Exalted: Modern – LinguisticsJune 16, 2011
This is going to be a short post, mostly to keep me from breaking into a Tentacled Vitriol rant about Linguistics bloat and how it can die in a goddamned fire, right next to Craft bloat. In Creation, there are at most ten or twelve languages, maybe as many as twenty if you start getting into obscure dialects, or if your Game Master is enough of a douchebag to make you care about tribal languages. On Earth, however, there are somewhere between three and six thousand. The current Linguistics system is completely incapable of handling that kind of variety. Moreover, the Exalt who wants to learn every language in existence should not be told his goals and themes are impossible to achieve simply because the system herps and derps.
Therefore, for Exalted: Modern, I propose an alternative system, or rather, an addition. As with Exalted, characters know their native language at no cost. They still gain one additional language for every dot of Linguistics. However, since this caps even the most enlightened Exalts at eleven languages, additional languages may be learned by a simple expedient: Intelligence + Linguistics.
Each language has a difficulty assigned by the GM, ranging from 1-5 (or higher, for exceptionally difficult, rare, or new languages). Learning a new language has a base training time equivalent to a specialty (i.e. three weeks). For every five successes above the difficulty, the training time is reduced by one week, to a minimum of instantaneous (yes, if you can score fifteen successes above the language’s difficulty, you can learn it instantly. What?). Lacking a tutor increases the training time as normal, though for exceptional Exalts (with a proper stunt), a “tutor” can be nothing more than someone speaking nearby. Learning new languages in this manner costs no XP and there is no limit to the number of languages an Exalt can learn. Mortals cannot learn more languages than their Intelligence + Linguistics, ever. Because fuck mortals, no one likes them, and they never had a dog.
A similar effect is likely to be put into effect for Craft. Because I hate it, and I want to watch it suffer.