Starting Skills, Languages
Hey Folks! More work on the paper prototype of character generation today. I think I've nearly wrapped-up the homeworld selection process, and how that leads into language selection.
The first step was to finish physiological side effects for each homeworld. Fortunately, most of this was figured out yesterday when I tackled the first handful. Almost everything in the System fits into one of 3-4 categories: microgravity, low-g (e.g. Europa or ~15% Earth), medium g (e.g. Mars or ~40%), and near-Earth (~90%). So once I had some decided upon for a category, I could just follow that example later.
There were exceptions, though. Some places seemed like they should have poorer quality of life, so they have immune system or other health drawbacks. Others were so rich and/or high tech that inhabitants were expected to be almost identical to Earth people in their strength and health.
Insomnia factored in quite a bit, despite the above. Quite a few places had little or irregular day/night change, either due to being too far from the Sun, weird rotational periods, or shrouds of liquid, cloud, or even regolith blocking the light.
Nationality turned into a bit of a trick, as many of these places are not sovereign nations, technically. Some are just "independent" stations or colonies, with barely a hint of government. Others were so highly regulated that citizenship status varies based on social strata.
So I settled on each homeworld choice assigning a stat to remember where they're from, and later, when social strata is chosen, they'll get an appropriate assignment. E.g. citizenship, worker's visa, international certificate of identity. Basically, a lot of characters are going to start out with no nationality.
And languages turned out to be no less complex. Trying to figure out the languages of the day is pretty hard when you're projecting off-world development a half century into the future. I'm pretty sure English and Chinese are going to be common, but things get hazy after that.
With space elevators in Indonesia, DR Congo, and Brazil (and each being co-sponsored by other nations), quite a lot of the Solar System is going to be shifted in favor of who owns the means to get there. Portuguese seems like a strong candidate simply due to 30% of all passenger and cargo coming through Brazil. That said, Spanish is a much more widely-spoken language, including in places like the US (who would both be in space pre-elevator, and a co-sponsor of the Brazil elevator).
And then we have Nigeria, which has pretty much dominated African influence in space. Despite DR Congo's physical presence at the elevator's base, Nigerian corporations largely became the primary mortgage/financing and shipbreaking industries. So that might be one case where the local language of the elevator (French, in this case) is superseded by an outside culture (English, from Nigeria).
I always figured Russia might be a major player, given its history and goals. But the way things are looking, they may have been left behind in the wake of a super aggressive US/China space race and subsequent Earth orbit collapse.
Anyway, this is still a bit of a nest to untangle. But my leanings are towards English and Mandarin for sure, and probably 1-2 other languages as choices for players. Anything else is still part of the cultural fabric up there, but not a main language of trade.