Whittington in Kenedy County, Texas.


I stand corrected. smile.gif
bibliophile20
QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 16 2008, 11:20 PM) *
One thing I have never understood about that rule is that it is only limited by the language skill of the character using the social skill. Personally, I think someone with a native language of English, trying to con someone with an English skill of 2, should be limited in the same way. I would probably house rule that the effective social skill is limited to the lowest rating of the language they are conversing in, looking at both characters' language skills.

Reminds me of a bit from the Disworld book The Fifth Elephant; Vetinari is speaking with the newly promoted Captain Fred Colon, who is, to be nice, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. At one point in the conversation, Vetinari muses that he's become so used to dealing with people that treated conversation as a game and as a competition that trying to compensate for Colon's sake was leading him to overshoot.

QUOTE (JBlades @ Mar 17 2008, 04:38 AM) *
I stand corrected. smile.gif


You might want to duck corrected instead. wink.gif
DocTaotsu
I concur with the opinion that it should only limit the skill not the pool.

I disagree that the amount of negotiation or con shouldn't be capped by language. Sure that lovely street urchin can tug your heart strings but I'd say that's more a matter of situational modifiers: +2 "costume" (raggedly clothes, open sores, etc), +1 specialization (foreigners), than inherent skill in faking people out. But if the same street urchin is trying to convince you that it would be in your best interest to buy term life insurance with low monthly payments, their lack of English would certainly hinder them. Trying to pull a simple con that doesn't rely on verbal communications should be easy, but trying for any sort of complex con should require a grasp of the language.

Linking intimidation to language seems a bit odd but I turn to situational modifiers again. Sure Guido the mafia strong man can stare at you from across the room and scare you but his well spoken boss who whispers sweet nothings (in your native language) about how he's going sell your sister to a bunraku parlor is probably going to get more bang for his skill buck. Guido is big and scary and gets bonus dice pool, Guido is currently using his cyber hands to poke holes in your dining room tabl, more bonus. Guido can't speak a word of your native language and the fact that he has a big scary voice can only go so far. Against your average 3 die chump he'll steam roll them, against a seasoned negotiator he'll get chewed up.

I'd also like to point out that knowledge of a language is a knowledge of a culture as well. At level 3 you know can read, write, and speak fluently, enough to get you a job as a translator. You know the Webster dictionary definition for words but the connotations of those words are probably slightly beyond you. At level 6 you can critically analyze literature, write extremely persuasively, and make a rousing speech. At level 6 you would know all the nuances of a language, what words would play best with certain groups, what lingos are popular, etc. At level 3 people say "Wow, that guy speaks pretty decent English" at level 6 people say "Did you go to the same college as me?". I'd also say that your accent is probably completely gone at level 6, no mean feat and one that I think is reflected in karma cost to learn a language at that level.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (masterofm @ Mar 17 2008, 08:44 AM) *
I'm sorry but if a skill of 3 lets you do something professionally... you know like say oh I don't know... speaking a language then why even bother rolling if someone's language skill is 3+.


Learning a language is more than just learning word substitutions and grammatical rules; there are idioms, common cultural tropes and experiences, and expectations that need to be properly understood in order to be able to communicate well enough to persuade them that black is white or you're actually one of his employers. Language understanding is about fully immersing yourself in a different worldview (I find it somewhat difficult to believe American social norms, and you guys speak the same language as I) to the extent that you can make them associate themselves with you and believe you have shared values. Knowing their culture allows you to pick up on the particular buttons they have and understand the best way to manipulate them to get what you want without appearing to go too far.

For example, if you have Japanese 3 and Con 6 you might wander up to the night shift guard and ask to be let into the office; you left some paperwork behind and need to grab it, when the guard responds that he'll let you in you might not notice the begrudging edge in his voice that implies you might want to offer him something in return for it or the supressed suspicion that tells you he'll be watching you on the cameras. At rank 3 you can understand what he is saying perfectly, but you're not necessarily experienced enough to be able to read his suspicions as you might be able to do in your native tongue.

