Builders language ?

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Torgan
Torgan's picture
Builders language ?

Hi,

I was wondering what the Builder's language could be. Being from Norcann Dar, do they speak childer (or do childers borrowed the builder's language for their own use), or do they have their own language ?

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

They speak their own language, creatively known as "Builder."

JR
JR's picture

One of my characters is the research type, how hard would it be for him to learn Builder?

~ JR Tyner of: http://novothule.com

Steven C
Steven C's picture

My guess is that it would cost two advances to learn from an advancement point. From a Role playing it depends on how you go about learning. For example in the One page story Broken Toy either all the builders in the advenuter (or most of them) speak broken Galean so they appear to need to learn the current langugaes.

Playing that off that and the fact that the Builders are active in the pretty much all of Shaintar and suddenly you get the idea that somewhere the Builders have to have books like "Languages for Dummies: How to Speak to the Lessers." Sure they may have some Arfice tech that lets them learn it however my guess is that they'd also have books on it so they can be hidden in plain site.

Finding old sites (the Shaintar book's adventure called Red Store Rising gives an example of the Builder Citadel) with writings on them and in them can also be a way to learn this as well however that is prbably the harder way. While you may be able to dicphier the code of the language eventually you're more likely going to find results if you find something in a common language acting as a rosetta stone (like the above dummies example).

If your researcher is a Dwarven Lore Warden then he may have access to it as well. If memory servers the Builders seem to have a soft spot (or some of them) for the Dwarves and the Lore Wardens enjoy creating vast libraries of old knowledge, something may be in there.

 

Granyt Fyrforg
Granyt Fyrforg's picture

From what I have read I am under the inmpression that vuilders are related to Dwarves.  Are the languages related as well?

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

Builder is related to Dwarvish, but will probably be about as decipherable as Old English is to modern English speakers.

It would be EXTREMELY difficult to learn it; Builders are a very insular people as a rule, and feel that the other races are beneath them.  That, combined with the lack of any useful body of texts or primers, means that the only option for learning would be to obtain a Builder and somehow compel him to teach you.  (And also somehow avoid him teaching you everything wrong.)  Alternatively, be a Linguist and be around talking Builders enough to pick up the basics.

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Sooz - RF wrote:

Builder is related to Dwarvish, but will probably be about as decipherable as Old English is to modern English speakers.

It would be far far worse because while they may have a common orgin language they are both living languages and have been away from each other for quite some time. Culutre, Location (one being Shaintar the other Norcan Darr), neighboring languages, etc.. would all have changed and molded the languages to be vastly different.

A real world example is Latin and its descendants the Romantic Languages. In this case the Romantic languages have a common ancestor, Latin, but evolved really differently. It would be like a person speaking French trying to translate that into Latin in order to figure out how the Spanish language works.

 

johnmkimmins

My character Caelor has a defining interest in Builder, and I've been wanting him to learn the language over time

Sooz - RF
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You'll have to talk with your GM about that, for the reasons cited above.  It's not an easy languge to experience enough to learn unless you're a Builder yourself.

Murvoth
Murvoth's picture

Would it be within reason that a Dwarven Lore Warden with an interest in Builder culture to learn the language compared to others? Obviously learning from a Builder is the best way or be a Linguist. Hope to learn more about them in the future book concerning the Dwarves or Norcan Darr.

cbooth
cbooth's picture

I'd approach it like Stargate (the movie).  You could have written texts and study them extensively, giving you a basic structure on how to speak the language.  When you actually hear the language spoken, it "clicks".

JR
JR's picture

Murvoth, it would be up to the GM, but I would say the interest would give a +2 to all the rolls to learn it.

~ JR Tyner of: http://novothule.com

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Shaintar is as a heroic game so play some cheesy 80's music get your scholar to the books and have yourself a montage. 

Daniel Lawson

I personally would allow it under the same circumstances that someone could become Arcfire trained, it's just finding that balance between story and mechanics. I would leave it at one Advance per normal, but finding a teacher would be the difficult part.

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Daniel Lawson wrote:

 I would leave it at one Advance per normal, but finding a teacher would be the difficult part.

I figured it would be two only because Childer and Dregordian are both two to learn

 

Daniel Lawson

True but Childer and Dregordians have very non-humanoid mouths, making it more difficult to mimic the sounds. That's my interpretation anyway.

