The world of roleplaying games is rife with jargon and, as a direct result, so is this blog. If you find yourself wandering confused among the acronyms, hopefully this page can help.
- 2E – Second Edition Dungeons and Dragons
- 3E – Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons
- 3.5E – 3.5 Edition Dungeons and Dragons
- 4E – Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons
- AC – See Armor Class
- AD&D – Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: A more in-depth and complex rule set for Dungeons and Dragons. This designation ended with Third Edition D&D.
- Adventure: A series of interconnected encounters in an RPG typically leading towards a primary goal.
- Armor Class – A number representing a characters defensive capabilities. In order to hit and damage the character, you have to roll a number higher than the armor class. If you are playing 2nd Edition D&D, this is reversed. lower AC numbers are harder to hit.
- BBEG – Big Bad End Guy: The toughest monster in an adventure, which typically must be defeated at the climax of that adventure. The antagonist.
- Campaign – A long-term series of adventures which take place in a given setting and involves a common cast of characters.
- D&D – Dungeons and Dragons
- D4: A four-sided die
- D6: A six-sided die (The common cube-shaped die used in most board games)
- D8: An eight-sided die
- D10: A ten-sided die
- D12: A twelve sided die
- D20: A twenty-sided die (The most commonly rolled die in D&D. This is why D&D is often referred to as a D20 game system.)
- D100 or D%: Either a hundred sided die or more commonly, a method of rolling two ten-sided dice with one representing the single digits and the other representing the tens place.
- DM – Dungeon Master: The facilitator in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, the DM drafts the adventure plotlines and plays all of the monsters and the cast of supporting characters not played by the players.
- Dungeon: A location, typically enclosed, through which a party adventures. A dungeon usually features limited choice of movement (eg. go left or right) and modular areas (rooms) containing challenges to be overcome. A dungeon can, but does not necessarily need to equate with a medieval jail or crypt. Dungeons can be labyrinths, towers, dense forests, abandoned mines, desert canyons or even the digestive tract of some great beast.
- Dungeon Tiles: A set of pre-printed tiles, often made of cardstock or chipboard which are laid out to depict an overhead view of the PCs’ surroundings. (like a customizable game board)
- Encounter: An event in a game of D&D which presents a challenge to be solved.
- Experience Points: The metric by which player characters increase in level and power in a game of D&D.
- GM – Game Master: (Same as Dungeon Master)
- Grognard: Someone who has been playing D&D since the early days of the game (1970s or 1980s)
- HP – Hit Points: The measure of how much life a character has in a tabletop RPG.
- Initiative: The turn-order for an encounter. Initiative is determined by rolling a d20 and adding any relevant initiative modifiers. High numbers go first.
- NPC – Non-Player Character: Supporting characters and antagonists in a game of D&D.
- Party: A group of PCs in the D&D game
- PC – Player Character: The protagonists in a game of D&D played by members of a gaming group other than the DM.
- RPG – Roleplaying Game
- THAC0 – Short for “To Hit Armor Class 0” A game mechanic that went away after 2nd Edition. In 2E, the lower the armor class, the tougher a character was to hit. THAC0 represented the number a player had to roll to hit a character with an AC of 0. The numbers for hitting other ACs were adjusted off of the THAC0.
- XP: see Experience Points