If you had Japanese 6 instead you might understand his tone of voice and speech patterns better but you might also remember to act really drunk, turn up towards bar closing time, and give the guard a slightly deeper than normal bow; all of which persuades him you're actually a Japanese businessman that's grabbing something he forgot after the traditional evening of excessive drinking (couldn't leave too early or your officemates would be suspicious) and that you're embarassed about it and could he not mention this to his superiors for the sake of your face.
WearzManySkins
From my personal experiences with languages ie Tagalog, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish, language is the bottleneck at getting more than the basic concepts across. Yes ordering a beer is fairly easy but attempting to negotiate in those languages with out good ability to speak it, results are not good.

My knee jerk response is the have language be the bottleneck despite what RAW states, but I will not due the entire rules in RAW would need major tweaking to be consistent.

WMS

DocTaotsu
Heath:
I'd say that your last example is more a matter of etiquette. But you're right that language and culture go hand in hand. Knowing that a word has a certain connotation would certainly go a long way towards convincing the guard that you're drunk or that you're really sorry for bugging him after hours. I particularly see this being true if you try to use humor to defuse a situation. Not having an absolute grasp of a language could get you in some very hot water.
Larme
You can't have a cogent discussion about modified skill ratings without the errata. The BBB's treatment of modified skill ratings is absolutely FUBAR. The errata make it clear: there are "bonus dice" and there are "modified ratings." It is only the modified ratings that count against the limit of base skill x 1.5. Things like reflex recorders and improved ability fall into this category, because the errata clarifies that they modify the skill rating and don't just provide bonus dice. Other things are bonus dice and don't count towards the limit, like kinesics or combat sense or specializations.

They don't give us hard and fast rules for distinguishing the two. You have to look at the language: if something specifically states it modifies the rating, or adds to the skill rating, it is a modified skill and its bonus counts against the base skill x 1.5 limit. If it doesn't explicitly state that, it's bonus dice.

What does this mean? That social adepts can get fuckall high dice pools, especially after Arsenal. A social adept can get 8 charisma (elf), 6( 8 ) skill, kinesics 6, and empathy software 6 for... 28 dice. This shouldn't be a big deal - yes a maxed out social adept is unstoppable socially, but talking only goes so far. You can't talk to bullets, you can't talk to spirits, you can't talk to drones... Sammies are the ones with the catchall skill. There's nothing that can't be killed, so a sammie is technically never out of the game. Someone who puts all their points into social, however, is going to be worthless once the fur starts flying.

I don't see where anyone is getting the idea that language skills limit your dice for social tests though. The only thing in the BBB is this: in order to convey something in a foreign language, you must make a language skill test against the threshold based on how complex the thing you're trying to say is. If you fail the language test, the people can't understand you, and it doesn't matter how many dice you have in social skills. If you pass, they understand you, and your social dice have full effect. There is no reasonable argument that if you only have a 3 in Japanese, and you pass your test and express something with perfect clarity, that you can still only roll 3 social dice... Yes, there is a language bottleneck, but it is adequately represented by the language test required by the RAW. A new rule would be duplicative and needlessly nerfy.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Mar 17 2008, 03:46 PM) *
I'd say that your last example is more a matter of etiquette. But you're right that language and culture go hand in hand. Knowing that a word has a certain connotation would certainly go a long way towards convincing the guard that you're drunk or that you're really sorry for bugging him after hours. I particularly see this being true if you try to use humor to defuse a situation. Not having an absolute grasp of a language could get you in some very hot water.


Yes, I agree that a lot of the second is etiquette as well but understanding why the etiquette would change is part of the culture that you pick up alongside learning a language. The distinction between the first and second examples doesn't really change if you insert explicitly making a bow to the first (I made an assumption that normal formalities didn't need a mention except where they would be changed on account of the given situation).

