Fireborn: Dark Phoenix
New Skill - Language
Language is a new option that AP can be spent on; speaking it is governed by Air and understanding others is governed by Earth. Languages are bought like skills and function largely as skills; 1AP gives a bonus rank in a language. However, unlike skills, rank 3 is the maximum for a language.
Starting characters receive Language points equal to (Air + Earth)/2, and an automatic Native fluency in one language of their choice that the GM deems reasonable.
Ranks of languages, and effects:
Rank 0: No understanding at all. Communication is through grunts and gestures (and luck). The standard -2 defaulting penalty applies to all checks relating to the language.
Rank 1: Basic phrases and greetings. Communication is slow but feasible. Checks are required for each minute of conversation or for any particular point that is important to be clearly communicated without misunderstanding.
Rank 2: Formally fluent. Characters do not need to make checks for standard situations (such as light conversation), but checks might still need to be made for important conversations or in stressful situations.
Rank 3: Native fluency. The character does not ever need to make checks to communicate in this language, and can make a check to emulate a native accent.
There are also Language Groups. These are collections of related languages; Languages within the same regional grouping can be defaulted to, but count as maximum rank 1 if the character speaks another language in the grouping (but not the actual language); or one rank lower if the character already knows two or more other group languages. Some languages are sufficiently closely related that they will count as only one rank lower when defaulting regardless how many others the character speaks.
When you spend 1AP to gain a rank in a language within the same grouping as one you already possess at rank 2 or 3, you may gain a second rank for free that can only be spent on languages within that grouping.