Explanations of RPG-specific terminology and jargon.

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14
votes
2answers
529 views

Where does the word 'grognard' come from?

I see many people online describing themselves as grognards of a particular system or style of play. Usually they're referring to their die-hard love of an out of print version of a game. But where ...
10
votes
4answers
684 views

What is an “ashcan” release?

What are "ashcans"? What are their purpose? Where does the name come from?
5
votes
1answer
193 views

What is an Adventure Path?

After reading the questions, What are the D&D Adventure Paths? and Which Paizo Adventure Path most lends itself to 4e conversion?, I began to wonder about this term beyond what is self evident. A ...
5
votes
2answers
281 views

What makes something a signature monster?

I've seen the term "signature monster" thrown around a lot but I'm not exactly following it. What makes these monsters signature? What makes any monster signature to a given game? Is D&D the only ...
14
votes
6answers
698 views

What is a Mega Dungeon?

I've come across the expression "mega dungeon" quite a few times on the net. It seems like it's not just about the size of a den of monsters but it might imply a play style or something. What are the ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
18
votes
3answers
654 views

What is a 'Death Spiral'?

And what does it mean for combat in a game?
25
votes
5answers
713 views

What is 'punk'?

... and how is it applied to RPGs? I´ve heard of: Cyberpunk Steampunk Clockworkpunk And I'm sure there are others. What main streams are there, and what is so 'punk' as a common denominator?
34
votes
9answers
2k views

What is 'railroading', and is it a bad thing?

What is 'railroading', and when is it generally considered to be something negative?
14
votes
1answer
799 views

What is a macguffin?

During our regular game session, everyone keeps saying,"We need to find the mcguffin!". Is this a new sandwich or something?
41
votes
6answers
7k views

What is Sandbox play?

How would you describe the concept of sandbox play? How about to someone who is used to adventure modules or adventure paths?