The drunkenness is important in the second example because drunk businessman late in the afternoon are to be expected, it's part of their culture that businessmen in Japan go out drinking with other people in their office, including their superiors sometimes, and that to save face you put off returning to the office for something until later (can't have your superiors know you forgot something, you'd look bad). Little details that come from being able to understand their mindset and expectations that help you avoid looking out of place.
WhiteWolf
QUOTE (masterofm @ Mar 17 2008, 02:44 AM) *
Bah I have never been a big fan of this whole stupid thing especially how the BBB defines ranks in skill

I'm sorry but if a skill of 3 lets you do something professionally... you know like say oh I don't know... speaking a language then why even bother rolling if someone's language skill is 3+. At that point there should really be very little lost in translation going on. A skill of 0-2 yeah there should be penalties, but why not just let someone with a language skill of 3+ just speak the damn language w/o restriction (for the most part) as if they knew what they were doing..... I mean it's not stupid that way and you don't have to break your back over game fundamentals and funky dice rolling.

If you can speak Spanish like a pro then it just would baffle me that a social face will run into large troubles. Will they mistake chingar with chiqua or even something more subtle? Would a professional in a certain field of language really screw up or maybe they are just good enough to not do the stupid mistakes that many people tend to make. Should a professional be able to critical glitch saying to someone "hello my name is mr. ___ please do not mind my friends and I as we are just out for a stroll."


You are correct, sort of.

General conversation, such as your example, should not require a roll if your language skill is 3+. But if you are trying to immitate a person in a specific field (e.g. medicine, drugs, electronics, advance business, engineering, etc.) then you bet your Shadowrunning Butt you would have to roll, at least if I'm running. See with a skill level of 3 you know enough to live in the country, converse social with those around you, and do basic business; with a skill rating higher then 3 it is easier to say you have been increasing your vocabular to cover higher degrees.

If you are an artist that speaks English and has no interest in computers except for the little bit that would help you to digitize your art you would have a hard time following a conversation between a few computer techs, who speak English, describing a technical problem and how to fix it. If you were able to understand it all. Now imagine if you learned Japanese (Nihongo) your interested will lean towards the art field and not the computer field, so I think you can see why you would need to make a roll, even though you have a skill level 3+, if you were conversing with someone beyond the social level.

In every profession there is speciality for that field of study.

I hope I have helped explain why someone would need to make a language roll even though their skill level indicates they are a professional.
DocTaotsu
we're getting it from pg 130 of the BB: "Charisma-Linked Skills and Language"

Heath:
Ah, I get what you're saying but I still think that etiquette is where you'd get the knowledge to be a drunken late afternoon businessman. But it's not inconceivable that a person could garner a great deal of situational etiquette from a firm grasp of the language.
WhiteWolf
QUOTE (Larme @ Mar 17 2008, 09:51 AM) *
I don't see where anyone is getting the idea that language skills limit your dice for social tests though. The only thing in the BBB is this: in order to convey something in a foreign language, you must make a language skill test against the threshold based on how complex the thing you're trying to say is. If you fail the language test, the people can't understand you, and it doesn't matter how many dice you have in social skills. If you pass, they understand you, and your social dice have full effect. There is no reasonable argument that if you only have a 3 in Japanese, and you pass your test and express something with perfect clarity, that you can still only roll 3 social dice... Yes, there is a language bottleneck, but it is adequately represented by the language test required by the RAW. A new rule would be duplicative and needlessly nerfy.


And there you go. Clearly stated. =)
Fortune
QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ Mar 17 2008, 05:33 PM) *
@Fortune
You had better put a rating 6 firewall on that emotitoy, a hacked one could have most interesting interactions in game.


I normally would have done so without a second thought, but the character has drastic money problems (check out the note in the Lifestyle section biggrin.gif), and he doesn't have the skill to crack the single Firewall 6 software that he has, nor does he have a hacker contact to do it for him. (I really hated trimming Contacts more than anything frown.gif).
evanger
QUOTE (masterofm @ Mar 17 2008, 03:44 AM) *
If you can speak Spanish like a pro then it just would baffle me that a social face will run into large troubles. Will they mistake chingar with chiqua or even something more subtle?


What about this notion: a true expert in Japanese (someone with skill of 4) not only doesn't use incorrect words but speaks flawlessly without an accent. With even better training (skill of 5), the face detects and correctly identifies the regional dialect being used by their "target" and tailors their speech patterns to match. Someone even more skilled (6 or more?) might do all of this plus correctly use the current slang and/or shorthand to impress the target even further.

