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Luke Hardison
I'm thinking about having my next runner group all learn ASL for silent communication that doesn't leave out the mage/shaman, can't be jammed, and is hard to intercept. What are your opinions on the type of skill to make it? Can it be detected with thermo? How about ultrasound?
I have a character who is mute, and the ASL (or generic equivalent) is very important for her. The only problem with this as a "code" instead of, say, military hand signals, is that it's more complex and there's more to it. If one of your runners misses a small gesture, he can (theoretically) miss something important and jeapordize the whole run.
Ancient History
Rather than ASL, I'd suggest an acutal combat hand lingo; or one of the AmerInd variants.

Low-light would likely be ideal, but I would allow thermo or ultrasound sight in a pinch.
Frag-o Delux
I would think ASL is a language, as are, in my opinion any other means of communication. Some hand gestures maybe considered part of Small Unit Tactics, but I think I would go with another language all together.
Moonstone Spider
GM: "With your geasa of Silence you won't be able to use any of your geased magic points and still be stealthy."
Player: "I use ASL to say the magic words and let lose a manaball."
GM: "%#$^!"
I don't think that really counts...
I would agree that if you wanted to get the same effect that Small unit tactics is a better skill to have everyone learn. It should contain all the hand gestures you need during a run.

The scuba skill should contain a nice array of gestures too.
You could also say it is an extreemly limited language, so just learning one point of it is enough to converse on its normal topic "toss a grenade in there!", etc.

I think that would just be one karma for one point of language.

It could even be a system specific to the group.

Would be a cool sort of thing to give to ganger npc's.

I have often thought it would be cool to teach every child ASL in school though. A silent, noise proof communication system seems like a great boon to society. I wish I had one to use in noisy places (ie parties, my hearing is somewhat below average in such situations).

Heh, only scuba signal I remember is the "I'm OK" one, which is to make a big 'O' over your head with your arms. It is meant to be used at the surface since going up is what you would do if you were in trouble, but it is hard to see what is up with somone when you can only see thier head poking out of the water 100 feet away.
sable twilight
QUOTE (Moonstone Spider)
GM: "With your geasa of Silence you won't be able to use any of your geased magic points and still be stealthy."
Player: "I use ASL to say the magic words and let lose a manaball."
GM: "%#$^!"

GM: "I'm sorry, that fulfills gesture geasa, not spoken."
Luke Hardison
I had thought about using just combat hand signals, but I really wanted us to be able to communicate absolutely any information, so thought ASL would be better for those purposes.
In the past on characters that just used military signals, we've played it where either the people know them or they don't; a few hours is usually enough to teach a new team member a limited set of silent signals for field communication, never seeming to be enough to amount to a skill.
Frag-o Delux
For complex signals I would make it a Language, ASL uses a lot of signs, enough that I would make it a language, were as (now I am just assuming I was never in the army) the combat signs the soldiers use maybe limited enough to fall under Small Unit Tactics. The Sioux though have a very complex hand signal system, according to one of the books, that I would probably call a language also. What are languages any way 1 karma a level I forget?
QUOTE (Jpwoo)
The scuba skill should contain a nice array of gestures too.

technically, so should Etiquette. wink.gif biggrin.gif
I put it as a language skill because it should not be as hard to improve as an active skill, but a GM might add a little level of difficulty to improve because it is more than just you're ear, it take a little more activity to follow.
in my opinion, as you have to know the language you are using the sign language for, I would use it as a specialization of a language skill or something similar. An alternative would be a knowledge skill.

Crusher Bob
The problem with this is that someone who was born mute would have to learn to speak before learning how to sign (probably not quite what you had in mind). While requireing 'knowledge' of a language would be required, SR does not seperate 'knowledge' of a language from the ability to speak it (the human brain doesn't do this much either, so we'll forgive the SR authors this once, any further errors will, of crouse, be grounds for salt and goats biggrin.gif ).
Also different countries use different sign languages for the same language. American sign language is different from Australian for example.
It should be noted that ASL is not another way of transmitting English, though. It is truly a different language. An ASL translator does not simply use the sign for each word as spoken, they are adapting and elaborating just as a translator must when changing English to French or Chinese. When someone signs what they hear verbatim, they end up sounding like something off of babelfish.

Deaf people generally (with exceptions, obviously) write and read like shit. Their language is that far removed from English. If you take a quick hop onto IRC and hang out in some deaf channels, you'll see what I mean.

Thus I think this should be a seperate language skill.
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