This is a Community Wiki containing a list of terms specific to the D&D game with which outsiders looking to enter may not be familiar.

Dungeons and Dragons may share some terminology with the rest of the RPG world in general, but generic terms are recorded in the Glossary of Common RPG Terminology. If however, there are D&D-specific variations of common terms, or there are some common terms which have different D&D-specific meanings, please do include them here.

This query is meant to include all editions of Dungeons and Dragons. If some terminology is exclusive to a certain edition(s), or changes meaning between editions, please include that information in the definition.

  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Where can I learn the meanings of RPG terminology? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pulsehead
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pulsehead - Negative. The other thread is looking for pre-existing online references. This thread is looking to create one. Also, the other thread is system-agnostic, whereas this one is D&D-specific. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like a great thing for the community wiki. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth (and SEO), the word for a list of terminology is a "glossary". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 0:08

4 Answers 4


Take 10

*Used in *

In a non-stressful situation, a character may declare "Take 10" on a skill roll, and instead of rolling, is treated as having rolled a 10 on the d20. This takes no extra time.

SRD - Skills Overview


Take 20

*Used in *

In a non stressful situation where there is no chance of a harmful effect a Character takes 20 times as long to perform the test, and then is assumed to roll a 20 on a Skill Test. It is assumed that the Player would roll a 20 in this time and this saves Real Time in a Session.

I there is a chance of harmful effects then the character would have to endure them as well as the possible success from the taken 20, so it is not normal to use the rule in this case but to make the player roll for it as normal.

SRD - Skill Overview

  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't it "Take 10"? Some discussion here: enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/…. Also Player's Hand Book, P. 179 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ No; take 10 and take 20 are different applications of the same principle. Take 10 is allowed in a lot more circumstances (pretty much anything but combat, really), and in games where the GM doesn't reveal DC's before rolling, can be done where there is risk. Take 10 is even allowed for combat as an optional rule, and the standard armor rule is essentially armor's bonus + dex bonus plus take 10 on the armor roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 1:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep Take 10 and Take 20 are different. I left the Take 10 for some one else todo. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. Looks like Take 20 is a houserule in 4e. That's why I'd never heard of it (never played 3.x) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ In DnD3 etal I have found that a lot GMs ignore Take 20 unless you remind them. It can save significant time and helps the referee move time forward, "do you really want to take 5mins or 30mins doing that?" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 11:19


A fighter/magic-user combo character

The term originated with the Githyanki in D&D 1e and is now used to reflect any kind of combat/arcane magic combo character type.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this really common enough to warrant its inclusion here? \$\endgroup\$
    – lavonardo
    Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 18:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Surprisingly, yeah. It's an older term that's been carried forward, and was opaque to me until it was explained. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 19:58


tightly focused beams of radiant energy

I've seen the term used for Cleric powers in at least.


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