Not to mention their is a big difference between being fluent in everyday communication and being fluent in translating technical or esoteric concepts in a flawless and smooth way.
DocTaotsu
I think you'd be picking up slang at level 4 (some at 3) at 6 I think you're picking out what freakin district of what minor state he grew up in.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Mar 17 2008, 04:10 PM) *
we're getting it from pg 130 of the BB: "Charisma-Linked Skills and Language"

Heath:
Ah, I get what you're saying but I still think that etiquette is where you'd get the knowledge to be a drunken late afternoon businessman. But it's not inconceivable that a person could garner a great deal of situational etiquette from a firm grasp of the language.


I'd say that etiquette and the language skill would be necessary to know about it, understand how it fits into their culture, and realise how widespread it actually is as a result of that. With just the language skill you're going to note it but not realise how it's expected to happen and ignore it when you're trying to con the guard because it doesn't seem all that important.

So, yes, it's etiquette but still somewhat predicated on knowing Japanese at above professional translater levels.
DocTaotsu
True, true. Which of course shows that your ability to employ etiquette to it's full potential would be heavily predicated on ability to speak the relevant language.
ElFenrir
QUOTE
General conversation, such as your example, should not require a roll if your language skill is 3+. But if you are trying to immitate a person in a specific field (e.g. medicine, drugs, electronics, advance business, engineering, etc.) then you bet your Shadowrunning Butt you would have to roll, at least if I'm running. See with a skill level of 3 you know enough to live in the country, converse social with those around you, and do basic business; with a skill rating higher then 3 it is easier to say you have been increasing your vocabular to cover higher degrees.


I really agree here. Im a really lean GM on a lot of things; but as someone who learned more than one language I can say that it's not easy to do things in your non-native tounge and tend to follow this, and i even penalize my own characters without the GM having to say anything.

I moved to Finland a few years ago and now live here, and English is my native tounge. I'd say my Finnish is around a 3. I can do work in it, i can read it pretty well, write it pretty well, I mainly speak English due to it being my mother tounge and it's more comfortable. But if i have to? Oh yeah, i can conversate in it. I can handle work stuff.

However, getting to technical stuff..yeah, it's very difficult. I can use a computer in Finnish, but i can't really discuss fixing a computer in it. Now, i have friends who are these language-gods and goddesses...my one friend, she not only speaks 8 or so languages but can actually get the accents down; her English sounds like American English and you'd swear she's from the states; she can converse equally well in Swedish and Finnish, as well as Spanish, German, and I forget what else.

But ask me to run a game in Finnish, or write a paper that's not 'proper' and i have to use colorful language? It's really tough. Even though im good at speaking it, there are things i just don't know. Ive known folks who lived 10+ years in a country and can conversate anything they like; but can't talk to the mechanic about what's wrong with their car in their non-native tounge. If i had to con my way out of something in Finnish, it would be really hard for me. Sure, i can mess around and toss out a few odds and ends, but i couldn't do it like i could in English. Doctors are luckily easier, since so many medical terms are based in Latin regardless of country it seems(well, Western countries anyway. Eastern im sure is a whole nother ball game.)

Not to mention dialects, sheesh. I think the game doesn't go crazy with them just for simplicity's sake because any given country has so many. I have friends from Helsinki that have trouble understanding people from Savo(central Finland) or Karjala(eastern Finland), because of their dialects. Now, because i wasn't raised here, I actually picked up some other dialects and have understood things where my Helsinki-slang speaking friends didn't...because they never really bothered/had to learn. Likewise, my husband's mother used to speak this 'old Helsinki slang' which is very much different than the 'new slang', and my husband himself, even though he was raised her, doesn't speak the 'old slang' that well.

At the same time, yes, if someone has a 3 they don't need to roll to find a toilet or even carry on a conversation about the day's news. I'd say even discussing buisness with a Johnson is fine. But when you have to start negotiating and conning around, then the rolls should come up, IMO.
DocTaotsu
As someone who has had to conduct medical exams in languages other than English.

Oh fuck no.

There are some many subtle differences between countries that simply memorizing a list of terms like "crushing" and "sharp" won't suffice for taking a history on a patient. Such things are very subjective and the connotations of these words, especially applied to personal health, varies incredibly. When we did humanitarian work we relied heavily on native translators and these "Medical Visual Language Translators" which did a terrible job of conveying "Is there blood in your stool?" but it was better than nothing. We typically tried to get medical translators but when we didn't we were constantly rephrasing questions to try and convey the right information.

