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Reading and Writing in Malifaux


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So this came up in character creation:

Characters are (mostly) from Earth. Is there still a public school system on Guild-run Earth that teaches reading and writing?

Is Literacy required to read and write a language, or is a character assumed to be able to read and write by default in their languages and Literacy just controls how well they read and write? The Fated Almanac doesn't address it at all and the Literacy skill is just ambiguous enough to be read either way.

I'm assuming everyone can read and write, simply because it's convenient and there are other skills that rely on the ability to do so without taking Literacy, but it's surprising the book doesn't spare even a sentence on the topic.

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Public education is mostly handled by each individual country, much as one would expect; the Guild doesn't involve itself in such things. Because it's the early 1900s, secondary education is pretty spotty across the world, but most characters should have at least had a chance at primary education.


A character is generally considered to be literate in their native tongue, plus English. Each rank of Literacy a character possesses allows that character to speak and write another language.

The exact level at which a character reads and writes is left up to the player and Fatemaster. It's unlikely that someone who just learned Spanish is going to be able to quickly read a book written in that language, but they'll eventually be able to get through it and understand what it's talking about.

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