Glossary of useful RPG lingo and acronyms for beginners

#1
Hello all
Can everyone please uses this thread to fling in suggestions for RPG terms and abbreviations which you think it would be useful to have in a beginner's glossary. For instance bennies, XP, trad, indie, OSR, character class. If you are feeling really kind, jot down some notes on what how think the glossary entry should include. e.g. bennies should be cross referenced to story points.

I'll collate everything here, plus everything I think of on my own into one big fat glossary.
Thanks.
 
#2
Okay, to make a start...

General Terms
RPG
PC
DM
GM
NPC
Class
Level
XP
d4/d6/d8 etc.

Terms used when talking about different types of game
Trad
Indie
OSR
Storygame
(and pretty please, I'd love it if you emphasised everything here is a spectrum rather than a hard division).
 
#5
Thanks to all. I've put all the suggestions in a spreadsheet with a bunch of my own. My list so far is:
AC
adventure
automatic success
adventure
AV
campaign
character sheet/record
cheat sheet
Combat round/phase
convention
core rules
critical
crunchy
dice pool
downtime
facilitator
fumble
funky dice
game mechanics
GM
GM-less
GM screen
Half action
Initiative/initiative order
LARP
munchkin
murder-hobo
one-off/one-shot
player agency
points based char gen
pre-gen
railroading
random roll char gen
random encounter table
ROF
roll-over system
roll-under system
sandbox
san loss
scenario
setting
stat + skill
story point/bennie

Totting up yours and mine, that's 98 entries so far, not including synonyms. Boy do we RPGers like our jargon! :)
 
#7
Thanks to all. I've put all the suggestions in a spreadsheet with a bunch of my own. My list so far is:
AC
adventure
automatic success
adventure
AV
campaign
character sheet/record
cheat sheet
Combat round/phase
convention
core rules
critical
crunchy
dice pool
downtime
facilitator
fumble
funky dice
game mechanics
GM
GM-less
GM screen
Half action
Initiative/initiative order
LARP
munchkin
murder-hobo
one-off/one-shot
player agency
points based char gen
pre-gen
railroading
random roll char gen
random encounter table
ROF
roll-over system
roll-under system
sandbox
san loss
scenario
setting
stat + skill
story point/bennie

Totting up yours and mine, that's 98 entries so far, not including synonyms. Boy do we RPGers like our jargon! :)
You typed "adventure" twice in your list above.
 
#8
Adventures! So important they need 2 entries in the list! :)
And this is why I'm now using a spreadsheet with autofill, filter and sort functions, instead of a Word doc to keep track of it all. 138 entries and counting. I think I may have discovered a painting the Forth Road Bridge task...
 
#10
Okay, I've reached S in the alphabet and realised that I have no idea what a Standard Action is. I was under the mistaken impression that it was a synonym for full action, but apparently it is not. Can anyone enlighten me?
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#11
Okay, I've reached S in the alphabet and realised that I have no idea what a Standard Action is. I was under the mistaken impression that it was a synonym for full action, but apparently it is not. Can anyone enlighten me?
Depends which RPG you play.. and therein lies a problem..
I suggest you draw out and simply explain combat action, saying they come in a variety of types depending on game
 
#12
Okay, I've reached S in the alphabet and realised that I have no idea what a Standard Action is. I was under the mistaken impression that it was a synonym for full action, but apparently it is not. Can anyone enlighten me?
In simplest terms, a "standard action" is one that can take place alongside a "movement action" (either before or after), while the "full round action" takes up all action slots in that round and, thus, precludes any movement.
 
#15
An often overlooked aspect for beginners is:
(a) session
(b) encounter
(c) round
(d) turn
(e) free actions
(f) standard actions
(g) full (round) actions
(h) movement

The above are terms I noticed sometimes confuse newbies.
I'm fine with (a) and (b) on this list, Remi, but after they become game system specific. And while (h) is generic, I don't think it warrants explanation!

Thanks to all. I've put all the suggestions in a spreadsheet with a bunch of my own. My list so far is:
AC
adventure
automatic success
adventure
AV
campaign...
Similar to the last list - but only a couple of instances this time - Critical and Fumble aren't especially universal. Unless this list is focused on newcomers to D&D, Rolemaster and Warhammer FRP (OK... there are a few more, but these two terms are far less universal or bothersome than the others. I know that ROF won't apply to a lot of games, but it is a genuine head scratcher acronym to anyone not in the know.)
 
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