Sunday 13 May, 2012

The word of Gygax


About a week ago I was at my FLGS and ran into one of the local gamer kids.  He is someone that I admire for being open to playing different sorts of RPGs at a young age, but he tends to be a bit annoying at times.  He came up to me while I was BSing with some of my fellow gamer peeps and asked on simple question “Hi, I was wondering for your were running any campaigns today.”  Campaigns?  Was I running any long term, interconnected story arcs that day?  Does this youngster know of what he speaks?  It got me to think… how many of our redbull drinking, iPod wearing, D&D 4e playing youth are mangling our gamer speak.  Now mind you there are no requirements to become a role player.  There are no secret handshakes, no scarlet ascot to wear, no book of bi-laws… wait, yes there is a book of bi-laws.  The 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide!  The book written in high Gygaxian and filled with Gary’s wisdom.  Even if you have never played a old school game before, the glossary in the back of this amazing book will school you on these terms.  The words are not new or alien, in fact most (if not all) the words come from war game speak.

This is for you new school gamers!  Heed the wisdom of Gary and know the words that are use in all versions of D&D, even used in other games.

Campaign – General term referring to one DM’s adventures as a whole rather than individually.  An ongoing series of games based upon a created milieu.

DM – Dungeon Master, the referee of ADVANCED DUNGEONS 8 dragons™’

Encounter– An unexpected confrontation with a monster, another party, etc.

Hit Dice -The number of dice rolled to determine the creature‘s hit points

League– For game purposes a league equals approximately 3 miles.

Melee – Combat with hand-held weapons between more than two figures. This is distinguished from list combat, which is between two opponents, and

Milieu -An unique game setting embodying numerous possible variables in its creation, i.e. the “world” in which adventures take place.

Monty Haul -A campaign (or the DM running it) in which greatly excessive amounts of treasure and/or experience are given out.

Party-A group of adventurers.

Philter-A magical draught or potion.

Phylactery– An arm wrapping with a container holding religious writings, thus a form of amulet or charm.

Round (Also melee round) -A unit of time in ADBD equal to 1 minute. Each round is composed of IO segments, and 10 rounds constitute a turn.

Segment-The smallest unit of time in ADBD; each segment is 6 seconds long. 10 segments comprise a round (q.v.) .

Turn -A unit of time in ADBD, equal to 10 minutes. Each turn consists of 10 rounds (q.v.), and each round is comprised of losegments (q.v.).

I remember referring to some games as “Monty” when we were all walking around with +4 vorpral swords and Plate mail +3.  These to me are some of the core words that every role player should know.  Yes, I know that a lot of the new school folks will call me a heretic and burn me at the stake with their “Encounter Powers”, “Edges”, or “Aspects”, but if you are going to ever roll dice at my table embrace theses words, love them, sleep with them under your pillow.

Besides the gaming related words mentioned above the DMG also used words and abbreviations that we see in everyday literature.   Heck I learned these words at age 10 from the DMG, way before jr. high came along and tried to educate me.  “All I know I learned from gaming”… ain’t that the truth.


e.g. – For example.

et al. -And others.

Le. -That is.

N.B. – Note well.

Q.E.D. – Which was to be demonstrated.

q.v. (Also q.q.v.) -Which see; something that is also referenced.

vis-a-vis – Face-to-face; compared with.

viz. -That is; namely.

So what am I trying to say?  If you are going to talk gaming with me, please know your gamer verbiage.



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