Being a Polyglot in SoN … or … What did that elf say?
Languages … the written and spoken word … communications.
Where would we be if we weren’t able to communicate with each other?
But have you ever wondered how everybody .. and I mean everybody … from the fish monger on the docks, to the dwarven blacksmith deep underground, to the backstabbing goblin … in a RPG can understand everyone else?
Well, even if you haven’t wondered that, I have.
Which is why this time around I’m going to talk about languages in the world of Nightside.
I Know! It’s Magic!
There’s no denying that the need for everyone to understand each other is paramount. It would be a pretty short and boring game if that wasn’t the case.
In lieu of some kind of magic spell or universal translator device (depending on the genre), the most common explanation is a trade or common language that everyone knows. Ok, I can buy into that. But why is that the only language ever spoken?
Different Races … Different Languages
There are many different races inhabiting Nightside.
It just makes sense to me that not only would each have its own language but that they’d actually speak in their native tongue by default, switching to the “common” language only when needed.
All Languages are EQual
Ok, I admit, this isn’t a totally original idea … at least one other game that I know of has done something similar … but let’s focus on SoN.
Here’s what we’re planning (yes, I know, it’s about time I got to the point )
Characters will be able to learn new and different languages and can change which language they speak in at any time.
If you talk to someone in a language they don’t understand, all they’ll see is pseudo-random text … maybe a snide remark like …. “pea huningir ivagrasami doryopasam drafai peyenasupa, smalalilmi ivagrasami adyegomaya huningir kidarimaza esitugand iskyanyesu!”
Pseudo-Random? Whacha talkin’ about?
If you want the details, you’ll have to talk to Llarlen, because I have no clue how it works. But through his brilliance and hard work we now have a tool that can “translate” text consistently, based on a seed file.
So “Llarlen Rocks!” will always return “plenausasi katienausk!”.
It really is amazing .. .not to mention fun to play with!
You can see for yourself on the SoN Pseudo-Random Translator Page. It’s a work in progress and doesn’t have any of the ‘official’ SoN languages yet .. but it’s still fun
A step further
We want each language to have its own unique flavor and style.
We want people to see the “translated” text and have a chance to identify what language it is.
There will even be NPCs that only speak in a certain language. And if they have a quest you want to do, you’ll need to learn the language to get it.
The goal is to increase the color and flavor of Nightside and make it a fun and interesting place to be .. not just a grind to get to the next level.