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"It's what my guy would do!" "My Guy" syndrome is when — often unwittingly — you disclaim decision-making power and responsibility by acting like "what my character would do" is inevitable and inviolable, even if it gets in the way of actually having fun in the game or being able to play the game at all. JD Corley wrote up a ...


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It began with going into a "Dungeon" (the areas underneath a fortress) during the development of the game Dungeons and Dragons. According to Gary Gygax (in an interview with Dungeon #112), the first dungeon crawl1 was part of a wargame in which the invading force entered the enemy's castle through a former escape tunnel dug from the fortress's ...


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Definitions We all have our limits and boundaries. Lines and veils are different ways to handle those boundaries in play. A line is, well, a line — a hard limit, something we do not want to cross. Lines represent places we don't want to go in roleplaying. "There is no torture in the events in our game. We don't do it, NPCs don't do it to us or to each ...


119

"Murderhobo", apparently a contraction of the slightly older term "murderous hobo", is a usually pejorative (but infrequently neutral or affectionate) term used to describe certain kinds of adventuring character, usually in Dungeons & Dragons or D&D-like games. The murder(ous) part is because these characters primarily solve problems with violence/...


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Presenting Monte Cook’s "The Orc and the Pie", ©2001 The World's Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody "The Orc and the Pie" Adventure Background: An orc has a pie. Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie. Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie. Room 1: The Orc's Pie Room You see an orc with a pie....


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Rules as written is first-and-foremost an approach to understanding the rules text of a system. As an interpretation of the text, it has the following goals: Accessibility. A rules-as-written interpretation should be one that anyone reading the rules can come to, and so is based solely in the published rules, without injecting any external knowledge that ...


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DMG is most commonly a reference to the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Link: Dungeon Master's Guide It is most often used like this as a reference to a page, e.g. You can use the rules in the Player's Handbook to create NPC's with classes and levels,... DMG96 You may also see "dmg" or "DMG" as shorthand for damage. Generally (but varying by person), ...


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Session 0 is a planning session where the gaming group collaboratively lays the groundwork for a new campaign. Often, this session involves the group deciding the game/campaign they want to play, managing expectations, establishing house rules, determining setting details, and creating characters. Session 0 provides a meeting for the gaming group to agree on ...


94

It came from the fans of White Wolf's World of Darkness games. "Splat" is another name for the asterisk character ('*'), which is often used as a placeholder or "wild card" in a name by technical types of people. Someone somewhere starting referring to all of WW's various Clanbook/Tribebook/Guildbook/Kithbook supplements for their various games as "*books", ...


94

The Oberoni Fallacy is an informal fallacy, occasionally seen in discussions of role-playing games, in which an arguer puts forth that if a problematic rule can be fixed by the figure running the game, the problematic rule is not, in fact, problematic. The user Oberoni originally posted the idea in 2002 on the Wizards of the Coast forums: This my my [sic] ...


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Origins The original "bag of rats" trick was a thought experiment in third edition Dungeons and Dragons involving the feats Great Cleave and Whirlwind Attack, which proceeded about as follows: Whirlwind Attack lets you attack everything next to you once. Great Cleave lets you chain a killing blow into a follow-up attack as many times as you want. Therefore,...


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What is Agency? I personally define agency by three criteria: The player has control over their own character's decisions. Those decisions have consequences within the game world. The player has enough information to anticipate what those consequences might be before making them. What does that mean? To elaborate on those conditions, I'll give examples of ...


90

The term I have heard the most would be Support, as it is their role to assist the other party members. While in a lot of system Healers double as Supports, or Supports double as Healers, they're not the same thing. It highly depends on the system, though. For demonstration of these terms: My next character in an upcoming Pathfinder campaign is a "Rogue ...


70

In a large number of RPGs the GM is positioned as the controller of the world, its NPC inhabitants, the items in the world, and their essential natures. They are also often positioned as the final arbiter of rules and thus hold considerable authority. It tends to be these games in which “GM fiat” is a thing. Hopefully a GM imbued with such power will ...