I currently work with Japanese firefighters and going on medical runs is exciting to say the least. They're "western" trained EMT's but we still don't share a common medical vocabulary. Hell, their word for the sound a heart makes is "Doki doki!"
ElFenrir
See, these things i wasn't aware of..i was thinking medicines. Most of the medicines ive seen in English have at least a somewhat correlation in Finnish when i go to the pharmacy. They ALL aren't *exactly translated* but they are very close...vitamins, too, if you read a Finnish and English vitamin container. I had no trouble explaining my one medicine allergy here. And yeah, i mentioned Eastern is more than likely a whole other ball game indeed. Perhaps some European countries share more of the medicines in English. I'm not sure, i don't speak too many other languages than these.
DocTaotsu
Ah, you're right. Two physicians talking to each other way could fake their way through a fairly technical conversation. We didn't have too much trouble with medications from other countries, especially if they were using the chemical names. But generally speaking, I found conveying medical information challenging when it's not good old fashion English.
masterofm
Would you say you are a professional in the language field of Japanese DocTaotsu?

Anyways enough of that I just think when you have to roll dice if you are straight up rolling your 1-4 language dice to see if someone understands you then think about the glitch factor as well as the fact that you have a fairly good chance of failing your roll. A lot of it is arbitrary, and a lot of rolls are done by the GM, but I don't know.... I just feel that there are times when having no language skills at all you can be able to get basic points across (it just takes a lot of time) but I feel that what you can say to someone should depend on how many ranks you have in the language. Like lying to someone while trying to pretend you are a native Japanese, oh yeah then it matters big time on how good your language is, but I don't know.... meh I don't feel like the ranks should matter in some situations, but for the most part just be glazed over if the language skill is high enough. Either that or it just takes more time to get your point across to the other person.

Someone had a good line that I thought was funny about language

"When the going gets tough the tough go grab a dictionary."

I guess my whole suggestion that I didn't quite explain is that when using language it should be an extended test with a threshold. Your Charisma and social skills could be rolled as normal thus at least taking the social aspect in a different direction.
DocTaotsu
masterofm=Not in the least, I have trouble conveying anything in Japanese, but I can at least convey that I want to drink some water or that it's time for me to take over the phone watch. Asking a firefighter to "Make sure to let me know if his bp goes over 140/90" is beyond my grasp of the language.
I was mostly drawing from my experience with non-medical translators and how they needed a very high proficiency (enough that we could explain in the depth the technical aspects of what were asking, essentially teaching them our terminology) in a language to overcome a lack of profession specific knowledge.

Ranks shouldn't matter in some situations and savy players should know how to twist the situation to fit those parameters. I agree that you can hand wave a lot if you have at least a 3 in a language.
masterofm
Very very true, but then wouldn't the main problem not actually be the language, but the technical side of medicine? Non-medical trying to use medical jargon or explain it to someone else wouldn't that be someone defaulting on their knowledge of medicine in an SR perspective? When you are trying to speak to someone who then has to translate medical terms that they may or may not quite understand yeah I can see that as being a problem. I'm all for extended language tests, but at the same time have your social skills be a different roll. If you don't speak someones language can you still convince them that you are a good doctor and you know what your doing? Can you talk you way out of a situation in a language you hardly know by just being drop dead stunning and play the roll accordingly? Me thinks yes, but it just takes more time. Time you might not have when you are running away from insect spirits and trying to ask where the hell is a river and a boat that you will throw down 150,000 nuyen.gif to buy on short term notice.
Larme
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Mar 17 2008, 11:10 AM) *
we're getting it from pg 130 of the BB: "Charisma-Linked Skills and Language"


No fair frown.gif

Why require both a language test AND cap skill dice? Bah.

