This page is dedicated to optional rules drafted to help create a more unique atmosphere for Syndecon campaigns. In some cases they will simplify standard game mechanics to accomplish complex scenes in a smooth, more natural way, and in other cases they will make a simple idea a bit more complex, to add new depth to an otherwise basic element of your campaign.
Syndecon is a disconnected setting in many ways: there are the world-altering schisms, the conflicting worship of a tiered pantheon, societies advancing at vastly different rates; why would language be uniform across the world? In many players’ experiences, the notion of a Common tongue is much more powerful than many other aspects of the game. Being able to communicate is one of the most powerful tools available to sentient beings, and when a vast majority of intelligent creatures can speak Common, or even widespread racial languages (Elven, Dwarven, etc.), a gift is given to the players. This optional rule breaks languages down into regional dialects, and adds a new level of difficulty prospective parties must go through when traveling in unfamiliar territory.
When selecting languages at first level, characters begin with one dialect for each racial language they have. This dialect is based on the character’s backstory and point of origin; it makes no sense for a dwarf in Haiduk to speak Grakkan, a dialect only spoken in the mountains of Hegrac, instead of Dukkan. Characters with a positive Intelligence modifier may learn additional dialects of known languages in lieu of learning additional languages. Players may choose additional dialects, or single dialects of new languages, as many times as their Intelligence modifier.
|Regions & Their Dialects|
|Common (Deschian) – Kingsley Province||Common (Peschian) – Rampeck|
|Common (Docken) – Outlier Colonies||All other Common dialects to some extent.|
|Dwarven (Dukkan) – The Kingdom of Haiduk||Low Kortenka:|
|Elvish (Valish) – Irvalon||Common (Morschen) – Vremoar|
|Orcish (Horkish) – Border Tribes||Common (Gathkan) – Turgathka Lowlands|
|Orcish (Herkish) – Coastal Tribes||Common (Thelum) – Ghostfolk Tribes|
|Orcish (Shokish) – Enslaved Tribes||Dwarven (Morkkan) – Vremoar|
|Orcish (Ghekish) – Mountain Tribes||Elvish (Vremish) – Vremoar|
|Gueressa:||Elvish (Turish) – Turgathka Lowlands|
|Common (Gauschen) – Gau'ten Tribes||Orcish (Oskish) Low Orcs|
|Common (Raschen) – Res'tavn Tribes||Orcish (Sorkish) – Tundra Orcs|
|Dwarven (Grakkan) – Hegrac||Osertania:|
|Elvish (Uerish) – Uero Tribes||Common (Argeschian) – Agenia|
|High Kortenka:||Common (Loweschian) – Loweja|
|Common (Syrdan) – Sovereignty of Ranosyrd||Common (Oseschian) – Osea|
|Common (Keschain) – The Kaian Empire||Elvish (Semish) – Osertania|
|Common (Ordian) – Oasis Ordaros|
|Common (Kersian) – Commonwealth of Kerchetzna|
|Elven (Mendrish) – Mendralia|
|Dwarven (Ilikkan) – Grand Ilthace|
|Orcish (Varkish) – High Orcs|
Linguistics: When putting a rank into the Linguistics skill, players have a larger decision to make. They can still learn a new language (meaning, a single dialect of a new language), or they can choose to learn two dialects of any known languages. A 1st-Level Valionian Elf who lived in a coastal port city, with a +2 Intelligence modifier, may have begun the game with Common (Deschian, Keschian, Syrdan), and Elvish (Valish). If the player decides to put a skill point into Linguistics, that player can either choose to learn more Common and Elvish dialects, or perhaps learning a bit of Dwarven (Dukkan) would help more.
Learning only a single extra dialect from a high Intelligence modifier, and learning two from each rank of Linguistics, intentionally diversifies educated and uneducated characters. An unlearned Kaian tradesman may be intelligent, and pick up several local dialects to help facilitate business, but have no need to study many foreign tongues. A scholar, seeking out informative texts from the world over, would benefit much more from knowing lingual intricacies from a variety of cultures.
With the addition of new dialects comes the possibility for miscommunication. When a PC begins a conversation with an NPC, and neither share a common dialect (though they do share a common language), the PC rolls a Linguistics check. The higher this check, the lower the DC to understand becomes. The NPC then rolls a Linguistics check. If the NPC succeeds, the conversation can continue normally, but if the NPC fails, the conversation is subject to misinterpretation. Use the tables below to calculate the results. This type of miscommunication should not happen between PCs under normal conditions, though in combat and at the GM’s discretion, players who speak different dialects may have to make Linguistics checks to ensure they are understood.
|Speaker's Linguistics Check||Listener's DC to Understand|
|31+||Cannot be misunderstood.|