65

The githyanki have been a fixture in Dungeons & Dragons ever since they showed up in the original Fiend Folio in 1981. (Look! Right there on the cover!) Like drow, githyanki had mixed parties of different characters, featuring both front-line warriors and support casters. One of the specialized githyanki types was the gish, who was essentially a multi-...


65

MAD Multiple Ability (score) Dependent means that a class needs high numbers in multiple different ability scores to function well. The archetypal MAD class (in my mind) is the Monk from Pathfinder. Pathfinder Monks need: Strength: Pretty much all they do is melee attacks, so Str gives +to hit and +damage Dexterity: Since Monks can't effectively wear armor, ...


65

Jeremy Crawford1 has affirmed that this is indeed the way the rules are supposed to be read in this tweet: Unless the rules explicitly expand, narrow, or completely redefine a word, that word retains the meaning it has in idiomatic English. #DnD Going back to the original articles detailing the design goals for the 5th edition (see this related answer ...


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Rules lawyer/Back-seat DM are pretty close Rules lawyer is the term for someone who constantly enforces the precise letter of the rules in games even going so far as to correct and try to argue with DMs and other players. Back-seat DM is similar, but they often try to control other things like adherence to lore and over-stepping with unsolicited suggestions ...


61

Minimization and Maximization for Optimization Min-max (minmax) comes from using mathematics to solve optimization problems. An example is finding the maximum area for a given perimeter. As applied to RPG's (the example will be D&D) min-max addresses how to best assign ability points, equipment, and skills to get the most power or effectiveness ...


59

There are three rulebooks associated with the core rules of various editions of D&D. The Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual. Their shorthand is as follows. PHB - Player's HandBook DMG - Dungeon Master's Guide MM - Monster Manual


58

Like every boom/bust cycle, the "d20 bust" was what happened when the "d20 boom" ended. What's the d20 Boom? I don't know if that's an official term, but it's one I use because it works, and it fits the idea of a bust pretty well. If you look back to when 3.0 came out, it did an interesting thing that no game with it's reach had done before: it made it ...


56

Gamescience, a dice manufacturer, calls such a die simply a d20 0–9 Twice. Yours appears to be this one, and, as of this writing, it appears you can buy more. However, you may not need to. The owner of such dice usually colors in at least half the numbers himself—wax crayons used to be included with dice sets for exactly this reason, but paint or, I guess, ...


56

It derives from the wargames which inspired D&D. The 1971 Chainmail miniatures game which inspired D&D included a table for one-on-one combat, which determined hit or miss based on the attacker's weapon and defender's armor. This appears to be the origin of D&D's term "armor class", which referenced the Chainmail rules. The meaning appears to be ...


56

There isn't a singular correct answer to this. For D&D, I've heard 3.5e verbalized as "three point five e", "three point five edition", and very rarely (and awkardly for a native speaker) "third edition point five". I've heard 5e verbalized as "fifth edition" or "five e". If your audience understands what ...


54

It was an example adventure by Monte Cook It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here's an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.) The synopsis is ...


54

Homebrew is beer or other alcoholic beverages brewed at home as opposed to those brewed commercially and bought at a shop. By analogy, homebrew is any major addition to or omission from the official rules of a game (including RPG but also video and board games) that a particular gaming group uses. For minor changes, the usual expression is house-rules; ...


54

People In each of your examples the term "humanoid" could be replaced with "people". A more common-language approach may be easier to work in-game than trying to shoehorn a more awkward word. The only thing lost is the distinction between humanoid and non-humanoid personages (for example, the Beholder mentioned in the question). However, ...


53

It's not just in extreme cases that this doesn't add up, though. Let's say that you hit a target on a 16+. If you get a +1, you now hit them on a 17+, which is a 6.25% increase in your chance of hitting, and a 25% reduction in your chance of missing. People are using "increased by a percent" sloppily — or, I guess, if you sigh and admit that language ...


53

Game Master (GM) is a generic term for the person who's running the game. Some games have their own name for that role — Dungeon Master is the term Dungeons & Dragons uses. It's even a Wizards of the Coast trademark. (Yes, really.) Some games use “GM” for their actual official name for the role, such as Fate or Dungeon World. Others use a more ...


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