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 Post subject: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:52 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
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Location: Montreal
How do you play reading and writing for PCs in your campaigns? Are they able to? How do you handle that at character creation?

Is there a rule about this, such as random determination? I don't recall seeing one.

Presently, I'm leaning towards letting anyone with intelligence 11 or over decide whether his PC is able to read and write, and those below need to roll an INT check (d20, roll bewlo INT value).

The background is a world where most people cannot read or write. However, one idea behind my somewhat generous offer for PCs that are intelligent enough, is to let them in on the fun of being able to actually benefit from written information they find: documents, books, maps. In a Warhammer game I played last spring, we had a single PC out of five that could read, and honestly it kinda sucked. My PC for example foraged through an NPC's room and found papers, only I forgot about them altogether and the DM had to prod me to ask the PC capable of reading to decipher the papers for my PC. Then, there were tons of papers we found, we kept forgetting the complicated German-sounding (i.e. unfamiliar) names in the papers and after some time stopped asking the player with the litterate PC to read, we read them ourselves because it really became tedious.

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Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
The book says that only characters with a 5 or lower Intelligence are illiterate - so that's what I go with. I do only apply it to PC characters though - NPCs can read, or not, as is needed for their role as an NPC.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Location: Montreal
TheNobleDrake wrote:
The book says that only characters with a 5 or lower Intelligence are illiterate - so that's what I go with.


It does? I have forgotten that then. I was under the impression that the book suggested a world where most people were not able to read, and I thought this was inclusive of PCs.

Hmm. I'll have to rethink my approach then.

Thanks for your reply.

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Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Posts: 525
Skyscraper wrote:
It does? I have forgotten that then.
It is the last sentence regarding Intelligence on page 18, in case you wanted to know where it says that


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 Post subject: Re: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 616
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
Skyscraper wrote:
It does? I have forgotten that then.
It is the last sentence regarding Intelligence on page 18, in case you wanted to know where it says that


Thank you.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading and writing
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Location: Chicago suburbs
I typically assume that basic people can read and write the common language of the realm, which I know wouldn't be true in a true ancient culture but seems to work in the literature.

If it's written in an obscure language I make a roll based on the intelligence of the character, then a second roll to see how familiar with the language the character might be. Players keep track of this stuff for later reference if they find another place to read the same language.

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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