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

I'd tend to support the two levels thing, since, again, it's next to impossible to find enough material to actually learn the language, let alone an actual teacher.  

JR
JR's picture

I really see that as situational. Normally yes, but if your party has been fighting builders on their own turf, then it would be easier to fine. Especially if you use a "Day in the Life" to explore an area where they have been.

~ JR Tyner of: http://novothule.com

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

As a general rule, I am going with it requiring two Language slots (or advances) to learn Builder, unless you are a dwarf or linguist.

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

cbooth
cbooth's picture

This is an old thread, but appropriate for my question.  

How would you handle the Builder written language?  I always imagine it as strange glyphs, and not necessarily "writting".  Maybe a Defining Interest in Cryptography, or something similar?  Would it be easier to decipher a written language, rather than a spoken one?

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

I'd say it's probably about equal difficulty (leaving aside real-life discussions of aptitudes).

GregTripp
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The first story arc I ran involved trying to decypher Builder runes in a discovered citadel.  I let a character with experience with Dwarven runes have a small bonus as he tried to interpret them, though I stressed that these were dissimilar to all dwarven languages he was familiar with.  He also had the aid of the torn notes of a prior explorer.

The benefit of study of a written language, compared to oral, is permanence.  A character can copy a glyph, carry it around with them, study it all night, compare it to others to find patterns, etc..  For overhearing the spoken word, you either capture the meaning immediately or it's lost.  The brain has a hard time remembering sounds it interprets as gibberish.

Steven C
Steven C's picture

cbooth wrote:

This is an old thread, but appropriate for my question.  

How would you handle the Builder written language?  I always imagine it as strange glyphs, and not necessarily "writting".  Maybe a Defining Interest in Cryptography, or something similar?  Would it be easier to decipher a written language, rather than a spoken one?

I'd treat it just as the spoken language. Shaintar, for good or bad, doesn't get to hung up on the particulars of language. If you use the 'two advances' my suggestion would be one advance allows you to read and understand the language to the point were you get the ideas however 'something is always lost in translation' and the second advance lets you fully understand it. Its what I do with Childer and Dregordian, it may be hard as heck to move you mouth but you should still be able to read it with an advance.

For some reason that I cannot explain I always picutred Builder writings having multiple 'scripts' that are based on class/caste, positon and other things making the language itself multiple 'semi-languages' that form one over-language. Further their writtings aren't letters to form words but the symbols are the words themselves that can be a part of a sentence structure, the entire sentence or a paragraph all on its own. Visually I imagined the language to be a cross between Viking Runes, Sanskirt and Chinese and I have no idea why.

 

 

wilcoxon

Builder as an unlisted 2x language is actually useful.  I was looking at creating a character with d12 Smarts and Lignuist and found that there are not enough languages in the book to accomodate that (12 languages from Linguist plus 3-4 from Smarts per starting languages).

Steven C
Steven C's picture

I've had another language create in my Shaintar games called 'Ancient Imperial' (for lack of a better name) Its the ancient language used by the now dead Empire of the Golden Sun. I've had it be the base of Aradish, the language spoken by the Youlin Aradi (Desert Princes) and simply because of the time between current Shaintar and the fall of the Empire made them different (Latin vs Italian almost). 

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

Steven C, I like it.  (Though I'd go with Ancient Aradish as the name.)

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

Ancient Aradish, sometimes referred to as "Ancient Imperial"

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Matrix4b

I have been thinking about what the Builder Language is like.  In my mind, I thought that it could be mostly references to different mathmatical and mystical processes.  So even if you had Linguist you would not understand the references, knowing what the words are just simply isn't enough.

Sort of like a Scientist translating life and concepts into different Principals or Theroems, mixed in with a bunch of mathmatical formula and physics formula or Mystical formula.  Kinda like how origionally Shadowrun described how mages cast spells: A mad mixture of Poetry and mathmatical formula.

So following this line of thought it becomes very hard to learn it, unless you were brought up in the culture (IE are a Builder) and get the principles behind Arcfire Tech as well.  In this way their language is uncommon and highly specific to them and the lack of "Science or Arctech background" in other languages justifies, to them anyway, their superior attitude.  And the fact that they think that everybody else (non-builder) are intelectual idiots with no concept of the real world.

Convoluted but it's my thoughts and why I feel that other races would see them as anti-social.

