You are a student of the vast number of known cultures in the galaxy, and you have a deep and rich understanding of the undercurrents of cultures and language in general. Each time you take a rank in Culture, you learn to speak and read a new language. See page 41 for a list of common languages.

Decipher Writing

You can use Culture to decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. It takes at least 1 minute to decipher approximately 250 words of writing or fewer. The GM often rolls Culture checks to decipher writing in secret. If you succeed at the check, you understand the general content of the text. If you fail, you don’t understand the text. If you fail the check by 10 or more, you entirely misconstrue the meaning of the text. You can’t take 20 on a Culture check to decipher writing unless you are trained in the Computers skill and have access to an information network or downloaded data set. In this case, there is no chance of misconstruing the information presented in the writing.

The DCs for Culture checks to decipher writing are based on the complexity of the text as well as other circumstances determined by the GM.

Complexity DC
Simple message 20
Standard text 25
Intricate, exotic, or very old writing 30

Recall Knowledge

You can use Culture to recall knowledge about a culture’s customs, laws, government, leaders, prominent inhabitants, legends, religion, history, and related topics (see page 133).