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Questions about Auld Wyrmish


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There's something about Auld Wyrmish that has been bugging me for quite some time now and no matter how much I look I've so far failed to find an answer. The rulebook (Runequest Roleplaying i Glorantha, page 174) state that it is impossible for humans to attain a skill higher than 25% in the spoken language.

So far so good.

But does that include or exclude modifications from CHA, INT and POW? And if it is the former what happens if you start with a low bonus from your stats, rise your skill in spoken Auld Wyrmish to the allowed maximum and then later increase your stats so you gain a higher bonus from them?

And what if after that your stats decrease to so much that you have a lower bonus (or greater penalty) than you had originally? Re you supposed to remember what your actual skill in the language is, or was, before it is modified by your stats in case said stats decrease or you somehow gain the ability to raise your spoken Auld Wyrmish skill beyond 25%?

Also, is the 25% skill cap only for actually speaking Auld Wyrmish or also for understanding it when it is spoken?

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1 hour ago, None said:

But does that include or exclude modifications from CHA, INT and POW? And if it is the former what happens if you start with a low bonus from your stats, rise your skill in spoken Auld Wyrmish to the allowed maximum and then later increase your stats so you gain a higher bonus from them?

Auld Wyrmish is a 00% skill. So you need to gain experience / train / research to at least 1% to add or subtract any category modifier Regardless of modifiers you cannot speak more than 25%, even if your category modifier increases it.

1 hour ago, None said:

And what if after that your stats decrease to so much that you have a lower bonus (or greater penalty) than you had originally? Re you supposed to remember what your actual skill in the language is, or was, before it is modified by your stats in case said stats decrease or you somehow gain the ability to raise your spoken Auld Wyrmish skill beyond 25%?

Also, is the 25% skill cap only for actually speaking Auld Wyrmish or also for understanding it when it is spoken?

The easiest way to approach this is to look at Sorala on page 94. She can Read/Write Auld Wyrmish 60%, however if she speaks it, it's a maximum of 25%. Track it as Read/Write for understanding and cap speaking at 25%. Due to adventuring, most of the adventurers in my game have a read/write Auld Wyrmish of 20-30%, and a cap of 25%. 

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Ah. So the way I understand it then is that you're technically able to increase the skill as high as you wish but for the purpose of actually speaking the language it will never count as more than 25%, unless some unusual or special circumstances changes that.

Yes, that would be the least complicated and problematic way of handling and would make it possible for you to be a masterful scholar of spoken Auld Wyrmish even though you're physically unable to make the necessary sounds and to speak it fluently. Or even well.

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1 hour ago, None said:

[...] is the 25% skill cap only for actually speaking Auld Wyrmish or also for understanding it when it is spoken?

Not having thought deeply about the matter, I'd allow the development of understanding of the spoken word (even if the PC couldn't read or write) well beyond 25% (while obviously keeping the 25% cap for speaking.) My understanding is that spoken fluency in Auld Wyrmish requires one to have a tongue like a Dragonewt's; thus the cap on speaking the language is due to the morphology of the human/troll/etc. tongue. Of course, there's ways around that for someone who really wants to speak Auld Wyrmish like a proper Dragonewt: heroquesting and/or acquiring one of those special knives/scalpels that folks used to split their tongues during the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. 

 

Side question: could the Aldryami grow an individual who had a tongue shaped properly for speaking Auld Wyrmish fluently? 

 

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29 minutes ago, None said:

Ah. So the way I understand it then is that you're technically able to increase the skill as high as you wish but for the purpose of actually speaking the language it will never count as more than 25%, unless some unusual or special circumstances changes that.

Yes, that would be the least complicated and problematic way of handling and would make it possible for you to be a masterful scholar of spoken Auld Wyrmish even though you're physically unable to make the necessary sounds and to speak it fluently. Or even well.

This is exactly how I have understood it (and how we play it).

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26 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

Side question: could the Aldryami grow an individual who had a tongue shaped properly for speaking Auld Wyrmish fluently? 

The rule concerns humans. We have to wait for official Aldriamy rule, bu I would say no (except of course with Heroquest/Magic,/...).

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11 minutes ago, Kloster said:

The rule concerns humans. We have to wait for official Aldriamy rule, bu I would say no (except of course with Heroquest/Magic,/...).

I disagree, especially since they're both old (Elder) races. They would have been communicating (speaking) with each other for a very long time. Forming a Dragonewt ambassador type person would have been as easy as currently growing human ambassador type person.

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in the previous rules I played that the 25% in speaking was only a limitation to pronounce. But you were able to have a better skill to understand / to hear. There was then this splitting tongue surgery to give you the ability to pronounce more than 25% (so cancel the limitation)

 

However, re reading the rqg and bestiary rules, it seems to me totally different :

Quote

Their language of Auld Wyrmish includes visual, auditory, olfactory, and empathic components. They are unconscious of their own language and cannot teach it to others. Because humans are not naturally empathic, they can never learn Speak Auld Wyrmish at higher than 25%

 

so understanding that, even if you split your tongue, you, human, will not be able to see dragon color range / dragon sound range / dragon odor range (and what about empathic).

That means for me you can understand a discussion at 25% max (bonus included) and speak at 25% max (bonus included)

so yes human can read the human script language called auld wyrmish without limitation (because it is a human language) but I would not use the script to understand what the dragonewt in front of me is "speaking"

 

It seems to me that you need some draconic magic to understand more than 25%, and maybe speak too

17 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I disagree, especially since they're both old (Elder) races. They would have been communicating (speaking) with each other for a very long time. Forming a Dragonewt ambassador type person would have been as easy as currently growing human ambassador type person.

not so sure in rqg (I would agree with you for previous version aka "split tongue rule") : elves have other senses than human, they may have another limitiation (30% 50% 15% no limit ? ) because they have other senses and empathy (unity ?) with their forest, so more sensibility perhaps ? Same for trolls, they have the darksense, with more vibration range, etc...

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