Gamer’s Glossary: Slang and Abbreviations Commonly Used by Table Top Gamers

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We here at Split The Party “format” our show in such a way to just sound like a couple of friends sitting around a table talking about table top gaming and Star Wars in a casual fashion. We like this format because we think it can help new people easily slide in and join a casual conversation. Sometimes, this conversation can be too casual and we use some jargon or slang that everyone might not understand, and this might turn some people away. I mean, I wouldn’t want to listen to a bunch of people talk about stuff that I couldn’t understand!

To help anyone listening to our podcast (or anyone’s show really) we decided to put together a small glossary of slang terms or abbreviations commonly used by table top gamers. We won’t go super basic level (we assume everyone here already knows what RPG stands for), we hope this will help anyone who’s had any doubts of what some of the things we say actually mean!

Terms and Definitions

  • 4E / 5E / etc. Fourth Edition / Fifth Edition / etc.
  • 40K – Warhammer 40,000, a table top miniatures war game.
  • Actual Play – A recorded RPG session
  • AP – Analysis Paralysis, taking a long time to make decisions in a game (also Actual Play)
  • AoE – Area of Effect
  • AoR – Star Wars: Age of Rebellion
  • BBEG – Big Bad Evil Guy/Gal, the final boss or main antagonist
  • Buff – To make better or stronger than before
  • C&C / CnC – Crowns and Castles (also Castles and Crusades)
  • Check – See Skill Check
  • CRB – Core Rule Book
  • Crowd Control – Nerfs, area attacks, effects or manipulation meant to negatively impact enemies
  • Crunch – The mechanical and logical rules to a game
  • D6 / D20 / D# – A die with a number of sides matching the number indicated after the ‘D’ (D6 is a six sided die)
  • D&D / DnD – Dungeons and Dragons
  • DCC – Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • Debuff – See Nerf
  • DM / GM – Dungeon Master / Game Master, the player who runs a game
  • DPR – Damage Per Round (variant of DPS, or Damage Per Second, from video games)
  • Edge – Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
  • EotE – See Edge
  • F&D / FnD – Star Wars: Force and Destiny
  • FFG – Fantasy Flight Games, a games publisher
  • FLGS – Friendly Local Game Store
  • Fluff – The narrative used to describe a rule or set piece
  • Glass Cannon – High damage, low defense characters
  • HP – Hit Points, a measure of a characters health
  • IP – Intellectual Property
  • L5R – The Legend of the Five Rings
  • MacGuffin – An object/person/place that acts to fuel desires of characters or NPCs
  • Min-Max – Character optimization involving maximizing some stats at the expense of minimizing others
  • Nerf – To maker weaker than before
  • NPC – Non-Player Characters, characters typically controlled by the DM/GM
  • OD&D / ODnD – Original Dungeons and Dragons (i.e. 0 edition)
  • OGL – Open Gaming License, a method of sharing or giving permission to use intellectual property.
  • OP – Over Powered, stronger than normal
  • OSR – Old School Renaissance (Revival), drawing inspiration from earliest days of RPGs
  • P&P / PnP – Princesses and Palaces
  • Party – The group of characters controlled by the players
  • PbtA – Powered by the Apocalypse, a RPG system
  • PC – Player Character, a character controlled by a player rather than the DM/GM
  • Power Gamer – Someone who prioritizes making the best/strongest characters
  • RAW – Rules as Written, literal interpretation of rules based on the written wording
  • RAI – Rules as Intended, theoretical interpretation of rules to what the designer actually expected
  • Retro Clone – Genre of RPGs meant to evoke the mechanisms and/or tone of early Dungeons and Dragons
  • Save – See Skill Check
  • Skill Check – Determining whether or not a task in game succeeds or fails, typically through a randomizing process (dice roll)
  • Splat Book – A supplement to an existing RPG. A non-core rulebook.
  • Squishy – Low defense and/or low HP characters
  • SRD – System Reference Document, a document used to exclusively outline and define the rules for a game without the fluff.
  • Tank – Defensive character designed to take damage and protect party members
  • TCG / CCG – Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game
  • THAC0 – To Hit Armor Class 0 (zero). Nobody knows what this means.
  • TOR – The One Ring
  • WotC / “Wat-See” Wizards of the Coast, a games publisher famous for Dungeons and Dragons
  • XP – Experience Point

Updated April 16, 2019

Author Alex