I say unfair as the rules state that if you already speak a language, then learning to read and write in that language only costs half as much [49.2]. This means that the starting human PC has 11,575 experience points worth of language skills. That's 7400 ep for Speak and 4175 for Read/Write. Non-humans however get two spoken language skills at R8 which would be 2 x 7400 ep or 14,800 ep worth of language skills. No discounts. The non-humans start with 3225 more ep right off the bat. Even more when you account for the racial ep multiplier. Just another slap in the face to the player whose luck failed him when rolling for a different race. This also means that non-humans start out with no written language skills which just seems weird for some of the long-lived races.
There are a couple ways to address this clearly egregious situation. The first method is to give the human character that additional 3225 ep worth of language skills. The second is to change non-humans to starting out with Speak at Rank 8 in their native language and but only 4175 ep worth of additional language skills.
Humans Get Additional 3225 EP in Language SkillsWith that extra EP human characters could start out with one of the following options in addition to their Rank 8 in Speak and Read/Write Common.
- Speak language @ R5, Speak language @ R3, R/W language @ R3
- Speak language @ R5, Speak language @ R3, Speak language @ R2
- Speak 3 languages @ R4, R3, R2; R/W 2 language @ R3
- Speak 3 languages @ R4, R3, R2; R/W 3 languages @ R3, R2, R1
- Speak 2 languages @ R4, Speak 1 language @ R3
- Speak 3 languages @ R3, R/W 2 languages @ R3, R/W 1 language @ R2
- Speak 3 languages @ R3, R/W 2 languages @ R3, Speak 1 language @ R1
- Speak 4 languages @ R3, R/W 1 language @ R3
All R/W language skills would be for one of the other chosen languages which is at the same or greater Rank.
Non-humans Drop Back to 11,575 EP in Language SkillsThis means that instead of Speak Common at Rank 8, they instead get 4175 EP worth of language skills to go with their Speak native language at Rank 8. Adventuring characters are assumed to Speak at least some Common and the best you can do with 4175 EP is Rank 6.
- Speak Common @ R6, Speak 1 language @ R3
- Speak Common and 2 languages @ R4, Speak 1 language @ R2
- Speak Common and 2 languages @ R4, R/W Native @ R3
- Speak Common and 4 languages @ R3, R/W Native @ R3, R/W 1 language @ R2
- Speak Common @ R4, R/W Native @ R4, R/W Common @ R4, Speak 3 languages @ R3, R2, R1
- Speak Common @ R4, R/W Native @ R4, R/W Common @ R4, Speak 5 languages @ R1
- Speak Common @ R6, R/W Native @ R3, R/W Common @ R2
- Speak Common @ R5, Speak language @ R2, R/W Native @ R5, R/W Common @ R3
Eeeny Meeny Miny MoeAs non-humans already get a lot of benefits – with very few negatives – the second option doesn't feel quite right to me even though it does give non-humans some written language skills. For me, bringing the human player characters up in their skills seems the more equitable choice.
For a simpler solution, humans could just start out speaking one additional language at Rank 6 which would be very close to the 3225 EP after adjusting for racial multipliers.