Now that I understand the topic correctly, I agree with the people who say that it only refers to the skill rating and modified rating, NOT the bonus dice. Things like kinesics and empathy software work the same in any language.
DocTaotsu
Ah! I missed that part of the discussion. It is silly to ask for both. I think it'd be something like: If you want to include a specific bit of information delivered in a specific fashion you need to make a language test, if you succeed I add that as a situational modifier. If you just want to run off your straight negotiation you're going to be limited by your grasp of the language.


Extended language tests seem fair to communicate an idea but I don't think they should apply to negotiation and the like. If it takes you 30 minutes to convey a simple 5 minute presentation you should be taking a serious hit to your negotiation position since you're certainly at a disadvantage (The person you're negotiating with has to care long enough for him to figure out what you have to say).

I agree but I was just trying to say that someone with a high level of language understanding can compensate for lack of profession specific knowledge. In interviews we try to forgo medical terminology and communicate like normal human beings, but conveying those "plain language" information was still very difficult.
masterofm
Yes negotiation would be the toughest if you can't speak the language, or have a small grasp of it. I just believe what should be rolled and what shouldn't during a negotiation roll should be dependent on the level of their language skill, and how complex is the character proposal. I guess mainly just saying it's the GM's decision.
DocTaotsu
As it should be smile.gif I encourage finegaling in my games, it makes for more interesting stories. Beats the hell out of "I roll my negotiation at him and if that fails I roll my initiative."
ElFenrir
I do admit i kind of like the idea of letting a language roll add some situational dice onto a Negotations or other social test. Let the cap of (language rating) sit; but maybe a language roll can add one or two to this. After all, im sure sometimes a runner can pull something out, but other times not.
Chrysalis
The Shadowrun book says that you are limited by your language level in terms of negotiation.

I am a professional, but freelance translator (Finnish to English) and proofreader (gobbledygook to English), and English as Second Language teacher. Now that I have gotten my professional qualifications out of the way (unless you happen to be looking for one, or all of those, then send me a message and I'll quote my rates).

Often enough I need to have key concepts explained to me in a specialist field. An example of a text I had to do involved translating double glazed window installation instructions and its technical terminology into English. Luckily I had a dictionary and glossary on windows. After the instructions the warranty felt easy. However, this is not exclusive to windows, but with many other texts that I had to translate where the field of science was unfamiliar.

Another example, my understanding of Russian is at the level I can keep a conversation going on and be able to figure out where people are from regionally by accent. But when I was working in a Russian owned club in Helsinki a few years back I had trouble understanding what the bouncers and bartenders were talking about amongst themselves, because they spoke a type of Russian that was exclusive to their job. During the summer I had one of the bouncers teach me some so I can understand the bits that I should know.

The example above also holds true in English. There are obvious examples, such as cant, or cockney rhyming slang that are designed to be exclusive. Even a native understanding of English will not mean you can effectively impersonate someone from working class background from East London, especially if they happen to have working knowledge of that background. To fool members that you are of the same background as they are demands either coming from the same background they do and/or specific training.

In the Shadowrunning world the kind of slang that you would need to know to infiltrate a group is exclusive knowledge to that group. It would not be available on skill chip, and even it was the language would change to retain its exclusivity. So while you could pretend to be a yakuza to the non-initiated, someone with working knowledge of the yakuza would see through the disguise very quickly. Impersonations such as those often terminate in a garbage bag outside the fish shop with the rest of the chummer.
ElFenrir
In other words: Be very careful, Shadowrunners, when you let your Italian-4 speaking teammate say ''Don't worry guys, I can pretend i'm part of the Mafia, i'll be fine!'' wink.gif

This is where the ol' Etiquette skill comes in. If you are pretending to be part of an American corp, make sure you have a very high English skill and an appropriate Corporate Etiquette(or just a hell of a lot of Etiquette). Im not sure how the language specializations work. I recall in SR3 they had a Triad specialization of Chinese; i don't doubt they have different lingo specializations of other languages as well. It could come in handy to learn some of these first-hand if one plans on playing one of those 'faces that pretend to be other people'.
WearzManySkins
Shades of those that Prank the Nigerian Scammers in Nigeria, some of the pics are classic. IE standing there with a sign with says something very funny or obscene, to what Chrysalis has said. Or the one that prank them by emailing basically a character via words from a HP Lovecraft story line.

WMS
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