 

Builder Idiom, "Well, if we bring about a near zero ground state we can hasten the kinetic reaction of other's and increase the over all potential of our facotred movement."

translation: The longer we delay our negotiations, the quicker and more money others will pay for them.

Ok, it amused me on a slow day at work.

 

David Forby

Matrix4b

Steven C wrote:

 

cbooth wrote:

This is an old thread, but appropriate for my question.  

How would you handle the Builder written language?  I always imagine it as strange glyphs, and not necessarily "writting".  Maybe a Defining Interest in Cryptography, or something similar?  Would it be easier to decipher a written language, rather than a spoken one?

I'd treat it just as the spoken language. Shaintar, for good or bad, doesn't get to hung up on the particulars of language. If you use the 'two advances' my suggestion would be one advance allows you to read and understand the language to the point were you get the ideas however 'something is always lost in translation' and the second advance lets you fully understand it. Its what I do with Childer and Dregordian, it may be hard as heck to move you mouth but you should still be able to read it with an advance.

For some reason that I cannot explain I always picutred Builder writings having multiple 'scripts' that are based on class/caste, positon and other things making the language itself multiple 'semi-languages' that form one over-language. Further their writtings aren't letters to form words but the symbols are the words themselves that can be a part of a sentence structure, the entire sentence or a paragraph all on its own. Visually I imagined the language to be a cross between Viking Runes, Sanskirt and Chinese and I have no idea why.

 

 

Have you seen the TV series Fringe? 

Small Spoilers:

It has in the later seasons a group of people that have a written language like what you describe: "No two symbols are the same but the symbols are actually groups of characters put together."

Ian R Liddle

These are how I envisioned the Builder numbers in an earlier thread:

http://www.shaintar.com/?q=node/398

Matrix4b

Yes, I see that.  The arrow part of it that it is mostly all contained in must mean "This is a Number" in their symbol speach

Capnsmitty19
Capnsmitty19's picture

I have also used in my game, early forms of technical blueprints for some Builder Devices.  They were all sorts of runes and scribblings that most of the party couldnt understand, let alone read, but played up the whole Techmancy side by having some plans for devices rather than all of them coming up with them on the spot type thing... 

So I can totally see their language as being something along those lines, or something that needs a key type decrytption to fully understand.  Speaking it is one thing, Reading and writting is whole nother ball o wax...

 

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Matrix4b wrote:

It has in the later seasons a group of people that have a written language like what you describe: "No two symbols are the same but the symbols are actually groups of characters put together."

That would be interesting. It would allow the idea of Builders forgetting their own language that is in the Shaintar ruins as they have lost the references that create the symbols.

Ian R Liddle wrote:

These are how I envisioned the Builder numbers in an earlier thread:

http://www.shaintar.com/?q=node/398

My only problem with that very cool script is the lack of a unqiue 5 digit (5, 50, 500, 5000, etc..). The unique 5 digit would lessening the clutter of of large digits that 8 and 9's can bring in their place. The 1936 example is really hard to read on the screen so it may be hard to read on the stone, parchement, etc..

 

 

Matrix4b

Steven C wrote:

My only problem with that very cool script is the lack of a unqiue 5 digit (5, 50, 500, 5000, etc..). The unique 5 digit would lessening the clutter of of large digits that 8 and 9's can bring in their place. The 1936 example is really hard to read on the screen so it may be hard to read on the stone, parchement, etc..

 

 

I have to agree, 1936 took a little figuring out.  The unique thing about numbers is that they are supposed to be quick to read.  The longer it takes to read it the less use it is.  The 1936 script is a bit busy and if carved into stone would be easily subject to scratching off and breakage especially over time.

The other Issue that I have is that it is a base 10 set up, though sligtly modified.  They could have a number system that is base 12 or binary.  Hmm, Now there is a thought that adds complications:  A different base system depending on the task.  Magical equipment can have a base 9 while numbering for say accounting could be a base 12.  Now I am getting just silly.

Dave Forby

Steven C
Steven C's picture

I thought about pulling from history and having the Builders use sexagesimal (base60) as it was used by the ancient Sumerians around 3500 BCE. It was going to be my private nod to real world ancients by having Shaintar ancients mimic them. Of course I haven't yet cause I haven't used the builders much and it was making my eyes cross as well. There is also the problem of using Real World stuff in Shaintar, unless your 're-inventing the wheel' which this pretty much does.