RPG Abbreviations
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Basic Information

This is a glossary of abbreviations used in RPG's — (there's one already! Look it up!)

  • AD&D: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  • BBEG: Big Bad Evil Guy; the main opponent in a setting. Sometimes called the Boss Monster.
  • d6: A six-sided die. Polyhedral dice are often abbreviated this way; e.g. "3d6" means "roll three six-sided dice", and "2d4-2" means "roll two four-sided dice and subtract 2".
  • Crit: A critical hit or failure. In some RPGs, actions have a chance of succeeding or failing way beyond most mundane outcomes. This chance is usually quite slim. A critical success might do more damage, or get some extra unexpected benefit. A critical miss (also sometimes called a botch) might backfire and hurt or humiliate the character.
  • CoC: Call of Cthulhu - another roleplaying game of great antiquity, based on the Cthulhu mythos stories.
  • d20: A 20-dided die. Also, a game system based on the D&D 3.5 rules that can be applied to other genres.
  • D&D: Dungeons & Dragons, the granddaddy of all RPGs … frequently reincarnated with varying levels of success. Also referred to as "that RPG".
  • DC: Difficulty Class. A number, category, or trait that is an indication of how hard or unlikely something is. Often serves as a TN (see below), and some folks use the terms interchangeably.
  • DM: Dungeon Master, the D&D-specific term for GM.
  • EP: Experience Points (Or, rarely, Electrum Piece, a form of currency in old-school D&D)
  • GM: Game Master
  • GMPC: Game Master's Player Character; a character who is a member of the party, and more important than a minion or a sidekick; but who is played by the GM.
  • GP: Gold Piece, the most common monetary unit in D&D. Sometimes used (regardless of system) to indicate a standard unit of currency.
  • HP: Hit Point or Health Point. Originally a D&D-specific mechanic for tracking character health, but now often used as a generic term for health or damage, regardless of system.
  • NPC: Non-Player Character
  • PC: Player Character
  • RPG: Role-Playing Game. With paper and pencil and funny-shaped dice the way God and Gary Gygax intended. (or Rocket Propelled Grenade, if you're running a modern-day combat campaign)
  • TN: Target number. The number you have to roll (on one or more dice) to succeed at a given task.
  • XP: Experience Points

See Also: RPG Terminology


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • A really Post Modern game set in 1974 or later might actually feature some characters using these terms.
  • More often, these terms are used by gamers when speaking out-of-character about the game, the characters, or the mechanics of the game.
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